USK Sydney: A big day of sketching

March 9, 2021 | 4 Comments

On Saturday I made it out to the monthly meet of Urban Sketchers Sydney for my third day in a row of on-location sketching. At the moment here in NSW we are allowed a maximum of 50 people at outdoor gatherings so we had two separate groups at different locations around Circular Quay (I was in Group 2). It was great to see people again and I managed to get a lot of sketching done. I also did some sketching after the meet, in the afternoon!

Those of you who have done my Watercolour On Location course will know all about the special things that happen when you spend an extended period of time sketching, when you do one or two more sketches than you would normally do. So I was really happy to have this chance!

I didn’t finish all of my sketches – I had intended to complete them (more detail and/or darks) but in the end, decided to leave them as they are so that they are a record of what I actually got done at the time. I’m searching for something different at the moment so this collection, which is an eclectic bunch, is a little experimental at times.

A very quick continuous line sketch while waiting for the ferry.

A warmup watercolour sketch – alternating between line and colour – while having my coffee in a quiet corner of The Rocks.

A subdued sketch (out of character!) of Cadman Cottage…

… followed by a crazy one!

Skyline including the new building which is very interesting!

Afternoon with Chris Haldane: An enormous Moreton Bay Fig tree in the Government House garden.

An incomplete sketch of Government House (not the best view or lighting).

Sketching on the ferry on the way home.


What a great day!



  • Laurence says:

    It’s so much fun to walk around Sydney following in your footsteps!
    Over time I begin to recognize the buildings in your city that have served as a study for your courses and it’s great to see them differently each time. It’s a visit both in time and space!
    The trees in your sketches of “Skyline” and “Cadman cottage take 2” are full of life and I appreciate the fuschia/violin range of it, so punchy.

  • Mihaela says:

    Such an interesting journey for a day! I feel relaxed just imagining to be around those places, here near Toronto we just have a flair of spring, and with the lockdown still in place, it isn’t the time yet for outdoor sketching. Nevertheless, I want to thank you so much for your posts every day ! They are very helpful to me, not only because there is a lot to learn from each of your posts, but also because YOUR commitment (to post – and sketch – 5 days a week) is truly very motivating and helps me make MY own commitments to every day sketching and painting !

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Mihaela – thanks so much. It makes me so happy to know that my posting commitment is motivating to you. It certainly keeps me sketching!

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