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More People Sketching!

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#1 phxbird


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Posted 13 April 2010 - 09:47 PM

I have noticed a steady increase in the number of people looking at this forum. It used to run 3-7 at a time. I have noticed times when 10-15 are looking at this section lately. On another forum I was the only guy who posted sketches consistently. Now that area is also going through a surge of interest. I wonder if Eichers articles on sketching in Astronomy are helping to rekindle interest?

#2 joelimite


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Posted 13 April 2010 - 10:03 PM

I haven't tried my hand at sketching yet, but I have been enjoying the sketching forum more of late. I like seeing how people represent their viewing experiences at the eyepiece, and also like seeing what to expect when I inevitably upgrade to a bigger scope. I don't know if there's a relationship, but I have been reading Eicher's sketching articles in Astronomy magazine.

#3 bandhunter


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Posted 14 April 2010 - 12:44 AM

I haven't tried sketching yet either but I like looking at the sketches on here because they actually look like what you see through your scope. I think all the newbies should be sent here so they have a realistic idea of expectations. Granted I know some of the sketches are made over long periods of time and with various scopes, and some add details that are more implied, but it is much closer than any camera image. Also there is some serious talent on this forum. I never come on CC without at least spending a little time here, I really enjoy it.

Band Hunter

#4 Tommy5



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Posted 14 April 2010 - 07:12 PM

yes we have had more sketches posted, it is a great thing, sketching is the best way to improve your "seeing" ability and the morefolks that are sketching means more people gettinmg the most out of their scopes and skies.

#5 TomN


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Posted 14 April 2010 - 10:44 PM

yes we have had more sketches posted, it is a great thing, sketching is the best way to improve your "seeing" ability and the morefolks that are sketching means more people gettinmg the most out of their scopes and skies.

I was just out last night looking at NGC clusters and making some rough sketches. You are right, it gets me more involved in the hobby. I often make only rough sketches at the eyepiece then fill in details later inside where I have good light and my drawing "stuff". I recently made a small notebook populated with observing reports and now quite a few sketches. It's growing rapidly, I may soon need a volume 2. Now I enjoy looking back at those drawings and recalling the observations. Great therapy on cloudy nights! I plan to get a scanner so I can post some of my sketches as I certainly enjoy looking at yours!

#6 JanisR


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Posted 15 April 2010 - 06:08 PM

AH, words to make an ancient sketcher smile. For a long time, I suspected I would turn out to be the last of the dinosaurs, and I am ever so pleased to be *wrong* about that.

The chain remains unbroken.

Aside from training your brain how to perceive under low light conditions, sketching at the eyepiece is also an intensely personal experience. It's just you and those photons - kinda fun to think about how they've crossed the Universe to land on your retina, then be transformed by eye and brain into an image of Things So Far Away and Long Ago. And when you share the image with others, it gets a second, third, etc. life through *their* eyes and brains.

And the really cool part of all that is that Time doesn't matter all that much - four hundred years later, we look at what Galileo skecthed and share his "What the... ???" moment.

Sorry, I'm getting carried away. Happens all the time.

Especially at the eyepiece.

#7 blb



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Posted 15 April 2010 - 10:50 PM

... I don't know if there's a relationship, but I have been reading Eicher's sketching articles in Astronomy magazine.

I really love seeing those sketches. I wish the magazines Would show more of this type of information, maybe some articles too. Less hi-tec and more observation oriented articles. The pretty pictures are just that, they are not what I see.


#8 soddy


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Posted 17 April 2010 - 11:26 PM

Well...I came to this forum for the first time today because I'm going to give a shot at starting to sketch. Reason: I've been only an occasional observer over the years, finally figured out I need to set a goal/objective, so I ordered the Astronomical League Messier book and a logbook, which requires that I make a sketch of each observation. I'm all for it because I know that will make me a better observer. Same reason I want no part of go-to. I haven't observed much over the years, but I learn something every time I observe because I spend a lot of time locating an object. Go-to will keep me stupid.

Clear skies,


#9 phxbird


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Posted 17 April 2010 - 11:57 PM

Great book on astronomical sketching on amazon, http://www.amazon.co...71566333&sr=8-1
Very helpful to just about any level of sketcher.
Plus I have heard many say that about goto, including me. I was wrong! The Goto has done more to help me learn the sky than all the years with star charts! I now have 2 gotos and love their capabilities! I am actually learning the names of stars since you have to use them for calibration. Never could learn them before! Plus it is nice to be able to observe an object and not spend an hour leafing through a chart with a red flashlight and star hopping to the vicinity. I have 3 non goto scopes. they tend to sit in the garage a lot.

#10 rolandlinda3



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Posted 18 April 2010 - 06:24 PM

There is a dramatic increase in a little village in Uganda, and the same will happen among 50+ schools in the Philippines next year. It is because disadvantaged kids have little or no observing and drawing skills in those places because of no instruction or materials that we take for granted. So we send the materials, the kits, provide the curriculum, and teach the teachers plus a few students.

Sketching may or may not increase in developed societies that are stuck on increasing technology-centered media, but that environment is not present in disadvantaged places that comprise nearly 3/4 of the world's population, and a good percentage of that 3/4 is in places where dark skies are pretty good.

The heavens are available for viewing all the time, as we tell them...daytime moon observing, sun/moon rises and sets, and then traditional "awake" times near dawn and early evening. Mind you, when you teach these things to children and teachers that hardly ever practiced drawing or had pencils and paper at school (much less at home) at a young age, you are dealing with real perception problems that take time to develop. But sketching the heavens is an excellent way to begin to fill the gaps...and give them the skills of observing. Those observing skills translate into dozens of fields, so the pay off is significant.

As fast as we get opportunities, we are going. For every little place or village that we see, there are a thousand untouched. But the value of sketching, which is really learning to observe, interpret, record, refine, and report is unquestionably valuable. Ironically, it is a skill in decline in most schools in industrialized and "advanced" nations.

#11 ladip63


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Posted 21 April 2010 - 12:23 PM

When I got my CPC 9.25" scope I was determined to do Asrtophoto. Now after looking into cost and the time it takes to do one picture. I opted for sketching, it is cheap!! I love looking through my scope and then putting down on paper what I see. I just stand there and amaze at this wonderful universe. :D Take my time sketching!!

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