Flinders Street Station - Step by step

August 5, 2022 | 4 Comments

As promised earlier in the week, here is a step-by-step explanation of the Flinders Street Station sketch that I did for Faber Castell Australia‘s #colour4life competition. See here for more details about the competition including a short video.

For this sketch I used a combination of ink, coloured pencils and markers (both permanent and water-soluble). My use of markers in this sketch relates directly to what I would normally do in watercolour and I’m following the techniques that are explained in full inside my SketchingNow Buildings course.

I started drawing the main elements of the building in Light Cobalt Turquoise Polychromos (my new favourite coloured pencil) from the top of the dome, down the centre of the building and working outwards.

The goal of the pencil lines was to map out the main structure and not to draw everything. I then switched to pen (using a Faber Castell Grip Gold fountain pen with Super 5 Frankfurt ink) following the same principle of drawing the main features first.

I used the pencil lines as a guide only – correcting as needed – and I tried not to get distracted with the details until all the main structural elements were done. This step took the longest.

Next I added some ‘texture’ with the coloured pencils – the joint lines in the yellow parts, the bricks and ribs of the dome.

Then it was time to add the Albrecht Durer Watercolour Markers. A little bit goes a long way with these markers so one stroke was often enough to fill in a whole shape.

I worked one colour at a time applying the marker and then adding a little water with my brush.

Some green for the dome and the first layer of grey for the windows.

Once that layer was dry, I switched to Pitt Artist Pen (permanent pigmented brush markers) and added shadows and details.
The shadows were done with an ultramarine blue and a mid-grey colour and then I added some darks with a warm grey. The Pitt Pens were great for areas that needed crisp edges.

Most of the sketch was done now so all that remained was to add a few final details – coloured pencils for the people and a few ink details that I had missed earlier.

More shadows and then a light grey wash for the ground.

Here is the final sketch! It was really fun to use my standard steps with some different materials.


  • Lise Gauthier says:

    so amazing Liz to see each step, which one makes your sketch more brightness … each material enhance the previous one in intensity, vibrant colours … I observe the importance to stay lightness at each step, to avoid saturation of colours … I like this idea to mix materials … really great result thanks you are so generous …

  • Emma says:

    Hey Liz i just love how you shown each step and how you drew it. It help a lot to see each layer and it truly a wonderful piece. I have a 12 year old daughter who wants to draw flinders street station like how you drew it but she keeps giving up because she thinks hers is not as good as yours. Could you find a way to draw it but simpler for younger children? Thank you

    • Liz Steel says:

      HI Emma, great that your daughter is drawing FSS. As I’m an architect and love the details in this building its rare for me to really simplify a complex building that much 🙂 but you might find something in my FSS collection. https://www.lizsteel.com/tag/flinders-st-station/

      You might also want to do a general google search and find some ‘cartoon-like’ renditions which will be much easier.

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