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  1. #1
    jrkirkham's Avatar
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    Default Do you sketch your finished sketches at the scope?



    I've been reading about sketching for a project I am working on.I purchased, "Astronomical Sketching: a step by step Introduction" and looked over some web sites. I am not an artist and this is new to me. I use a dobsonian scope. It almost looks to me like I could prepare a shetch with the basic stars dotted in before I begin, then could rough in the target at the eyepiece, then come back inside and spend some time finishing up the picture. Does anyone do this, or do you do all of your drawing at the eyepiece? I don't think my skills are good enough to do eveything at the EP. If it matters, the project I am considering working on is following some comets. I've never spent much time looking at comets. What do all you sketchers out there think? Am I being screwy?
    Rob
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    Main Scopes: Orion XT10, Dob / ES ED80T / Orion 90mm Mak-Cass / 50 mm Galileoscope refractor / Celestron 8" SCT / Orion Sirius Mount / Various cameras and lenses

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  3. #2
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    Default

    Thats the way to do it!! I enjoy sketching the Moon and always prepare a "rough" outline - very faint in pencil - of the major features that I want to draw. I then use this as a basis for my eyepiece scetch, which contains the main drawing, "sub sketches" of details and copious notes. All this is taken indoors and I then produce my final sketch at my desk, in relative comfort.
    I don't see any reason why the same technique could not be used for DSO's. In fact by drawing the background star field you can be sure that you have identified your target correctly!

    I have included an example of a sketch and final drawing of the crater Aristoteles to show what I mean. The final drawing should be looked at at about thumbnail size!!
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    A selection of refractors and an HEQ5 mount.
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  5. #3
    jrkirkham's Avatar
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    Default

    Thank you. That helps a lot. I'm going to have to practice a lot. I tried a star field last night, but it was hard to get the dots round.
    Rob
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    Main Scopes: Orion XT10, Dob / ES ED80T / Orion 90mm Mak-Cass / 50 mm Galileoscope refractor / Celestron 8" SCT / Orion Sirius Mount / Various cameras and lenses

  6. #4
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    Default

    Its all practice - I'm still finding new ways to render shade and shadows as well as brighter spots where needed. Don't worry about non round dots! you can always redo later - it is,I suspect, more important to get the relative dot sizes accurate as for most folk this would equate to magnitides of the stars drawn.
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  7. #5
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    Default

    I do sketch at the eyepiece and then I scan and make adjustments in GIMP. If your worried about making perfect circles that is just a lot of practice. Start in the light and then make the room dark and use your red light. Or a better method is to use a very light pencil lead like a 2B and just lightly outline the size of the star. After you go in you can then fill in the star at that time. You have a top notch book, just follow the suggestions and then practice and don't get discouraged. You'll look back at your first sketches in a year or two and be amazed at your growth, though not content with where you are.

    Another fun activity is if you observe in your backyard sketch an item, then if you get to a dark site re-sketch it and compare and contrast your sketches and see the differences in detail. Most of all enjoy the journey and the views.

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  9. #6
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    Default

    I do all of my sketching at the eyepeice then later I will do minor touch ups and add notes. I have a dob and sktching and keeping the object centered is enough for me at the eyepeice.

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    Default

    I'm new to the whole sketching thing. I have tried to bring the laptop out in the field, and do the sketches digitally there. I now sketch at the eyepiece with pencil, and finalize inside. I try to make notes on the sketch, noting color, intensity, anything that can help me visualize the items once inside during the touch up phase, and that is definitely the way to go. I use a Wacom pen tablet, which permits finer detail and control then a mouse IMO.

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  11. #8
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    Default

    I try to get my sketches as accurate as possible at the eyepiece, but all need touching up later to remove pencil streaks, excess smudging etc, which is done first thing next morning when the memory is still fresh I start with a blank sheet and fill in a few bright field stars as a reference to position and properly size the target object, draw in said object and fill in the remaining stars.

    I've heard of some people printing out pre-prepared charts with stars which are set to the limiting mag of the scope and then they just sketch in their object.

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    Default

    I basically do the rough outline/sketch at the EP, and finish up in the house. Especially if it's cold outside! Man, I am NOT sketching outside in Winter temps! LOL

    One thing I try to do outside (as accurately as possible) is the Observing Log. (Time, Temp, Viewing Conditions, Camera, Camera Settings, ISO, etc etc) but, the finished artwork...That can wait until I'm inside at the kitchen table.
    Chris
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