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First Sketches: Coathanger and Orion Nebula

beginner dso sketching dob
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#1 byi


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Posted 31 August 2019 - 02:00 PM

I recently got into the hobby and have started learning to sketch. Here are a couple sketches I did this past week. Pretty happy with how they turned out as a first attempt (excluding a practice sketch of the beehive cluster from a photo), and I see a few things I'd like to improve. Would be happy to hear any feedback or pointers. smile.gif

Also, jeez my handwriting could use some work...


Coathanger Cluster:

Collinder 399 - "Coathanger" - Brocchi's Cluster 8/28/2019
My first go at sketching. Not a particularly stunning view, but starting simple. Viewed through a recently purchased 8" dob. I forget which eyepiece...
3B pencil, inverted in GIMP
Orion Nebula:
M42 - Orion Nebula 8/30/2019

Took advantage of a clear sky and new moon to get my first view of the Orion Nebula. Blew me away. Happy enough with my first attempt at shading, although perhaps a bit uneven (too bright on the right for example). Looked quite different before inverting honestly. The unsteadiness in my stroke while marking the stars also really shows in inverted color.
8" F/6 Dobsonian with 1.25" 30mm Plossl
3B pencil, inverted and adjusted in GIMP

  • frank5817, Jef De Wit, niteskystargazer and 7 others like this

#2 Aquarellia



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Posted 01 September 2019 - 05:15 AM

Welcome here and nice begining !

Hope to see more from your hand soon


#3 frank5817


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Posted 01 September 2019 - 01:25 PM

Very fine start.

Welcome to the Cloudy Nights sketching Forum.


Frank :)

#4 niteskystargazer



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Posted 02 September 2019 - 02:33 PM



Welcome to CN !!!!!!


Very nice First Sketches: Coathanger and Orion Nebula smile.gif .




thanx.gif ,



#5 Chiron0224


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Posted 06 September 2019 - 09:31 AM

Very nice sketches.  Since you asked for feedback and pointers I'll give a couple from my own limited sketching experience.  For the Coathanger, perhaps a bit more contrast in the sizes of the dots would help to better convey the difference in brightness and help the coathanger asterism stand out.  Honestly, this is a matter of personal preference as I don't mind having big old dots if it helps convey the feeling of how bright those stars were.  Others may prefer a tighter range in the size of the dots to produce a more realistic final sketch.  It's my personal feeling that having more size variation in dots allows your sketch to better convey the difference in brightness and makes it more of a chart than a true rendering.  It just depends on where you fall on the artistic value vs. scientific value scale.  As for shading, you're already doing a killer job!  One trick is to have a couple different pencils with you.  What I'll sometimes do is I'll shade the whole area with a lighter pencil and then I'll use a darker pencil to go back and darken up the brighter parts of the nebulosity.  But like I said, you're crushing it so far and I really like how you brought out the structure and bright nebulosity in M42, which isn't easy.

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