Archive for May 14, 2018

Three Types of Astronomical Deep-Sky Sketches.

May 14, 2018

The three types of astronomical deep-sky sketches:   

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, chalk or other. 

I’m not a graphic artist….just a humble amateur astronomer with more than forty years of experience as a backyard observer.  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, chalk or charcoal and representing what the observer mentally perceives, without a great degree of scale or detail.  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 using a computer, from “sometimes” a rough pencil sketch.  Now it’s my opinion….why bother.  From all computerized sketches I’ve seen, the sketch appears very similar to that of a digital camera image, normally as seen through a much larger telescope.  However, if you choose this system of sketching, please let it be known to your readers that it is a computer assisted or generated drawing, and not a pencil sketch as seen through the eyepiece.   

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

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