'Workshop Prep' and some sketching just for me

April 17, 2015 | Leave your thoughts


I was back in the city today for some workshop preparation. It was a nice way to feel like I was still on a ‘sketching trip’ even though I was working. So I couldn’t resist a quick sketch of the Sydney Opera House before rushing to catch my ferry at the end of the day. I called it the ‘FSS of Sydney’. I sometimes refer to Flinders St Station as the ‘SOH of Melbourne’ – now I am thinking the other way around.

 Sketching workshops take quite a lot of time to prepare. I needed a ‘site visit’ initially to see if there were suitable subjects and find a cafe that would agree to me running my class in a corner for the first 1-1.5 hours. And then the week before I have to refine the locations for the exercises and also check sun, shade and shelter. Today was wet, so I couldn’t check the sun, however it is a good time of the year where it is not critical to find either sunny spots (for mid winter workshops!) or shading areas (for summer workshops!) and there is such an abundance of architecture subjects that I don’t need to be quite so concerned about what the light is doing (I can often work it out to a certain degree because as an architect I am fairly aware of the path of the sun during the year and what shadows it would cast). 

 I was very happy with what I discovered today (but not sharing these till after the workshop!) and did the required confirmations that all is ok with cafe owners and museum admin staff. So then it was time for a little sketch. This is of the Land Titles Building – a lovely building that I have often wanted to sketch but  always seem to be passing by and not making it a sketching destination in its own right.

I then walked back to catch the ferry home and as I had the time, decided to walk across the Cahill Expressway walkway. I don’t think I have ever walked along here – incredible!

The views are great – it really gives you a good feeling of Circular Quay – the busy-ness of the vessels and the relationship between the Bridge and the SOH.


It was nice to see the ‘much sketched’ strip of George St in context as well. You can also see the MCA cafe (sandstone building on the right) which is our favourite spot for taking overseas visitors.


I got back down to Circular Quay with 20 minutes spare for a sketch, the one I included at the start of this post. Here is a closer view. I used three coloured De Atramentis Ink – my mixed raw sienna, brown and fog grey.


Another detail. I just LOVE drawing into wet paint with the permanent ink. It is a strange addiction to have since the whole excitement of the DeA document range is that they don’t move when you put watercolour over the top – so why am I doing the reverse?

Anyway… fun day and I looking forward to my 2 day sketching architecture workshop next week  (the workshop is fully booked but if you would like to go on the waiting list please let me know!)


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