Sketching Architecture Workshop: February 2017

February 28, 2017 | 3 Comments

Here is a quick report of the two-day workshop that I taught last week here in Sydney, in the lovely Macquarie St precinct.

This is the third year in a row that I have run this particular programme (reports of previous years here), and each time it seems to get better, despite some on-location challenges – noise, disappearing shadow and gusting winds!

This workshop covers a lot of what I teach in my SketchingNow Buildings course, plus a session on perspective. We look at:

  • the importance of sketching buildings by feeling edges and abstracting shapes – not just constructing volumes (perspective),
  • ways of drawing buildings that look solid using leading edges, thicknesses and depths,
  • a structured way of working and approaches for improving accuracy in proportion,
  • a practical approach to perspective which combines an understanding of the technical side but relies more on observing relationships and the angles of important edges,
  • how to loosen up and sketch buildings in a shape-based way.

We had a fantastic group of sketchers with two international visitors (from USA and Asia) and two from interstate, and lots of different nationalities. The work produced by the group was outstanding, and I am just going to let it speak for itself…

Thank you to everyone for a fantastic two days!

I only do a handful of workshops in Sydney each year – so if you are interested please subscribe to my monthly newsletter. The first notifications of upcoming workshops appear in the newsletter and often the places fill up quickly – sometimes before I get a chance to make the public announcements here on the blog.

And if you are interested in my online SketchingNow Buildings course: please check out the details on this page.


  • Naoko says:

    I thought about sending you an email, but thought that leaving a comment may be better – people can see that it’s unedited review :). Thank you so much for wonderful 2 days. I learnt that there are certain details that we can observe and copy to a paper which will make the painting look like architecturally correct and not flat. Probably I was concentrating on details which aren’t necessary (at this stage of my painting experience). Few correct details make drawing much convincing. I was happy with what I done that day posted a photo of my quick sketch on Instagram which I hadn’t done for a while.

    For people who did online courses, it’s a good compliment to them and a good chance to ask questions and/or to actually realise what I was doing wrong! (despite clear Liz’s videos….). For people who have not done online courses, there’s no issue because Liz will explain the core concepts very clearly. I had only done 2 of Liz’s courses. She is approachable so very easy to ask questions. Everyone who attended were all enthusiastic about sketching so it was fun to see what they draw/paint and discuss a lot about anything related! Even about other artists, art mediums, and everything!

    For beginners, it’s not a scary course 🙂 I was probably on beginner end. The day after the course, I went to my local area to do a quick sketch and it was very different from my previous attempt.

    She also gives us lots of tools to sketch/paint – so each student can experiment what suits him/her. In the end, I now have few ways of sketching in my mind which I will use depending on the subject or how much i have, or what medium I want to use! And as a last note, if you have your own style, and want to mix it with what Liz teaches, she will be delighted to see it and will not discourage it just because it’s different to what she taught (which I have seen with other tutors).

    She will also send you a detailed note after the workshop, which was great.

    Looking forward to more workshops 🙂

    • Liz Steel says:

      oh Naoko – thanks so much for this lovely review. I loved having you in the class and you did some wonderful work! Can’t wait to see you again soon!

  • FIONA HAYES says:

    Yes, a wonderful comment from Naoko! I don’t think there is much more I can add to that. I know a lot of us mentioned perspective as something we struggle with, & now thanks to Liz’s instructions and emailed handouts, there is much to peruse and learn up. I find I am a slow sketcher as I have to think of lots of things before I put pen to paper, in an attempt to get it right. The last exercise we did on day 2, by drawing with the paint first, then ink lines second, was surprisingly liberating! I really enjoyed this and found I was much quicker and liked the slightly wonky result. I will try using this method more times. I know for me it’s all about practice practice practice, and the improvements should come. It was the most wonderful 2 day workshop with a bunch of friendly, like-minded sketchers. Thanks so much Liz!

Leave a Reply