We recently took off to Melbourne for a few days with friends to take a workshop called ‘Good Bones’, with architectural illustrator and urban sketcher Stephanie Bowers. Obviously the desire to learn how to handle perspective and use of water colour for illustration appealed as folks came from as far afield as Brisbane and even Perth to attend the workshop. I’ll spare you the blow by blow description of the workshop because Stephanie teaches these techniques in her online classes.
Our base for the two days of the workshop was the ‘Old Quad’ at Melbourne University. The university was founded in 1853 and sought to impress with buildings based on the cloisters and quadrangles of older European institutions. The Quad, with its arcades and arched cloisters certainly was a challenge.
Day one focused on basic instruction and demonstration on single point perspective. Sketches were in pencil with watercolour to follow on Day 2.
The Old Arts Building, Cussonia Court, University of Melbourne
Sketching in this much detail in pencil is definitely not my usual approach!
My second sketch with watercolour added on the following day, the Old Quad, University of Melbourne
Focused practice is always difficult. Another study in pencil.
Finding the perspective lines was challenging and I doubt I would have gotten this far without Stephanie’s expert tuition
After a day of concentration Stephanie had us make two quick 10 minute sketches.
A closer look at one of the buildings, watercolour applied with a square brush
Another go at the tower. I painted this rather than the previous sketch
Day 2 was spent trying out colour combinations and practicing our watercolour technique.
Following the workshop we spent a final half day with Urban Sketchers Melbourne. We had the advantage as we stayed at the University. Without the previous two days tuition I would not have had the skills to successfully tackle the design buildings at the university.
The dramatic extension of the Design Building with the Elisabeth Murdoch Building in the background
I would recommend taking a class with Stephanie, either on-line or in person.