Foundations Friday 2017: Lesson 7 – Putting it all together

February 17, 2017 | 9 Comments

I have to admit that I’m pleased that this particular lesson (a review of previous lessons rather than a new concept) coincided with my big moving week as I’m not really in a super-sketching mood. Exhaustion and stiffness are more the order of the day. However, I can always sketch a teacup! So please forgive my lack of innovation when it comes to subject matter this week.

Lesson 7 is all about putting together the various concepts from Lessons 1 – 6 into a single sketch. As I am trying to do new stuff in this year’s Foundations Friday series (to demonstrate how I use these basic concepts in more advanced or experimental work) I decided to try a few fun techniques and live dangerously – ie. I had no plan beforehand what I was going to do, so I ended up improvising quite a bit!

Here are some progress photos with a few comments:

The first step was to do some measuring for the important dimensions of the teacup and saucer, thinking about its form – constructing volumes!

As I normally like to start my teacup sketches with the shape of the tea (Abstracting Shapes) I decided to do my Measured Setup in paint. These marks were able to be hidden in the completed painted shape. (Note to self: I should do this more often.) I then decided to use my watercolour pencils for locating the gold rims. Getting the volumes constructed is often my first step.

Then it was time to be a little looser (Minimal Setup), simplifying the pattern into a few shapes (abstracting shapes) and allowing myself to paint these freely, relying on my eye-hand coordination (feeling edges).

At this stage I could have finished the sketch, but for this exercise, I decided to layer some ink over the top. Why not?

I am testing a new ink (a water-soluble sepia ink) so in the spirit of Lesson 1’s concept – knowing and loving your materials – I decided to play with it a little more.

So there you have it – all six concepts in one sketch!

This is part of a series Foundations Friday where I am revisiting the lessons of my SketchingNow Foundations online class, and exploring the concepts in a new way. To find out more about the course click here.


  • Bernadette - February 17, 2017 reply

    I never tire of your teacups.

    • Liz Steel - February 17, 2017 reply

      thanks Bernadette. I'm glad that you don't as I don't think I will either :-)

  • Laura - February 17, 2017 reply

    Beautiful teacup! Excellent lesson. Thank you for all that you teach us, even during a move.

    • Liz Steel - February 17, 2017 reply

      thanks Laura, my pleasure!

  • Serena Lewis - February 18, 2017 reply

    Great lesson, Liz — thanks! I need to go back and revise my lessons in your Foundations course. Loved it!

  • Maria Luisa Naval - February 18, 2017 reply

    Gracias por esta lección! Adoro tus sketches!

  • Joan Tavolott - February 19, 2017 reply

    I also love your teacups and have to admit that when I see a pretty one on display somewhere I think of you. lol Great to see your stages in creating this!

  • Tami Jacques - February 20, 2017 reply

    Another wonderful teacup!!! What is the brand and color of the ink you have used? I was looking for notes from this post to see if you put that there. Going to my first USk Symposium in Chicago! Really looking forward to that.

  • Deborah - February 22, 2017 reply

    This is beautiful, Liz! And so clearly described. I'm just beginning lesson 3 of Foundations. (Haven't actually done the exercises yet.) Love the step-by-step, and the finished piece is lovely!

Leave a comment