Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Historic Sydney - Tempe House and Strickland House

There has been two opportunities to sketch beautiful old Sydney buildings in recent weeks.

Firstly Tempe House in April, where Ethna and I visited on an open day for the local art society. It is set on beautiful grounds and next to a picturesque garden. Once absorbed in sketching it was easier to block out the constant hum of the Princess Hwy not too far away, and the construction of the apartment blocks behind, and imagine a quieter time when there would have been nothing but the flow of the river and swaying trees for company. 
The front portico's were a good challenge to sketch and reminded me a little of sketching the rotunda at Balmoral Beach. By the time the line work on the building was finished time was short so the trees of the garden were captured best I could with just paint brush and trying to remember to vary tone, colour and markings so it didn't appear too flat.  

The second historic Sydney property was Strickland House which welcomed visitors last Sunday. No denying that my Tempe House sketch influenced composition here and the similar shape of the portico was less confronting this time. In very strong winds, but brilliant blue sky, I got down the building lines in pen (all but for that fiddly iron work on the verandahs) and mapped out the washes of colour from the distinct shadows. The green foliage was added once home, and here I tried for a looser and less distinct garden than the previous sketch. The shadows also got a boost of colour and darkening.


  1. Both sketches are lovely but the one of Strickland House appears to be better organised and done in a more assured manner.

    1. Thanks Balaji. I think the similar set up seemed like a relatively small thing at the time, but you're right, I see in comparison it gave me more confidence in making the second sketch and I enjoyed it more.

  2. They are both lovely sketches. Great purple sketches, mine always look wish-washy not strong like yours.


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