Sydney Sketching – QVB

February 10, 2011

8×10″, 3B graphite pencil and Lamy Safari fountain pen, black Pelican ink, blue watercolour pencil.

40 minuti prima della mia classe d’italiano in citta’: tramonto alle 17.00, il Palazzo Regina Victoria; seduto davanti un palazzo che si trova a 44 via Mercato. The thing about Sydney is that there are always huge towering skyscrapers behind everything you draw; one wonders whether to include them or not. Public seating on the footpath outside 44 Market Street made all the difference in terms of comfort, and unlike lunchtime, the wooden seats were unoccupied. The shadows were quite strong and didn’t seem to move much, which surprised me. I’ve noticed though that on other days with much higher humidity, as we’ve been having recently, the shadows can all but disappear. The pencil guidelines were quite detailed, but going over the whole thing in pen felt like doing the whole thing from scratch a second time, obviously with improvements now that my eye ‘knew’ the subject. I found the whole process enormously relaxing, in addition to being “deep play” – a phrase I learned today which relates to Extreme Sport. Very happy to come back here and do it all again sometime soon!

I’ve noticed how much I really like the pen-and-wash drawings of Ian Simpson which are liberally used by Doreen Roberts in her book. Simpson’s work is heavily drawn upon in the chapters to do with townscapes and the built environment, while Roberts reserves for herself the still life and Nature content. Roberts leans towards pastel; the Moira Huntly works show the use of COPIC markers – not just the russet and indigo one sees in her own book but here two greens (apple and Hunter) and a ‘lost’ grey. Simpson is good with skylines and very spare linework, relying a lot on large areas of dark brown/blue wash, which appeals to my sense of Hunting for Shadows.


Roberts, Doreen. Drawing Workshop: learn to draw with confidence. London, Guild Publishing, 1991.


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