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First Lunar Sketch

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#1 Asbytec

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 11:08 PM

I just do not understand how the pros do it. So much detail, but Uwe issued a challenge. So, I picked one of my favorite sites on the moon, Crater Bell on or near the NE limb. Pete mentioned the limb is quite nice, and it is (didn't see Fuji-san, though.) Pretty Stunning, regardless.

Had almost perfect seeing last night. Working at 300x and overlooking the diffraction effect, began sketching the limb about 8pm and finished about 10ish.

I do not think I can redraw it into a finer sketch. Just too much to detail and fear of 'making it up.' Maybe, though. However, the limb was so impressive as is, I thought I'd share the rough sketch with you, complete with notes. Maybe work on a final drawing later.

If you haven't seen the features, please do. Recommended. (Oh, the two craters on the right are an attempt to record detail in the crater below and left of the twin peaks.)

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#2 frank5817

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 11:55 PM

Asbytec,

Nice sketch. The large crater in the foreground looks to be Endymion. It was fairly close to the limb at the time of your sketch.
Sketch looks very nice - keep at it and watch how you will add more features and detail as time goes by.

Frank :)

#3 Uwe Pilz

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 01:55 AM

I like your sketch very much. Is has all what a fine sketch needs:
Interesting areas, subtle deatils, rare obeserved features.

One remark: Your sketches deserve better paper. It is not a good idea to copy pages form a sketching book. I use drawing paper.

#4 Asbytec

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 04:55 AM

Uwe, the experience begs the question. DO you sit through several sessions to complete a sketch? Also, how do you keep from getting distracted? One area might sharpen nicely and draw your attention from the area you were sketching.

Frank, yes, as time went by more and more detail became visible. In fact, it became distracting to draw here then catch a nice feature over there...switch up and begin drawing that. By over time, do you mean several sessions over several nights? It almost seem necessary to capture (even some of) the wealth of detail.

Yes, nice paper would be nice. This sketch was done on the back of my NGC 3242 Sketch. Not good...but it was available paper for an impromptu try.

Thanks you for replying.

#5 frank5817

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 10:04 AM

Asbytec,

If you are sketching well away from the terminator you could possibly extend a sketch over 2 nights. If you are sketching at the terminator you will need to complete the sketch promptly before the shadows change to a new configuration often in less than an hour.

Make sure your scope has cooled down to the ambient air temperature before you start. And by 'over time' I meant after making many sketches of the Moon.

Frank :)

#6 Special Ed

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 10:07 AM

Asbytec,

Glad to see you start sketching Luna. I don't blame you for being hesitant at first--drawing lunar features is probably the biggest challenge that astrosketching has to offer.

Features near the limb are my favorite targets to draw because of the oblique view. Not sure I agree with Frank on the big crater partially drawn being Endymion. If you were in the Crater Boss area, the big crater would more likely be Mercurius. Check out this image by Stefan Lammel. Endymion is the very big crater on the left. The pair of craters just below it are Hercules and Atlas. Draw an imaginary line through them to a similiar sized crater--that is Mercurius.

Because so much detail is usually visible, one can spend hours on a lunar sketch. This is ok if you're sketching a feature back away from the terminator, but if you're working on or near the terminator, you have to work fast because the shadows change so swiftly. This is why so many of the best sketchers often use black paper--they don't have to spend any time filling in shadows.

Unlike Frank, Carlos, Rich, Pierre, Mark, Erika, and other talented folks on this forum, drawing huge swaths of lunar real estate is a daunting task for some of us. ;) My suggestion is to pick a single crater or other feature, perhaps one that stands alone, and focus on it. You'll find targets like this scattered around the Moon. Here's an example.

Good luck with your next sketch. :)

#7 Asbytec

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 10:45 AM

Ed, wow, gotta be talented to grab such a large swath of the moon. In one sitting? Maybe I'll just sketch the dark side. Use black paper. :lol:

Yes, probably smaller swaths are called for...but that limb view was so nice and seemed easy at first...until the detail began showing itself. I could actually see one hill descend in front of another! Amazing, really. Bit off more than I could chew.

Thanks, Frank...yea, with time, maybe. Didn't know an hour mattered, maybe I should pay more attention. Anyway, that seems to be crunch time to do images like Uwe, et al. In the tropics, my Mak cools pretty nicely...and doesn't chase ambient to below zero. Thank goodness. :)

Maybe a little research on my part could have named that crater in question. Lemme see...I just wanted to know what was on the rim that was so interesting.

It is daunting...so much to see and would love to share the experience with others. Just got back from trying the Plato challenge. And a challenge it was.

Thank you for sharing the moment with me. It was a stunning night.

#8 Uwe Pilz

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 10:51 AM

Dear Asbytec,

just my 2 cent about sketching the moon. As Frank and Ed wrote - you don't have all time of the world. I sketch my area in ~half an hour at the scope and some time thereafter at the desk.

Usually I star observing the moon without paper. I use a low to medium magnification and find out which region is attractive - because of the fall of its shadows or because of the libration. I finish with the decision what to sketch.

When I have paper and pencil at the scope I start with the outlines of the crater or feature. This has to be correct and takes some time, 10 minutes or more. This time does not count. You can omit this step if you take this outline from a moon map. But you have to take into account the libration in some way.
Then I outline the highlights. Highlights do not change as fast as shadows, with some exceptions. This step is also not too time critical.
Then roughly I shade the grey areas to give the sketch the hint of a realistic view.
After that the time critical step comes. I outline the shadows with a soft dark pencil. I don't fill out the shadows in that step because they tend to smear. After finishing that I note the time.

After that I add subtle shadings of grey areas, add tiny shadows (which not move fast) and use an eraser pen to add tiny lighter dots and in dark areas.
At the desk I fill the shadows and the spray fixative. I complete the description and add the coordinate cross.

#9 Asbytec

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 10:58 AM

By the time I got to step 3, the moon would be full. :)

Thanks for the tips, Uwe. Will try again later. I agree, too, that's how I observe the moon. I scan it until something interesting comes into view. Then, up the magnification and sit and watch the area for a good long while.

#10 Carl Kolchak

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 01:07 PM

Asbytec

Here is a lunar sketching tutorial by CN member Carol L from an archive thread named, Step-by-step Lunar sketching. She also has it available in a single sheet, Lunar Sketch Tutorial.. I used this as a template each time I attempted a lunar sketch. Thanks Carol L again!

peace & clear skies,

#11 Asbytec

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 10:04 PM

Thank you, Carl...got it bookmarked.

#12 niteskystargazer

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 10:49 AM

Asbytec,

Very good for your 1st sketch on the Moon :).

CS,KLU,

:thanx:,

Tom

#13 Asbytec

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 11:05 AM

All, went back to the twin peaks area to try to resolve what that large foreground crater is....then something stunning happened. The rim was totally different! I could not see those twin peaks under 8/10 seeing conditions using 300x. It's almost as if they had rotated over the horizon! I searched the entire limb in vain, and in doing so noticed the entire limb seemed to be more 'lumpy' than before. Weird. Lunar Libration? Anyway, I believe it was Endymion.

Thank you, Tom. It was a beautiful sight and wanted to share.

#14 Asbytec

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 09:22 AM

Finally! Found the area of the limb, but still cannot mark the spot. Endymion is a bit south.

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#15 Rutilus

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 04:00 PM

Very nice first Lunar sketch.






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