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Lunar training


SwiMatt

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The forecast disappointed me again tonight, so while the telescope was uselessly cooling down outside, hoping for an opening, I took the opportunity to train my lunar sketching skills. This sketch of Tycho is realized from a picture found online.

I found it very challenging to attempt to replicate the different shades and textures that the Moon has to show, any (constructive) criticism and suggestion is welcome! Especially for the "buttered" terrain inside the rim where the light hits, on the right side of the crater.

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It's a very nice sketch Matt. If you'd drawn that at the eyepiece I'd be very impressed. The trouble with photographs, replicating them exactly takes a long time and lots of practice. Even more difficult is drawing even a simple crater as viewed through the telescope, as there's always far more detail visible than can ever be drawn. The speed of change of the shadows across the lunar surface is another difficulty the visual observer has to deal with, and no observer is fast enough to catch all the detail. 

 Arguably, the lunar observer Johann Krieger produced the best lunar drawings ever. He used low contrast photography as a way of getting accurate scale and positioning of features, then he would add the detail seen visually through the telescope to produce previously unheard of accuracy and level of detail. It might be worth studying some of his work to get ideas of how he captured intricate detail and subtle features.

 I've attached a pic of his Mond Atlas along with a few examples of his work. It seems even he drew the line so to speak, when it came to recording the intricate terracing around crater walls! The book is worth having for sketch in reference, and I think its still available on Amazon. 

2024-03-2812_01_22.thumb.jpg.b7cdd37e385008a422bfcef2659be7ca.jpg2024-03-2812_01_08.thumb.jpg.091a7257c5fc90dd700f1defefea02c0.jpg20240328_120030.thumb.jpg.65edafcbc1b234654e03e053b169597e.jpg20240328_120036.thumb.jpg.bd994c1e33c2f88f6aefb29bcf408c51.jpg

 

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THOSE ARE SKETCHES? :shocked:

Thank you @mikeDnight. You are right that one should not attempt to put on paper all the detail. This picture of Tycho had so much more detail than I could ever hope to convey - but then again, it wasn't the goal of the exercise.

But even without drawing out all the details, I feel that one can at least try to give an impression: the smooth surface ofnthe floor of the crater is very different from its rugged rim. I had a hard time with that. But maybe it's already too much detail. Even the view in the eyepiece is so overwhelmingly full of details! 

I will study Krieger's work as well as yours and other's in the forum! Thanks again!

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1 hour ago, mikeDnight said:

Arguably, the lunar observer Johann Krieger produced the best lunar drawings ever. He used low contrast photography as a way of getting accurate scale and positioning of features, then he would add the detail seen visually through the telescope to produce previously unheard of accuracy and level of detail. It might be worth studying some of his work to get ideas of how he captured intricate detail and subtle features.

Thanks for this book reference Mike - i'm going to look for it now. I have wondered myself in the past for Lunar sketching if going to the EP with a rough schematic of the area to be sketched would be a good idea - particularly to speed up the sketching process to counter the quickly evolving shadows you mention. The trouble is its difficult to pre visualise exactly which detail of the Lunar surface will become the focus of the sketch so therefore which area to pre-draft...(i suppose this is where experience wins)

@SwiMatt i know you are looking at terrain rendering in your OP but in all seriousness i think sketching flocks of wading birds is better practise for lunar sketching than sketching static photo's of the moon. The "everything has changed each time you look" quality is the same. 🤣

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1 hour ago, josefk said:

@SwiMatt i know you are looking at terrain rendering in your OP but in all seriousness i think sketching flocks of wading birds is better practise for lunar sketching than sketching static photo's of the moon. The "everything has changed each time you look" quality is the same. 🤣

Oh cool, it all adds to the frantic feeling of not having the time to sketch anything as it moves out of my untracked FOV 🤣

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6 hours ago, shinebug777 said:

you did a great job conveying the roughness along the lit side! i like the way you did the hatching and scribbles there

Thank you! Looking at it now, I don't dislike it as much. I'm always hard on myself after finishing, when I can see the clear differences between the actual subject and the sketch :biggrin:

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On 28/03/2024 at 13:26, josefk said:

The trouble is its difficult to pre visualise exactly which detail of the Lunar surface will become the focus of the sketch so therefore which area to pre-draft...(i suppose this is where experience wins)

Perhaps you could use the NASA Lunar Simulator to check out exactly what will be on view to decide the best targets?

https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/5187/

 

IMG_7278.jpeg

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Very nice. Two things that I have  tried seem to work. The first is to do a very faint yellow/brown watercolour wash on the paper before drawing. It needs to be completely dry. That gives a pleasing background colour. The other is it use a paint pen (white) to bring out the highlights of reflected sunlight. That being said, your drawing is far better than my attempts!

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45 minutes ago, Richard N said:

Very nice. Two things that I have  tried seem to work. The first is to do a very faint yellow/brown watercolour wash on the paper before drawing. It needs to be completely dry. That gives a pleasing background colour. The other is it use a paint pen (white) to bring out the highlights of reflected sunlight. That being said, your drawing is far better than my attempts!

I remember your sketch! It inspired me to want to try watercolour washes for my sketches - but I haven't gotten around it yet. My only wonder was how the pencil draws on the paper once the watercolour has been applied and dried, does it feel different? Is it more difficult to put down the marks?

Good idea about the white paint pen too. My only issue with all this is that now I'm preparing a field setup that can go fast in the backpack without thinking too much. The watercolor looks amazing, but requires to plan ahead (which is contrast with what I'm attempting - which is sketching as part of my logbook, not on loose pieces of paper). In a way, it's against what I want to achieve right now.   

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Once dried the paper takes a pencil as before. Understand your point on contemporaneous sketches. I just use two pencils and a rubber for that. I will follow your progress with interest. Annoyingly the Moon is a tricky object from my garden. 

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5 hours ago, Richard N said:

Once dried the paper takes a pencil as before. Understand your point on contemporaneous sketches. I just use two pencils and a rubber for that. I will follow your progress with interest. Annoyingly the Moon is a tricky object from my garden. 

Where I live, the Moon is a tricky object always 🤣 if (big if) the sky is clear, very often it's behind my house! 

I've been thinking a lot about the "right balance" of art supplies to bring to the field. Maybe I will start a thread to collect ideas on the subject. Same goes for mediums, the knowledge on here is scattered in a few threads.

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