Sydney Sketchbook


Three years ago, I didn’t know how to draw. It was always something I wanted to do, but had been convinced that I couldn’t.

It’s a long story, but basically one night I wandered into an evening class. Drawing has been my favourite hobby ever since.

I think drawing is great for writers. It activates the right side of the brain, trains you in observation and even, in my opinion, helps overcome writers block.

One of the best pieces of advice I read was to keep an A5 sketchbook and constantly draw what is around you.

Living in Sydney, there’s always something going on around me. For example, the “Art and About” festival a few weeks ago.

I thought something was going on when I found this rather large snail in the park:

Snail in Hyde Park
Snail in Hyde Park

Then I walked a bit further on and thought there was something unusual about the lawn:

Forest of Mirrors
Hmmm, there’s something strange here…

And realised, I stumbled into a forest of mirrors!

Forest of Mirrors
Forest of Mirrors

Then walking through the city, I saw banners celebrating the Walk sign person from all different countries. This is what the Walk sign person looks like in Lisbon, apparently:

Walk sign banner
Walk sign banner

On the way home, I was a little worried to see the huge snail had a friend:

Snail at Wynyard Park
Snail at Wynyard Park

But as promised, here are some pics from my sketchbook. I love to draw from nature and Sydney has some wonderful mysterious trees like these Morton Bay figs in Hyde Park:

Mysterious trees!
Mysterious trees!

With twisting trees, serene green lawns rolling down to the Harbour and Gothic architecture like Government House and St Mary’s Cathedral you can imagine anything (well I can).

Here is a sketch of the Botanic Gardens from last year:

Under the trees - Botanic Gardens
Under the trees – Botanic Gardens

Sketching hedges and plants is a great way to experiment with marks and texture:

Garden sketch - Botanic Gardens
Garden sketch – Botanic Gardens

This bottle tree overlooking the Opera House and Sydney Harbour almost has its own personality!

Bottle Tree
Bottle Tree

This isn’t an accurate drawing of the cafe at the Hyde Park Barracks, but even inaccurate drawings improve observational skills.

Hyde Park Barracks cafe
Hyde Park Barracks cafe

The more astute among you may notice that I am a left-hander!

8 responses to “Sydney Sketchbook”

  1. Your drawings are amazing. I can’t believe you learned from taking a class a few years ago. I’ve always thought it was something I’d never be able to do, unless you count stick figure families with stick figure cats, surrounded by one-dimensional daisies.

    We get the large animal sculptures in Denver too. We have colorful cows all around the city and there is a giant blue bear that peers into our convention center 🙂

    • A giant blue bear!!!!

      It’s strange – I used to draw as a child, but didn’t have any classes at high school so completely stopped then (apart from the odd doodle on the back of an envelope). I found I progressed very quickly once I got some proper instruction.

      I think that’s that though – I don’t think there are any other latent abilities so I won’t be dancing, ukelele playing or opera singing anytime soon 🙂

      • Yes, if you do an internet search of Denver blue bear, images of the thing will pop up.

        Too bad, ukelele playing or opera singing could come in handy one day 🙂

      • I just googled blue bear Denver! That certainly is a giant bear! I love it!

        Yes, it is important to acquire as many skills as possible – you never know when they will be needed 🙂

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