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When do you do the actual Sketch?

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#1 ianfromoz

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 09:41 AM

I have always enjoyed drawing, mind you i am no master, last week i had a very enjoyable view of Mars and thinking back i would have enjoyed doing a little sketch of it.
Now i am new to astronomy and wet behind the ears so can i ask when do you actually do your sketch?
From memory straight after your viewing session, there and then when at the EP with a red light? Or do you have some other way that works for you?

Thanks
ian

#2 csa/montana

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 09:46 AM

I do a "rough" sketch while at the eyepiece, noting important details. Then after the viewing session, I will work on the sketch to refine the details better. If I don't do this right away, I will forget some of the important things about the subject.

#3 ianfromoz

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 10:00 AM

Thanks, while i have not drawn a sketch as yet thats the way i was thinking of going about it.

#4 Asbytec

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 10:48 AM

Yea, I agree with Carol.

Turn something like this...

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#5 Asbytec

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 10:56 AM

Into this...when you have time. (Inverted)

<painted using sketch paint.exe and mask added in Paint.net.>

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#6 kraterkid

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 12:14 PM

Generally I sketch entirely at the eyepiece Ian, but refining a rough sketch from notes on a pre-sketch is a great way to create a finished sketch, as Norme's excellent example shows. The trick is not to introduce spurious details that may be recorded when memory fades. And that's the value of a good pre-sketch.

#7 ianfromoz

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 01:41 PM

Yes very nice sketch / painting.
When conditions are good i am looking forward to giving it a go.

#8 Carol L

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 02:26 PM

...when do you actually do your sketch?
From memory straight after your viewing session, there and then when at the EP with a red light? Or do you have some other way that works for you?

Thanks
ian


I've always sketched at the eyepiece. Heaven knows, it's challenging enough to make an accurate sketch while LOOKING at an object - why would I want to rely on memory, notes, or a rough sketch? No, that's just not good enough for me - I sketch from the raw data entering my eye, or I don't sketch at all. ;)

#9 Sol Robbins

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 04:10 PM

Only at the eyepiece.

Things just happen when sketch is scanned for digital image since this particular process will either loss information or change contrast intensity noticably when compared to actual pencil sketch.

My advice is just to enjoy what happens.

#10 kraterkid

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 06:31 PM

Sketching has changed a lot with the advent of tablets and wacom pads for those who prefer digitally sketching right at the eyepiece. I'm thinking of the work of Carlos E. Hernandez and Peter Grego as great examples of this approach. However, there is a lot to be said for pre-sketch techniques such as those of the late Harold Hill and several current UK sketchers including Colin Ebdon.

And as Sol rightly points out, just have fun with it! ;)

#11 JayinUT

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 09:29 PM

At the eyepiece, with a patch on the left eye or I keep it closed while I sketch. Only thing after the sketch is done is to record my info on the back and my notes from observing. Oh, I am left eye dominant thus it is my observing eye and is overall much better than my right eye.

#12 ianfromoz

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 10:19 PM

I take it that this is all done by a red light?

#13 azure1961p

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 10:30 PM

I always do a well notated rough at the eyepiece. ALWAYS. The time it'd take to finesse the colors, values, blendings, intensities - oh forget it - the planet would have rotated so drastically a whole new set of problems would have arisen.

Artistically (oil paintings) Im of the same mind set - no plein air painter here. While Whistler went as far as to call on-the-spot outdoor painting akin to a "sport" - I'm more moderate in thinking I just know my best effort is in the studio. My lunar/planetary approach is the same method (though its been a long time Ive done lunar rendering).

Some observer artists actually strike a midway point between completing at the eyepiece and finishing in the studio. If I recall, David Gray actually makes color swatch matches at the eyepiece with a laptop.

Hope this helps.

Pete

#14 JayinUT

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 10:44 PM

Deep Sky Objects are always done with the dimmest red light I can get by with. The moon or lunar sketching I don't mind a white light that is dim.

#15 Kris.

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 03:15 AM

at the eyepiece, if possible under red light, finishing afterwards inside. just do what's fun.

some more examples:

Posted Image

Posted Image

#16 Asbytec

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:28 AM

A through observation of Jupiter takes about an hour, IME, and that's just to grab everything one can see without taking the time to finish the rendering. Jupiter has spun markedly during that time.

It's like trying to paint a real life in motion...and apple and a vase on a table that are constantly moving. Mars and Saturn may be more cooperative.

I guess, now that you mentioned it, I'll nearly finish a deep sky sketch at the eyepiece. But pencil and bond paper are not the finishing medium, so the sketch still get's finalized digitally afterward...with a cup of coffee and relaxed atmosphere.

Do whatever works for you, what ever produces results you are happy with and, most of all, what's enjoyable. Sketchers will find a niche and technique that suites their personal style. Work with it until you find it.

#17 David Gray

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 12:34 PM

If I recall, David Gray actually makes color swatch matches at the eyepiece with a laptop.


Pete, I well can understand why you might think that, as my method involves a lot of explaining I have given simpler detailing previously - but may as well try here :p

Actually desktop PC indoors: I have no suitable laptop to use in the observatory – maybe one day. So a lot of to-ing & fro-ing – more inconvenient for those who observe seated I guess !

My procedure – I already know – is going to look very onerous, complicated even, as such written detailed description is apt to misleadingly convey! If it was that tortuous I would not be doing what I have been doing these near 15 years now when I first developed the methods that are second-nature now. Like many things in life it gets easier with practice. Also just a matter of seeing how to streamline the procedures to suit as long as we do not compromise accuracy/fidelity.

Attached here is a screen-shot of what I see during the palette construction/developement.

I will follow with a longer post and another attachment.


Dave.

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#18 David Gray

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 12:46 PM

[See my previous post]

The Tinting Procedure:

Basically I spend some time getting the various hues into my head while also doing the drawing. Then I need to go to the PC and apply as many impressions as I can from my memory to the prepared Corel Draw vectors – mostly rectangles representing belts & zones and other shapes for various features as judged required. This is the ‘ballpark’ stage.

After that a few more journeys for the fine-tweaking of the individual vectors/rectangles etc. Fine tweaking involves holding down the Control Key and clicking on a colour in the default Corel RGB palette which adds small increments each click. Also make use of such as the various Corel Draw contrast/intensity/brightness/saturation controls etc. as might be indicative – being ready to use the undo button a lot!

Once the custom palette is finalised this is saved for later use in the tinting stage of the drawing in Corel Photo Paint using the Tint Tool. This is often next day but can be months/years after in principle, as long as the palettes are safely saved uncorrupted! See attachment.

I can normally get the whole thing 30 minutes max. That’s including up to 10-15 for the HB pencil drawing; especially as I stump-paint a lot of detail in. I have used Jupiter as an example; but with some subjects we can be more leisurely.

With whatever object, I can adapt the situation to the observational stringencies required. I have produced things such as Comets, Galaxies, (Panstarrs, M82 SN, Nova Del, various Doubles posted on CN) using variations of the above technique. Those who want to try it: then not necessarily as I do: adapt it, improve it – I might have found a better way by next week anyhow. As my old foreman used to say “Make every post a winning post.”

Finally let no one think I am claiming absolute colours here – simply my best effort to convey what I observed/recorded. No need for anguish over what is virtually unattainable, but no excuse for weak or indifferent effort either; in my view. Keeping a mindset toward that goal of true representation without falling into angst if/when coming short of it. “Perfectionists, Purists and Pedantics are seldom happy”: my Grandfather William Raine.

DG

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#19 Uwe Pilz

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 02:19 PM

I do moon sketches at the scope. I go inside for some steps especially for inking the shadows.
Mostly I am not able to sketch a planet at once: Seeing conditions are changing, especially for Jupiter everything has to go fast. I make one or more annotated sketches. Often the real sketch in my observing book is much smaller.
For cometary and deep sky sketches I use my finder charts in the field. Often I sketch in charts which show half a degree at a letter paper (A4 here in Europe). At first I mark the stars which I see in the near of the object, add missing stars and correct brightness. Then I make an annotated outline of the object and mostly detailed sketches of special features. I am 55 now and have at least slight old-age myopia. It is impractical to use glasses at the scope so the sketches have to be relatively large. At the desk which more light I re-sketch it to a size which fits the amount of details.

#20 Achernar

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 11:32 AM

I do an initial sketch at the telescope while looking through it. You can't do a detailed drawing in the dark, but you can do a rough drawing where you can place all the major features on paper. I do this sometimes when it's cold and fingers get numb, because that is the only time of year where it's usually clear enough for me to sketch my favorite objects, which are galaxies. I either clean it up at home, or while seated at my desk do a final drawing on another sheet of paper. Therefore, the final drawing is done at home before scanning it with Adobe Photoshop.

Taras

#21 Roragi

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 11:47 AM

Always the sketches in the field, with a dim light began to make the most luminous object and then the stars, the important thing is to use an adjustable light intensity is best if homemade since they sell are trademarks dazzle, to my least those lights blind me. The only retouching is to round a house that was left star-shaped coma, then comes the processing as it came out and entered the computer field.

Regards and good beginnings.

#22 David Gray

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 12:22 PM

A dedicated/customized well-mounted drawing board goes a long way toward completing a drawing at the scope. See attached - also on my avatar!

I just dim the 'white' light for fainter objects - dont like red and abandoned that in the late 1960s.

I find thin gloves no real hinderance and get me by even on nights below -10ºC. Can't name the material - no label in mine - some sort of stretchable 'knitted'/woven acrylic acc. my wife!

DG

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#23 Achernar

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 09:00 PM

I use what amounts to a small illuminated light box that has dozens of red LED's wired in parallel to each other and in series with a variable resistor. It produces just enough light to do the rough drawings, and the 850 milli-Amp/hour battery lasts for hours on a full charge. It is quite crude and roughly made, and took a lot of work to build the circuit but it is something I plan to work on refining to a more user friendly and handy version.

Taras

#24 azure1961p

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 11:49 PM

Yikes Dave - be sure to cover the fresnel by day lest the sun burns an impression all its own!!!

Pete

#25 CarlosEH

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 04:29 AM

Ian,

You have received excellent advice from many experienced observers and artists. Although I believe that I have an excellent memory (helps me to remember many diseases and treatments!) I also believe that a sketch at the telescope (or at least a pre-sketch to note the major features noted) is the preferable method of observing. I always made my observations at the eyepiece for many years then I started to make my observation and immediately go indoors and complete my observation using a graphics tablet. I do not believe that I missed rendering any significant detail that was noted during an observing session but the risk of forgetting is always there. The different setups described are very useful and ingenious and may possibly help you to design something for your observations. David Grays description and images are a testament to a true and dedicated observer/artist. The best of luck in your own observations.

Regards,
Carlos






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