Archive for May 2018

The Three Types of Astronomical Deep-Sky Sketches Identified and Explained

May 14, 2018

      The following classifications of the various types of deep-sky sketches are solely my opinion only….   

                 Detailed visual telescope sketching:  Observing an object through a telescope via an eyepiece. Drawing the object on paper or a sketch card “as verbatim” as possible using a pencil, or pencils of various hardness or other.   

     I’m a visual back yard observer with more than forty years of experience.  All of my sketches are made using a pencil and a 5 x 8 blank note card with a 3-inch circle.  I do not use paints, colored pencils or in anyway attempt to embellish my sketches.  

     Impression sketching:  A sketch made at the eyepiece, using a pencil, charcoal, or chalk and representing what the observer mentally perceives, without a great degree of scale or detail. 

     Impression sketching:  Want to know more about this type of sketching? 

     Pull out your copy of the “Messier Album” by John Mallas and Evered Kreimer.  Mallas does an excellent job with this type of sketching:  

     “The sketches were made on vellum-type drafting paper with a soft pencil, using finger smudging and erasing until the desired effects were achieved.”  John Mallas 

     Computer-enhanced sketching:  A sketch generated sketch using a computer, from “sometimes” a rough pencil sketch.  Being the purest visual observer,  this is not my favorite system.  From all computerized digital sketches I’ve seen, the sketch appears very similar to that an image via a camera, “and” normally as would be seen through a much larger telescope.  But amateur astronomy is changing, and I’m trying my best to accept those changes.  However, I must admit, change does not come easy for me…regardless of what it is.  Just a symptom of growing older, I suppose.   🙂  

     However, if you choose this type of sketching, please let it be known to your readers that it is a computer generated or assisted drawing, and not a “true” pencil sketch as seen through the eyepiece.   

     Examples of detailed visual telescope sketches, as following:  

     The following is a representation or an illustration of my sketches, using only a pencil, an eraser and a blank 5 x 8 notecard with the colors inverted via a computer or scanner.  

Rogers NGC-2371 Inverted

Rogers M-081 Inverted

Rogers M-082 Inverted

Gamma Virgo - Correct Position Angle

Rogers M-53a

Pacman Nebula - NGC 281

M13 And The Elusive Propeller

Scanned Image 161780000

rogers ngc-2175 inverted

Rogers NGC-2300 Inverted

Rogers NGC-2964 Invereted