Corner coffee with cobalt shadows

December 10, 2018 | 11 Comments

Most of you know that I sketch my coffee every morning, especially if you read last week’s Back Home article.

It’s a wake-up ritual with the main idea being to get the hand moving and to put pigment and water on the page. Occasionally I try something different but normally it’s similar to what I’ve done before. And then occasionally without even trying, I do a version that stands out.

So this one is different because of the position on the page – the bottom right corner – and because its cropped. Here is the spread in full. The significance of it’s position on the page as I flip through my book can’t be explained in a blog article. But it does jump out at me, and I like that.

The other thing which I like in this sketch is the shadow inside the cup – made with DS Cobalt Blue and DS Monte Amiata Natural Sienna. Oh ah! It’s pretty nice isn’t it?

I know that it’s really annoying to be teasing you so much about this new obsession of mine. I will dedicate a whole article to it soon, I promise. And I also have to tell you about DS Bloodstone Genuine!?!

But that’s enough for today.

After all the epic articles in the last few weeks, I just needed a short one, didn’t I? My guess is that you needed one too! Have a great Monday.



  • Kate says:

    Love me some bloodstone!
    Something definitely changed on your trip!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Yes Kate – Bloodstone is great! Interesting that you think something has happened… I don’t see it as such, just a natural progression which is happening all the time (and I havent been sketching much at home this year, and sharing even less) I will say that there is a HUGE change that has happened in a non-sketching part of my life and this might been having an affect. Hows that for a big tease????

  • John Winters says:

    Perfect for a Monday morning! I am a big fan of cobalt as well and interestingly enough, I’ve begun to use it with burnt sienna for concrete. On it’s own it has a wonderful “blue-jean” blue character. Hope you are enjoying your time back home!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Thanks John – its great to be home. And yes … agree cobalt and Burnt Sienna would make a wonderful concrete.

  • Cobalt is very versatile! Looks great!!

  • Jo says:

    Liz you are a legend when it comes to Urban Sketching. I love your work and currently learning a lot from you ‘edges now’ course. However, what disturbs me is when artists use highly toxic art material. In your case cobalt. True it’s not toxic enough in that tiny half pan but when you look at a bigger picture then it’s nasty to our environment. I do come across as being radical when it comes to using watercolours that are toxic in nature. Its for this reason I make my own paints from earth and plants and use them in my work. Do you think you could use an alternative to heavy metal based watercolours? I hope that you will take it in a positive stride because you can make a difference !

  • Alejandro says:


    I would so love to read more about your use of Cobalt and Bloodstone. I have both and the Bloodstone esp. is one I would like to get more of a handle on. I love those crazy granulating Primateks but other than Goethite and Blue Apatite I can never quite figure out how to use them, especially the darks which just end up looking like soot when I use them.

Leave a Reply