Moonrise Over Mt Tabor Portland Through GoldenSmog
Posted 06 August 2009 - 06:03 PM
I had intended to sketch from Mt Tabor in central Portland Tuesday night August 4th but instead allowed the public to observe the moonrise through the Nexstar 5i. I returned home later to begin the sketch at midnight till about 2 AM Wednesday morning.
Details slowed the finishing process, so I continued on Wednesday night until clouds stopped me. Some final touches of color and foreground were completed indoors. This was possibly the most intense use of color blending I have as yet attempted. The stagnant golden smog over Portland Tuesday night into Wednesday morning rendered the moon high in the south as if it were under rising color close to the horizon.
Observed through a Nexstar 5i, Coulter Odyssey 10.1" Newtonian and binoculars.
Sketch is rendered on 19 X 25" black Strathmore Artagain paper with various pastel chalks. The moons disc a few hours before full is sketched at 15 1/2" in diameter.
Posted 06 August 2009 - 06:50 PM
A masterful moonrise sketch. I really like all the detail and the color selection for a moonrise. The yellow/browns are a good and true combination with an ideal horizon.
Posted 07 August 2009 - 02:10 AM
You nailed the colors! We have had a lot of fires around the area today and tonight before the clouds came in the moon was that very color. Just add a series of mountains in the background. As always, you are truly a master. One detail that I liked was your capture of the pine branches in front of the moon. I also like how you allowed the moonlight to capture the color of the trees.
Posted 07 August 2009 - 09:59 AM
Posted 07 August 2009 - 01:58 PM
I'm glad that you liked it. It was fun at times but a struggle to get the accurate color. I have attempted an atmospheric filtered orange moon once before but finally arrived this time on the blending of several pastel chalk colors to achieve this. I know some say that they do not like to blend. I think I know why. It can take a tremendous amount of effort to overlay and ["underpaint" is the term in oil painting.] This requires much patience, practice and can prove as a daunting exercise that can frustrate the amateur sketcher/painter at times. But low and behold, with all that work, something will occasionally emerge that spells success.
I hope I came to somewhere near that this time.
Posted 07 August 2009 - 04:48 PM
Posted 07 August 2009 - 06:55 PM
Posted 08 August 2009 - 04:06 AM
Shannon- I am not using a scanner but rather sufficing to photographing with a Sony Cybershot 5 mgpxl digital camera. I would prefer a high quality scanner but must suffice with the digital camera. The format size I work in poses yet another problem: I am told that publishers want to scan with a high quality drum scanner but this would smear the pastel chalks. Are there large flat glass scanners that handle up to 20" X 30" ?
Paul- Welcome to the sketch forum! I see you observed Jupiter's Wesley Scare Impact and rendered it nicely. Yes, I have sketched Jupiter a few times. Even once with Photoshop. I am due for a large pastel of it soon as it now approaches opposition. I just cannot ignore the moon now when there is an interesting terminator line or even more so when most astronomers used to ignore it; at full phase. There is so much surface image and details to record in a sketch that it becomes a plethora of fun to get it all.
Spaceweather.com has posted several full moon images in the past day or two; It just occured to me tonight that I could send my current full moon sketch; so it is there for Aug 8th 2009 as "More Images" with many other photographers.
My CN Gallery
Posted 08 August 2009 - 11:53 AM
Posted 08 August 2009 - 12:13 PM
Posted 08 August 2009 - 01:33 PM
Tommy- as I might have mentioned, this was really an exercise in experimentation of striving for accuracy of color. I usually begin with color overlays. As an artist I do not see this discussed too much in astronomy sketch art as most of the night sky as seen naked eye, is virtally colorless. Except when bright light such as the moon hits the retina. Then the Cone cells turn on. The moon changes so much from rising time to the zenith you have to play catch-up with the color changes when sketching. The orignal beginning had dark blue-grey in the Mare then brick red- marroon, then a final yellow-rust orange scumbled lightly over to finish. The bright cream areas of the general surface started with a medium dark orange, then a cream white with some of the same yellow-rust orange in the mare scumbled over the outer perimeter of the moons disc to add depth and dimension and/or edge darkening. So there it is; another impromptu tutorial secret for new artists!
Shannon- Yes there have been words before from others too about how the actual real sketches look much beter than the reproductions we see in the Internet. I am never really happy with the screen image as the real sketch seen in bright north daylight or lit by halogen track lights at night in a dark room or gallery is much more superb, but the Sony camera is all I have to record with. They improved my original camera stolen in the Fiji Islands a few years later when I replaced it, the new purchased model replacing the cheap plastic lens with a glass lens by Carl Zeiss, greatly upgrading the color accuracy.
I will provide another lecture about this for an art institute next week to show most of my pastels to this facility that actually has an astronomy class at their art college.
Posted 08 August 2009 - 05:11 PM
Lovely color there.
You know, it's funny, but I find that I actually like the digital presentation of some of my sketches better than the original work -- although those tend to be mostly deep sky sketches. Scanning rarely seems to improve solar or lunar work.
Posted 10 August 2009 - 08:54 PM
Yes, I understand from many others too that they are not usually satisfied with the computer screen reproductions.
That is why I like to show the original works in lectures as I feel that the audience receives the best possible image. Also why I leave them unmounted, although a couple are now behind glass and frames.
Posted 11 August 2009 - 11:44 AM
A beautiful and very accurate observation of the rising Moon over Portland. You have recorded the bright ray craters and maria very nicely. The golden color adds to it as well. Thank you for sharing it with us all.
Posted 11 August 2009 - 01:47 PM
Beautiful artwork to your very high standard,thanks for the effort you put in,very much appreciated,
Posted 11 August 2009 - 11:34 PM
I forgot to mention why I allowed tree branches to obscure the moons surface. When I started out at the park, several of the public gathered; many had never seen the moon in a telescope and were amazed. I apologized for the moon still being low and slightly obscured by the parks tree limbs. One lady looked into the eyepiece and said:
"Wow! I like the way the tree limbs needles are in front of the moon and you can see the moon move like the telescope is following it."
Of course I explained that the motor drive was actually following the moon. So then I pulled the plug and allowed them to see the trees as stable and instead the moon moving. That really gets people going as they realize that we are turning; that the universe is alive!
So later at home I added the tree limbs into the foreground but did not really add as much of the city-scape to the right as I had intended. Sometimes less is more to the central subject as art? *[edited today Aug 14th] I just showed the original work to an architect artist friend of mine; he want me to improve my renderings of trees.
My CN Gallery
Posted 24 August 2009 - 04:45 PM
I am on the road and not readily available to respond now or upload new images for some time.