Sunday 22 November 2015

Video - astronomical sketching using the Mellish Technique

Hi all,

Well, I have finally produced and uploaded a video on astronomical sketching using the Mellish Technique.

I was very fortunate to have been shown how to use this method to sketch astronomical objects by my late friend Scott Mellish.

Scott had developed this technique of soft pastel sketching over several years.  I have since been told that this method of sketching had been used by astronomers before the advent of photography.  Lost in time, Scott independently rediscovered this lost art, and gifted us a wonderfully simple but highly effective sketching technique for deep sky objects.

This video compliments my first article written on the Mellish Technique a few years ago.  Scott graciously reviewed the article before it was published:

DSO sketching using the Mellish Technique

All his friends were devastated when Scott passed away shortly afterwards.

This video is dedicated to Scott, who was so generous to me in sharing this sketching technique that came so close to been lost again.


  1. Awesome Alexander!!! Thanks for such a nice video with this technique.

  2. Wow love your video I currently use graphite sketching pencils then use rice stumps to apply the graphite in the same way you do with a brush.
    Once I'm happy with my sketch I then invert the sketch in Photoshop.
    The way you achieve such great detail with such a variety of tools is incredible I will try this technique in the coming months thank again.


  3. Hello Richard,
    Thank you for your lovely words.
    The Mellish Technique really is incredibly easy to use. Interestingly enough, I'd say the easiest first steps in trying this technique is with globular clusters. The effects are achieved VERY quickly, and it will literally startle you when you look at your first attempt. I have never forgotten how Scott laid down that globular cluster for me - "stunned" is the only word that suits how I felt. First thing I did when I got home that afternoon was start immediately on trying this technique straight away. I've never looked back.