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Gassendi 08 Nov 2019


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It's been a while since I've had a clear view of the Moon but yesterday I got lucky. Gassendi stood out and formed an interesting comma shape with the northwestern edge of Mare Humorum.

The seeing was far from ideal but with a bit of patience quite a few smaller craters, ridges and rilles could be found. Of course I forgot that once corrected for left-right reversal the scene doesn't resemble a comma at all, but still, here it is. Hope you like the result.


Edited by Ruud
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That's great one Mike. Your sketch is a masterpiece.  It has an amazing amount of detail. It would take me several hours to record this much and turning it into a painting would require at least a two evenings.

I notice that your Gassendi is more or less circular. My craters too, even when they are close to the edge of the lunar disk, tend to come out as circles. It's like the mind compensates for them being on a spherical body, interpreting the shape that it really ought to have instead of how they actually appear.

I was thinking (as I was scanning and combining my partial sketches, morphing circles into ovals etcetera and doing the brushwork to make the painting) that I have strayed far from my original intentions. When I started off I meant to 'express an observation'. Now I feel I have become obsessed with detail and try to make ever more realistic representations. I even considered getting a 180 mm Maksutov to make better use of those rare, perfect nights and collect better detail.

I want to go back to what I did before: coarse, harsh brush strokes with dramatic contrast, giving expression more priority than detail. I enjoyed that better.

Here's my Gassendi from three month back
Taking liberties with the details gave me room to put my heart in the scene and even though this Gassendi is less lifelike than my latest one, it feels more alive and more real. At least to me it does.

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Hi Ruud, I get so annoyed with myself at making craters round especially when they are near the edge of the moon. My Gassendi sketch shows that classic mistake as you rightly indicate. I like both sketches but they are wildly different. The earlier one has atmosphere but your latest has the detail. I too get bogged down with detail. I love artwork that is like a photo and I am less keen on impressionist work but enjoy both.

Last night I finished a sketch of Theophilus etc and went for impression - came out rather well. I have called it a "study in shadows". May be I will post it. Currently working on Schiller/Zucchius area - nightmare to record details/perspective so close to the lunar edge.

My quality 180 Mak is superb. I use to own an OMC 200 - truly apo like and with 8" of aperture - wonderful views of lunar, planetary detail.


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