Loc: Lodi, California,
Ok, it's been a while since I revived this thread, but the message is still the same:
Far too many folks are under the impression that they just can not sketch, or that their sketches aren’t good enough.
Sketching at the EP...give it a try!!!
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A wise man can see more from the bottom of a well than a fool can from a mountain top.
All I could add is an echo of advice already given.
Sketching is fun, it's cheap, and it develops your brain's ability to perceive what your dark-adated eyes are seeing.
Okay, now for the boring stuff...
Your eyes are hard-wired to dark-adapt automatically, but your brain is *not*. It takes time to train your brain how to fully understand and process the new and unfamiliar data it's receiving under low-light conditions. (This is one reason for "beginner's frustration", where the observer is disappointed at what he cannot "see" with that new telescope. It may not be bad optics, or bad observing conditions - it may only be an inexperienced brain that's limiting the image.)
Sketching at the eyepiece forces the brain to work harder, since it must translate the incoming data into movement of hand and fingers to make the drawing. This is no simple task, but brains learn very quickly, so every new sketch attempted will be a little easier than the previous one was.
But it it takes time and patience, so give sketching a fair test, at least eight weeks, then go back and observe the first object you sketched again. My bet is you'll be saying to yourself "wow - how could I have missed *that*?"
And even if you decide that sketching isn't your pleasure, you will still be able to enjoy the benefit of that trained brain of yours no matter how you do your observing.
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Loc: Portland Oregon
Wade and Janis et al-
I am just jumping in here to be on the bandwagon of truth with both of you as I agree wholeheartedly with your words about others discovering the creative process. I happen to know why friends of mine who will only use a camera and never sketch, hold to this belief. Many of them think that the photograph will always show more detail. They would be very surprised what they will learn from sketching. It may even improve their photography.
With all due respect that we all have our own preferences in life, I know that it is true as many psychologists have written about this process of artistic learning to improve ones seeing through sketching and drawing. There are many quotes over the eons about this. I have conducted my own survey with friends and strangers alike. I have found that it takes some training of patience and humility to bolster ones confidence to accept constructive criticism. As a child growing up with a parent artist, I had the advantage to start young. It may be difficult to change for some later in life. An artist will always be held in the public eye of criticism which can be harsher in adult life. For better or worse- For richer or poorer- Till death, where the artist and the art will never part.
Picasso said, when you go to do art, you must think like a child again. He means of course to feel totally uninhibited. Not bound by all those rules, laws and mature behaviors that have inhibited us by mid-life. Let go and enjoy! (Within reason of course)
I also feel that in today’s world of high tech gadgets seemingly bringing instant gratification everywhere, many people will lose interest in the old world arts mediums which seem slow to accomplish. The fast technology is easily tempting because it tends to be fast and easily completed. You might try Photoshop or other electronic sketching mediums, but eventually at least sample a return to old world mediums like pastels, Conte Crayon or pencils or oil paints. The techniques to apply them to paper or canvas may at first be testing for you, but as time passes you will improve. You may even feel like a child again! It is believed that many who are active artists sustain the childlike verve for life and thus develop a purpose to live longer. Producing a great piece of artwork can be rejuvenating and rewarding. You will learn fast from your own mistakes. That is part of the fun, believe it or not. This is known as a term championed and possibly coined by Buckminster Fuller. A heuristic process, where the student learns from their own self-initiated investigations. Experiment, play around with your own invented techniques; adventure and discover. The more you produce new works, the more you learn.
Many of the greatest artists have admitted that they were self-taught. Think of it not as a cursive exercise for a class to be graded in but rather an adventure. Many artists know this quite well. That many works turn out to be something entirely different than originally planned. The surprise of accidentally accomplishing a masterpiece, is the greatest reward to oneself as an artist. Once this level is attained, a personal style may emerge. You may have borrowed from other greats and now combined several to develop your own identity in style.
I do not mean to denigrate photographic imagers. I have been there too for many years and just recently returning to hand drawn artwork. This is a process that repeats itself. See the history of great artists who started simple or in say, only photography, to return to hand drawn art later in life. There is a deep seated meaning for this. As digital imaging is everywhere today; this is what I found when I first submitted an artwork to Spaceweather.com. That the public was hungry for real hand drawn art in a world of internet that is oversaturated with digital images. Since October 2006 when I saw a sketch of the solar prominences by Erika Rix and another by Les Cowley, I was hooked to try it. Little did I know that the NASA physicists at Spaceweather and Astronomy Picture of the Day would post my artwork for my simply sending it in. I too originally thought that I was not good enough. An artist will always be his/hers own worst critic that may inhibit ones first step.
I hope that others will soon discover their innate–inborn talents to draw and sketch. It is there for all to discover and learn from.
I look forward to seeing new contributors to the astro-scientific and general visual arts world and the Sketching Forums here at CN. You too may discover one day that it is just waiting for you to take the next step-
The first step is already behind you as we are all born artists,