On a Sunday morning the Sydney Sketch Club went to Summer Hill. It is a suburb in the inner west of Sydney about 15 minutes’ drive from where I live. There are some lovely old buildings there, and I had been there once before, sketching with Chris. We sketched the milk bar that time, so I was looking for something else. One of the buildings on the ‘recommended’ list was the old Post Office. I decided to give it a go. It was quite a challenge. Such a complex building with a number of sections to it, and angles of all sorts.
Although I have been practising my parallel lines as recommended by Gabi Campanario, in his book, The Urban Sketching Handbook: Architecture and Cityscapes: Tips and Techniques for Drawing on Location (Urban Sketching Handbooks) my lines are less than accurate here. I am working quite large. My book is 19cm (or 7 1/2 ” ) high, and across the two pages it is about 38cm wide (roughly 15 ” ). That’s quite large to be working on your knee with your eyes not so far above the page.
On the right, below the balcony, is a coffee shop, where there were tables and chairs and people. However, due to the nature of the building, I was quietly chanting to myself ‘simplify, simplify, simplify’. And it is of the highest importance to me to get the tonal values working, and that takes time. So I omitted the people (and the cars). But since then I have watched this video of a chat between Danny Gregory and Jason Das, where Jason talks about putting the people and the cars in the sketch to place the building in its urban setting. I would like this sketch more if it had some of that.
HOWEVER, two of us sat side by side sketching, and concentrating so hard that we didn’t talk the whole time. But watch this space, because I plan to take on board that suggestion.