Edges and shapes: A preview of my SketchingNow Edges online course

August 22, 2015 | 3 Comments


Things are getting very busy as my SketchingNow course Edges gets very close… only 10 days to go!  I am also getting very excited as it all starts coming together…. I know I get excited a lot but there is something very very special about putting my online classes together!

So I thought I would share with you some of the things I have done this week and give you a little preview into the course.

I am trying to have more prepared content before the course starts (I created all the content of Foundations each week as it was running!) but it will still be substantially put together during September. I am very used to working this way as an architect and I love the creative energy of working along with the group. I found that during Foundations, I was able to tweak the content a little in response to the work or questions of the group. It feels like a weekly face to face class this way.

The title Edges might imply that the course is mainly about lines, but in fact at least half the course focuses on shapes and how the edges of shapes interact with each other. I will be sharing insights into some of my sketches from my recent trip to Singapore and Cambodia – such as a preliminary photo of this sketch of Chinatown Singapore.

What has really crystallized for me in the past week or so as I pull together all the content is how important our treatment of edges is to establishing a strong focus and creating depth in our sketches. This is a major theme that we will look at each week.

There is a lot of content specifically designed for working in ink and watercolour wash, regardless of whether you want to work carefully with a lot of detail or more loosely. This course summarises a lot of the concepts I have explored over the years as I work with my ink pen and watercolour.

As much as I love painting, it is combining strong ink lines with the fluidly of watercolour that I get most excited about – edges and shapes together and how the two interact!

Like Foundations, I will be sharing lots of concepts to expand our visual thinking and these will be explained via lots of diagrams. I am especially excited about Edges because I will be sharing the things that I am thinking about right now in my own work!

I learn new stuff every time I teach, both from preparing the lessons and from the group discussions and work, but expect to get even more than normal out of this course due to the nature of the content and because it is so hot off the press. I am especially looking forward to the lesson on lost and found edges!

I have decided to add a “tea break” to each lesson – a little time out for a cuppa. I could do an entire 4 week course on how all the fundamentals of drawing can be learnt from sketching teacups (one day!) but for Edges it will be a little fun containing a few insights into how important my thoughts about Edges are for my various teacup sketches.

Each week I will go on a different SketchingNow adventure to a new part of Sydney to put the week’s concept in action. As next week will be insanely crazy I had Lesson 1’s outing a week early. I went to Petersham, basically because I had a hankering for some pasteis de nata from Sweet Belem.  I had a fun time  – including a very nice surpise of Royal Albert teacup in the cafe where I had my lunch. Honestly…it was not planned! Full report of my day in Petersham will be posted on Wed 2 Sept.

I have also been out filming on location “urban sketching” demos. Each lesson in Edges will feature an indoor demo AND an outdoors demo. There is something really special about putting these videos together. I know a lot of people find sketching out on location scary and hard work because of all the distractions, but it is all the things that happen around me while I sketch that I love the most. I love being part of my surroundings and somehow that is encoded into my sketch. Seeing what actually happens while I am sketching (thanks to the camera work of Chantal using my second camera) is an eye opener. We have been blessed with some gorgeously sunny and warm late ‘winter’ days in the past week for filming and it has been amazing to see how vibrant my watercolours look in the full sun.

Ok… better get back to work. I have a lot of items on my to do list. I took this photo today of my wonderful new paper planner – The Get To Work Book by Elise Blaha– and the rough sketch I did of it when I received it back in June.  The format of the planner and its quality has been working so perfectly for me as I tick off all my action points each day.

Ok. that’s it… better get back to work.

Click here for more details about Edges 

SketchingNow Online Sketching Courses: Foundations Self Directed course start today!


  • I suspect I will never have time or money for any workshops, alas. Maybe if I ever find a way to retire…But this sure looks like a good one, Liz!! Good luck with it. I love the tea cup with the ink outlines. My favorite to date!

  • Barbra Joan says:

    I have just found your blog through Pinterest. Actually it was a post from a year ago. Lovin' it. Thanks for sharing.

  • PeggyB says:

    Liz, I love getting your updates and truly envy the people who will be taking this exciting class from you! My next month is full of activities, visits, and moving about to a variety of places.
    "Next time," I tell myself, "my life will be more organized, and I'll be able focus these exciting presentations!" Enjoy, all!

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