A weekend of sketching: USK Sydney and Benedetta Dossi

December 16, 2019 | Leave your thoughts

On Friday night we had a lovely casual Urban Sketchers Sydney meet at Circular Quay.

I was surprised how many people turned up considering it’s now the crazy time of the year. There were heaps of people in town – it was a popular night for Xmas parties I think.

I managed two sketches in between a lot of chatting (what normally happens at these meets).

And afterwards most of the gang had dinner together.

I got home later than expected and while I was Instagram scrolling I saw a sketch of the Sydney Opera House by Benedetta Dossi – I’ve been a huge fan of her work since the early days of the Urban Sketchers blog. Wow! She was in Sydney.

After sending a few messages back and forth, we managed to organise to catch up on Saturday.

Apart from all the great chats we had about art and other things, I was really inspired by the way she works. Rather than using big shapes, she builds up her sketches through lots of small patches of colour. And she makes so many amazing marks.

Wow! I’m totally buzzing after a truly wonderful day. I do recommend you visit her Instagram feed and look carefully at her work. It’s incredible! I feel super privileged to have seen it in real life today.

Here are my sketches…

Started my day at Goodfields, and then after meeting Benedetta we headed to the Botanic Gardens. Our first sketch was the bottle tree. Click on image to see it larger.

Then we walked to Mrs Macquarie’s chair for the classic view of Sydney.

As you all know, I work really fast so I finished this sketch early and I was then able to watch Benedetta work – a real treat! I started the day with only a few spread left in my sketchbook, so I ripped out a page from my Bullet Journal (a Ciak book) and did this loose version of the skyline. The paper doesn’t take watercolour properly, but I was pleased with what I managed to achieve on it.

After a late lunch and lots of art chatting… we headed for our last stop – Chinatown.

And then Benedetta had to leave so I made it back to Central Station by 5.30pm. Smoke haze is a part of our life at the moment, but I’m thankful it was not too bad on the weekend.

So, I ended up spending much more time sketching this weekend – it was great to ignore my chores and get out with other sketchers!

These days I really struggle to get out sketching when I’m home (ie. not travelling) as work seems to take over so easily.  I’m going through and updating my old blog posts at the moment, and it’s been interesting to note how many big weekend sketching adventures I had in the early days when I worked as an architect. Back then, it was important to get out sketching, but now that I’ve made a career out of my hobby (and love everything that I do), it’s harder to find the time to sketch.

How are you going with finding time to sketch this December?

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