Long Weekend: Rivendell and sewing plans

June 11, 2012 | 37 Comments

A few journal-style pages from this weekend
120609 Rivendell Reccy

FINALLY got out to Rivendell at Concord Hospital on Saturday however the main building was under scaffold. So I tried to sketch the building on the waters edge. It was the most glorious morning but I couldn’t quite do what I wanted to (the A4 sketch was abandoned) and I was in need of a coffee. This was my warm up page….

This is an amazing architecture complex, not too far from where I live that I could visit many many times to sketch.
120609 Sewing Plans
Why do I get the urge to sew summer dresses when I am about to go on a holiday… why don’t I sew during summer???
Once again, I have lots of crazy ideas for the next 2 weeks… (ideas!)



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  • bosveldr says:

    You'll have to bring a group down to Hobart, Liz, so I can join in! Wish I could come. Ruth

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  • Liz,
    Would you ever consider putting some of your techniques from your classes on your website or on youtube so that all of us in the U.S. get the benefit of your knowledge.

  • Liz,
    Would you ever consider putting some of your techniques from your classes on your website or on youtube so that all of us in the U.S. get the benefit of your knowledge.

  • Liz Steel says:

    hi Cynthia – yes I am wanting to explore online versions of my workshop! Stay tuned!

  • Liz Steel says:

    hope to come down to Hobart one day soon…ish!

  • Gypsygirl says:

    Hi suzi told me about your great classes,I'd love to do some in the future,next year
    Have you planned next years classes yet?
    Can I be put on a mailing list please?

  • Liz Steel says:

    thanks Gypsygirl – would love you to join us. Have sent you an email!

  • Liz Steel says:

    thanks Parka! yes indeed very sad!

  • Liz Steel says:

    thats a great idea Stacy!!!!… I will try it out one day…but you know I just love working in books….

  • Liz Steel says:

    yes – I love sharing what I have learnt… and yes I have a lot of sketchbooks…growing all the time!

  • Liz Steel says:

    my pleasure Serena!

  • Liz Steel says:

    thanks Joan – it is added now!

  • Teoh Yi Chie says:

    Good information. I like using the Alpha and the old A4 Moleskine. It's a shame Moleskine changed the paper.

  • JOAN says:

    If you meant to post a link to "what you should with a new book" in the 3rd paragraph up from the bottom, it's missing.

    Thanks for the reviews, Liz. I'll be watching for your updates with the Moleskine with new paper.

  • Stacy says:

    I do as you do, have two separate places for my sketches. I use an even cheaper one for my everyday book, a Canson Universal Sketch. I love to write lots of text, and in a book as cheap as this I feel free to write as much as I want alongside my sketches. But for sketch outings and travel, I have actually gone to loose sheets of artist-quality watercolor paper. I put the resulting loose sketches either in a file folder or a Itoya portfolio book. Loose paper, combined with a lightweight support board, is still much lighter in weight to carry around than a book. I only take as much as I need in a day, and refill with blank paper (and safely store my finished sketches) back at home or the hotel.

  • Wow! You've done the research for me! This is awesome, and wow again… you have a LOT of sketchbooks!

  • Serena Lewis says:

    Wonderful information, Liz. Thanks! 🙂

  • dulcy says:

    Love all this info! I just started using a sketchbook, and am using something very small with handmade paper. It's about full! So…. moving on to something more substantial and this post has been very helpful. Thanks!

  • jaguarish says:

    As value for money the Strathmore wirebound books offer a good range of paper weights and sizes too. Their hardbound books are not as good value as the Stillman & Birn, though.

  • I use a really cheap sketchbook by Piccadilly. I started using it years ago when I read David Rankin's "Fast Sketching Techniques" book and needed something with really smooth paper. They too have downgraded their paper (not as heavy), but I still find it a great daily book because I use a lot of pencil, ink and even an occasional wash. I have a S & B Alpha, but have never tried a Moleskine. Now I am not sure that I will. Thank you, LIz for doing all this research. I guess I used all these words to say, expensive paper paralyzes me and cheap paper gives me freedom to make lots of mistakes.

  • alec turner says:

    Glad you mentioned the are you afraid to use good paper. I always seem to find this barrier of not wanting to waste paper and end up doing my best work on the worst paper. I've found a compromise in the UK from our stationers whsmiths, a silver backed a5 portrait wire bound cartridge pad in 140gsm at ÂŁ2.99. It works well at the minute for my marker ink and pencil sketches, I've picked up some daler mixed media and canston for when I'm brave enough to test my caran d'ache gouache pans.

  • pam says:

    I recently discovered Peter Pauper Press Journals….they are very affordable and come with a heavier weight paper which can accommodate light washes and no bleed through with ink. The pages are very "lightly lined", and are great for sketching. There are dozens of cover designs…some fun, some elegant looking. ..I believe all are hardcover. They also have a blank sketchbook which has paper approx. 25% heavier than standard Moleskine journals. I purchase through Amazon.ca. Worth a look….and compellingly addictive…and you can't beat the price…

  • LaurieW says:

    I like to use the Komtrak sketchbooks and fill them with my own paper. I can put in a range of papers: very lightweight smooth paper for notes and writing, medium weight and toned paper for pencil work, and a selection of different watercolor papers. I cut up large sheets, or use the offcuts from things that I've trimmed to specific sizes, and get the holes punched at an office supply store that does bindings. When it's close to full I twist the binding out and refill with paper.

  • Liz Steel says:

    Thanks Julia! It is on my list!
    So glad you enjoyed but especially learned heaps! Have fun!

  • Barkleigh2 says:

    Liz, please consider doing this as an online course. I just took Sketching Now, it was fantastic, I learned SO much, and I would like an online travel sketch course with the content to describe above. Julia B.

  • Kathy B. says:

    Any opportunities for before/after activities, tours, etc.?

  • Liz Steel says:

    lots to do in and around Launceston and TwoFourTwo are full of lots of ideas!

  • Unknown says:

    Any chance you could tell me where you buy your sketchbooks in Sydney? I am struggling to find anywhere that sells the Alpha series landscape A5 book. Or do you always buy them online?


  • Liz Steel says:

    The Artscene(will order it in if they don't have it in stock at the moment) and Larrypost .. Parkers and Sydney Art Store (i think)

  • I am new to your blog. I am an artist/teacher,and my medium of choice is pen,ink and watercolor. My sketchbook of choice is the S&B Beta. The paper performs beautifully with heavy washes. My second is a Moleskine watercolor sketchbook.

  • Liz Steel says:

    still the same- alpha or moleskine

  • Liz Steel says:

    welcome stephanie. Beta is beautiful but I find it is too heavily sized for the way I work – so I wash the sizing off first and then it is great.

  • Cindy C says:

    Hi Liz…..What sketchbook are you using on your "outings" now? I am still using the Moleskine Watercolour Journal clipped to the corrugated board…with my paint box. Wondering if anyone has tried the new soft cover Stillman & Birn Beta or Zeta….

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