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Everything posted by JackCooke

  1. 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. Jack
  2. '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
  3. Beautiful sketch! There's something special about positive white on black sketches. I've been spending some time with this cluster too - a wonderful contrast to the nearby Hyades.
  4. Thanks Neptune - looking forward to trying some more clusters soon. J
  5. Thanks Alan. I was really surprised how much I enjoyed the focus on a single object. Looking forward to sketching some galaxies if I ever get a dob. I'm 100% with you on the luddite / all manual astronomy! Not getting a GOTO as my first scope was the best decision I've made so far. Jack
  6. Thanks Mike. I tried swinging over to Capella, which definitely had a halo but not the same intensity as the Pleiades. Tried sketching M37 on Tuesday but the cloud rolled in and tonight feels like a hurricane. A new challenge as I need averted vision to resolve it well in my 4 inch. Are any of your white on black sketches online? Is it much harder to see detail under a red light when using this technique? Thanks again for the encouragement. Jack
  7. Hi Paul - thanks. Yes, I drew it at the eyepiece with a red head torch. Not ideal - if I try sketching fainter PN or globulars I might need a clipboard light.
  8. Thanks Stu. That's a great image for holding a phone to an eyepiece! Really helpful to compare against my sketch - shows i got a little bunched up with the southernmost bright star (Atlas?) I'm lucky to have pretty decent skies but the nebulosity in the sketch is definitely part dew. There was a strange moment where it really did seem to stand out like a photograph then go again - some benefits to spending so much time on one object! Speaking of dew and the Genesis I've just made a DIY dew shield extension - seems to buy me a bit more time (although Al Nagler would probably roll his
  9. Thanks Des - going to pop into my local art supplies shop later this week ?
  10. I think the answer might be to grind the pastel indoors and use a small paint pot or something with a hole in the lid for the brush. But its still going to be a mess when its gusting ?
  11. Amazing! I really struggle to see detail in Mars (even at opposition ? ). I'm not surprised it took you hours - great patience needed with the red planet! I like the side by side with the photo too.
  12. Thanks John. The positive white on black appeals to me because you don't have to mess around with it digitally afterwards. Also seems like a nicer finished sketch to stick in a logbook. I really enjoyed watching this if you're thinking about trying it (the camera goes in and out of focus but the results are stunning):
  13. Thanks Ruud - made with a Genesis, I see you have one too ?
  14. Hi folks, New to SL and this forum but thought I'd post my first sketch. M45 seemed like a simple cluster to start out with but all the angles / fainter stars were still pretty challenging. I can never tell if the nebulosity I see in the Pleiades is real or just dew - it was a fairly humid night. But I spent more time with this Messier than ever have before, so I think there were a couple of windows where the nebulosity shone through. Used HB, 2H graphite pencils, a dodgy homemade blending stump and a black pen for the bright stars. Inverted in photoshop but the image i
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