Many years ago, I tried my hand at sketching, but unadulterated impatience caused me to abandon it. I was just starting out in astronomy and I wanted to see everything NOW. It was unusual for me to not have an observing session in which I did not knock out 15-20 objects in the Messier or even the Herschels lists.
The problem is, as you undoubtedly suspect, is that I don't remember hardly anything about those objects that I "observed." Indeed, I've been reading through my log books and the descriptions all sound the same, just variations on "faint, brighter core, diffuse outer region."
For several years I was involved in imaging as an effort to record what was up in the sky, but I got burned out on it; namely, as I felt I was engaged with the technology and not the universe.
I've decided to try to take up sketching again, to really try to record what I see in the eyepiece, and to enjoy the process, and most importantly, SLOW DOWN.
I've been reading Astronomical Sketching: A Step by Step Introduction. Tonight, I tried my first "practice sketch." I found a sketch of M 29 on the web and placed my laptop some distance away. Using the techniques discussed in the book, I tried to sketch the field.
My result is not perfect. Some of the stars are not quite in the right place and I noticed that I seem to draw slightly curved lines instead of dots for stars! (Is there a Paracorr for my technique? )
The first image below is of my sketching clipboard and if you've read Astronomical Sketching you'll recognize the gooseneck-attached red flashlight. You can see the model sketch I was using in the background.