Over at CloudNights and at IceInSpace, Alexander Massey shared a sketching method began by Austrialian amateur astronomer and truly a master of sketching, Scott Mellish. Scott passed away recently and I encourage you to head over to Astronomy Sketch of the Day to see his works and a tribute to him. I wish I could have known him.
Anyway, I've been in contact with Alex and yesterday I reworked two new sketches from April 1st, and one of M104 from May14th, 2010. I present them here for your review. In addition, here is Alex's article that I really invite you to go to and review over at IceInSpace, a forum for amatuers that I believe is over in Australia. This link in the article but provided here, gives you the opportunity to practice. I am going to continue to practice with some of my sketches but only AFTER I try my hand at a globular cluster tomorrow. I was going to try it today but this thing about turning 46 got in the way since the family had something planned.
Here is NGC 3593 which is from my March 31st, 2011 entry (a few pages back so you can compare them). Not perfect and I need some practice, but I can tell you based on what I see in person, I simply love this method. I quality of the sketch is better than any other I've done and it really just sticks out. Now the images below are not scanned, but they are photographs taken. No scanning because then the imperfections show and the flaking of the pastel. Remember, you should be able to click on the image to get a larger view, and the use the back button to get back to this page. Again, this sketch lends itself to using averted vision to get out some of the details. Try it, I think it is rather cool
Here is my rendition of NGC 3628, the spiral galaxy in Leo that is part of the triplet. The star came out too large above it, but overall I like the brightening in the middle upper and lower portions, the dark lane (too wide though) and the overall outcome. Using a paint brush is far easier to me as another hobby I've had since childhood, and passed on from my father is building and painting both plastic and wood models. Also, I paint with oils and so the brush is more my friend at times than the pencil is.
This is M104 done from June of 2010. It is a widefield image, while the above where done with the Pentax XW 10mm, this one was with 21mm and 32mm lens. I enjoyed re-working this sketch, and I feel much better how the dust lane that I tried to capture i the original sketch. I can't wait for some clear skies to try out this method in the field.
So that's it. Hope you can get as excited as I am about this! I'll practice some more tomorrow (birthday is over with and back to the grind so to speak) since I'll have time. Here's hoping all our skies clear up for the next two weeks.