Saturday, 25 October 2014

Painting Sydney Sandstone

The Gardener's Lodge, Sydney University. 2014 Watercolour and Pencil.

Sandstone is such a distinctive feature of Sydney. The city is built on it and out of it so we see it all over the place in new and in aged form.

 Hyde Park drinking fountain! 2013

I love drawing and painting it. I started drawing the wind and water eroded sandstone rocks in my teens (see these drawings here) and continued with etchings and coloured pencil drawings (which can also be found in my website) and even some book illustrations exploring this lovely stone.

 Here are a series of sketches done since June 2013, in no particular order.

Window at Cockatoo Island,
watercolour over ink sketch. 2014

The Coal Tunnel, watercolour and pencil 2013

A doorway in the convict area, Cockatoo Island.
Watercolour and ink. 2014

A column on the steps of the State Library.
Watercolour and pencil.

Sandstone in the bay, Vaucluse 2013

Sydney University grotesque 2013

A gate at the Botanic Gardens, Watercolour. 2014

Columns at the entrance to the State Library
Watercolour and brown ink. 2014
Congregational Church, Hunter's Hill
Watercolour over brown ink. 2014

I don't think I'll ever stop painting this lovely stone.


  1. Simply beautiful, Jane. I love the shading & gray patina from the passage of years & the weather. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you Emily. It is such a wonderful stone to render in watercolour whether in detail or as an impression.

  2. Another group of beautiful paintings, Jane. I clicked on the link to your drawings, and all I can say is, wow, you did those in your teens?!?! Amazing work. I'm especially intrigued by the Red Gum paintings. The technique looks different. The scenes seem otherworldly. I really like them.

    1. Hi Susan. Thank you. Those drawings and a series of plant studies were done in my final year of high school as my 'major works' so I spent a long time on them. I have done other detailed drawings since but haven't taken quite such a long time over a series of drawings or painting again :-)

      The Red Gum paintings were done from my imagination and really mix up the idea of the gum trees of Australia and the lovely fall leaves from the US. They were done using watercolour and indian ink and some Chinese pigments, while living in Singapore, though the very first of the series was done way back in the early 80s as well. I enjoy re-doing a theme or an idea from years ago in a slightly, or totally, different way.