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My first attempts at sketching


Nicola Fletcher
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These are far from perfect, but I'm very keen to record some of my observations so decided to give sketching a go. I've been following the Mellish technique shown here: 

using black drawing paper with white chalk pastels, sandpaper, paintbrushes and pastel pencils. M13 was my first attempt and I got a bit carried away and I think recorded more detail than I actually saw (!), but I'm happier with some of the other attempts, although I've kept them quite simple.

If any experienced sketchers see this, I'd be really interested to know how you record sky conditions (seeing, transparency and anything else). I have been trying to estimate seeing and transparency using the Astronomical League's guidelines, but find it difficult to use Ursa Minor for transparency as it is situated to the north, where I have some light pollution, so I think I would always rate it worse than it actually is using that method. Any suggestions would be very welcome!

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Edited by Nicola Fletcher
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Those look fabulous to me. Very impressive. I have only ever tried occasionally with pencil and paper to record what I see and always end up throwing them out! I find it incredibly difficult and yet I would love to be able to record visually what I observe. I have toyed with a DSLR on the moon and a few short exposures stacked in Sequator of brighter deep sky objects but realistically I either have to set up visually or go for the camera.

I would be very pleased if I were able to produce sketches like yours!

Malcolm

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Wow they are amazing, like a true pro. I’ve often thought about sketching, appeals to me far more than AP but I sketch like a 5 year old….your examples make me want to try again!!

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3 hours ago, MalcolmM said:

I find it incredibly difficult and yet I would love to be able to record visually what I observe.

I think this method might be easier than trying to work with paper and pencils - the paintbrush technique with the pastel powder is fun to work with and easy to erase (literally by rubbing with your finger) if you make a mistake!

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You should be proud of your sketches Nicola, the really are excellent. I really like your M13 and M45 as they both gave me a mini wow moment as I scrolled down your post. Very realistic! :icon_cyclops_ani: 🏆

They say if you really want to see an object, try drawing it. I'm sure you'll find that to be true as you thrill yourself, and us, with more of your observational sketches. 

Edited by mikeDnight
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22 minutes ago, mikeDnight said:

You should be proud of your sketches Nicola, the really are excellent. I really like your M13 and M45 as they both gave me a mini wow moment as I scrolled down your post. Very realistic! :icon_cyclops_ani: 🏆

They say if you really want to see an object, try drawing it. I'm sure you'll find that to be true as you thrill yourself, and us, with more of your observational sketches. 

Wow, thank you! That really means a lot 😊

I will keep going and hopefully improve - I’m really enjoying sketching and have been very inspired by your sketches and others on this forum. I’ll tackle a planet next!

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Believe it or not, Venus is a good planet to cut your sketching teeth on as at first it looks bland and devoid of detail, but it isn't, its loaded, and it really demands you pay attention to very subtle albedo features. Once you notice the detail its hard to understand why others can't.

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