Drawn to the Universe

Welcome! Drawn to the Universe is a column devoted to astronomical sketching that I write and illustrate for Astronomy Now in the UK. The column features a step-by-step guide to sketching a different astronomical object each month. My goal is to inspire visual observers to get out and sketch. I want to provide newcomers with the tools and techniques they can use to get started. For more seasoned sketchers, I'm also trying to introduce a variety of different methods that I hope will encourage experimentation. For those that don't relish the idea of drawing anything at the telescope, I hope it still provides an enjoyable insight into the process.

As of September 2011, Peter Grego and Erika Rix have joined me as rotating authors of the column. I'm excited that they will be adding their expertise to these and future articles. They will bring some great, new perspectives to the column, and a much appreciated raising of the bar on techniques for planetary, lunar and solar sketching. I hope you enjoy and learn from their contributions as much as I do!

We want to encourage participation and feedback. If you have a question or technique you would like to see addressed, please email Astronomy Now at editorial2012@astronomynow.com. If you have a sketch you would like to share for consideration in the column, or in the Reader Gallery, submit it to gallery2012@astronomynow.com.

This gallery will take you to summaries of the articles. The full discussion and illustrated steps can of course be found in the magazine. If you are in the US but don't subscribe, Astronomy Now can be found at your local book store a few weeks after subscribers receive their copies. To get a taste of the magazine, a free copy of the January 2011 issue available for download here: Astronomy Now Online (Click the link in the right column that says "Free PDF") Be sure to check it out!

I also want to extend a special thank you to Eric Graff for his regular help in proofing things for me.

I hope you enjoy the column.



Good Afternoon-
I am currently putting together a book "The Art and Science of Visual Astronomy" which I plan to put online as a free resource to encourage deeper appreciation of visual astronomy. I would like to include your website as a resource for tools and techniques for visual astronomoy sketches, and would also like to use a few of your sketches for illustration. Again, this is a not-for-profit, self-published work that will go on www.poyntsource.com, and I hope to finish it by this summer.

May I use a few of your sketches and photos in my book?

Thanks and clear skies, Brian Cudnik, Houston, TX USA

Thanks for the request, Brian. I've sent an email your way.

Clear skies,

I was out observing a galaxy last night NGC 4273 and I found it was in an amazingly rich and condensed field of relatively bright galaxies.

I made a humble sketch but I think it deserves your attention. I cannot see it on this site yet?


Mark Stuart
(member of Bristol Astronomy Society) Just reading your signed copy of the Caldwell objects book!

Hi Mark, thanks for the recommendation! That does look like an excellent field to observe and sketch. (Not sure about the Caldwell book though--are you reading the one by O'Meara, Mobberley, or Ratledge?)

assomethreesome fantastic sketches

The Cerulean Arc

My weblog for
everything else non-astronomy

Pin at will!

(Thanks for maintaining
return links.)

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