I wanted to revisit James Barnet’s Police Station while I still had sunlight on the facade and I wanted to do a little investigation for another project which I have coming up in August.
As a result of my exploration of the area between Cumberland and Harrington Streets, I filled a double-page spread of details and little sketches.
It was a lot of fun to do a page like this and it’s not something I do a lot of. (Hmm, the last time was in Feb 2020 as part of the prep for a Buildings in Watercolour workshop and I’m not sure that I ever posted it here on the blog)
I couldn’t help thinking about changes in planes and changes in colours while I did these sketches. (If you don’t know what I’m referring to… this is what we are exploring at the moment in the Edges Group Run-through.)
It’s a very complex building so I decided to do a leisurely neat-ish sketch (last week’s version was very experimental!) I started filming bits of the process and ended up creating my first Reel on Instagram.
It was only a short video so I’m sharing a more systematic step-by-step here using some screenshots from additional footage.
I often mix things up a little (omit any pencil setup or start with painting the shadow shapes) but these photos represent a more traditional approach to sketching complex buildings in ink and wash. And all of the concepts and techniques are explained in more detail inside my SketchingNow courses, so I’ve included the relevant course in the descriptions below.
Minimal setup with pencil and minimal site measuring… just checking that the overall shape was a square. (Foundations)
Drawing the main structure first (Buildings) and trying my hardest not to get caught up drawing the details at this early stage.
Separating my horizontal and vertical lines when drawing a row of rectangles (Buildings)
…and enjoying it! (Buildings)
Painting the local colour first with a watery wash full of pigment. (Watercolour)
Pausing to admire some watercolour magic/pigment party happening on the page. (Watercolour, Buildings, Watercolour On Location) Note: This mix is a combination of DS Monte Amiata Natural Sienna, SCH French Ultramarine with a little DS Transparent Red Oxide.
….adding the foreground elements (no picture of that part – sorry) and the sky last. (Foundations, Watercolour, Buildings, Watercolour On Location)
Note: The partial sky is something I do a lot as it gives me lots of options for the page layout. (Sketchbook Design)
I hope that you enjoyed this step-by-step!