Below is a slide show of the original nine drawings of the proms on the solar limb on July 19th 2007
It is truly fascinating to watch prominences on the solar limb. One day back in July 2007 the sun came out after many weeks of dullness. The eastern limb was graced with many twisting dancing proms. In order to capture the movement and continuing changes in the structure of the proms I decided to do a sequence of drawings. In general I would draw what I see and then wait 15 or 20 minutes before drawing the same proms again. A slight haze developed, therefore the sketches have a little more time in-between them. The morning proms seemed to leap into space, with the exuberance of dancers in a ballet.
In the afternoon the action continued, this time akin to bubbles interlinking and changing shape . Arcs of energy holding on to the limb. Some proms seemed to dissipate as long smoky puffs threading their energy throughout the display.
Later the evening view was short as the sun was heading down. The proms and all the material around them looked like a mushroom cloud from a nuclear blast. There was much more detail than I could capture as the cloud like structure seemed to have hundreds of veins with dark spaces in-between the finer and finer veins of plasma.
It is difficult to explain to anyone how to sketch, as it’s more than just making marks on a page. It’s about observing, absorbing, and empathy with both the object to be sketched and the materials a person uses.
I enjoy using both conte and pastel, conte sticks are harder and dryer than pastels, and some pastels are very dry indeed. When pastels are dry they do not spread or blend very well. There are many differences between the brands. The soft pastels I used in these sketches are extremely brittle, but really crumbly which has its good side.
These particular pastels have a great fondness for leaving my face and hands looking like I am ready for war with marks everywhere. However I adore using them as they blend so well and offer strong lines and subtle lines with equal ease.
For some time I was on the hunt for a REAL RED, i.e. lots of reds are not reds at all, but lean toward the pink or orange end of the colour palette. So I bought lots of reds and near reds to try for the colour I see in my PST ( personal solar telescope) So far I am happy with this one, which is called Schmincke Pastel D Permanent Red 3. The main thing for me is to use pastel colours that offer energy and movement in the moment.
The sequence of 9 still drawings became moving prominences, reborn in the gif above by fellow sketcher Erika Rix.
You can turn on / off the music I think runs well with the animation of the proms if you wish. Click the on / off below.