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cildarithModerator
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Sketching M-27 Step-by-Step
      #1124316 - 08/31/06 10:37 AM Attachment (230 downloads)

Last weekend I spent much of the evening sketching Messier 27, the Dumbbell Nebula in Vulpecula and associated objects. In this thread I'll demonstrate the composition of my M-27 sketch in fifteen steps.

Materials used include a mechanical pencil with #2 lead (5mm), black ink, and three blending stumps.

Attachment

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Eric
6" f/6 Parks Newtonian
10x50 Bushnell Binocs


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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching M-27 Step-by-Step new [Re: cildarith]
      #1124318 - 08/31/06 10:38 AM Attachment (193 downloads)

Step One: Anchor the sketch with bright field stars. Positions are plotted from Millennium Star Atlas data.

Attachment

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Eric
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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching M-27 Step-by-Step new [Re: cildarith]
      #1124320 - 08/31/06 10:38 AM Attachment (197 downloads)

Step Two: Place nebula. This was done with my finger-tip rubbed in a blot of graphite. This glow will be the foundation of my sketch of M-27.

Attachment

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Eric
6" f/6 Parks Newtonian
10x50 Bushnell Binocs


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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching M-27 Step-by-Step new [Re: cildarith]
      #1124321 - 08/31/06 10:39 AM Attachment (193 downloads)

Step Three: After scrutinizing the planetary nebula in the eyepiece for 15-20 minutes, the basic hourglass shape is rendered with a moderately sized blending stump (8946B). This step roughs in the large-scale structure of the nebula.

Attachment

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Eric
6" f/6 Parks Newtonian
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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching M-27 Step-by-Step new [Re: cildarith]
      #1124323 - 08/31/06 10:40 AM Attachment (189 downloads)

Step Four: A smaller blending stump (8943B) is used to add smaller details. It is also used to deepen the shade of brighter areas.

Attachment

--------------------
Eric
6" f/6 Parks Newtonian
10x50 Bushnell Binocs


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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching M-27 Step-by-Step new [Re: cildarith]
      #1124324 - 08/31/06 10:40 AM Attachment (179 downloads)

Step Five: A very small blending stump (8941B) is used to add delicate filamentary details. Enhancement of bright areas continues as well.

Attachment

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Eric
6" f/6 Parks Newtonian
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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching M-27 Step-by-Step new [Re: cildarith]
      #1124326 - 08/31/06 10:41 AM Attachment (166 downloads)

Step Six: Fine details are subtly blended into the overall structure of the hourglass. Additional details incorporated after another long look in the eyepiece.

Attachment

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Eric
6" f/6 Parks Newtonian
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Re: Sketching M-27 Step-by-Step new [Re: cildarith]
      #1124328 - 08/31/06 10:42 AM Attachment (159 downloads)

Step Seven: Additional field stars are added, including the central star and a fairly bright star embedded in the SW edge.

Attachment

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Eric
6" f/6 Parks Newtonian
10x50 Bushnell Binocs


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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching M-27 Step-by-Step new [Re: cildarith]
      #1124331 - 08/31/06 10:44 AM Attachment (163 downloads)

Step Eight: Additional faint field stars (including a few additional stars involved with the nebulosity) are added to complete the sketch.

Attachment

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Eric
6" f/6 Parks Newtonian
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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching M-27 Step-by-Step new [Re: cildarith]
      #1124334 - 08/31/06 10:44 AM Attachment (167 downloads)

Step Nine: After scanning, the image is brightened slightly to eliminate scanning artifacts. A delicate balance must be observed here; it may be noted that I did not eliminate all of the stray specks and streaks, but I observed that further brightening began to seriously degrade the nebulosity.

Attachment

--------------------
Eric
6" f/6 Parks Newtonian
10x50 Bushnell Binocs


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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching M-27 Step-by-Step new [Re: cildarith]
      #1124335 - 08/31/06 10:45 AM Attachment (161 downloads)

Step Ten: The sketch is darkened slightly (by 10%). This will simulate the skyglow once the image is inverted.

Attachment

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Eric
6" f/6 Parks Newtonian
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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching M-27 Step-by-Step new [Re: cildarith]
      #1124340 - 08/31/06 10:46 AM Attachment (187 downloads)

Step Eleven: A white mat is applied to the sketch.

Attachment

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Eric
6" f/6 Parks Newtonian
10x50 Bushnell Binocs


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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching M-27 Step-by-Step new [Re: cildarith]
      #1124343 - 08/31/06 10:47 AM Attachment (164 downloads)

Step Twelve: The sketch is inverted.

Attachment

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Eric
6" f/6 Parks Newtonian
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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching M-27 Step-by-Step new [Re: cildarith]
      #1124347 - 08/31/06 10:48 AM Attachment (166 downloads)

Step Thirteen: The nebulosity is smoothed out and slightly brightened with the 'airbrush' set on pale gray at 90% transparency (10% opacity). This restores some of the clipped shadows and provides a smoother texture to the image.

Attachment

--------------------
Eric
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10x50 Bushnell Binocs


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Re: Sketching M-27 Step-by-Step new [Re: cildarith]
      #1124350 - 08/31/06 10:49 AM Attachment (159 downloads)

Step Fourteen: Star images are cleaned up, reducing their size and eliminating their irregular shapes (mostly).

Attachment

--------------------
Eric
6" f/6 Parks Newtonian
10x50 Bushnell Binocs


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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching M-27 Step-by-Step new [Re: cildarith]
      #1124356 - 08/31/06 10:50 AM Attachment (175 downloads)

Step Fifteen: A pale greenish tint is added to the nebula, and tints applied to field stars that I noticed color in. The sketch is now finished.

Attachment

--------------------
Eric
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kraterkid
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Re: Sketching M-27 Step-by-Step new [Re: cildarith]
      #1124393 - 08/31/06 11:10 AM

Eric this is a wonderful step by step tutorial you've created! The end result is astonishing and sublime! Thank you for spending the time and effort to put this together for us.

--------------------
Rich



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atoptics
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Re: Sketching M-27 Step-by-Step new [Re: kraterkid]
      #1124471 - 08/31/06 12:02 PM

Eric that's an excellent and very useful description. Thanks. Les

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Les
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Jeremy Perez
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Re: Sketching M-27 Step-by-Step new [Re: kraterkid]
      #1124476 - 08/31/06 12:05 PM

Excellent tutorial! Thanks for putting it together for us. I didn't realize (or maybe I forgot) that you use multiple size blending stumps, working down to finer points as you go. Beautiful rendering of M27 also!

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Re: Sketching M-27 Step-by-Step new [Re: cildarith]
      #1124862 - 08/31/06 04:36 PM

A mighty sketch, Eric !!!
And of course (one would forget) an excellent observation.

Thank you for sharing this.

I admire your technique.

I find your process very understandable, except for step 14. IMO Step 14 is a giant leap forward in quality of the sketch. What is your technique for cleaning up the star images?

Clear skies,

--------------------
Rony

'The Casual Sky Observer's Guide.'

My Astronomical Sketches

My Binocular Sketches

Callibrate your Monitor with this little strip.



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