Drawn to the Universe
JUNE 2009 – Struve 2259

The June issue of Astronomy Now is now available. This month’s column features the colorful double, Struve 2259 in Hercules.

Subject: Struve 2259
Issue: June 2009 Astronomy Now
Basic Media: White ink marker, white pastel and colored pastel pencil on black paper.
Featured Technique: Using white ink along with white and colored pastel to create a positive double star drawing on black paper. No computer intervention required.
Suggested Materials:
  • Black artist grade stock such as Strathmore Artagain (Daler-Rowney Canford in the UK)
  • White paper and HB Pencil for field sketch
  • White graphite transfer paper
  • White paint marker such as Elmer’s Painters Paint Marker (Sakura White Pen-touch in the UK)
  • Color pastel pencils such as Conté, Derwent, Faber-Castell Pitt or Stabilo brands. (Choose colors that fill a stellar and nebula-oriented spectrum.)
  • White Charcoal Pencil such as General’s brand
  • Blending Stump
  • Kneaded eraser (Putty rubber)
  • Artist’s Spray Fixative such as Winsor and Netwon’s Artist Fixative
  • Clipboard and adjustable red light
Positive Sketch of Struve 2259 (STF 2259)

Sketch of Struve 2259 (STF 2259)

Click image to view larger version.

4 Replies to “Drawn to the Universe
JUNE 2009 – Struve 2259”

  1. Hi Jeremy! I recently saw your wonderful sketch in the June issue of Astronomy Now. A truly beautiful, and inspiring piece of work.
    Keep up the excellent work,

  2. Thanks Ewan! I’ll be interested to see how that technique works for folks who are interested in trying it. I know of just a few observers who regularly sketch deep sky objects on black paper with white pastel and ink. It would be nice to see if others wanted to give it a shot–particularly if they want to or need to avoid using a computer. In any case, STF 2259 was a beautiful sight.

  3. Jeremy,
    You’ve captured a digital type sketch using regular sketching materials! This is just incredible. I am going to have to pick up a copy of Astronomy Now to read the article. I don’t think I’m ready for that as my own sketching with graphites on white drawing paper is just started to progress. Not sure if you mention it but I’m only ten months into sketching and very grateful for the patience and attention to detail it has brought to my observing (I almost have all the Messier sketched but some need to be re-done) so I would ask how long was it before you felt ready to use black paper with white pastel and ink?
    Thanks and wonderful sketch. Top notch as always from you.

  4. Jay, thanks very much. Your comment is very encouraging. I hope you enjoy the article. I’m in a similar situation with the Messier objects–I have quite a few observations that are begging to be re-drawn.
    I’ve toyed around with white media on black stock from time to time over the past four years, just because it’s so fascinating to see the image appear that way while you’re holding it in your hands. However, since graphite and photoshop are so much faster for me, I prepare almost all of my sketches as black on white to start with.
    Because pastel pencils and white ink can be pretty messy, the article describes sketching with graphite at the telescope and then recreating the sketch on black paper when you are indoors under more controlled conditions. A few observers, such as Kiminori Ikebe, Sebastian Lehner and others use this method regularly. It’s inspiring to see their work. I hope you get a chance to try it out and have success with it.
    Thanks again for the comment!

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