SketchingNow Adventure: Rhodes

September 14, 2016 | 3 Comments

There is a lot of residential development happening in Sydney at the moment, so last week I headed to Rhodes, an area that is now full of multi-storey apartment buildings. I wanted to challenge myself to sketch a type of building that I don’t like very much which requires a slow patience approach. I am rarely in the mood for that!

I was especially tired after the craziness surrounding the start of my SketchingNow Buildings course, so the first stop was a cafe. Left of Field is a new cafe that is getting rave reviews. Their signature dish is hotcakes with Earl Grey custard. I just had to try it, didn’t I? It was very nice but the quantity was too much for me. Next time I will go with a friend so we can share.

Then it was time to explore this ‘new’ part of Sydney. Wow!

There is even a brand new bridge across Homebush Bay. It’s only for buses and pedestrians.

A warmup sketch of the whole view…

And then a sketch of the tallest building, using a ‘constructing volumes’ approach which is what we will be looking at this week in Lesson 2.

A splashy cross-hatched sketch of one part of another building.

And then two attempts to draw a very clever design. Oh! sometimes modern buildings are just too hard to draw quickly when you are tired.

My final sketch was shaped based – people doing Buildings will see my first step of this.

It was a fun morning, but my computer was calling me. So time to head home and get back to video editing (Lesson 2 has a demo filmed on location in Venice!)

I am still developing a fast approach to sketching tall repetitive buildings, but this outing was definitely a step in the right direction.

So do you like sketching multi-storey modern buildings like these?

It’s not too late to join SketchingNow Buildings but I will be closing the doors on Wednesday 21 September and will not be offering this content again for at least six months.



  • Peter Joscelyne says:

    Hi Liz I’m doing the Buildings course, but still I’m struggling to comprehend how you did the last sketch as “shape” based. I get it with your demonstration in Lesson 1 where you use watercolour washes to do Matisse-like cut-outs of the shape of the sky or the building itself – but I’m lost on this one. Can you expand a little on how you approached this sketch a wee bit more for the slow ones amongst us. Thanks.

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Peter, did you see the first step photo in the classroom? It was an inset. Ask this question in the classroom and I will give you more details there for everyone!

  • Peter Joscelyne says:

    Sorry Liz… I asked the question having looked at your blog, and before I’d looked at the lesson. Having said that, and having checked out the lesson, I confess I still struggle to get my mind around using shapes for that kind of image.
    I guess I’m in a going backwards before I go forwards stage, and despite having posted my stuff regularly to Instagram, I admit I’m going through a phase of lost confidence.

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