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Sketching Tecnique

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#1 Asbytec

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 12:15 PM

Tonight I tried a new technique. Maybe some of you already know and do this, but it just hit me tonight.

The GRS was rounding the bend, but I wanted to sketch it on the meridian to capture the wake before and after. It was gonna be a chore, cuz there is a lot to observe. And that takes precious time. I did nto want to wait until the GRS said, "GO!" and scramble to play catch up.

So, the idea dawned to just get ahead of the curve, and go ahead and place the GRS on the meridian even though it was on the trailing limb. This allowed some time to really observe the leading wake and other leading features to sketch them approaching the preceding limb before they even get to the meridian. As the GRS progressed toward the meridian and detail becomes visible, fill it in. Fill in the rest of the planet as it rotates into view. By this time, you've pretty much captured the entire preceding limb by the time it actually rotates into that position.

Now, of course you have to place other features from where they are to where they should be in relation to the GRS (or any landmark.) That might be tricky, but it seemed to work. The benefit is, by the time the GRS is on the meridian, the sketch is almost done. And really, there seems to be more time to observe and re-observe as needed. This allows time to go deeper into Jupiter's features.

But, the catch is, man it takes a long time to sketch. You have to wait until the GRS actually makes it to the meridian, double check everything and fill in what's missing. A sketch took nearly an hour and a half tonight, about double the normal 40 minutes give or take.

How long you spend sketching? Just curious. Normally it takes me about 40 minutes, sometimes an hour. It was such an intense session tonight, my coffee got cold. Never touched it.

#2 frank5817

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:26 PM

Norme,

You specifically spend a good deal of time with Jupiter and when you do that you begin to see features that persist and others that are transient. Because of that you can indeed anticipate things like the shape of the GRS on the meridian and the approximate position of BA. So whatever works - do it. I don't sketch Jupiter enough to do what you suggest. If you do find something a little different in appearance than you expected, you can still make the changes as the features come around. And that may take you less time than drawing from scratch.
I can sketch Jupiter in 30-40 minutes but I don't do as good a job especially on small details because you work more carefully and critically. I also can't sketch when I'm tired. I wish I could. 2 hours is my upper limit and any more and the sketch gets worse not better.
I also don't sketch so well in the cold but hot weather doesn't give me much trouble I can usually go longer in the heat.
Jupiter rotates so fast it is difficult to take too long so your short cut idea should be developed.
Interesting post.

Frank :)

#3 stray1

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 11:50 PM

Hi Norme,

Here lately, I have spending more time observing Jupiter before starting my sketches (usually around 15-20 minutes through various magnifications).

Once I put pencil to paper it only takes a couple of minutes to generate a rough draft of my lower magnification sketch of Jupiter and the moons. I can make out few details (EQ belts, polar zones) so it doesn't take a whole lot of time.

I then bring Jupiter in at a higher magnification and study it for several additional minutes. It has only been recently that I finally took note of the NTB and, as of my last viewing I could just catch a hint of the south polar region. I'm sure that my eye is seeing more, but it's not registering in my brain as of yet.

The planetary sketch usually takes 5-10 minutes to generate.

Altogether, I usually spend 30-45 minutes with Jupiter; observing and sketching.

:grin:

-stray-

#4 Asbytec

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 01:22 AM

Frank, yes, you hit it pretty well. I do tend to go small and deep, looking for the things on the very edge of our senses. Dunno why, really, just the way we are wired. You sketch the moon with just the right technique and level of detail, I could never finish one trying to map the smallest crater or the faintest shadow. It's too much work. I cannot do it, you can.

Using this technique on Jupiter, though, nothing was really pre annotated. It's all real time, but it's just sketched in advance of where it was at that time. The middle portion of the planet is sketched onto the preceding limb. So, one has plenty of time to observe before it actually arrives there. As the following features come round, they can be placed and it's easy to stay ahead of the rotation.

You are correct, you an certainly notice changes over just a few days time. Hey, I thought that festoon was...hmmm, guess not.

Stray, yea, same here. A little warm up session. Well, it turns into one rather than just a simple, quite observing session. Sometimes Jupiter just pops with some interesting feature and begs to be recorded. "Hey, are you guy seeing this?"

Yep, you should begin to "take notice" more frequently as you really begin to understand what it takes to observe certain things. Someone said earlier, once you see a feature it becomes easier to see it again. I am trying hard to see those tiny white ovals on Jupiter, so they wont be so hard next time. :lol: Gaaaa! I know they are doable.

You do have some talent in the art department. Mine tend to be cold and impersonal, like drawn by a hard nose librarian with her cat eye glasses and that chain hanging off. And you can do more with Paint.net than I ever could. Basically, it get's used to add a dark sky layer and maybe a little pixel clean up.

A template based on an actual Jupiter image to trace it's oval shape and place the zones is used. Some colors are pre-positioned on the template to kind of keep all the sketches nearly standard. Not too green, or too red. When you have 4 hundred gazillion colors to choose from, finding the right ones each time is nearly impossible. The tawny back drop is a recent addition (recently "took notice" of) allowing white to be painted onto it.

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#5 Asbytec

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 01:26 AM

Then a layer mask goes over that to cover up all the errant brush strokes and the zone cheat sheet used when doing the right up. Scale the image and de-saturate the color, you're done.

Sorry for deviating a bit, and credit for the mask goes to someone who mentioned it a few years ago.

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#6 Special Ed

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:57 AM

Norme,

Another way to stay ahead of the curve when sketching Jupiter is to do a strip sketch instead of using a circle template. You just sketch what is on the meridian and let it roll by. Here's an example:

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#7 Asbytec

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:50 AM

Yea, okay, Michael. That sounds cool, never though of that. Sketching as it goes by seems so sensible. I am so accustomed to the elliptical blank on paper and the apparent likeness of Jupiter (without it's features.) Kind of use the outline as a guide to place things, like well that's just past the central meridian.

Anything to stay ahead of it. Lemme give it a shot. Was gonna sketch tonight, but just needed a break. So, a brief visual report was spurred by a huge wake in the NEB. Huge. At CM sys I ~270 and beyond.

#8 Ed D

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:46 AM

I like your idea of anticipating the features that will be coming into view. I'll have to give it a try, working it into my technique.

What I do is make fast, rough sketches at the scope to capture the ideas of what I see, as well as 'close up' sketches of details I think are important, with notes embedded throughout. After a good, long observing session I'll make the final sketch indoors, or wait until the next day if it's too late or I'm too tired. Keep in mind my sketching expertise is analogous to a toddler taking it's first steps.

Ed D

#9 Asbytec

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 12:33 PM

Ed, I do the same most times. But sketching real time, man, you have to work fast and capture so much when seeing allows it. And Jupiter doesn't wait for no body.

I tried this technique tonight spending almost two hours observing and making notes. It seems to help to stay ahead of the power curve. And I imagine it's not too different than Michael's strip sketch method. Trick is, get out in front of it and sketch things when they are better positioned.

It's fraught with danger, though. Like the time of your sketch will be when that feature arrives where you placed it, not the time you began sketching. LOL Plus, keeping perspective...little challenging.






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