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Erix
Toad Lily


Reged: 12/25/04
Posts: 24022
Loc: Texas, USA
New Monthly Target - The Moon
      #1344033 - 01/06/07 11:40 AM

The sketching forum has grown so much this past year, thanks to all of you who have shared their techniques, encouragement and enthusiasm. This forum has become yet another invaluable source of information, allowing us to learn from each other and improve with each sketch and observation.

CN already has a contest for images/sketches that is a way for us to have fun and show what can be accomplished through our observations. We continue striving to “create a range of options for members to explore as they use CN to develop their skills and interest in this hobby” (a quote by Tom Watson that I certainly couldn’t have worded better).

With this in mind, we could try setting up a monthly thread with a common target. Perhaps it won’t be a specific target because of location constraints, but a type of object such as complex craters, simple craters, open clusters, globs, Saturn, etc. And then encourage everyone to supply a mini tutorial with it so we can learn better the many different ways each observer tackles that same object...both for observing it and rendering it.

To get the ball rolling, the only other sketch I’ve done this month besides all the solar sketches is a full disk of the Moon. So here is this month’s first target, simply because I wanted to give you an example: An entire Moon sketch

I know several other sketchers have already sketched the entire moon either naked eye or through a scope/binoculars. It does not matter what stage the moon is in, as long as it is the entire moon as you see it. If you have already done this type of sketch, please could you post a mini tutorial either with or without step photos, and anything you feel is relevant in how you observed or rendered this target.

If you have not yet sketched the entire moon (again, it doesn’t matter what lunar day it is, or if it’s a quarter moon, etc), then now is your chance to have a go at it and share with us how you did it!

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Erika
Automatic doors make me feel like a Jedi.

Zhumell 16", 10" LX200 Classic,Celestron 102 XLT, ETX70-AT, DS Maxscope 60mm, AT6RC
PCW Memorial Observatory


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Erix
Toad Lily


Reged: 12/25/04
Posts: 24022
Loc: Texas, USA
New Monthly Target - The Moon new [Re: Erix]
      #1344045 - 01/06/07 11:46 AM Attachment (153 downloads)

To begin with my mini tutorial, here are the sketching tools I used the night of observation. I was using an ED80 refractor with a Kelner 20mm with diagonal, moon filter because of how luminous the Moon was, and an LXD75 German Equatorial mount. I have an adjustable seat observing chair and used the powerpack that I plug the mount into for a foot rest. The sketch is done on my lap with a faint headlamp hanging down on my sketch from the diagonal.

I have a cup of hot tea in a tippy cup beside me and my sketching box is laying on the ground beside me as well, opened up and ready for use.


Attachment

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Erika
Automatic doors make me feel like a Jedi.

Zhumell 16", 10" LX200 Classic,Celestron 102 XLT, ETX70-AT, DS Maxscope 60mm, AT6RC
PCW Memorial Observatory


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Erix
Toad Lily


Reged: 12/25/04
Posts: 24022
Loc: Texas, USA
Re: New Monthly Target - The Moon new [Re: Erix]
      #1344047 - 01/06/07 11:49 AM Attachment (152 downloads)

Here is the sketch of the Moon I did that night. I doubt I could recreate this sketch, so in the following steps, I've only given a few examples on the jist of how I did it.

Attachment

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Erika
Automatic doors make me feel like a Jedi.

Zhumell 16", 10" LX200 Classic,Celestron 102 XLT, ETX70-AT, DS Maxscope 60mm, AT6RC
PCW Memorial Observatory


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Erix
Toad Lily


Reged: 12/25/04
Posts: 24022
Loc: Texas, USA
Re: New Monthly Target - The Moon new [Re: Erix]
      #1344068 - 01/06/07 12:01 PM Attachment (130 downloads)

Paul was taking the photos for me so I’m sorry these were at an angle making the disk oblong. I should have used a tripod for my camera, but was in a hurry. Still, you will get the jist of it.

1. Using black Strathmore Artagain paper, I create a circle about 7” in diameter with a softer, waxier white pencil. In this case, it was Prang.

2. A hunk of white Conte’ crayon was used to fill in the circle creating the backdrop of the sketch. I did this fairly heavy.

3. I blended very lightly and quickly with my fingers. With this smooth of paper, had I used a cloth or blending stump, it would have rubbed most of my crayon back off the paper. By the way, it’s Conte’ “crayon” but acts more like chalk or charcoal.

4. I then sketch in maria with the blending stump. As mentioned in step 3, a blending stump on this kind of paper will remove layers of the markings. The blending stump was clean and I simply rubbed out layers of the marking to “sketch” in these regions. By creating the maria first, it lays the foundation marks so that you can accurately place the other features later on in the sketch.

5. (and 6) Using a white Conte’ pencil (very dry chalky pencil) or a very fine pointed gum eraser pencil, I started concentrating on adding detail the mare regions. When I was finished with that, I added the brightest, most striking features in the same fashion. Then lastly, the extra subtle features, not treating them like actual features at all, but more like different shades or patterns on the disk. hint: Jeremy had explained before how to triangulate stars in his DSO sketches. Using his advice for DSO work, I tried this same triangulation with craters on the moon for accurate placement. It really helped in placements for such a large area that was being sketched*

6. (same as above)

7. At times I had to add more Conte chalk to increase depth, and then very lightly blended or tapped those area with my fingers to soften the new markings. Sol does a great job this type of blending on his planetary sketches, so I tried to follow his lead with this sketch. Another great way to lightly blend is with a fan brush as shown in the picture.

8. Final step, cleaning up the sketch. I really like using a dry rag or paper towel to clean up the outer areas of a sketch while using chalk or charcoal. If more umph is needed, I will use a white vinyl eraser either in pencil form like in figure 8 or a big piece of flat eraser. I sometimes blow on loose charcoal dust, but I have to make sure I don’t accidentally spit on my sketch (yes, it happens…often. ) Another great way is using the fan brush to lightly wisp away erasure or chalk dust.

The only other thing I do with chalk or charcoal drawings is to add several layers of fixative on it. Be careful, though. Sometimes it will come out as splatters on your sketch. I shake the hairspray or can of real art fixative for a few minutes, then test spray it to release clogs or splatters, then spray my sketches very lightly and quickly.

Well, that’s it. I hope someone can find this little example useful.

Who’s next?!





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Jaycin
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/09/06
Posts: 2146
Loc: Oregon, USA
Re: New Monthly Target - The Moon new [Re: Erix]
      #1344403 - 01/06/07 02:55 PM

Wow Erika! I thought you said it was a "mini" tutorial.
That is just too cool! Thank you very much for sharing! This monthly target thing is a great idea. I will give the whole moon a shot. I'll post the results and the process when I complete it.

--------------------
Jason

Zhumell 8" Dobsonian
60mm Meade Telestar

Sketching the Cosmos

Messier countdown: 102 down, 8 to go!

Salem, Oregon



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rodelaet
Post Laureate


Reged: 04/28/06
Posts: 3185
Loc: 50°56' N - 4°58' E (Belgium)
Re: New Monthly Target - The Moon new [Re: Erix]
      #1344601 - 01/06/07 04:43 PM

Hi everyone,

Here is my mini tutorial :

Naked eye Moon watching.

Here is my mini tutorial. I had no tutorial in mind when I made the sketches, so I have no photo’s of the stages.

The reason for these sketches is that I wanted to test my naked eye resolution. I wanted to know how many features of the moon, the naked eye can detect.

The sketches are made on white paper with a mechanical 2B pencil. The only indoor preparation consists of drawing a 3 inch full circle on the paper.

The observing site and timing : As with all sketching, the better results come with a comfortable observing position. An observing ( lawn) chair is preferable. I once made a sketch from the driver seat of my car with the door open. Because the moon is a very bright object, there is no need for or advantage from dark adaptation of the eye. On the contrary, the eye performs better on the moon in bright ambient light. I tried to do the observations at sunset, when the sky was still bright. Once the sky darkens, the glare from the moon can wash out subtle details of the moon’s surface. Using sunglasses can also enhance the contrast of the view. Take care to use sufficient light on the sketchbook to prevent the eyes from going into dark adaptation. Having the moon next to a street light can also be helpful to cut its glare.

Drawing the Moon is very similar to drawing planets like Mars or Jupiter.
First I draw the terminator of the moon as a raw thin soft line. Next I pay attention to the most obvious dark features. I draw them as patches in gentle soft layers, to be darkened later on. Then I try to concentrate on the more subtle features. As the drawing develops, the darkest features get another pass of the pencil and more subtle features are detected. Once the surface of the moon is finished with ‘dark features’, I try to look for whiter patches. These features are drawn as dotted lines on the sketch. The terminator also gets proper attention. Sometimes the terminator can look distorted! This whole process takes about 30 minutes. I am always amazed about the amount of detail that the naked eye Moon shows to the patient observer. The raw outdoor sketch is now ready.

Once indoor the sketch can be finished. I start with a clean sheet of paper. First the full circle followed by a detailed terminator line. I fill up the whole moon with a light shade of gray. This first layer will be smoothed out with a smudging stick. It will be the basic layer to continue on. The darker features are drawn with the appropriate pencils (HB to 4B). The white areas (indicated with a dotted line on the raw sketch) are created with a small rubber. Once all the features are drawn, the sketch gets a final touch by the smudging stick and rubber. The sketch is ready to be scanned.

Here is the result.

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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kraterkid
Post Laureate


Reged: 03/07/05
Posts: 4709
Loc: Jacumba, California
Re: New Monthly Target - The Moon new [Re: rodelaet]
      #1346669 - 01/07/07 05:25 PM

Fantastic work Erika and Rony! It's so cool learning how each person approachs this task. I'm in need of a little help with Photoshop CS, learning how to make a single image that is a composite of smaller images. Erika, would you or Rony or anyone else here know how I might go about this? My mini tutorial will otherwise be too long to post.

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Rich



My CN Gallery




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SallyR
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 10/08/06
Posts: 881
Loc: England
Re: New Monthly Target - The Moon new [Re: kraterkid]
      #1346681 - 01/07/07 05:32 PM

Hi Rich - I tend to paste the images I want alongside each other into a blank slide in 'PowerPoint', then I 'select all', 'copy' and 'paste' back into Paint Shop Pro as a single image. I haven't worked out how to do it in PSP itself so I am hoping someone else will be able to help there!

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Sally

My CN Gallery



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kraterkid
Post Laureate


Reged: 03/07/05
Posts: 4709
Loc: Jacumba, California
Re: New Monthly Target - The Moon new [Re: SallyR]
      #1347535 - 01/08/07 02:03 AM

Thanks so much Sally! Actually Paul Rix, Erika's husband, helped me with Photoshop's montage procedure which is very similar to your description. I'm still wotking on the montage and tutorial text so it'll be a while yet. I'm really looking forward to your submission!

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



My CN Gallery




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kraterkid
Post Laureate


Reged: 03/07/05
Posts: 4709
Loc: Jacumba, California
Re: New Monthly Target - The Moon new [Re: kraterkid]
      #1348182 - 01/08/07 01:02 PM Attachment (107 downloads)

The following series of steps and images illustrate my approach to sketching a full phase Moon. I want to thank Paul Rix for teaching me this photo montage technique. And thanks to you Erika and Sally for your suggestions. I want to apologize on the outset for the very poor lighting, I was unaware at the time how terrible it was (too tired lately I guess!). Hope you can make out these steps.

Here’s how I do it:

1. My sketching stuff: Cosmetic brush to remove eraser debris and crumbs, blending stumps for tight work, synthetic, dense plastic packing foam to use as a blender of large areas, white Conte’ Pencils, white Conte’ Crayons (chalks), Eraser pens for small areas, Pink Pearl and Stadtler plastic erasers for large erasures, and pencil sharpeners (Carpenter’s sharpener and regular pencil sharpener).

2. I sketch on large 19” x 25.5” textured black Strathmore paper, consequently I like to tape my paper down to a sketch panel first. I use 2” wide masking tape to affix the paper to the panel, overlapping the paper on all four sides about one inch.

3. My 12” Meade SCT cap works great as a circle template.

4. Tracing the circle with a sharpened white Conte’ pencil.

5. The circle is the starting place.

6. Since this drawing is of a waning gibbous Moon, here I am sketching the approximate line of the terminator.

7. Now I erase the segment of the circle above the arc of the terminator I’ve sketched.

8. Voila, the overall shape of the full phase.

9. I like to add the most intense whites to the drawing first, so using a piece of Conte chalk stick applied on it’s side, here you see me adding the brightest features, Tycho and a bit of the southern highlands.

10. More bright areas added.

11. And so forth.

12. Yet more bright areas delineated.

13. And more.

14. I tend to dart this way and that over the paper, constantly referring to the scene before my eye(s). Here you see that I’ve been busy adding little details such as the bright crater rays and the rim around Mare Imbrium. There really is no sequential order to what part of the sketch I work at this time, just a lot of scurrying about the paper adding this and that bright detail.

15. The last to be added is the bright crater rims and shadows on the terminator. Black Conte is used to darken some of the obviously shadowed crater floors.

16. More of the same.

17. I use a flat side of a piece of Conte’ Crayon with a gentle to and fro stroke on the maria areas. Here I only want to add a small amount of chalk so that when it is blended it will still have the tone of the mares (darker than the highland regolith).

18. Rapidly moving the synthetic packing foam or sponge, with a back and forth motion, the applied Conte’ is blended until it resembles the tone of the maria.

19. I keep working the mares until blended just right.

20. Well I’ve made quite a mess with the Conte’ powder at the periphery of the Moon’s limb. Here I’m using my Stadtler plastic eraser to begin erasing the powder, hand and finger prints.

21. Yet more erasing.

22. Finally, I finish up with the cosmetic brush, whisking away the eraser debris. The sketch is now finished. I generall like to remove the tape at this point and apply a spray fixitive to prevent smearing when it is stored in my sketch archives.

Attachment

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



My CN Gallery




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kraterkid
Post Laureate


Reged: 03/07/05
Posts: 4709
Loc: Jacumba, California
Re: New Monthly Target - The Moon new [Re: kraterkid]
      #1348183 - 01/08/07 01:03 PM Attachment (99 downloads)

Here's the final sketch:

Attachment

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



My CN Gallery




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frank5817
Postmaster


Reged: 06/13/06
Posts: 7212
Loc: Illinois
Re: New Monthly Target - The Moon new [Re: kraterkid]
      #1354541 - 01/11/07 01:09 PM Attachment (89 downloads)

I knew at some point I wanted to try a “complete disk sketch” of the moon and there is no time like the present, especially if it is clear. I cut a rectangle ( 8.5”x 11”) from a sheet of textured black Strathmore paper and drew a 6 inch diameter circle using an old mirror tool as a template. For sketching I used a white 5mm Conte’ pastel pencil and also a black one. For a blending stump I used a piece of napkin taped over a pencil. Using these pencils reminded me of using charcoal. At first it was a bit awkward using these drawing materials. I was surprised at how easy these pastel pencils erased. I expected this to be like oil pastels and I was pleased it was not.
Although it was clear one hour after moonrise, the wind was gusting up to 30 mph. After getting started I returned to the house once to get tape to tape the paper to my clipboard.
I very carefully reviewed the methods described above by Erika, Rich and Rony. I found Erika’s method of getting the background done first very useful. I eliminated some mistakes with a gum eraser and others with the black pencil. For light I use a vest clip-on fly tying lamp. I have a white bulb lamp for fishing and a red bulb one for astronomy sketching. I used both. When I finished and returned inside I could see some smearing created by running my hand inadvertently over the sketch. I fixed this and considered the drawing finished.
If I had this to do over I would have started with a much larger circle or paper with less texture. Overall it was fun and went better than I expected.
I may never have attempted this were it not for all the fine sketchers here providing their encouragement to me. Sketchers, thank you for Best of the Sketching Forum's 'How To' Threads .

Scope 4.25” f/5 Dobsonian on an equatorial platform with a 21mm eyepiece (26 X)
Date: 1-11-2007 Time 8:05 – 9:15 UT
Temperature: -2.2 C (28 F)
Atmosphere: clear, very windy
Lunation: 21.75 days
Illumination 52%
Seeing: Antoniadi III

Frank

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kraterkid
Post Laureate


Reged: 03/07/05
Posts: 4709
Loc: Jacumba, California
Re: New Monthly Target - The Moon new [Re: frank5817]
      #1354556 - 01/11/07 01:20 PM

Frank that sketch is simply beautiful! A wonderful mini tutorial as well! I do a lot of vigorous blending so the Strathmore texture isn't so apparent when I'm finished, but I have to say I love the way the texture works in your sketch! Wow!

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



My CN Gallery




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frank5817
Postmaster


Reged: 06/13/06
Posts: 7212
Loc: Illinois
Re: New Monthly Target - The Moon new [Re: kraterkid]
      #1354588 - 01/11/07 01:34 PM

Rich,
Thank you for your compliments. I know I will need some practice.I have a long way to go with this medium. I am still shaking the rust off from my pencil sketches. This is good brain exercise for an old guy like me.
Frank

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Dee
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/12/06
Posts: 806
Loc: Ireland
Re: New Monthly Target - The Moon new [Re: frank5817]
      #1355154 - 01/11/07 07:06 PM

Gosh Frank that is soooooooo good.

Dee


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rodelaet
Post Laureate


Reged: 04/28/06
Posts: 3185
Loc: 50°56' N - 4°58' E (Belgium)
Re: New Monthly Target - The Moon new [Re: frank5817]
      #1357092 - 01/12/07 03:40 PM

Hey Frank,

a fabulous full moon sketch sketch

I enjoy it very much

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

'The Casual Sky Observer's Guide.'

My Astronomical Sketches

My Binocular Sketches

Callibrate your Monitor with this little strip.



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Erix
Toad Lily


Reged: 12/25/04
Posts: 24022
Loc: Texas, USA
Re: New Monthly Target - The Moon new [Re: rodelaet]
      #1357556 - 01/12/07 07:25 PM

Thanks for the contributions everyone. Wonderful sketches and tutorials. I can't wait to see more.

And I also am getting excited about next month's target!

--------------------
Erika
Automatic doors make me feel like a Jedi.

Zhumell 16", 10" LX200 Classic,Celestron 102 XLT, ETX70-AT, DS Maxscope 60mm, AT6RC
PCW Memorial Observatory


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Carol L



Reged: 07/05/04
Posts: 6968
Loc: Tomahawk, WI 45N//89W
Re: New Monthly Target - The Moon new [Re: Erix]
      #1358250 - 01/13/07 03:51 AM

Wow, mine's from way back in June of 2005!!
I didn't realize it was done that long ago.
Was it the very first full disc sketch here?

As far as how it was done, it was really pretty simple: a piece of paper,
a blending stump, a pencil, a clip board, and a small piece of charcoal
(which proved to be so sloppy I never tried using it again ).

The circular limb of the Moon was drawn free-hand with a 2B pencil
on a piece of computer paper, and the features were drawn with a
blending stump dipped in a 2B graphite swatch. After it was finished
I used charcoal to darken the background.

Like I said, pretty simple.

--------------------
Carol Lakomiak, Tomahawk WI
Writing Sky at Night magazine's astrosketch page since June 2009
Moon Sketch Tutorial
Sun/DSO Sketch Tutorial
CN Gallery
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Jaycin
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/09/06
Posts: 2146
Loc: Oregon, USA
Re: New Monthly Target - The Moon new [Re: Carol L]
      #1358543 - 01/13/07 10:25 AM

Frank,

That is an Awesome sketch!
Those 30 MPH winds must have made things really interesting! I would feel awkward using those materiels myself (I've always been a pencil sketcher), but you sure made them work for you. Great job, my friend!

--------------------
Jason

Zhumell 8" Dobsonian
60mm Meade Telestar

Sketching the Cosmos

Messier countdown: 102 down, 8 to go!

Salem, Oregon



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Jaycin
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/09/06
Posts: 2146
Loc: Oregon, USA
Re: New Monthly Target - The Moon new [Re: Jaycin]
      #1358550 - 01/13/07 10:27 AM

Carol,

That is a beautiful sketch!
I'd love to see more of your work here in the Sketching Forum!

--------------------
Jason

Zhumell 8" Dobsonian
60mm Meade Telestar

Sketching the Cosmos

Messier countdown: 102 down, 8 to go!

Salem, Oregon



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