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Step-by-step Lunar sketching

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#1 Carol L

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 03:58 PM

I've been asked to make a step-by-step demonstration how my Lunar sketches are done, and it actually went much smoother than anticipated last night. :) The hardest part was remembering to stop and take the pictures as I was sketching. :smirk:
Actual sketch size is 2"x2".

The area chosen was a beautiful circular formation of craters located below Walter. Beginning from the West [left]: Orontius, Huggins, Nasireddin, Miller, Miller C, and Lexell A. The crater below Orontius is Saussure. The entire grouping is on Rukl plate 65.

All images were taken at the scope while the sketch was progressing.. camera used was a Nikon Coolpix 4300. Since the flash made an awful glare on the graphite, the camera's manual mode was used with 1/8 second as an exposure time. The illumination was provided by my Lunar sketching light.

As twilight deepened, the images understandably became darker but a longer exposure might have caused slight blurring because the clipboard and the camera were hand-held. The images which turned out dark were put into my photo program for adjustments to their value. They're still a bit dark but I didn't want to mess with them too much.. you can still see them, though.

There were no touch-ups done after getting home. Usually I need to deepen the shadows with a 9B prior to scanning the sketches, but since the digital images turned out so dark, the 9B wasn't necessary. What you see in the last image is what I brought home from the starpad. ;)

Now for the sketches.. there will be six of them.
:)

#2 Carol L

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 04:01 PM

Step 1
Rough outline showing the main features, done with a 2B.

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#3 Carol L

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 04:03 PM

Step 2
Fill in deep shadows with 6B.

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#4 Carol L

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 04:05 PM

Step 3
Medium value roughed in with 4B.

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#5 Carol L

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 04:07 PM

Step 4
Medium value blended; outer area also shaded in, using same blending stump.

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#6 Carol L

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 04:09 PM

Step 5
More blending; lighter highlights created with soft eraser.

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#7 Carol L

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 04:11 PM

Step 6
Final blend and touch-up.

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#8 Mark Z.

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 04:21 PM

Carol,

Thank you for the play-by-play. You say the sketch is 2 by 2 inches. Is that typical for you? In the dark, I have a hard time seeing things that small.

You really do nice work.

Mark

#9 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 04:36 PM

Thanks for sharing your procedure. I've never drawn a detailed outline at the beginning before, but I'll definitely give it a try. Thanks again.

#10 cildarith

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 04:39 PM

Great step-by-step, Carol, thanks for posting that. You've taken a very systematic approach with clear improvements to the sketch at each step. I always feel like my own lunar sketches look *really bad* throughout most of the process, and then suddenly everything comes together at the very end into something presentable (usually, I hope).

I think my tendency is to ramble around (kind of like this post) so I have different parts of the sketch in different stages of completion at any given time. Some areas will be completed (at your step 6) while an adjacent area will still be stuck on step 1...

I'm sure my next sketch will be an improvement, thanks to this excellent example. Thanks again, Carol!
:bow:

Edit: silly profanity filter... :crazy:

#11 Tim2723

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 04:43 PM

Thanks Carol, that's great! I think I see where I've been going wrong now. I do my outlines and then work a section at a time, changing pencils a hundred times and getting nowhere. You have that divided into only three 'colors', dark, medium and light gray.

I'm going to try a couple of sketches from photos using only three pencils: 2B graphite for the outlines, 6B charcoal for the black-blacks, and ebony for the mediums with highlights erased in. (Is that a real term? "Erased in" is an oxymoron! :p) Anyway, those three pencils are the ones I've become most comfortable with, so I'll start there.

Thanks again! A very nice presentation.

And oh yeah, I also thought your drawings were bigger than that.

#12 Carol L

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 06:19 PM

Thanks everyone! :D
When I'm pressed for time, the sketches always seem to be smaller for some reason.. go figure. :shrug:

The outline is what I always had the most trouble with, so I sat down with a few lunar books and began to practice getting the basics down as accurately and as quickly as possible. It really helped.
Prior to that, I used to ramble around and juggle pencils, too. I'd make an outline but didn't dare fill in the deep shadows as a second step because I knew that somewhere along the line, I'd have to erase it. :crazy:
Practicing the outline is crucial, because it's the foundation of the sketch.. get that right, and it's like downtown. ;)

Btw Mark, have you tried using a brighter light for lunar work? Since there's no need to preserve night vision, it doesn't have to be red, and you can have it as bright as you please. :)

#13 desertstars

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 06:20 PM

I've got the detailed outline part down pat...


:whistle:

#14 Carol L

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 08:04 PM

Don't worry, Tom.. your descriptions of the lunar surface more than adequately complete the picture. ;)

Btw, I just remembered.. you'd mentioned in another thread that you'd support either a double-post of this here and in the Sketching forum, or a link pointing the way to the completed project. Seeing as a link is quicker, I'll scoot over there now and post it before I forget. :)

#15 typhus

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 09:11 PM

Thanks Carol. You're awesome! I've been wanting to get into sketching but unsure how do the moon sometimes. Any help is appreciated, especially the detail you've given here.

#16 typhus

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 09:12 PM

Also, I would love to see more of these!

#17 SandmanBR

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 09:55 PM

Uau!!! :bow: :bow: :bow:
Now you can give us some tips about sketching DSO's. ;)

#18 kraterkid

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 10:53 PM

Hi Carol,

That was a wonderful tutorial and a great sketch! It's interesting to see the rough outline drawing and compare it to the final version, because then we can see how much you were able to capture regarding the sizes and accurate positioning of the craters, that helped inform the sketch as it proceeded. I like the fact that you delineated the shadow boundries in the next step because establishing them early seems to keep lunar sketches from "drifting" with the changing light.

You technique is very refined and I love the way you produce the tones going from darkest to medium and finally to the very lightest. You possess such beautifully subtle control of tonal values. A great eye for composition as well.


Thank you for sharing this excellent sketch and step-by-step tutorial, :ubetcha:

Rich

#19 TomC10

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 11:15 PM

After my first few sketches it seemed like it was going to take a lot of practice to get decent at it, so I stopped sketching. The Carol-L Method streamlines the whole process enough that I think I'll give it another try. Thanks Carol.

#20 Redman

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 11:25 PM

Great job Carol! Looks like I have a new way to try and improve my sketches. I think my problem is I get too hung up about completing each part instead of doing a rough sketch of everything first. Shows my lack of knowledge in the art of sketching. Also, please keep'em coming! I do enjoy looking at your work.

#21 oldsalt

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 04:57 AM

very nice carol, now that we know how you do it, we all have something to shoot for. I may try combining this with white charcoal on black paper and see what happens.

#22 Erix

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 07:11 AM

Thank you for taking the time to do your tutorial, Carol. :D It's always so cool to see different techiniques in the process. And you make it look so easy! :crazy: :lol:

BTW, for those of you interested in DSO sketching, cildarith (Eric) has posted a wonderful tutorial: Sketching Globs , plus Bill Ferris has a great one too.

#23 Tommy5

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 11:18 AM

Great sketch outline, maybe even I can work up the courage to try sketching the moon, thanks again.

#24 LivingNDixie

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 12:51 PM

Thank you Carol for taking the time to post a play by play.

#25 Carol L

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 12:55 PM

Thanks everyone, your enthusiasm has made my weekend! :flower:

See? My sketches start out as little ugly ducklings too. :lol:
It looks like the intimidation factor has been knocked down a few notches for some of you, and that's exciting to hear. Never be afraid to sketch.. if you're self-conscious and don't want to post them, then that's fine.. but don't stop. Trust me.. keep practicing and some day you'll post a sketch that'll knock our socks off!
:grin: :waytogo:

:D And Tim, a very special thanks to you for suggesting this project..
I honestly never realized how much something like this would help others.






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