Cuppa Tea Time: Lady Carlyle

March 9, 2016 | 8 Comments


It’s fairly unusual for me to start drinking out of a new teacup and NOT sketch it, but that is what has happened over the last four days. But today I paused mid-morning in order to have a quiet moment enjoying my new teacup and getting it into my sketchbook.

This cup – Royal Albert Lady Carlyle pattern – was a gift from the Victorian Watercolour Society (more about my workshop and demo soon – I promise!) It’s a very sketchable design and interestingly has the same cup shape – “Malvern” – as my “Royal Albert 100 years” set. It is a little tragic that I know the name of the cup shape, isn’t it?

What is really cool about this is I can now have a tea party for 11 people and can mismatch the cups and saucers. I have never thought about drawing my teacups all mixed up…. hmm, that would be a way to extend my teacup collection even further, wouldn’t it? Ah! that brings back memories of my favourite tearoom which sadly is no longer open.

I’m sorry, I can’t mention “my favourite tearoom” without going down memory lane a little, looking at some old sketches and getting a bit emotional. The full collection of over 150 sketches done at the T2 Teahouse at Macquarie Centre can be found on  Flickr here.

To go back to today’s sketch…

What can I say about it? Well, I always find that the first time I sketch a teacup I focus on getting to know the shape and the pattern. Those of you who have done my week on Sketchbook Skool Seeing will know all about how I study a pattern before I start sketching it. However, on this occasion, I just went for it! I am very keen to have another crack at it soon, however in light of a bold statement I made earlier in the year,  I’m not sure what I should do… any suggestions?

Oh! this is a rambling post, isn’t it? But it feels good to get back to blogging. You know that things must be fairly hectic for me if I am quiet for over a week (even though interstate!) so it’s great to get back to my routine.

Thanks for all the comments on yesterday’s post about my new-look blog. A few things are being tweaked at the moment, and I have also moved away from using Feedburner for RSS to email option. So hopefully, if you previously signed up to received my blog posts via email, this post has arrived safely in your inbox.

If you are interested in signing up for this feature, add your email to the form at the bottom of the blog under “Follow along with Liz”


  • Abby says:

    Love the new blog! It’s always exciting moving from Blogger to WordPress. I have a Lady Hamilton set which is the sister to this. The design is much the same except the pink areas are a burgundy colour.

    • Liz Steel says:

      thanks Abby. I have been using WP for my sketchingnow and love it. What is amazing is how much nicer my images look on it. Will look up Lady Hamilton!

  • Valerie Lightbody says:

    Thanks for sharing a glimpse into your favorite tea room. Sketches are beautiful!

  • Sandra James-Talbot says:

    I really missed your blog posts. Glad you’re back!

    • Liz Steel says:

      I missed it too… but things are a little hectic at the moment. You know that whenever I can I blog!

  • Vicki Dewsbury says:

    I only managed to get to the T2 Tea Room a few times, when my sister literally lived around the corner in Macquarie Park. There was an indigo ‘marble’ series that I should have bought at the time, now miss.

    My favourite teacup experience started in Miyazaki, Japan when another ‘conference wife/widow’ and i discovered a ‘kissaten’ three floors above the street. We’d turned up, drenched for the literally fifth time, looking for ramen and found a wall of awesome English tea ware at our service…I’d been intending to draw Japanese gardens and apart from one zigzag path with irises in a civic garden, I hadn’t made much use of my sketchbook, what with the rain. Because the bowl of ramen was sooo hot, I started drawing it and the teacup/saucer…I still have that drawing from 2007 in a sketchbook somewhere! As I soon discovered it was the rainy season, I filled the sketchbook with bowls mostly…some with food, some from museums, one a 400 year old chawan belonging to the host family’s ancestral philosopher …a study in superfluity and subtlety.

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