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Sketching Supplies and Equipment/Scanners.

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#1 Wil2010

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 11:07 AM

Greetings.

I'm just getting started in skywatching and sketching. Really enjoy looking at all the fine and amazing sketches here. I notice that a lot of you scan your images to the computer and then convert to a "negative" image.

Question: What types of scanners do you use, and what types of supplies ( pencils, paper type and weight, etc. ) do you use to create the best negative images.

Again, amazing work on this site and thanks for your time.

Wil

#2 lunar

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 12:34 PM

I use everyday pencils (HB) to do my sketches, while using these paper wound sticks I picked up at a local Hyatts a few years ago. I heaven't been to that store in years, but I'm in the process of bugging my parents to take me there again. As for inverting, the program that came with the scanner/printer does all of that, however, I've read and heard that GIMP and others do it a lot better.

#3 hbanich

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 12:10 AM

Hi Wil,

I use a mechanical pencil with 0.7mm HB lead, a good eraser and acid free paper in a Canson 8x5 inch sketch book. I usually clean up my raw sketches the next day to make sure they realistically portray what I saw in the eyepiece. Even though my raw sketches tend to look pretty good while I’m at the eyepiece (red light seems to have a nice blending effect of its own) in the light of day they are very “sketchy” looking.

Before scanning I usually try to make the sketch as realistic as possible, which mostly involves smoothing out the individual pencil lines. I’ll smooth and blend them with a combination of smudging with a finger tip and/or my eraser. I’ve done it this way since I was a kid so it’s second nature now.

I also make the stars rounder because I have a terrible habit drawing them as short lines while at the eyepiece. I usually have to go back and lightly erase each star and then quickly redraw it as a dot so I don’t forget how bright it was.

I've included this info because it seems that the more time I spend making my original sketch look realistic the better the scan turns out - I haven't developed the skills to do that digitally, at least not yet.

If I want to invert the sketch after scanning I'll do that in Photoshop Elements. This works best if the scan has no color information so I make sure the scan is grayscale. If the inverted image doesn't look realistic enough I'll adjust the brightness and contrast until the result looks as much like the view through the eyepiece as I can make it.

I use a ten year old Agfa SnapScan 1212 scanner that was pretty cheap when I got it new so I'm sure there are more capable scanners today.

Howard

#4 Wil2010

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 11:21 AM

WOW, lots of information. Thanks much to you guys. I need to find an art supply store of some sort.

Wil

#5 John K

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 08:14 PM

For my stars I use a fine tipped felt pen Black.This helps me get the stars to look the way I like.You can tap the pen for fainter stars or hold it down to represent brighter ones.This help to cure some of the bright bloated star problems,and yet still get the magnitude difference effect.

#6 Wil2010

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 11:57 PM

John.

That's very cool!!. Do you have any sketches using the felt pen technique you can post? Real interested to see one.

Thanks for the great idea.

Wil

#7 John K

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 08:15 PM

Here is on of comet Hartley

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#8 Wil2010

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 08:31 PM

Very nicely done!!

So do you just use the felt tip pen for stars.. It looks like the shading work is still done by pencil. Your right, the stars mag. is depicted beautifully.

Thanks Much.

Wil

#9 John K

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 12:13 AM

I use a normal pencil and a blending stump.I also have a needable eraser and a normal eraser to get the dark lanes in things like the triffid nebula and such.It is quiet effective to Load the blending stump and draw in the nebulas.I Then use the needable eraser to make the dark lanes.this along with the felt tipped pen and you can get some real good results(I also use a mechanical pencil to get the real faint stars.A little more versatility).

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