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Astrophotography and Sketching >> Sketching

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mikiek
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/10/07

Loc: SE Texas
Hi guys - It's been a while
      #3536298 - 01/03/10 12:57 AM

The ole drawing bug has been in hibernation for some time now. Recently I was fortunate enough to pick up an Ethos 21 and have been using it extensively on my CPC1100. It is fabulous on the moon - so much so that I suddenly had the urge to sketch something.

Well I bit off way more than I could chew. I was intrigued with the triple craters Mee, Hainzel and Hainzel A, all of which were just out of the terminator and had a lot of dark shadowing. My meager attempt - my first of anything near the terminator - will not be posted as the finished product doesn't really even look like craters.

My biggest problem was getting enough varying shades of gray to show the relief I was seeing visually. And therein lies my question to you all. I work with white paper and charcoals, but I'm beginning to wonder if it is possible to get enough different shades with charcoal. I can get about 3 maybe 4 - not enough to represent what I am seeing.

On that same line of question, I am also having great difficulty getting any shade variations in tight areas. For instance an almost white area reflecting a lot of sunlight, then a thin band of gray where the surface angle changes and finally a black area of total shadow.

Would I be better off trying to work with graphite where I have a much wider choice of lead hardness? Your thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated.


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cildarithModerator
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/26/04

Loc: San Diego, CA
Re: Hi guys - It's been a while new [Re: mikiek]
      #3536392 - 01/03/10 02:16 AM Attachment (57 downloads)

Welcome back!

Mee and Hainzel at the terminator certainly present a bizarre and fascninating appearance - and a challenge to sketch.

Attached is my attempt from several years ago, this was done with just a #2 pencil and liberal use of a blending stump for shading. My approach is to blacken the dark areas and outline the bright patches with a faint dashed line and work in the gray-scale with the blending stump. I'm sure the same approach could be used with charcoal.


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markseibold
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/19/08

Loc: Portland Oregon
Re: Hi guys - It's been a while new [Re: mikiek]
      #3537350 - 01/03/10 03:02 PM

Mike

Wow. After reading your exellent post about sketching technique in charcoal, I am anxious to look at your new work. Instead I only see an older post from Eric showing his work in response. Am I missing something here?
Did you forget to post your link or inline attached image in the text?

I often wonder now why some will post images directly as open in the inline text, and most do that as I do but then a few others post only with a hyperlink. Then some go for so long not posting at all, that they forget to add the image at all! . . . Perhaps there will be a standard posting protocol one day to keep more continuity in the site.

Looking forward to seeing your new sketch work,

Mark

PS: Mike; I was so intrigued with at least your text as I just re-read it, I thought I could at least offer something although I just responded to a long question in Uwe's post with his samples on black, grey and white paper and use of various chalks. He posted an intersting experiment, I would direct all to look at. I altered his sample by showing what blending can do to achieve midtones in grey, although it was only simulated with photoshop tools.

I just took a 6 week class in sketching simply for fun as a lady friend teacher offered it and for the first time with extensive use of charcoal on white paper for me. But I think your question of achieving midtones with charcoal becomes a personal preference. You can buy a hundred different toned charcoals if you like or you can blend a few to achieve the same results, if this is what I think you are questioning.

I had intended to do some lunar sketches in this fashion as my calsswork looks photo-realistic in charcoals, I was told, but that was with a subject I cannot post here for example. Sketching from live nude figures. I still find the moon is easier to achieve in sketchwork with white pastel chalks on black pastel paper. You can see one of those photo realistic charcoals at www.markseibold.com

Mark

Edited by markseibold (01/03/10 03:19 PM)


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JayKSC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/01/05

Loc: Florida
Re: Hi guys - It's been a while new [Re: mikiek]
      #3537390 - 01/03/10 03:23 PM

Mike,

One thing I've taken to doing this past year is to revise my sketches as needed indoors after I'm done observing. I'll do my best with a basic sketch at the scope but will usually augment the sketch with comments and rough note sketches. Then, indoors under good lighting, I can revise the sketch as needed (while the view is still fresh in my memory). Finally, I'll adjust the shading and contrast on my computer, as it's much easier to get a more accurate rendition (to me) using the computer's 16,000,000 different colors and innumerable shades of grey.

I note, though, that I'm primarily a deep sky sketcher. I've not sketched the moon in awhile, but when I did, I would use only a basic #2 pencil. I find that with a somewhat dull #2 I could more easily control the shading than with charcoal as, to me, a #2 is more responsive to pressure than charcoal. Whenever I'd work with charcoal (or even artists pencils), I'd get a pretty uniform shade. From my past art courses, though, one trick you might try is to use charcoal to indicate features and then use white and grey chalk or pastels to lighten up these features. This is how we used to sketch highlights with objects like vases and flowers in class.

- Jay
South Florida


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markseibold
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/19/08

Loc: Portland Oregon
Re: Hi guys - It's been a while new [Re: JayKSC]
      #3537724 - 01/03/10 06:18 PM

Mike

I apologize that I originally read too fast through your post and missed where you indicated that you will not post your recent sketch image. That’s too bad as we could discover so much more from what you say is not what you intended to achieve in the image, if we could only see it. Jay offered some excellent mixed media suggestions for mid-tone shading of pastel over charcoal. This might become confusing though for those who are not well practiced in mixed media use as many accomplished artists will mix mediums through experimentation but it can also involve much frustrating trial and error and complicate the simple sketch process as compared to using one medium. Hence others also say that they spend hours later at the computer to tweak the image; something I would never do to my art, as this then becomes only an anomaly of computer electronic memory. There is no tangible original art to display later in the process. Unless one prints it out but even that varies in print quality repeatedly. That is just my ‘art take’ on this of course. I tend to be old school and traditional for sake of future artistic value.

I really wish I could see your image because it sounds like you are wanting to graduate from charcoals to pastels. I know many will express this; that oils and pastels seem like too much of a progression and not something that some want to commit to. But until they try it, I would say, they may never know it. It is also entirely contrary to any excess expense as some will say. A few white pastel chalks (not the pastel pencils as they are limited to a harder graphite-like texture and do not blend as well) for a few dollars is affordable for most and the black paper is really no more expensive than white. The larger size I have found is also the trick to achieving finer details. Conversely, charcoals are quite inexpensive but as you indicate that you cannot achieve the range of mid-tones with them on white paper, and thus is why I suggest trying pastels on black paper as they have so much more potential in a rich range of blending, color and/or black and white, and grey scale. I am sure Frank and Rich would concur with this as they have achieved the most realistic lunar close-up crater drawings that I have ever seen, with white pastels, Conte, etc. on black paper.

I'll look forward to seeing your future sketching progress and reports,

Mark


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mikiek
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/10/07

Loc: SE Texas
Re: Hi guys - It's been a while new [Re: mikiek]
      #3540284 - 01/05/10 04:11 AM

Thanks to all for your suggestions. I never considered using another media along with my charcoals. That is an interesting idea. Rather than killing myself trying to lighten up a dark area - why not just find something that IS the color I'm trying to render. I have no experience with pastels but I can look into that.

I once tried a white pencil - attempting to blend it with the charcoal to lighten it up. I was rather disappointed with the results. The charcoal seemed to be too overpowering.


I've long considered trying black paper with white. I've always admired the work posted here with that combination. For those that work with this - do you just use 1 white pencil/pastel or are there various shades?

I really would be interested in trying the white on black. Any suggestions you may have on what to buy would be helpful.


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markseibold
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/19/08

Loc: Portland Oregon
Re: Hi guys - It's been a while new [Re: mikiek]
      #3541820 - 01/05/10 07:20 PM

Mike

Sorry I thought I just wrote along dissertation about pastel materials and other art mediums under your post here earlier but that was under another recent post, I think it was Tenth Enemies Solar Sketching.

You should pay a visit to an art materials store. There are literally thousands of pastels, pastel pencils, Conte crayon/chalks and similar mediums in hundreds [thousands?] of color ranges, to answer your question about how many color shades are available.

Many fine art stores have a wall with several hundred to several thousands pastel chalks and pencil colors in numerically universal standard color coded slots. Then there is also hundreds of paper selections, black, white, many paper colors and textures for application of these colored pastel chalks, Conte crayons, pastel pencils, etc. If you live near a large city, there should be several art supply stores.

Good luck and I look forward to seeing your new sketching discoveries develop.

Mark


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