Urban Sketching at Pyrmont

This is Liz and Alissa’s baby. A get together of passionate sketchers who would rather do this than anything else. With my brand new sample sketchbook from Stillman & Birn, I hit the streets.

Cafe XX11 on Union Sq.

Cafe XX11 on Union Sq.

The word was it’d be 40+ degrees again, so from Liz was, only come if you are keen So that’s a definite. ‘Yes’ for me. I sketch in any weather as do most of the others.

This is an early part of Sydney established for workers in quarries, ship building and construction. Tough people. A hard life. History to burn. Cottages were small, banks were big. Pubs outnumbered them all. Every turn a sketch.

First port of call – coffee. What else. Cafe XX11 on the corner is a series of rooms working it’s way up the hill, but when I found the front I ordered.

New sketchbook. New challenges. Thicker paper. Takes more water. Standing under a tree I began with a number 8 pen. Not sure it runs well enough on the lightly textured paper, but I always finish what I start and make it work. Threw some colour to get the light and dark.

Next stop along and up the square a little……St Frock.

Little Nau-nau on guard outside St Frock

Little Nau-nau on guard outside St Frock

I like the small simple cottage design. Here I could use my No 2 pen, show sandstone, brick, tin, wood, iron gates and flower boxes. A little bit Paris. Everyone lived pretty much in one room and always a brick fireplace and chimney. Now it’s a dress shop. At first Nau-nau was there, and then gone. Suddenly she’s out again so I tossed her in, with her pink harness and collar.

I needed a seat to sit on. A good one facing us.

Old Bank, now cosmetic clinic

Old Bank, now cosmetic clinic

A classic corner bank building over the road. A place which used to look after your money, now looks after your wrinkles. No drawing first here. Take a minute to observe the shapes. Start with a bit of mixed blue and sepia to brush in some form. Some wash, colour and go back with a tiny bit of pen. That’ll do. Think David Gentleman is having influence already.

Time to have a catchup and see what we all did. Just great work and very good discussions on ideas and techniques different sketchers use. Another Urban Sketch Sydney is planned. Can’t wait.

10 Urban Sketchers do Union Sq Pyrmont

10 Urban Sketchers do Union Sq Pyrmont



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