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Inspiring people to pick up Pencil & Paper

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#1 erick86

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 09:26 AM

Throwing this out for general discussion - 

 

Within your local groups or astronomy clubs, what strategies have you used to inspire people to start and continue astrosketching? 

 

I remember when I first started, I was drawn to the almost-romantic idea of it.  Then when I actually began, I was surprised at how terrible my first couple sketches looked.  One would expect that making dots on a page should be pretty idiot-proof, but surprisingly there's more to it than first meets the eye.  Thankfully I didn't stop there, and now sketching has become a valued part of nearly every observing session.  

 

I've been thinking of trying to do a sketching workshops. How to sketch in the dark?  lol.gif   

 

I'm just looking for ideas, in hopes of finding ways to share its value with other visual observers who perhaps haven't tried it yet, or were frustrated by early results.

 

Eric


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#2 perfessor

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 09:45 AM

Several years ago, I made a presentation to my astronomy club about sketching.  I had a list of about seven reasons that one might find sketching rewarding (to increase observing skills, to create a realistic eyepiece view {think M42}, to have something to show friends and family, etc etc).  I showed off some of my better efforts of course, but I was sure to include several of my extremely rough early drawings.  I emphasised that there was no special skill involved, just practice and enjoyment.

 

I also warned them that if they really got into it, they could easily spend dozens of dollars on equipment.  Which got the intended laugh from the astrophotographers.

 

Cheers,


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#3 perfessor

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 12:39 PM

Also, there is one piece of advice I am always reminding myself of:  Draw what the eye sees, NOT what the brain sees.  Big difference.


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#4 Warmvet

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 01:39 PM

Eric,

 

I was helping John Goss from Astronomical League put together a “how to“ lunar sketching manual recently. He had a great idea about hosting a “lunar social” (covid conscious of course) where everyone sketched the same lunar feature together and then learned from each other about techniques. I thought this was a fantastic idea! They would have refreshments afterwards and talk about what they did. 
 

Cindy


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#5 hbanich

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Posted 18 September 2021 - 03:06 AM

I've found that explaining how sketching focuses your attention so you end up seeing more usually gets people's attention. That, and keeping the actual sketching bare bones at the eyepiece, at least at first - drawing in the dark is difficult enough without suggesting an elaborate procedure.


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#6 erick86

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Posted 18 September 2021 - 11:20 AM

Thanks for all the ideas thus far.  I hope to put together some kind of workshop this fall for folk before it starts getting really cold.  Sketching is hard enough in the dark when it's warm.  Even harder with giant mittens and subzero temperatures!


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#7 Special Ed

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 09:40 AM

Good discussion here.  like-button.jpg

 

I've been doing sketching power point presentations and workshops at the Green Bank Star Quest almost every year since 2009.  They usually last from 90 minutes to two hours.  I start with an overview showing people a little about the history of sketching and giving examples of what can be accomplished.  I cover media and techniques and end with a hands on workshop where we sketch a target together (usually an object visible at the time of the star party).

 

I provide a 2B pencil, an eraser, templates, and clipboards.  Participants get to keep the pencil, eraser, and fresh templates and can borrow the clipboards to use that night.

 

During the hands on, I go around and give people tips and encouragement.  People invariably comment on how sketching the object is making them really look at it--which is my main point.  I'm always happy to hear that.  smile.gif

 

This is one of my presentations.  If you want to look at it, you will see sketches from many contributors to this forum who kindly allowed me to use their work.  flowerred.gif   Click on the little box in the lower right corner for full screen. 

 

[ Note: The website that hosts the ppt is free so the animations don't work. ]

 

https://www.slidesha...etching-revised


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#8 erick86

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 10:42 PM

Awesome powerpoint. I especially liked the sequence of how to sketch craters on the moon.

Glad that you shared this! I enjoyed going through it.

Eric

#9 Special Ed

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Posted 22 September 2021 - 09:52 AM

Thanks, Eric.  smile.gif   With these workshops, I like to encourage people to sketch who have never tried it--but I also like showcasing the great sketches by the contributors.  cool.gif



#10 Uwe Pilz

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 02:56 AM

Normally I give the advice to novice sketchers:
 
Just start sketching. Already after 10 years it got much better. 

cool.gif


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#11 Mark Radice

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Posted 02 October 2021 - 10:11 AM

A great topic.  I met a "propers" artist, Mary McIntyre and recorded a video of our collaboration - I was sketching at the eyepiece and she from her own images.  

 

We put a video out: https://youtu.be/AIQJKPG07L0  (and even had enough for a part 2!). 

 

As a result, she has now been invited to speak at our club.

The most amazing pictures in her sketchbook, truly inspirational. 


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#12 erick86

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Posted 02 October 2021 - 10:25 AM

A great topic.  I met a "propers" artist, Mary McIntyre and recorded a video of our collaboration - I was sketching at the eyepiece and she from her own images.  

 

We put a video out: https://youtu.be/AIQJKPG07L0  (and even had enough for a part 2!). 

 

As a result, she has now been invited to speak at our club.

The most amazing pictures in her sketchbook, truly inspirational. 

Awesome video, thanks for creating this !!

 

Eric

 

Looking forward to part 2



#13 erick86

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Posted 02 October 2021 - 10:28 AM

Mark,

 

This could totally work as a podcast as well.  Seriously.  Love it!

 

Eric


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#14 Mark Radice

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Posted 02 October 2021 - 04:58 PM

So glad you enjoyed it Eric. I learned loads and spent nearly £16 on pastels, black paper and a gel pen!

 

part 2 is here: https://youtu.be/a4sdKnhIlSo


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