Re: Sketching Method: (was (IAAC) Your deep sky projects)

I usually spend no more than twenty minutes looking at a single object, and often less. After that, you run into seriously diminishing returns. I know of observers who claim to spend up to two hours looking at a single object, but frankly, I believe they're wasting their time (or simply exaggerating).
The circles on my field sheets are 4" in diameter. I find this quite large enough to display the sort of detail visible through my 'scope for most objects. If the object warrants it, I can always add another sheet with a bigger circle!
I envy you the ability to make a satisfactory sketch at the eyepiece. I just can't do it. The red light I use is far too dim to allow shading with any hope of accuracy. The point I made about pencil on damp paper is also relevant here. I observe in the open air. If you have some kind of observatory building, then that would help tremendously in keeping the dew off the paper. A black ink sketch or three and appropriate notes, combined with fresh memory, allows me to make my sketches the morning after.

----- Original Message -----
From: FiskeM3@aol.com
To: netastrocatalog-announce@atmob.org
Sent: Saturday, November 09, 2002 6:01 PM
Subject: Re: Sketching Method: (was (IAAC) Your deep sky projects)


Thanks for sharing your sketching techniques. I've been sketching deep-sky objects for several years and have found that it is difficult to accurately record detail in small objects (most galaxies!  :-)  ) drawn at their actual size in the field of view. I've also been in the habit of handling the shading and blending at the scope, which is pretty tricky under dim lighting.

Your idea about letting the object drift through the field of view is wonderful. It never occurred to me to try this, and I'm eager to give it a shot. The idea of outlining details and making drawings of individual details for a later final drawing also sounds very promising.

Would you be willing to answer a few questions. First, how long do you spend on each drawing at the telescope. Secondly, what size circles do you use?

I have found myself preferring larger circles. I've been using 4-inch circles recently and am planning to try 8-inch circles. For one thing, it is easier to plot stars accurately in a larger circle -- slight positioning problems become less critical as the size of the circle increases.

Fiske Miles
Kansas City