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JackCooke

First sketch - M45

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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 is still mirror-reversed as seen through my diagonal. 

Any comments / advice much appreciated! I think the circle I drew was a little big and I need to perfect drawing round points with pen and pencil!

I'd really like to try the 'mellis method' of pastels on black paper - just need to source some kit. Does anyone use this for their sketches? 

Thanks for looking. 

Jack

Pleiades.jpg

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That's nice! Congratulations on a successful first sketch.

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2 minutes ago, Ruud said:

That's nice! Congratulations on a successful first sketch.

Thanks Ruud - made with a Genesis, I see you have one too 👍

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Hi Jack,

Neat sketch.  Like you, I have been using pencil on white paper.  I need to get hold of some white pastel pencils and dark paper.  

John

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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): 

 

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That's an interesting video. Very useful.

Thanks for the  link!

I tried a sketch of Mars at the beginning of this year
Mars_08-01-2018.png.9715245e7a4d00ddf2a11afb3c5568fd.png
I'm a lazy observer but I do believe I must learn to sketch a bit better.
And faster. Even this tiny Mars took me a few hours to complete.

Edited by Ruud
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Thanks Jack,

Loved the video, although I may have to modify the technique since it is often blowing a hooley at my local dark sky site. 😀

John

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A great start as m45 is not easy... I use black drawing card from The Range,and they do a nice selection of white pencils and the staff in our Range are very helpful. Or try an artist shop, saves inverting in photoshop. Des

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1 hour ago, Ruud said:

That's an interesting video. Very useful.

Thanks for the  link!

I tried a sketch of Mars at the beginning of this year
Mars_08-01-2018.png.9715245e7a4d00ddf2a11afb3c5568fd.png
I'm a lazy observer but I do believe I must learn to sketch a bit better.
And faster. Even this tiny Mars took me a few hours to complete.

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. 

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1 hour ago, westmarch said:

Thanks Jack,

Loved the video, although I may have to modify the technique since it is often blowing a hooley at my local dark sky site. 😀

John

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 😩

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1 hour ago, des anderson said:

A great start as m45 is not easy... I use black drawing card from The Range,and they do a nice selection of white pencils and the staff in our Range are very helpful. Or try an artist shop, saves inverting in photoshop. Des

Thanks Des - going to pop into my local art supplies shop later this week 👍

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That's a great sketch Jack. I'm with you on never being quite sure if I am looking at dew or nebulosity! Mostly for me it is dew because my skies are not good enough for it to be anything else!

I'm a fellow Genesis owner, recently picked up my 3rd one after regretting selling previous ones! I think this one might be the best yet. By coincidence, I've just taken an image of M45 with a smartphone through my Genesis :). No nebulosity here, you did much better!

PSX_20181106_221919.jpg

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12 minutes ago, Stu said:

That's a great sketch Jack. I'm with you on never being quite sure if I am looking at dew or nebulosity! Mostly for me it is dew because my skies are not good enough for it to be anything else!

I'm a fellow Genesis owner, recently picked up my 3rd one after regretting selling previous ones! I think this one might be the best yet. By coincidence, I've just taken an image of M45 with a smartphone through my Genesis :). No nebulosity here, you did much better!

PSX_20181106_221919.jpg

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 eyes)... 

 

IMG_7481.JPG

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9 hours ago, JackCooke said:

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?)

Thanks Jack. Yes, Atlas is the brighter one at the bottom. Getting the spacing and position right is pretty tricky and I reckon you've done pretty well overall 👍

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A fine sketch of pleiades Jack and welcome to SGL forum.

Thank you for sharing it with us all 

Marios

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Nice sketch - so did you do this while observing if so do you sketch under red light?

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8 minutes ago, PaulM said:

Nice sketch - so did you do this while observing if so do you sketch under red light?

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. 

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Great Sketch Jack! The nebulosity you saw is the real thing, though I know how it could be mistaken for mist. Looking at other reasonably bright stars away from the Pleiades will confirm its reality, although there are a number of other stars, especially around the Orion region, that also have a nebulous backdrop.

I used to draw white on black and have a few volumes of dso sketches done that way. Today however, I tend to sketch using graphite pencil on white paper, then after imaging the sketch I invert the image on my tablet. It's easy and i find the result to be pleasingly realistic. Anyhow, I hope we're going to see more of your sketches in the not too distant future. 👍

Edited by mikeDnight
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Hi Jack

Nice sketch, sketching improves your observing and the observing experience in my opinion.
However after a a year or so of sketching, my skills have only slightly improved on the drawing skills front.

You are correct in that the longer you spend sketching and therefore observing a single object, the more your eye/s see,
this is the best part of sketching for me, the extra detail I get to see due to more observing one object.

Look forward to your sketches in the future, clear skies.

 

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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

 

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10 hours ago, Alan White said:

Hi Jack

Nice sketch, sketching improves your observing and the observing experience in my opinion.
However after a a year or so of sketching, my skills have only slightly improved on the drawing skills front.

You are correct in that the longer you spend sketching and therefore observing a single object, the more your eye/s see,
this is the best part of sketching for me, the extra detail I get to see due to more observing one object.

Look forward to your sketches in the future, clear skies.

 

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

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45 minutes ago, JackCooke said:

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

 

Hi Jack,

There are a number of my deep sky sketches on the sketching forum, but its been a while since I've posted any. I didn't include any in my replies as I didn't want to hijack your thread in any way. Plus I suspect many will be fed up of my sketches by now. This is your thread and your time to shine, which I believe you will. You've a very nice scope and a good observing eye, so I feel great things will come from you. I'm keen to seeing your future observations. 

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