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Pencil sizes / hardness?


jjohnson3803

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My painting / drawing talents are basically nil, but I'd like to sketch some open clusters now and then.  Easy, right?  Just dots.  LOL.

What's a good technique for drawing different magnitude stars?  Small dots and then enlarge brighter stars with the same pencil?  Use a sharp pencil to mark positions then a thick one?  Or would white markers on black paper be better?  (But then I'd have the same question - fat markers, thin markers, or ???)

I have a very well stocked artists' supply store near my home, but the variety of items can be overwhelming.

Thanks!

 

Edited by jjohnson3803
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After seeing the impressive recent Moon sketches by two forum posters , I'm keen to try my hand at some sketching . One expects my own efforts will be very sketchy to pardon the pun.

I'm thinking of the A6 index size cards as mentioned by Josefk and Black ones, using the various white and other shades of markers /pens /brushes. 

Edited by Naughty Neal
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I'll often use pencil to position the stars, but then use fine tipped drawing pens of different sizes to cover the pencil marks. This enables me to then use graphite pencil to add nebulosity if needed, without smudging the stars. After that I'll usually image the sketch and turn it to a negative on my tablet, giving a life-like impression of the view through the eyepiece.

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And sometimes when drawing an interesting double star, I'll use watercolour pencil with a dark graphite background to give an eyepiece impression.

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Edited by mikeDnight
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Similar to the OP, I'm interested to know what works well on black paper as well (pastel pencils I think I've heard?), or perhaps just drawing on white paper and producing a negative is the way to go.

Really nice drawings Mike 👍 Inking in the stars is a good idea - I'll add them to my shopping list 🙂

 

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I’m still young at this so take it with a pinch of salt 🙂

- for plotting stars at the EP I can manage three sizes under red light - small, medium, large. I can’t control any pen or pencil better than that as my eyesight isn’t good enough and in any event I have an undriven mount so there’s a limit to the accuracy of the capture (my double cluster is a fantasy view - it captures my impression of what I saw but is completely inaccurate and probably out of reach of my observing and transferring skills on an undriven mount)

- for redrawing stars back at base - if it’s just to capture the plot of the relationships of double/multiple star systems I stick with little, medium, large black on white and use fine liners like @mikeDnight

- for redrawing stars back at base and it’s to capture something aesthetic about them or to have them in the field with a DSO of one sort or another then I use white on black. Faber-Castel white ink brush pen (used for all stars but especially brilliant for low magnitude stars) and a Sakura Gelly Roll white gel pen to touch in brighter stars over the top of the ink brush. It is possible to go further and add in a touch of colour or nebulosity with a pencil or pastel pencil over the top of that. They are still more or less small, med, large representations though.

I fancy drawing coloured doubles stars even more close up than I have so far and for that I’m going to directly copy Mike’s approach above because it’s the most aesthetically pleasing way I’ve seen it done. 👏

small tip  - pastel pencils go soggy in the field and need drying between sessions 🙂

 

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Plenty of tips being shared here and it’s interesting to see how others approach sketching.

I’m new to this and am currently using a Stabilo CarbOthello White Pastel pencil and a Faber-Castell Polychromos White pencil. The paper is Daler Rowney black A5 160g/m.

Anything I draw is at the eyepiece and that’s where it starts and ends, I don’t make any additions when back indoors, but that’s what I like about this topic- it’s “art” and is down to individual interpretation of how the work is produced and finished, just my personal opinion.

I’ve just been bought a Windsor & Newton charcoal pencil set, which will get tried out soon with a different paper and hopefully I’ll be brave enough to share on SGL.

Whatever you do, just enjoy it and embrace the moment.

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Just a side note that might be helpful. When it comes to all my finished sketches, not including the rough eyepiece sketches, I always use a fixative spray to prevent smudging. That way the drawings should be safe for generations, bar for flood damage, fire or meteorite impact. 

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Edited by mikeDnight
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