Square-on Architecture

Thursday 1

Thursday 2


Our classes are planned so that we cover as many everyday situations as you might run into when out  & about sketching.

Architecture is one subject you’d be hard pressed to avoid in almost any place you’d be visiting.

Today we are looking at the shorthand version of perspective.

In fact by standing square on to your subject you get the main characteristics without wondering how to deal with the disappearing parts.

Thursday 3

We have some tiny model Dutch houses which we are sketching today. Thank you Vivianne.

Just 5 of them and each different.

The idea is to get your eye level along the base and to sketch what you see. Just one house.

Not what you think you see.

Christy and I are on deck today to help people see what they need to see, and nothing extra. If you can’t see it, it doesn’t go in.

Our second set up is a building block house, and the same idea as the first.

We have both setups up high so that they are as close to eye level as possible.

You still need to measure the height and width with something, and visualise where on your page you will sketch it.

This gets everybody really immersed and quiet. The sketches emerge looking pretty darn good.

Thursday 4

A walk on the wild side through the park, past the cooing pigeons, past the bowlers and out to the 2 matching Mission style houses on the Street.

You need to get yourself square on and take a good look at your subject.

How many levels? How many windows, doors? what size spaces between things? What’s the roof line like? Compare shape against shape.

Thursday 5

Today we are off to Hemingways Bar and Restaurant on the beach front, for our coffee and flavoursome lunches.

We’re working in watercolours now so this is a good chance to show ways to bring out the best in your sketches. So much fun playing with colour. See what your sketch needs.

Some enjoyable sketches from today’s group.



Friday 1

Friday 2


A gorgeous day after all. It was going to be 30 degrees according to the weather forecast and rising to 33.

With that little breeze, it means the heat is not as intense.

All good because it means we can still stand on the sunny side to do our square on sketches later

Today Judy was with us. I’ve called her our ‘L’ plate Sketch Tutor. She’ll be learning the ropes, and soon be able to take classes exactly as I do, and as Christy and Vivianne do.

You get the same guidance in all aspects of the learning to sketch journey. Exactly the same experience in every class.

Because we’ll be opening another Travel Sketch Class on another day of the week, we can do so having several tutors who will share the classes.

But back to our ‘square on’ houses.

The exercise is purely about observation.

Really look at what you see.

Still ask yourself how high and how wide.

Where is the centre of the subject.

That goes in the centre of your page. It may seem obvious, but at least you’ll know how much needs to fit above and below that.

Through the park we all trail and there are the two beauties. To be honest most people wouldn’t look twice at these matching Mission style boarding houses, but as sketchers we see much more than most people do.

We see beauty in even the most ordinary.

It becomes extraordinary.

Getting a little warm for some, so along the road we go to Hemingway’s Bar and restaurant.

Judy is really mixing well with the students and they are getting to know her a little.

Sketches are completed during lunch and much laughing and conversation takes place .

A couple of people do some very lovely sketches in the big upstairs room, capturing the old ‘Ernest’ feeling with the leather sofas and decadent odd bits of furniture.

Pictures are taken of the sketchbooks and we make our farewells and wander off, happy to know we can do all this again next week.

Friday 17



Saturday 1 Saturday 2


It seems quite hot again this morning as I walk to the Studio. However there is a slight breeze so all will be well.

Once everyone is settled I explain the square on, single house concept.

They are more used to having some perspective so find this a challenge. Someone says ‘I know that’s a triangle block, but it looks square from here’.

So that’s what you sketch. If it looks square, that’s what you put down.

Both tables do well with their visual measuring. Much thinking and looking is needed and soon we’re done.

We trot off down through the park, where bowlers are bowling and cricketers cricketing, and parrots squawking.

A lovely Saturday to play sport in the sun.

Very Aussie.

Some decide it’s a bit hot standing in the sun to sketch the two Mission style houses, so we leave the hardy ones there and walk to another nearby park, to do the same exercise under shade trees.

It’s just what you’ve been doing in the Studio but now you have real buildings to work out the shapes of.

With half the group in another location we end up with a nice variety of square on buildings.

We can do the colour at our table at Hemingways. It’s nice and cool upstairs here and everyone finds a comfy place to sit, order coffee and lunch, and gets back to work.

I’m getting people to do a lot of layering with their watercolours.

I don’t use one flat colour for anything.

Usually there’ll be a wash of one colour put down, then a second colour. and a third colour. Not all over it, just where you want a change. Now watch the pigment run and mix. How yummy.

All the sketchers are making tremendous progress now we are in our 5th week.

They are more relaxed about putting down lines and getting braver about putting down some quite strong colour without blotting it.

Some really enjoyable sketches this week.

I’m really pleased with all the work, but the one who should be most pleased is YOU.

Saturday 21


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