Darrell Lea, King & George St Sydney

August 11, 2012

A4 220g multimedia card, Artline200 Fine 0.4 pen, W&N watercolour wash.

I’ve noticed some urban sketchers using the word “reportage”, which I usually identify with journalistic photography. There’s a strong inference of ‘change’ here and my interest is in those signal moments in a city’s building history when its fabric changes. I can’t keep up with witnessing Sydney’ changes, let alone sketching them. Some examples: World Square (long a hole in the ground), the Broadway Tooths Brewery site, the new extension to the Museum of Contemporary Art, the new Willoughby Performing Arts Centre, Barangaroo, Gowing’s department store (now a building site and like Darrell Lea a corner shop).

Today’s interest is in the Darrell Lea chocolate company, established 1927 but now trading out of liquidation (apparently its licorice is big in the USA and UK). Not sure if the King & Market Street store will be sacrificed – both as a business and as a building.

Interest for the sketcher lies in its elaborate Vic torian Italianate (1863-64) rococco plaster ornament –  painted up in chocolate-box colours of gold, ochre and Provencal blue. The main problem in depicting Sydney shops is the intrusive awnings. Awnings with balconies were once common, but were banned because of the potential to collapse on to the footpath, but are now making a comeback – see shops in Redfern, Glebe and Leichhardt.

Shop with balcony-awning, Glebe Point Rd

Today’s approach comes from Veronica Lawlor’s One Drawing A Day: a 6-week course exploring creativity with illustration and mixed media. She’s big on sketching every day (as opposed to sketching every other day or less frequently); she’s kindly let me off sticking to the exact daily schedule in sequence.

Looking forward to drawing this chocolate shop on location. And the facade ornament certainly lends itself to vignettes, telling – in Veronica Lawlor’s words – the narrative of an urban landscape/building.




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