Sketching method

Before going outside, I draw 3" circles on coarse-grade sketching paper using a circle template or compass. The circles represent the edge of the field of view as seen through an eyepiece. I use a medium thick felt pen to draw the circles to make them well-defined. 

For the majority of my sketches I use an HB-grade mechanical pencil to draw pin-points and definition lines. Examples of this are stars, craters on the moon, bands on the surface of Jupiter, rings around Saturn, and fine nebular detail. For nebulous objects, I use a dark F-grade pencil, first drawing in the outline of the nebulousity then using my finger to smudge the outline into a blob representing the nebula. Most of the objects I draw tend to have a combination of stars and nebula, so what I do is put in a rough outline of the nebula, then the stars around it. I work on shaping the smudge of nebulousity just right, and add any foreground stars that appear on the surface of the nebula. Even for globular star clusters where nebula doesn't actually exist, I'll create a bit of a nebulous look on the sketch to give it the appearance of millions of unresolved stars.

After drawing all the sketches I want during an evening out, I'll go inside and touch-up the sketches that need it. I then capture the sketches electronically using a scanner:

scan_ex1.jpg (28355 bytes)


I then put the image through a negative filter:

scan_ex2.jpg (28361 bytes)   


and after cropping, sizing, and further touchups arrive at the final result.

 M15_231098_96x_400p.jpg (42475 bytes)




Last edited August 31, 2006