Making a Digital Sketch

Here is another way that I recreate a sketch I've made to be viewed on line. I take my notes. draft and final sketch and then combine them in a digital format using GIMP. My favorite way I cannot do, which is to have the lap top out with me in the field which I do frequently, and create the digital sketch as I am observing it.

Here is NGC 6543 which you can see here. Hope it helps and someone can gain something from this format. The process for doing it in the field is basically the same as what I do here, sans the sketch. I often do a live sketch even with the digital sketch. I like having both. I would like comments if something needs to be clarified, re-shot, more details on something etc. Would someone like me to do each of the objects I show, a PN (done) a Globular, a Galaxy (each of the types, sprial, face on, edge on, tilted, and an elliptical (the easiest)? I'll be doing some open cluster work soon also. Anyway, if I don't hear then I won't post anymore of these.

There will be A LOT of little movies here. I tried to upload just 4 segments of about 8 minutes each and Blogger cannot handle that so I am now going to do much shorter segments. Some may say this isn't sketching, some may say it is. That's up to the individual I figure and what they feel conveys the best image of what they have seen. I have had several requests for a tutorial and I hope this shows those who asked how to create a digital sketch in GIMP either based on a live sketch or based on doing it at the eyepiece.

You may need to turn the volume up on each individual movie to hear it and it is faint.

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Part VI

Part VII


Part IX

Part X

Part XI

Part XII


Part XIV

Part XV

Part XVI


  1. Anonymous7/20/2010


    Appreciate your showing both ways you create the sketches. I plan to do something similar when I get going. It's too bad the XX12i didn't show up at your star party. It would have been nice to hear side by side comparisons of the scopes focused on the same objects under the same skys. I imagine as you said there'd only be a slight advantage in contrast and brightness, but it would be interesting to hear how that translated on a particular object. V/r Ranny

  2. Ranny,

    No worries, I will get the side by side comparison in and I plan to audio tape it, may try using the Flip Camera for it and see which is better. If I go digital recording, I"ll have different people from experience observers to guests look at the same object with EP's that give the same or close to the same magnification. It's just a matter of when it happens over the next 30 days.

    I feel bad about the sketch videos and will probably redo them, but I wanted a base for how I do my sketching. I guess I should video how I actually make a sketch at the EP and what I need is a far better scanner than I have for scanning them in. It works for me and I'll be excited to see your work when you get going. I refer people to my Photobucket account on the right side and that lets them see how my sketching has evolved over time.

    I have over 30 objects from the last two weeks to sketch so don't be surprised if I post a globular (I really like what I did with NGC 5897, a globular in Libra both on paper and on the digital version, and with NGC 5322 an elliptical galaxy in Ursa Major.

    I wanted to do a lunar sketch tonight but clouds, clouds and more clouds got in the way. Now I'm going to take a break and go sit in the hot tub and unwind. Godnat og klar himmel to each of you (I'm rusty and trying to get it back).