Sydney CBD weekday outing

March 26, 2021 | 5 Comments


A beautiful sunny day was a great reason to go on a little sketching outing yesterday. I’ve been wanting to go into the CBD during a weekday and see what it was like. (CBD =  central business district = downtown.) I’ve visited on the weekend a few times – see here – and it has been weird to see The Rocks area devoid of overseas tourists.

I know that many of you are still going through extremely tough times so these photos might look very strange to you. It goes without saying that my heart goes out to all of you who are still in lockdown or whose local cities are in a very bad way.

Here in NSW, we haven’t had much community spread for the last few months and so things often feel normal in my local area. But what is the CBD like on a workday? How many people are back working in the office?

I was wandering the streets around noon – so it was a little before lunchtime – and it was definitely less crowded than pre-COVID. The top two photos are outside Town Hall and QVB.


I then walked through QVB and along Pitt St Mall. It was lovely to see so many people around – but once again, not its usual busyness. Most shops were open but two cafes I’ve visited in the past were gone.

One sign that it was indeed quiet, was the fact that there was no line at The Grounds In The City!


I then wandered up Martin Place wanting to check out the Hospital Courtyard Cafe – a venue that I have visited many times for coffee, lunch and workshops. It was very sad to see no traces of it!


I continued walking to another of my common workshop spots and was very happy to see that Jardin (another favourite cafe) was still operating!

As for sketching…


First time on a train for over 12 months (doing a contour drawing as part of Foundations Lesson 2) and then did a warm-up sketch of Town Hall.


While I was sipping my Jardin takeaway coffee I decided to do a sketch of St James. I think that I’ve sketched this building more than any other in Sydney (with the exception of the Sydney Opera House) This is completely due to all the Sketching Architecture workshops I’ve taught in this area over the years. So it was lovely to do another version and relive some special memories.

A photo of my linework…


…and one mid-way through my painting. The large palette does not sit securely on the Stablo board so I held it in my hand. Hmm, it’s really nice to have my palette closer to me like this. I will do this more!


A quick sketch of St James Station while waiting for the train, a map and an afternoon coffee at Goodfields.

So not a lot of sketching but it was so nice to get out and about!


BTW it was so great to get back to a bigger sketchbook again after a few weeks using a 5.5×11.5″ size. This is my title page – showing my Aquarius palette in large size. I need to add the info about the paint but haven’t decided whether to do the writing outside or inside the swatches!

5 Comments

  • Louise Cuff says:

    Thanks for the stroll through your beautiful city Liz. So glad to see signs of normalcy. It’s not yet 7am here on the east coast of the US but those swatches look so gorgeous I’m getting my paints out while I have some quiet morning time.

  • Linda Arthur says:

    So nice to see pics of ‘normality’ and I can’t wait to do this again. Thanks for sharing these. For now, until we can get out again and go wherever we like, I’ll take inspiration from your sketches.

  • Mihaela SAVU says:

    What a great day, Liz, even if still not “normal “ as you know the places, they look great to me, who lives in an area still in lockdown… I will pretend to have been there with you and draw my own version of downtown Sydney 🙂

  • Mihaela S. Grasley says:

    What a great day, Liz, even if still not “normal “ as you know the places, they look great to me, who lives in an area still in lockdown… I will pretend to have been there with you and draw my own version of downtown Sydney 🙂


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