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Thread: Hello Again- As many of you asked for more technical sketch art

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    Default Hello Again- As many of you asked for more technical sketch art



    When I first joined the Astronomy Forum site, I had discovered it accidentally and just thought I'd drop a few of my large serious sketches in. I am glad to see that I prompted the moderators and admin to add a sketch forum. I regularly participate at the Cloudy Nights Sketching Forums but am pleased to see other astronomy forums adding sketching sites now.

    Astronomy sketching and artwork has been misunderstood for possibly a century now as photography has seemingly taken over. Photographers have always asked, why would anyone waste their time sketching when one could just take a photograph? Of course this gets into many discussions, the most prominent is that sketching while observing from the eyepiece will alert the brain and the minds eyes to see much more than if one only observes and just looks randomly into the eyepiece. This has been written into the history books for possibly centuries. Galileo made crude sketches recording craters of the moon, and probably the first recorded image of Saturn’s rings. He also recorded the sunspots motion across the solar face, Jupiter’s moons changing positions, etc. There are chapters in many good astronomy books written on the importance of sketching while observing. Even many serious astronomers are not aware that 1950’s sci-fi movies containing Chesley Bonestell’s moon backdrop art and other planets [Forbidden Planet is a good example] are now what is referred to as spurring much of today’s beginnings in space travel by NASA. It was Von Braun, the science writer Willy Ley and the accurate space art of Bonestell made from much intense observation, later displayed in national magazines, that is now credited for much of our first ventures into space. Astronomy art inspired exploration! Imagine that.

    Anyway I’ll upload a few recent large pastel sketch images that I have produced over the past few months;

    I am not sure yet how to size these as I do not see size limitations posted here yet, and I was not alerted to the recent changes in adding the sketch forum here as I received old email through my past account at Yahoo. Most of my serious work you’ll see following are all in the 19” X 25” to 22” X 30” format of black pastel paper. All imaging is done with hand sketched pastel chalks with minimal blending. Many of my works are still considered as incomplete. As Arthur C. Clarke once wrote to Stanley Kubrick during the filmmaking of 2001: A Space Odyssey, “An artist work is never done, only abandoned.”

    Each artwork is done primarily from direct observation outside through several telescopes, a 10.1” Coulter Dobsonian, a Nexstar 5i Cassegrain, a 40mm Cornado h-alpha solar telescope, 7 X 50mm BAK-4 prism binoculars, and occasionally naked eye. When weather is inclement, some of the details are added later inside but I restrain from doing this. The foreground finishing touches are usually done last and quickly to add interest for drama and perspective.

    I now have a Gmail account so I’ll have to find and edit my Astronomy Forum account here to reset the email to receive alerts to your messages as I have so many other forums to access daily, I tend to forget some when newly added. Unless I have trouble with that, or if the moderators would like to send me advice please feel free to at this following email – Thank you, Mark Seibold, Retired IT Tech, Artist-Astronomy Educator, Portland Oregon > markscosmiclight@gmail.com

    *Also much more of my public astronomy, short film projects by film maker friends, and other art, newspaper stories, TV news of my sidewalk astronomy, a bio of my life and more, may be seen at > - Pictures
    Saturn recently observed showing current ring details



    Sketching progress of Saturn. This may serve as a brief photo tutorial, transferring the Saturn template for assured accuracy of the rings symmetry, etc. The surface cloud bands were left as sketchy, impressionistic and rough. These image stps may be in reverse chronology of the work as they were photographed later after the piece was finished. The final image shows much of the pastel materials at the drawing board.







    Mars was recenbtly sketched during its opposition on 22" X 30" Stonehenge black 100% cotton fiber black pastel paper.

    My work was chosen by a gentleman at The Cloudy Nights Sketching Forums as a centerpiece for all the Mars sketchers there in a mass collage of Mars sketches. As I heard there was a dust storm near the North Martian polar cap, I sketched an artists conception of that into the foreground as a finishing touch. Telescope Reviews: Faces of Mars - Submitted to ASOD

    It was then displayed in The Astronomy Sketch of the Day site >
    Astronomy Sketch of the Day Faces of Mars


    I do not have a more recent lunar sketch as the weather has not permitted it since the Christmas holiday here. I think I displayed this one already in the past but I'll add another below it, which also took awards over photography. They were both produced on 19" X 25" Strathmore Artagain black pastel paper.

    Gibbous Moon with Sinus Iridum at the terminator with moonscape 12/26/09


    Gibbous moon with several details at the terminator with moonscape July'09


    Moon near full as observed through telescope - April 2009


    At the drawing board adding details from noted to a large lunar sketch
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    Amazing sketches... I am not an artist and i am very bad with drawing but i am very good with the computer so i always try to make sketches with pencil, then i dititalize them and prefer use techology to create my final sketch digitalized... one of the thing i enjoy sketching is that you are training your vision skill and every time you are resolving more and more details so yes i take pictures with my cameras,, but also i try to create sketches too....

    thanks for the information, i will be waiting more posts...

    REgards
    Antonio
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    Those are very nice pieces. Thank you for sharing them with us.
    name: Derek

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    Yeah, good pictures, and very interesting to see. This is something I'd love to do, but just know I'd end up with a big mess on a piece of paper.

    Have you tried DSOs? Just wondering how that would work.. black paper and glow-in-the-dark ink to preserve night vision?

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    Thank you Antonio, dmbryan and psonice -

    Actually Antonio, you say that you are not an artist but using a pencil to start? And psonice says it's something he'd love to do but would end up with a big mess on a piece of paper. Look at those ’big messes’ I made on paper! (; See my earlier works in my Cloudy Nights Forums Gallery > Telescope Reviews:

    Or at - Pictures

    That’s what I thought too as I started producing these pastel sketches a few years ago. As it turns out, we are all born artists. We can all do something creative every day. I know that sounds simple in words but what happens is that we become inhibited in adult life. Picasso once said: "When you go to do art, you must think like a child again." Remember we we made finger paintings in early grade school? We never worried about making mistakes or messes. Why do we limit ourselves today as adults if we really want to do this?

    We become judgmental and find it is easier to deny we have the ability to sketch or make great art but the truth is, we are our own worst critics. Think of it as a process and not a product. I told some young students recently, to think of sketching or drawing as like taking notes in a lecture. Instead of writing words down, you are writing in pictures. I too thought that the next level after black and white pencil sketching, being painting when I first went to college, was difficult, until I practiced a little more. Believe me, I made many mistakes; and I am still making mistakes. If we are not making mistakes, we aren’t learning or improving. Making art can be thought of as an exercise in a visual philosophy; a new training of the minds eyes. It encourages us to see more of everything around us. Start out small and simple if you like, and gradually build up.

    The first time I tried to sketch the whole moon in a few hours, I did not know where to start but I knew I had to start somewhere. The general shape of the perimeter, then to concentrate on the terminator line as that is where the eye seems to go first on the nights of the partial moon’s dramatic features. Then just keep taking notes [I mean, adding each crater,] as you feel that you have most of the general picture, it becomes a matter of time and how long you want to spend getting every detail. My earliest attempts at the whole moon were smaller images with less detail; then I eventually worked my up to larger sketches that now take more than a few hours. I will occasionally finish the moons surface features over a couple nights of observing after getting the initital terminator line down on the first night.

    You can see those earlier works in the web sites indicated above and note a general progression to greater details toward the more recent works.

    *psonice: As for DSO’s I have intended to do more recently but I am currently living where the sky is obscured by many trees; it is like a rain forest near the Mount Hood Oregon foot hills. However I have done a couple Deep Sky Objects in the past [see below] and plan to improve on them with some future attempts, and not necessarily working without light nor glow in the dark mediums. I just use very low light at the drawing table when outside. [The photos show my work lamp as over-exposed for the purpose to show the work area and sketchwork in progress.] They can be seen in my noted web sites above but I will post them following here a such: 1) M 42, The Great Nebula in Orion always intrigued me from early photographs that I saw in books as a child, then wondered why I could not see the details in my first 60mm Tasco refractor in the outer suburban skies of Portland Oregon where I grew up. It was not till I purchased my Coulter 10.1” f/4.5 Dobsonian in 1987, and moved further out of town that I saw the Orion Nebula in all its glory in the eyepiece and 2) both dust lanes in M31, The Andromeda Galaxy. I had always thought of sketching these DSO’s since then but was not sure how to approach it and with what sketching medium. I was eventually given some old antique sets of pastel chalks by a relative. Shortly after that I started seriously sketching in late 2006 but starting with the sun as seen through an h-alpha filters telescope, as I had no excuse for lack of the materials to get started.

    Although this image of M42 on 9” X 12” Strathmore Artagain black pastel paper is in a double format, and smaller than my more recent works. It was first photographed with my modest consumer-grade Sony digital camera, then a professional photographer friend re-photographed many of my works, so you can see the comparisons now. The old image of the nebula as seen under dark skies (on right) and the newer photo of the same artwork is on the left. I one employs the relaxed crossed-eyes technique, the two photos will merge into a new image at center and a slight 3D effect will be seen.

    Also below is a photo montage progression of working on a large lunar sketch so one can see the rough outlining at first. - Mark

    Not necessarily classified as a DSO but here yet, is another etheral image to try to render. A slow Leonid meteor trailing with an orange-gold dust - This was done on a whim and a scrap of old rough texturred dark indigo blue pastel paper. It was merely a desire to try something new last November 2009, a day after the peak night of the Leonids Meteor Shower. I walked outside looked up and almost immediately saw this meteor streaming across maybe 35 ~ 40 degrees of the sky. >


    M31 - The older photograph is on the right and the newer image on left, both showing rendering of the visible dust lanes from a dark sky and companion galaxies at edge of FOV. *Sketched with various white pastel chalks on 19" X 25" Strathmore 400 Series small-textured black pastel paper.


    M42 was sketched from dark skies, suburban Portland skies and under inner city light polluted skies as a comparison study [All three sketches are on 9" X 12" Strathmore Artagain black pastel paper.]



    Early Sketch of M42 was later re-photographed with a professional camera, overexposed on right - underexposed on left. Various colored Pastel Chalks On 9" X 12" black Strathmore Artagain pastel paper.


    Some early progressions of sketching the moon and Saturn, both outside at the telescope and indoors at the drawing table-


    http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a1...torial_Nov.jpg

    Last edited by MarkSeibold; 04-09-2010 at 12:49 PM.
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    So much detail is captured in each of these sketches. My photographs dont capture that much detail. Your gallery is really beautiful and I have spent so much time on them
    Thank you so much for this posting.
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    dosty, psonice and Declan:

    Thanks and you are welcomed. I'm glad that you enjoyed my large hand sketched pastel images.

    Mark

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    amazing work!!! I love dso and how are imaging them is just wonderfull... congratulation!!
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    That is truly awe-inspiring work, Mark! And I appreciate the insider's look of you at work. Thanks for the link to your site. I have bookmarked it. I'm just blown away by your talent and mastery of technique!
    Name: Eric

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    Lovely art work. That is a wonderful combination of talent, hard work, and dedication. You must have a real passion for this.

    Congratulations - Gene

 

 
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