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'Late morning' at Copernicus crater

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#1 maroubra_boy


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Posted 14 May 2011 - 11:42 PM

Hi all,

When I had thought of sketching the crater Copernicus for this Saturday night, I had thought that the terminator would be cutting a path right through it. Boy, didn't I get that one wrong, :lol:.

Instead, the terminator wasn't within a bull's roar of Copernicus, and the shadows cast were very fine. I toyed with the idea of sketching something else, but as I had had my heart set on this sucker, I just had to undertake it.

Conditions for Sydney were the best they've been for some time. Using 222X at the best of times is useless, but tonight the image quality was more good than poor. I also had to couple two polarising filters to tone down the glare. Oh, and NO DEW for the first time in months!

Two hours, a pot of tea to keep the cold at bay, and a gorgeous orange tube C8, and this is the result.

This is the first time I've used charcoal and soft pastels to do such a finely detailed sketch. It took a little getting used to, but what I really like about this materials is you can build up the layers to achieve the result you want. I found them very forgiving, unlike the cold.

Here is a slightly larger picture of the sketch.



Object: crater Copernicus
Scope: Orange tube C8
Gear: 9mm TMB Planetary Type II, 222X, + two polarising filters
Date: 14'th May, 2011
Location: Sydney, Australia
Conditions: Fair
Media: Black & white charcoal pencils, grey soft pastel pencil, and white ink on black paper, A5 size.

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#2 chrisrnuttall


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Posted 15 May 2011 - 04:32 AM

that's fantastic.

What I love about the drawing style is the way you have left the shading around the edge loose and basic, the pastel marks are not blended away; The bright ejecta which is simply layered over the loose background shading draws your eye straight towards the central crater, and this is where the attention to detail really kicks in, it makes for a dramatic contrast with its fine fiddly shadows and hi-lights on the terraced crater walls which really jump out at you and give the focal point of the image plenty of zing! It shows that you don't need long shadows to create a dramatic drawing.

well done!

#3 Uwe Pilz

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 05:50 AM

One of the best sketches here.

#4 Jef De Wit

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 01:05 PM

Alex, that's a really great sketch! :bow: :bow:

#5 CarlosEH



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Posted 15 May 2011 - 02:04 PM


An outstanding observation of Copernicus and it's surrounding aureole. You have recorded the crater terraces and aureole very nicely. Thank you for sharing it with us all.


#6 lunar



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Posted 15 May 2011 - 03:08 PM

Very nice sketch! You seem to have caught a lot of detail there. Especially in on the crater walls, with the highlights.

Good job!
Brandon Doyle

#7 Rutilus



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Posted 15 May 2011 - 04:22 PM

Wonderful drawing, very nice.

#8 Erix


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Posted 16 May 2011 - 06:45 AM

Georgeous sketch!

#9 niteskystargazer



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Posted 16 May 2011 - 07:25 AM


Very good sketch of Copernicus Crater :).




#10 frank5817



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Posted 16 May 2011 - 11:16 AM


You have been holding back. What a spectacular lunar sketch.
Copernicus never looked this good when he was alive.
Seriously, I can tell from this reduced size sketch that the original must be terrific. It is just far enough from the terminator that you didn't likely need to rush and the subtle relief is handled masterfully.

Frank :)

#11 maroubra_boy


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Posted 16 May 2011 - 12:35 PM

Oh, my. I've been sitting here for a little while, thinking about what I can write. I've been left speechless with the warmth and generosity of the comments.

I had no idea on how this sketch was going to develop when I started it. Other than lightly marking the position of Copernicus and a few other craters, the sketch grew as I went along. Like I said earlier, it was the first time I had used these materials in a sketch like this.

When I came to fisishing it, I just said to myself "Aaghh! that'll do. I've had enough", and that was it. My only other thought on it that night was "I hope it looks ok in the morning. I'd hate to have wasted an effort." And now I'm almost ashamed of my thoughts.



#12 JayinUT


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Posted 17 May 2011 - 09:58 PM


My mouth dropped open on this one. I've been busy with another project so I haven't been viewing here, and that is my loss. Amazing, wonderful and most importantly captivating. I truly doubt that anything you set your hand to would result in a wasted effort. Please keep sharing.

#13 Special Ed

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 01:29 PM


I've been admiring your Copernicus off and on all afternoon. I really like the texture of the work and the immediacy it conveys. I like what you do with the media you used--your style is distinctive. :)

#14 JimPie


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Posted 19 May 2011 - 01:40 AM

Wow Alex, Thats outstanding!

#15 Deep13



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Posted 19 May 2011 - 10:22 AM


#16 rolandlinda3



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Posted 19 May 2011 - 10:41 PM

Very fine sketch. Excellent work.

#17 kraterkid


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Posted 21 May 2011 - 01:57 PM

Fantastic Sketch Alex! A wonderfully distinctive style.

#18 skoop


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Posted 21 May 2011 - 03:09 PM

Very fine sketch indeed!
Thank you for listing the materials you used. Big help for noobs like me.

#19 Tommy5



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Posted 21 May 2011 - 03:30 PM

Very nice sketch, very realistic, great texture and subtle shading superb job .

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