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cildarithModerator
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Sketching Globs
      #507976 - 07/08/05 10:49 AM Attachment (568 downloads)

I have always found sketching globular star clusters to be a bit more challenging and time consuming than any other type of deep-sky object. What follows is the method I currently use. I would be happy to hear of your own methods for dealing with these objects. The example cluster is M-13.

Step 1: Bright field stars. These are the most prominent stars in the field of view. They serve to anchor the drawing and are the reference points from which all additional details may be positioned. Their positions therefore should be as accurate as possible.

Attachment

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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: cildarith]
      #507977 - 07/08/05 10:50 AM Attachment (452 downloads)

Step 2: Background haze. This step involves rendering the cluster strictly as a nebulous cloud. It may be necessary to slightly defocus your eyes (or your scope) to get the proper effect. The purpose of the step is to produce a brightness gradient for the cluster. If the cluster has no hint of resolution or mottling go directly to Step 5.

Attachment

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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: cildarith]
      #507979 - 07/08/05 10:50 AM Attachment (430 downloads)

Step 3: Stippling. This step involves the semi-random placement of small dots to represent the mottled appearance of many globular clusters and to render the teaming mass of stars hovering just beyond full resolution. Stippling should follow closely the brightness gradient established in the previous step, generally concentrated toward the center unless specific features suggest otherwise. If a cluster has a mottled appearance, but no true resolution, go directly to Step 5.

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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: cildarith]
      #507980 - 07/08/05 10:51 AM Attachment (420 downloads)

Step 4: Placement of resolvable cluster members. This step involves the placement of those stars clearly seen as distinct members of the cluster, with intensity or size proportional to their brightness. Place them to the best of your ability based on distance from the center of the cluster and position angle, paying attention also to their relationship with the bright field stars.

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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: cildarith]
      #507981 - 07/08/05 10:52 AM Attachment (450 downloads)

Step 5: Placement of faint field stars and final touchup. This final step involves the placement of minor field stars, primarily with respect to the bright field stars and the subject of the sketch. Carefully re-examine the object in the eyepiece, noting any additional details and eliminating any stray streaks and smudges with an eraser.

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Eric
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ForgottenMObject
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: cildarith]
      #507993 - 07/08/05 11:03 AM

That is so cool!

WOW!

--------------------
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Ron B[ee]
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: cildarith]
      #508007 - 07/08/05 11:14 AM

Thank Eric for the tutorial ! DSO sketching has always been really hard on me , so anything tips are always appreciated.

Please keep up your good work and please give us more tips .

Ron B[ee]

--------------------
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Tim2723
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: ForgottenMObject]
      #508010 - 07/08/05 11:17 AM

Eric,

Great work and a wonderful piece of tutorial! Do you use any specific tools for the different steps, such as certain pencils?

--------------------
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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: Tim2723]
      #508019 - 07/08/05 11:21 AM

Thanks guys, I hope you find it useful.

Tim, the entire sketch was done with a #2 pencil and a blending stump. Black ink was used on the eight brightest stars to make them stand out a little more. Nothing fancy here in terms of materials used.

--------------------
Eric
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kraterkid
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: cildarith]
      #508158 - 07/08/05 01:09 PM

Hi Eric,

Wonderful tutorial! Do you convert your images to white on a black field? Could you do that and post it as well? I'd sure enjoy seeing this drawing displayed that way. Lovely sketch.

Thanks for sharing,
Rich Handy

Rich Handy

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



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Edited by kraterkid (07/08/05 01:14 PM)


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Jeremy Perez
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: kraterkid]
      #508192 - 07/08/05 01:33 PM

Niiiice. Thanks for the great step-by-step Eric. I couldn't have hoped for a better subject for you to approach than that sketch of M13.

Your process is essentially the same thing I was doing when I rendered M92 and M56. Although, geeze, not with the same level of intricacy as you gathered from M13.

Maybe something I was doing a bit different--for the random mottling, I applied some of it in the central regions of the cluster using the tip of the blending stump for a softer lumpiness. Then used the pencil after that for the more sprinkly appearance. After scanning and inverting, I applied a light sharpening brush to pop some of that granularity out, since the scanner--and my own technique--weren't doing justice to the pile of stars I saw. That seemed to help too.

Any time you want to tutorialize any of your sketches, I'm all eyes man. Thanks.

--------------------

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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: kraterkid]
      #508199 - 07/08/05 01:37 PM

Thanks Rich, the inverted view (actually a different sketch, but based on the same observation) is in my CN gallery.

Here.

--------------------
Eric
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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: cildarith]
      #508210 - 07/08/05 01:46 PM

Thanks Jeremy. You technique sounds interesting and is very effective. I haven't tried too much manipulation on the computer after scanning (other than removing artifacts, inverting, applying a mat and labeling).

I have found that you can tweak the scanner settings until it will reproduce subtle shadings just about as faithfully as they appear on paper, however, so don't be afraid to experiment with the custom settings on your scanning software.

--------------------
Eric
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bicparker
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: cildarith]
      #508226 - 07/08/05 01:55 PM

Eric,

That was an excellent presentation. I agree that the globs are probably the most challenging object.

I think your point about getting the brightest field stars in first as your anchors for the sketch can't be overstated. I use that as my initial starting point for almost every sketch I can.

However, since I am working on tiny galaxies at higher magnifications right now, for the most part, I sometimes have few, if any field stars to anchor the drawing. This just adds to the challenge, though.

I usually add the nebulous blur/hazing last on my sketches instead of before the stippling as you do. I do this partly for overall blended effects (it's the watercolor guy in me). I let the stippling set the boundaries for the blur instead of the other way around. But I think I am going to change all of that now that I am looking at your methodology.

Great tutorial guide! Thanks.

David M.

--------------------
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Edited by bicparker (07/08/05 02:03 PM)


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oldsalt
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: bicparker]
      #508254 - 07/08/05 02:10 PM

Very nice Eric, I'll have to give it a try.

--------------------
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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: bicparker]
      #508255 - 07/08/05 02:11 PM

Thanks David.

Quote:

(it's the watercolor guy in me).




LOL. I'm sure its the oil painter in me leads me to do it the other way around.



Cheers!

--------------------
Eric
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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: oldsalt]
      #508259 - 07/08/05 02:13 PM

Quote:

Very nice Eric, I'll have to give it a try.




Thanks Jim. Best of luck!


--------------------
Eric
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Erix
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: cildarith]
      #508266 - 07/08/05 02:19 PM

What size circle do you use for the sketch. I have trouble getting nice round stars and wondering if the area I use for the sketch is too small to begin with (just shy of 2" in diameter).

Any pointers on getting nice clean dots instead of oblong?

Your tutorial is terrific...many thanks!

--------------------
Erika
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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: Erix]
      #508278 - 07/08/05 02:30 PM

Thanks, Erika.

I use a circle 3 5/16 inches (8.4 cm) in diameter for nearly all of my sketches. One recommendation I remember (from the Webb Society Handbooks, I think) is to use a 4" circle for low-power, a 3" circle for medium power, and a 2" circle for high power.

As far as achieving round star images is concerned, that is always a bit of a challenge and is one of the main reasons I usually do a re-drawing of my field sketch after the observing session, seated at a table, with good lighting, etc. Keeping the pencil as close to perpendicular to page as possible is the best way to keep your stars in the proper shape.


--------------------
Eric
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Erix
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: cildarith]
      #508301 - 07/08/05 02:41 PM

Thanks, Eric. I appreciate your help.

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

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kraterkid
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: Erix]
      #509343 - 07/09/05 01:34 PM

Eric,

Stunning inverted image, just fantastic work delineating the nebulosity and the hallmark stellar associations.

Thanks,

Rich

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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: kraterkid]
      #510485 - 07/10/05 07:53 PM

Erika: You're most welcome.

Rich: Thanks for the kind words.

--------------------
Eric
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Erix
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: cildarith]
      #510756 - 07/11/05 12:04 AM

Eric, I've put your tutorial to use last night. I tried to do the entire sketch by remembering your steps to see how I got along with it. Any pointers?

M71
M27

The bright blob around the star at the bottom of M27 was very apparent and I'm not sure if it was condensation on my EP, but sketched it anyway as it was what I saw.

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

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Ron B[ee]
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: Erix]
      #511089 - 07/11/05 10:23 AM

Quote:

M71
M27





I don't have any pointers, only compliments . Those are awesome sketches, Erika ! I knew you're an expert at lunar sketching and just found out you're an expert at DSO sketching as well. Eric is a great teacher indeed.

I look forward to see more.

Ron B[ee]

--------------------
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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: Ron B[ee]]
      #511118 - 07/11/05 10:49 AM

Those are beautiful, Erika! Keep up the good work.

--------------------
Eric
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oldsalt
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: cildarith]
      #511140 - 07/11/05 11:12 AM

Nice work Erika, I may get a chance to try tonight.

--------------------
There are no winners in war, only bigger losers.

"Duty is the most sublime word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less. Rober E Lee

"It is well that war is terrible-otherwise we would grow to fond of it" Robert E Lee 13Dec1862 Battle of Fredricksburg

Jim


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Erix
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: oldsalt]
      #511243 - 07/11/05 12:08 PM

Thanks guys! Eric, it seemed to make a big difference using your tutorial. Thank you for posting it.

Jim, I'll look forward to seeing more of your sketches and hope you get a chance for viewing tonight!

Ron, you know, I still feel like a child learning the ropes at sketching, but thank you for your kind words.

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

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Special Ed
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: Erix]
      #511511 - 07/11/05 02:58 PM

Very nice, Erika! I like both sketches but M71 looks especially good--almost three dimensional. You took your time following Eric's step-by step process and it shows.

Eric--thanks for posting your tutorial. Between what you've posted and Bill Ferris's tutorials, no one can say that they haven't been shown how.

It brings to mind my Tai Chi teacher. Our class would meet once a week and he would show us a new movement, then say, "Now go home and perfect yourself."

--------------------

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Erix
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: Special Ed]
      #512016 - 07/11/05 07:58 PM

Thanks, Michael. You're input & encouragement is always appreciated.

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

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Carol L



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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: Erix]
      #513784 - 07/12/05 09:30 PM

Beautiful tutorial, Eric!
Wow.. hadn't checked this Forum for a few days and look what I missed.


Making a good copy of the sketch the next day with proper lighting is a great idea. Do you use a red light to sketch with? I tried but couldn't see anything unless it was way too bright. Switched to a very dim white one and it seemed to help a lot.

--------------------
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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: Carol L]
      #514421 - 07/13/05 11:27 AM

Erika: Once again, most welcome!

Thank you, Michael & Carol!

I do use a red light (this one, in fact) while sketching. I really like the variable brightness feature, so I can adjust it to the minimum illumination I need to do the sketch. This is often enough to put a small dent in my dark adaptation, but that tends to recover fairly quickly (in about 1 minute, or so) from the red light.

I also try to segregate, as much as possible, the time spent looking through the eyepiece and the time spent sketching. I spend a good deal of time just observing the object, attempting to memorize its appearance and sketching as much of it as possible before finally returning to eyepiece to double-check what I've drawn and look for additional features. This is much easier on faint galaxies than bright star clusters, of course, and depends a great deal on the complexity of the subject.

I should mention that I think I would have a hard time doing this without an EQ mount, because I'll often spend 10-15 minutes working on the sketch before going back to the eyepiece. If I had to reaquire the target after each trip to the sketch pad, I'm fairly certain that would drive me nuts. Those of you producing sketches with a Dobsonian or other Alt-Az set-up have my respect and admiration!

--------------------
Eric
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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: cildarith]
      #518011 - 07/15/05 05:45 PM

Just to give everyone here a heads-up, Carol L has provided us with a step-by-step guide to sketching lunar features in this thread over in the LunieBin.

--------------------
Eric
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: cildarith]
      #518023 - 07/15/05 05:54 PM

Nice pointers Eric - you and I have similar sketching techniques.

LOVE! $tacy


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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: ]
      #527990 - 07/22/05 07:04 PM

Thanks, Stacy. I'd love to see some of your sketches.

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Eric
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Daniel Mounsey
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: cildarith]
      #530842 - 07/25/05 02:58 AM



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jake47
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #532758 - 07/26/05 03:47 PM

More of what Daniel said:

Those drawings are amazing. I think the reason I like sketching better than AP is because I love globs so much. I rarely see a photo that does justice to the glory of what I see in the scope; drawings like yours are much closer. Thank you for the step by step. I'll be trying this as soon as the clouds leave.

And I agree about the tracking. I cannot sketch with my little scope because I need to spend time finding the object each time I come back to recalibrate what I've drawn. I lose the "feeling" of the drawing.

--------------------
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Beri
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: jake47]
      #552767 - 08/10/05 06:55 AM

I will second the
Excellent and very usefull

Also, do take a look at these sketches of globular clusters made by Natko Bajic. He was 16 years of age at that time

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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: Beri]
      #592151 - 09/08/05 09:25 PM

Hi, I'm new at Cloudynights. This is one of my sketches of a globular. M3 in CVn.

Michael
Canada

http://www.cloudynights.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=4530


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Carol L



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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: ]
      #592195 - 09/08/05 09:56 PM

Wow!! Looks like it's alive.
Welcome to CN, Michael!

--------------------
Carol Lakomiak, Tomahawk WI
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: Carol L]
      #592549 - 09/09/05 06:44 AM

Thanks, Carol. Long time, no talk!

I've been recovering from some really bad news - my Intes Micro M715 Dx Mak was stolen and I am currently making do with a SkyWatcher 100ED Pro. Not a bad little scope with next to true APO performance in its aperture class for a reasonable price..all the goodies came with it, including a bombproof case. Not until stupendously high powers do I notice any chromatism, and it is quite minor at that. Just split 36 Andromedae at 1 arc second this morning! Optics are good. I'm ready for some nice wide field cluster sketches now!

I like your lunar step by step. Always loved your drawings. They're beautiful and accurate.

Best regards,

Michael


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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: ]
      #592774 - 09/09/05 11:15 AM

Beautiful sketch of M3, Michael! Thanks for sharing it and welcome to CloudyNights!

Here is my own version of M3, also from last spring.

--------------------
Eric
6" f/6 Parks Newtonian
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Carol L



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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: ]
      #593522 - 09/09/05 09:23 PM

Thanks Michael, I'm looking forward to seeing your sketches!
Sorry about your scope..

--------------------
Carol Lakomiak, Tomahawk WI
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CarlosEH
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: Carol L]
      #609059 - 09/21/05 02:35 AM

Eric,

An excellent sketch of the great globular cluster M13 in Hercules. You have captured the intense star grouping at the center as well as the surrounding star field. I look forward to your future observations.

Carlos

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cildarithModerator
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: CarlosEH]
      #610065 - 09/21/05 06:42 PM

Thanks so much, Carlos! I appreciate your comments, as always.


--------------------
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Faith_J
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: ]
      #620611 - 09/29/05 10:02 AM

This is a superb topic and certainly gives excellent advice on sketching globulars. I have had problems myself with these in the past and Eric's tutorial has solved these problems for me.
Previously I used to draw in the background fuzzy area and then stipple over it, being careful to be as accurate as I could be. It was apparent to me that this never worked that well, and Eric has shed a lot of light on the answer.

Thanks Eric, it's much appreciated.

I have not done much sketching myself this summer (too much daylight in June and early July and then some dodgy weather), although I have managed to add some more to my binocular Messier list and I have done some written descriptions.

--------------------
Visual deep sky

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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: Faith_J]
      #626325 - 10/03/05 12:36 PM

Thanks, Faith. I hope you have every opportunity to get out under the stars in the months to come!



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Eric
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Faith_J
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: cildarith]
      #626793 - 10/03/05 05:51 PM

Thank you Eric. The nights are darker and clearer and I am grabbing as many opportunities that come my way as I can! I have sketched some open clusters recently.

--------------------
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MichaelH
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: Faith_J]
      #635086 - 10/09/05 12:38 PM

I pretty much follow the same general method sketching globular clusters. Getting the resolved stars accurately drawn isn't easy especially in rich clusters like M5. Many globulars appear to have streams of stars emanating from the core and capturing that effect as accurately as possible helps reproduce the overall appearance realistically. My efforts can be seen here .

Michael

--------------------
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Erix
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: MichaelH]
      #635826 - 10/10/05 12:24 AM

Very nicely done, Michael...and your webpage is great as well!

--------------------
Erika
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: Erix]
      #636282 - 10/10/05 11:12 AM

Michael, thank you for sharing your globular star cluster sketches with us. Very nice.

Welcome to Cloudy Nights, BTW...


--------------------
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MichaelH
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: cildarith]
      #636345 - 10/10/05 11:43 AM

Thanks for the compliments and the welcome. I don't have a telescope at the moment but hopefully I'll be able to observe soon again and add more sketches.

Michael

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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: MichaelH]
      #636678 - 10/10/05 04:04 PM

Beautiful work Michael and welcome to CN!

Rich

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Rich



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FirstSight
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: ]
      #780651 - 01/16/06 08:16 PM

Quote:

I've been recovering from some really bad news - my Intes Micro M715 Dx Mak was stolen Michael




I too thank Eric for the excellent, concisely articulate tutorial, and look forward to spring when some worthy subjects will become more easily viewable.

I hate to hear about someone's scope getting stolen. At least we DOB owners will have little problem figuring out who the thief was - check police reports for anyone arrested with a herniated disk ;=)

--------------------
Chris M., aka "First Sight"
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: cildarith]
      #936286 - 05/01/06 01:16 PM

Eric,

I find this approach so cooool. This is simply brilliant. Gonna need to do my glob's all over again.

--------------------
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desertstars



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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: rodelaet]
      #936394 - 05/01/06 02:25 PM

Quote:

Eric,

I find this approach so cooool. This is simply brilliant. Gonna need to do my glob's all over again.




That's what happened to me, when I read it. It's interesting to compare the sketches I made before with those after reading his tutorial.

And, of course, any excuse to re-observe a few favorite objects is a good one.

--------------------
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Archon
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: Erix]
      #1115688 - 08/26/06 09:32 PM

Erix,

I actually don't use any circle when I'm sketching in the field. I use a sketching notebook and start my drawings with one star close to the center of the page, then I start drawing others. As I continue to draw stars, I estimate the distance and position of them based on the previous stars I have drawn. I like to ad the FOV circle along with labels digitally after I have scanned the image. I'm still new to sketching the cosmos but so far this method has worked well.

After typing this response I realized the date of the last post in this thread =p... sorry about digging up the dead
Necromancer

--------------------
Archon
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Archon
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: Archon]
      #1115690 - 08/26/06 09:34 PM

And by the way,

Nice tutorial cildarith!

--------------------
Archon
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WadeVC
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: cildarith]
      #1796172 - 08/23/07 07:06 PM

Eric,

Thanks for the great article! I am still learning how to sketch at the eyepiece, and this is a great step-by-step of how to draw Globulars.

I have to admit, I have been "practicing" by drawing smaller Open Clusters to learn to get the "feel" of sketching at the eyepiece.

The other day, I though "Hey...I'm gonna try sketching M22!" So there I was, slewing my new 10" Dob. towards this Globular (now mind you, up until this time I had only used my 70mm to view M22). I peered into the eyepiece and:
DANG!! THAT IS A LOT OF STARS!

...I sketched the region around the star Mirphak in Perseus later that night instead.

I will actually give a Globular a try armed with this step-by-step however.
THANKS!!

--------------------


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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: WadeVC]
      #1796380 - 08/23/07 08:50 PM

Eric,

I use the same order of steps to sketch globulars as you described. Of course, I don't have your skill level. And I also have not done but a few. Wonderful sketch of M-13.
-----
Michael,

Your globular sketches are excellent.

Frank

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emersonv
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Re: Sketching Globs new [Re: Erix]
      #3050394 - 04/18/09 05:50 AM

Thanks for the advice, Erik. I had some success with a pointillist style for landscapes in ink. Thousands of dots. I see your stippling as the same technique in monochrome, an effective way to blend areas of variable contrast. I am so inspired by this site!
Emersonv
CPC800 + 8x40 Minolta binos + hard and soft lead and paper
no scanner yet


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