Sydney Open 2012 – Fri 2 Nov

November 2, 2012

Strathmore Toned Tan sketchbook, 150gm, 5×8″. Graphite pencil, Prismacolor Coloured Pencils.

With toned paper, there is “less” work to do on the one hand – an undefined need to work on pattern rather than line, compared to white paper – but there’s a lot more work to do in getting tonalism associated with colour on to a page which offers a lot of “resistance”. The paper dares you to come up with a dark enough colour. This is an entirely different way of working, compared to plain graphite pencil on white paper. It’s much more like painting than drawing insofar as composition and pattern, deriving from tonalism, are highlighted.

As anticipated, tonight was a combination of sit-down and stand-up sketching. First up, 50mins inside the ‘bear pit’ of the Legislative Assembly of the NSW State Parliament. I learned that the far left balcony was the public gallery, the far right top gallery was the press gallery. Each of the Speakers is honoured with a plaque in a frieze around the walls; the Victorian greens are far more subtle than I’ve conveyed here.

By complete contrast, the very noisy discotheque ambiance of On Seven, the former Grand Ballroom of the David Jones department store.

This is the view looking south towards Market Street. The mood lighting on the columns kept changing and a pop-up bar was set up under the windows, the architectural element which contributes to a sense of occasion in this big space. Worth noting were the gold pendant light fittings.

Plainly the windows facing the east were popular with the party-goers but a couple of us managed in the end to camp ourselves there briefly, with the light fading dramatically by 7.45pm. The view towards Hyde Park Barracks was less than anticipated (see far left) but the view towards Darlinghurst was a revelation: St Mary’s Cathedral, 1 Kings Cross Road, the Horizon behind SCEGGS, 100 William Street.

Hyde Park Barracks was full and the only sketchable view I could come up with was this piece of archaeological renovation going on between the ground and first floor on the southern wall. It was being used as an exhibit called ‘Layers’ showing the fabric of the building’s timber and paintwork. I stood next to a stair railing, the crowds literally swarming around me, like in the eye of a storm.

St James Church, Sydney, the Francis Greenway church (to and from which the convicts from Hyde Park Barracks trudged every Sunday in Governor Macquarie’s time), as  a blaze of light for the occasion. It opened a little later than the other buildings because of an All Saint’s Choral Eucharist service at 6.30pm which included the Durufle Requiem. The queue was spectacularly long when it opened at 7.45pm, but by 8.30pm or so it was crammed with photographers. I spotted at least four other sketchers from the Sketch Club (three are in this sketch), at least one of whom was rendering the upper wooden balcony which makes the interior very Georgian indeed. I’d forgotten about the half-dome of beaten copper against the white of the altar; the Children’s Chapel looked particularly dramatic too, compared to daylight.

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One Response to “Sydney Open 2012 – Fri 2 Nov”

  1. quirkyartist Says:

    Love the toned ground.


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