Artifacts and Worker’s Cottages




Such a glorious day again. The sun actually pours into the Studio even more in Winter.

Everyone feels happy.

Between the two tables we have wooden artefacts from many countries waiting to be sketched.

A Victorian fireplace piece, Hibicus box from Fiji, Kauri bowl from NZ, Batik printing block from Indonesia, St Joseph icon statue from Sth America, a Maori food bowl replica and an Indian stamp box.

All tone texture and pattern. The challenge is looking for what’s light and dark, seeing that they’re all a bit similar in colour.

Once done, this leads us to the Workers cottages down the street. All quite different now from their original Federation ( the Australian version of Victorian) design.

Some of the Worker's Cottages

Some of the Worker’s Cottages

Most have been altered, some with fancy iron lacework, others with different doors and windows, and certainly fences.

There is quite of lot of attention to detail needed, so most people had completed the sketch itself before lunch, but not the colour.

So it was off to the newly restored Ivanhoe Hotel in the Corso, up the curved staircase and out to the courtyard garden.

Very serious sketching going on.

Very serious sketching going on.

Once we’d settled in and ordered lunch, we could get stuck into the colour.

Everyone seems to enjoy sketching houses, and the idea is, to get the essence of the style, be it Italy, France or Australia etc.

These are very Sydney, there’s no mistaking that.







Can you believe the sunshine and balmy days we are getting? We can’t either.

A few groans at the sight of 2 tables of artefacts, but when I explain that this sets you up for sketching in museums. This seems to make sense, and everyone settles down and gets cracking.

We regularly get two sketches each now and ‘sketching hands’ are well warmed up when it’s time to trot through the Park, past Cafe Las Bas ( coffee anyone – don’t mind if I do ) and along to Denison St to sketch little cottages.

Cottage sketching

Cottage sketching

We’ve gone to the other side of the street today, as there is a group of 5 cottages together even though only 3 have the traditional roof line. Every window and door is different so it takes a moment to decide just what will be the focus.

Getting the details which make this not a house you’d see in China or Timbuctoo is the aim. We succeeded well.

We then headed for the garden courtyard upstairs at Ivanhoe Hotel.

Everyone was most impressed to see the renovations and how much change has occurred, and now it’s a place where business people mix with tradesmen, ladies who lunch with surfers and families – and very importantly, Sketchers.

Munch & Sketch

Munch & Sketch

The Ivanhoe was not a place you’d want to go to previously, so it’s wonderful to see the hotels of Manly become stylish and family friendly.

Our sketches showed a wide variety of styles and approaches, and at the same time, successfully catching the essence of their subjects.




IMG_9223IMG_9227Still sunny and lovely. A few sketchers missing in action today, so with just 3 of us we had plenty of time to work through a lot of the finer points of sketching.

Both sketchers used colour well on the artefacts, and observing well ways to make what appear to be similar colours, different when all together.

Robbie had her amazing trike-bike today, so while 2 of us walked through the park to our little cottages, she whizzed down the hill and met us as we ordered our caffein hit and then to our sketch spot.

We talked about eye level and how the ‘going away’ is smaller than what’s closer to you. Keeping this simple, one can start to see it working.

Getting the colour on

Getting the colour on

We headed off to Ivanhoe Hotel and took a corner table under the big original window looking out over the Corso.

A couple of brushettas, and some lime water, and we were sparked up ready to complete the sketches.

Both these quite different approaches to their subjects work so well, one in watercolour, the other in watercolour pencil and waterbrush.

Everyone was smiling so we’d done well once again.

More sketching adventures next week.




  1. Really love these loose washes and what great subjects. Weather here not so great for being out and about today, but I did do a bit on the train and in the cafe. It’s so good to see a gang elsewhere getting into drawing.


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