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Posts posted by JackCooke

  1. 1 hour ago, Lurcher said:

    Well done. Great sketches.

    I wasn't aware of Harold Hill, (please excuse the ignorance!), so will have to look out for some of his work. I don;t know if I've mentioned on here before, but have you seen Erika Rix also? There's one sketch online somewhere she's done of the Bullialdus Crater which I think is brilliant too.

    Thank you Lurcher. 

    Just looked up Erika Rix - impressive drawings of the moon in its entirety! 

  2. 15 hours ago, Mike JW said:

    Hi Jack,

    I have seen various of Harold's drawings over the years but have never purchased his book. I would loved to have been tutored by Harold. I would be very content to produce just one drawing at his standard - maybe one day. My stippled technique tends to be random but with Harold's work it gives an air of precision placement of dots.


    I don't think you're as far off as you think! If I get to your level I'll be mighty pleased.

  3. 13 hours ago, Mike JW said:

    Hi Jack,

    You are right to get started with drawing and good to be self critical. I am not naturally artistic, in fact I was thrown out of art at school. Like you I began with a simple sketch of a crater and it was awful. However I stuck with it, examined in detail ( my scientific approach) other people's sketches and gradually understood how to sketch craters. It took me two years of dogged determination to develop a technique that worked for me. I even practised drawing imaginary craters. My skills are such that I cannot complete the sketch at the eyepiece as I work so slowly, so I do a rough sketch at the eyepiece with notes and complete later.

    You have made a good start, keep posting.

    Thanks for the Harold Hill sketch - his work is masterful.

    Have fun.


    Hi Mike, 

    Thanks for the encouragement - good to know you started from a similar position, there's hope for me yet!

    Loved your drawing using the stippled technique like H Hill. Have you got his 'Portfolio of Lunar Drawings'? It's a beautiful book. 


  4. Morning all,

    Thanks to the beautiful work of some members here (Ruud, Lurcher, Mike JW) I finally made two attempts at lunar sketching, one of Theophilus near the terminator and last night of Kepler's rays at full moon. 

    I found both drawings very challenging. I'm only using graphite - it will take a lot of practise before I try more demanding techniques like charcoal and stippling.

    I'm not happy with either sketch (and their inaccuracies) but I wanted to post them so that hopefully I can look back and see some improvement. 

    Despite the frustration its wonderful to have found another lifetime's pursuit. Lunar sketching is reassuringly future proof too - LP, flight corridors etc. can't rob us of its light!

    Final image is one by the late Harold Hill - something to aspire to...

    Thanks for looking. 


    (both sketches made in a 140mm refractor F7 at x140-x180)

    image1 (1).jpeg


    Screen Shot 2019-09-14 at 11.35.32.png

    • Like 15
  5. 22 minutes ago, Rob Sellent said:

    That's amazing, Jack. I was out on the same evening observing exactly the same glob with my 4" 😀 Your drawing is very much exactly as I saw it :thumbright: I was wondering what mediums are you using for your sketches? It looks like chalk on black card but I imagine I'm mistaken.

    Hi Rob. I always love the idea that different star gazers are training their telescopes on the same faint objects, miles apart!

    The sketch was made with graphite pencils and a blending stump on white paper - then scanned and the colours inverted. I'd like to try positive sketching with chalk pens on black card - I posted a great link on this a while back ('The Mellish Method'):  


    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1
  6. A quick sketch from the 1st September (sorry - date is wrong on the image). 

    M15 was still fairly low in the east but the central condensation of stars really stood out, even in a 5.5inch scope. The bright field star intruding on the edge of the image was distracting. If I had a tracking mount I'd have banished it permanently!

    A lot of the extended GC was on the threshold of vision and the resolved stars faded in and out. 

    M15 will always have a special place for me as it was the first GC i ever saw 😍 

    Thanks for looking. 



    • Like 17
  7. I love it! 

    Did you use graphite and invert the image or a positive sketch with chalk etc on black paper? It's got great intensity in the centre - really captures the view I've seen looking at M13. I like the haze of unresolved light to the south too. 

    I want to try some positive sketches - the originals are more fun to keep in a logbook 🤓

    • Thanks 1
  8. On 01/06/2019 at 12:31, Lurcher said:

    Great sketch. M92 is always overlooked by M13 as you say, and yet it's beautiful isn't it?

    I was lucky enough to get out last night and enjoyed seeing the globular clusters M3, M5, and M10 and M12, but I'm pretty sure when I look at them I would make a complete mess of trying to sketch them, so haven't tried yet. Maybe next time. Very inspiring! Thanks for posting.

    Thank you! I'd haven't spent much time in Ophiuchus - will have a hunt for M10 & M12 next time I get the chance and try a sketch. 

    Definitely give it a go - it's never going to be completely accurate with something as complex as a globular cluster but its fun to take something away as a memory. 

    • Like 1
  9. 14 hours ago, celestron8g8 said:

    Fantastic sketch of M92 ! I got to get out soon and do some looking . We been having nothing but cloudy skies and rain for the last two months . :( 

    Thanks! I'm sure you'll get clear skies soon - I'd swap the UK weather for Texas any day!


    • Like 1
  10. After many weeks of telescopes gathering dust I finally managed a long night sketching under the stars. 

    Having only ever sketched open clusters I wanted to attempt a GC. Hercules was well positioned so I chose to draw m92, often overshadowed by the more famous m13. 

    My red torch was a little too bright and there was some intermittent cloud but the sketch comes pretty close to what I saw. All comments / criticisms / comparisons most welcome!


    p.s. As I was packing up around midnight I saw what I can only assume were parts of a meteorite breaking up in the sky. A long trail of five to ten separate glowing dots moved eastward through cygnus toward the horison. It was like watching several satellites following each other in an absolutely straight line. Anyone else see this or remember something similar? 

    STAR NERDZ.jpg

    • Like 14
    • Thanks 1
  11. 1 hour ago, mark81 said:

    Wonderful sketch, great shading around the centre - I must try and check this one out.  .. sort of looks like a strawberry...

    Giant celestial strawberries!

    Thanks Mark - its definitely worth a look and well placed at the moment. 

    • Like 1
  12. 1 hour ago, Stu said:

    Lovely sketch Jack! I had a look at Skysafari, and sure enough, there is that lovely red giant standing out in the centre. You've captured it really well!

    I'm another Genesis owner, on my third now and this one is definitely the best.

    Thanks Stu! I'm sure a bigger scope would show colour in other stars in the cluster. 

    The Genesis is definitely a keeper - what happened to your first two?! Maybe one of them is mine ?

  13. 10 hours ago, Ruud said:

    Hi Jack, that's a lovely sketch. Thanks!

    I too have a Genesis. I find it's just great for clusters.

    Thanks Ruud. 

    The Genesis is so easy to set up and use. 30years old and still going strong!

  14. Hi Marios, 

    Thanks for posting your great sketch - inspired me to go and hunt down the comet last night. Beautiful view until a plane flew straight across the field of view and nearly gave me a heart attack!

    I like the pin prick of light at the heart of your sketch.


  15. 'A diamond sunburst', 'sparkling gold dust', 'a solitary pool of subtle beauty'.

    In my 4inch refractor Messier 37 is all these things. It was one of the first objects that really hooked me on stargazing. 

    But I found it almost impossible to draw! Too many stars with more fading in and out the longer I looked. I struggled to keep my bearings.

    The cluster is peppered with red giants but only the central star really showed colour to me - a pale garnet red.

    It took several attempts over several weeks to complete the sketch. Usually a clear night in a month of bad weather has me trying to see as many objects as possible before the clouds roll in. It took an effort to ignore the rest of the night sky and keep coming back to M37. The faint mist of unresolved stars in the 'legs' jumped out after sustained viewing. 

    'Gaze at it well and long' says Webb. Well, I did. And it was worth it.

    (Field of view is approximately 1.5 degrees. Drawn on white paper with pencil and blending stump then inverted in photoshop)

    M37 edit.jpg

    • Like 18
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