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Sunday Sketch Club: February - House Portraits

Sketching houses in Camberwell.
Meryl sketching away under a shady tree.

Camberwell has a very distinct character - it's timeless and refined but also navigating and grappling with the changes that come with being inner city as Melbourne continues to grow and diversify.

I think people love Camberwell because it is so well preserved, like an autumn leaf pressed in a book, it sits between other suburbs which have modernised around it, but it still remains a reminder of how Melbourne used to be.

Camberwell boasts a heritage that dates back to the mid-19th century. Originally inhabited by the Wurundjeri people, the land was later settled by European colonizers in the 1850s, drawn by its fertile soil and picturesque landscapes. The suburb grew rapidly, evolving from rural farmland to a thriving residential community.

Sketching houses in Camberwell.
Charlotte perched to get a good view of a gorgeous house!

One of the most striking features of Camberwell is its architecture—a harmonious blend of Victorian elegance and modern sophistication. From grand Victorian mansions to charming Edwardian cottages, every street is adorned with architectural marvels that tell the story of Camberwell's evolution over the decades. Each house bears witness to the changing times, yet retains its own unique charm and character.

It's because of this charm that this month, I decided to take Sketch Club into Camberwell's leafy streets and make house portraits. House portraits have a rich history that dates back centuries, often serving as a symbol of wealth, status, and pride for homeowners. In the past, affluent families commissioned artists to capture the grandeur of their estates, with detailed paintings showcasing architectural features, landscaping, and surrounding scenery. These portraits not only documented the physical appearance of the homes but also preserved memories and legacies for future generations.

It seemed somehow fitting that the way we would choose to remember and immortalise Camberwell's homes was to use the practice of painting house portraits, a practice steeped in history and tradition and undeniably tied to wealth, in a contemporary and modern way - capturing a fleeting glimpse of the essence or soul of each house.

To capture our house portraits we used handmade gouache palettes, which I am still so so proud of!

All in all, it was a fabulous day and I am so thankful to have had the chance to share it with so many lovely and creative people.

Sketching houses in Camberwell.
Meg's beautiful sketch


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