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The Compleat Orrery

That is the authentic spelling for when this astronomical model was created:

The Compleat Orrery
The Compleat Orrery

It is a drawing I did recently in Oxford’s History of Science Museum. I started with a blind drawing – following the lines of the subject with my eyes while letting my pen move in tandem over the sketchbook. When I looked down… well, I was a bit disappointed.

However, in line with what I mentioned on Wednesday, I kept on going. Here, I decided not to add colour or washes but I gradually developed the piece, beginning to switch my attention more from the orrery in front of me to the page. I kept on using the object as a reference but I had to make decisions about which lines to add or thicken.

Finally, I moved to some shading, which added weight round the base, and then the stars. No, there weren’t any stars spinning in front of my eyes but it seemed an appropriate motif and added the final balance for a sketch I’ve ended up liking rather a lot. Persevere!

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