A week of Baroque buildings

November 22, 2021 | 25 Comments

A week of sketching Baroque buildings has just started. And I need your help!

This week as part of the Group Run-through of my Buildings course we are sketching complex buildings and inside the classroom I share my 7 step system for working structurally – the secret to not getting lost in the details. Here are two articles about sketches done on location that share a little more info about this essential technique for sketching buildings (Chicago example and Glasgow example)

As a personal challenge, I’m going to be sketching a series of Baroque facades and I started with Santo Susanna in Rome by Carlo Maderno. I have lovely memories of sketching this church in 2010 from a cafe opposite and eating a wonderful pizza at the same time!

The second Baroque building that I sketched was St Paul’s Cathedral in London and after the careful linework of my first sketch, I decided to do this one paint-only (direct watercolour). BTW I absolutely love the work of Wren (and Vanbrugh, Hawksmoor and Gibbs).

I could easily sketch a week of Baroque churches in Rome (and/or English Baroque architecture) but want to branch out and explore the Baroque style in other countries. So would love some suggestions. Any ideas on what I could sketch???
(If you are reading this via email, please click on the article title link below and add a comment on my blog. Thanks!)


  • Susan Dunlop says:

    Hi Liz
    The one that stands out for me in Melbourne is the City baths -I think that it is in baroque style

  • Rika Verhoef says:

    Hi Liz, in Belgium I know of the Sint-Michielskerk in Leuven and the Sint-Carolus Borromeuskerk In Antwerpen as baroque buildings. In The Netherlands there is the Nieuwe kerk in Den Haag.

  • Cindy Guy says:

    The Baroque cities of Sicily’s Val di Noto (Caltagirone, Militello Val di Catania, Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo, Ragusa and Scicli). Also Lecce in Puglia, Italy.

  • Barbara Hyde says:

    Swan House, the Andrew Calhoun House and The Pink Castle in Atlanta, Georgia. All three were designed by Philip Trammell Shutze.

  • Nancy Gray says:

    Hi Liz, Here are my suggestions: The Melk Abbey in Austria, can be seen while sailing on the Danube. Love the color of the buildings too! The library was awe inspiring. The Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela another favorite from my travels in Spain. Having grown up in the Philippines… I’m familiar with the San Augustin Church in Intramuros, Manila. Very simple facade compared to those in Europe.

    • Rachael Ayres says:

      I know the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela mixes in Gothic and Romanesque as well, and you have previously dismissed it as “too simple”, but it gets my vote again as I would love to see how you would approach it.

      • Liz Steel says:

        Ha Rachael – I hope you know not to take me too seriously when I say something is too easy!!! 🙂 I’m not to be trusted!!!!!! and yes Santiago de Compostela is a fun building to sketch – no doubt!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Nancy – I have just done a sketch on Melk Abbey so stay tuned and yes, the colours are better!

  • Jamie C says:

    I’m intrigued by Russian baroque in St Petersburg, like the Winter Palace, and the Smolny Cathedral.

  • Florence Cymbalista says:

    Hi Liz, there are several Baroque churches in Paris. I like the Saint Paul Saint Louis church rue Sant Antoine close to Bastille
    Otherwise there is also the church Saint Louis at invalides and the chapelle de la Sorbonne
    I don’ know how to post pictures otherwise I would have done it

  • Patricia Hann says:

    I have seen many wonderful Baroque buildings, especially churches, in South America. In Ecuador, Peru and Guatemala some amazing ones sometimes in the most unexpected places. All due to the Spanish colonials of course
    Good luck, Patricia

  • Nicko King says:

    How about the Frauenkirche or the Zwinger in Dresden

  • Martina Kawel (Drawing Vagabond) says:

    Hi Liz,
    it seems as we have many Barock buildings here in Germany. I’ve found some which might be interesting to sketch for you. I first give you the German Names (the English ones in brackets), so that you will be able to find even German pages with pictures. I’ve ordered them by cities (before the colon).

    Berlin: Schloss Charlottenburg (Charlottenburg Palace – mixture of baroque, rococo and classicizm => I had a lot of fun as a child (4-7) when I visited it regularly with my family because of the very big slipper we had to wear in order to protect the floor – I let them glide very fast over the floor, lol), Zeughaus (Arsenal), Französischer Dom (French Dome), Schloss Köpenick (Köpenick Palace)

    Dresden: Zwinger, Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady – baroque of Dresden)

    Ludwigsburg: Residenzschloss Ludwigsburg (Ludwigsburg Palace)

    MĂĽnster: Erbdrostenhof

    Fulda: Dom zu Fulda (Fulda Cathedral)

    MĂĽnchen (Munick): Schloss Nymphenburg (Nymphenburg Palace)

    Hopefully you can get some ideas and will have some fun sketching them!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Martina – Thanks for all these wonderful suggestions!
      BTW I will definitely remember its MartinA now – not Martine – after last livestream 🙂

      • Martina Kawel (Drawing Vagabond) says:

        Hi Liz,
        you’re welcome and thank you! I would be glad if the infos are of any use for you.?

  • Bazire says:

    Hello Liz
    There is also the french embassy in prague. Ans also a lot of baroque churches in prague.

Leave a Reply