|Hero Pen (bent nib), De Atramentis Archive ink with watercolour wash. 270gsm paper.|
Yesterday our local Urban Sketchers group gathered at Sydney Town Hall. It's a fantastic area for interesting architecture with the surrounding buildings of the Town Hall and St Andrew's Cathedral as well as the Queen Victoria Building in the next block.
I've signed up for Paul Wang and Liz Steels' expressive sketching workshop in March, so my goal was to try to loosen up with watercolour and less line. An A4 Beta Stillman and Birn from Larry Post last year (the thick pages are great for working wet on wet, so I've been saving it for when I'm feeling more courageous) served well for this. Fate also had a hand with my other choices as my favourite Lamy pen and waterbrushes are sadly missing somewhere. However, with the most perfect of timing, Liz brought along a new Hero pen from her Penang/Singapore trip! I've tried a similar pen with a bent tip (Sailor pen) before and it gives a lovely variation in line thickness as you draw.
A strategy which worked well yesterday was to lay a first layer of wash down on one page for the watercolour only sketch, and then whilst that dried, sketched with the Hero pen in more detail on the other page. Picking up on preferred patterns and shadows from the detailed pen sketch that could then be layered back onto the watercolour sketch as the progressing layers dried.
Sydney Town Hall is one of Australia's finest examples of French Second Empire architecture. Designed by architect J H Willson in 1868, it is said to be inspired by Hotel de Ville in Paris. Festoons, finials and Mansard pavilions - lots to learn about this style of architecture that I have not drawn before.
These sketching mornings always pass so quickly. With not much time to go I found this carved angel figure at the front door of the St Andrew's Cathedral. So many, many, many more things to sketch in this area. Looking forward to returning.