In the mood for sketching some complex buildings

November 4, 2022 | 5 Comments

As much as I love sketching in my local area, every now and then I just feel as if I need to tackle something more architectural. So earlier in the week, I headed into The City for a few hours.

I ended up in Hyde Park (during the lunch hour) and decided to do a quick loose sketch of St Mary’s Cathedral. I wanted to try a coloured pencil, marker and watercolour version but started without a real plan. These two photos show the first two passes – just before I began painting.

I’m used to sketching in the sun during my morning coffee and sketch sessions, but the sun is so much brighter in the middle of the day! I managed to find a little bit of shade cast by a street light – it was small but just big enough for me and my sketchbook. Although I did have to move a number of times during my sketch! 🙂

Here is the final version.

I wanted to do another sketch and do a few things differently… hmm, where is the nearest JimmyB (James Barnet) building?

I ended up at Martin Place so the GPO was the logical choice!

Once again I used GoldFaber Aqua markers and coloured pencils under watercolour. At the time of sketching this, I was thinking about how useful it is to do more than one sketch during a single outing as it gives me a chance to refine my technique.

Here is a detail showing some of the fun textures on the shady side of the tower. Oh ah! I’m loving this combo and particularly like the glimpses of the coloured pencil marks under the marker and watercolour. And it was so much fun to get back to sketching some JimmyB!

Speaking of architectural sketching… just a quick reminder of the free sketching event next week…

Sketching Retreat 2022
30+ Free Online Video Workshops on Architectural Sketching & Drawing
Level Up Your Analog & Digital Drawing Skills, Discover New Techniques, and Learn from the PROs!

Click here to find out more and sign up for free!

The event will start on Tuesday, November 8th 2022. All 30+ Workshops will be unlocked during the first 3 days and you’ll be able to watch everything for free until November 13th 2022.

If you want to start watching the workshops now and/or have lifetime access to all sessions so you can watch them after the event is over, there is a VIP All-Access Pass available for an incredible earlybird discount (this earlybird price is only available until Nov 8). Register for free and then you will find details on how to get this pass (or check a recent email from David Drazil). This pass is totally optional – you can watch all the workshops between 8-13 Nov for free.

I’m really looking forward to this event!


  • Ginie Udy says:

    Love hearing what you’re up to Liz. I was in the city on Wednesday and did a small sketch of my cafe table (inspired by you).
    Then went to Parker’s in the Rocks, bought a sketch book all ready for joining in the Live version of Sketch Book Design in January. And bought my first tube of Daniel Smith paint (Buff Titanium). Of course I’ve got to finish the self-pace version of Watercolour first!
    Sydney is such a stimulating city, isn’t it? And I never knew so many of our lovely old buildings were designed by James Barnet. Thank you for the education you provide on so many levels!

  • Rachael Ayres says:

    Hi Liz
    If you were to use WCP instead of CP would lay them down before your paint or do they move too much making it an exercise in futility?

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