A building I DID sketch again - Tasmanian Heritage Council Building

July 1, 2014 | Leave your thoughts

So… first day in my trip to Tasmania last month I did sketch ‘that’ building from my previous post that I sketched in 2005. That building is what I call the ‘Butler Bank building’  – originally the Commercial Bank designed by Frank Bulter  in 1866. It is now the home of the Tasmanian Heritage Council.

There are some sketchers that once they have sketched an object or scene – it is ‘done’ and  they want to do something different. I am the opposite. There is a part of me that wants to sketch the same thing over and over again. It is like visiting old friends – like renewing acquaintances and having a new dialogue with them (hmm, not only do I talk to myself – I talk to buildings so it seems!)

I also think there is a lovely creative memory that is brought back when you sketch something for the second time. (or third or fourth) To quote from my sketchbook
“It is a really complicated building – of course I looked at my first sketch of it (from 2005) recently but I do think that I would have remembered it (it = its design and basic configuration) – or at least what to look out for”

Anyway – I thought I would share with you a diagram what I saw at the time – this is what I drew first. I often (not always) do a very quick setout with watercolour pencil of the main guidelines and you can see these lines in this diagram and how I adjusted the spacing when I drew with ink.

There are lots of lovely design features – double columns, square and round, interesting patterns of brackets and modillions…. but nailing this overall structure is crucial to put all the details together. A beautiful building.

As I have said often…. the most important thing about sketching architecture is the ability to be able to see the structure.


And finally, here is a sketch I did at crazy pace the next day. I didn’t do any setup lines but just went for it. This is the waterfront facade to TMAG – Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

I made many mistakes while I was sketching this… but I am struggling to see them all now… ‘just keep going’ is another important piece of advice I give when it comes to sketching architecture (and many other things as well)

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