Sunday, July 28, 2013

Queen Victoria Building Sydney - from the inside

A quick venture into the city on Friday gave me time for a 30 mins shot at onsite sketching inside the beautiful old Queen Victoria Building in George Street, Sydney. The building in its current state is a shopping complex but has had various purposes in the past and was first built in 1898. I'm keen to sketch the outside but finding a good spot to view the building from where I won't be trampled by the busy street traffic (both car and pedestrian) will be a challenge. On this day I settled on the comfort of a cafĂ© inside. The decorative arches and pretty coloured glass above the shop windows offered a good start.
The initial foundation lines are watercolour pencil which I don't erase but wash away when I introduce the watercolour paint later. Then with my extra fine nib in my fountain pen I add the black lines with a waterproof ink which once dried can withstand the wash of watercolour paint. Often, as I have done here I tend to add more pencil work than necessary (I should be leaving much of the details like the coat jacket and tie for just ink to save time).
I finished the colour and much of the ink details at home afterwards.


  1. Really looks great! You achieved a LOT of detail for 30 minutes.

    I like your idea of using watercolour pencil for the foundation lines. I find it tedious to erase my pencil after. With this, I wouldn't need it! ;)

    1. Thanks Jen! The fiddly detailed bits were finished at home before the watercolour. I like having the goal of sketching faster so that I can do it more often.. but with lovely details like on the interior of this old building I feel unsatisfied closing the book after 30 mins and moving onto another sketch another day. One reason I like joining other sketchers out an about is to see how much they achieve in short time frames. They inspire me and remind me its possible. Must be time for me to go sketching with others again!

  2. Nice to see your process ~ very clever to use the watercolor pencil first. I believe I have been to this place once, long ago. I loved the architectural details. Your sketch captures quite a few of them, and I really like the depth, highlights and reflections of the shop windows in your piece. :)


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