Worst sketch ever!

In a comment posted to my previous entry Matt mentions that he's done some sketching while observing but "No sketching I want to share".

What people do with their own observations, and how happy they are with the work they do, is obviously none of my business and I wouldn't want to hassle anyone into making their observations public. I do, however, think there's an issue here that often needs to be tackled: sketches done as part of an observation don't need to be pretty, the important part, in my opinion, is that they convey something useful that you'd never have got from any text.

The image shown above is from one of the first sketches I ever did, it was during a quick session back in May last year when I was observing the conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter. It's a pretty crappy sketch, done in a hurry and with little experience behind it. The point of the sketch was to try and get on paper a quick representation of what I was looking at — it wasn't to try and produce anything pretty.

The only reason why the image hasn't been published anywhere before now is that it pre-dates my use of blank templates for doing sketches (hence the lines in the image) and it also pre-dates me sorting out a useful method of getting my observations online. Given that, for that observation, I'd also snapped an image (albeit on a mobile phone via the 10x50 binocular) I've never bothered to go back and scan it in.

I'm happy to share it, not because I think it looks nice (it doesn't), but because it contains some useful (well, useful to me anyway) information about the impression I had when looking through the binocular. Although it's a very rough sketch and some of the positioning is a bit out I can see that Tycho and Copernicus stood out well and Mare Humorum was on the terminator.

File Under: Astronomy, Sketching.


Anonymous said...

Very well said! I think I am going to start sketching the clear nights (if we ever have any again) when I can't make it out with my telescope.

Inspiring :-)

Jeff Stevens said...

Indeed, it's surprising what memories even the most casual of sketches can bring back.

I have 5 incredibly rough sketches of comet Ikeya-Zhang, drawn back in March 2002. I was looking back over them at the weekend, and realised how valuable they are (to me) now. "A picture paints a thousand words" - corny, but true. If only I had started sooner!

Kim said...

I really dig sketching and came up with my own templates for recording observations. I've decided to go back and sketch all the Messier objects before applying for my AL certificate. Did a nice one of Saturn tonight that I hope to post to the blog soon.