Europe 2020V: Brussels

July 10, 2020 | 10 Comments

Back in February when I realised that my big trip might not go ahead I stopped planning the second half. So after Luxembourg I was planning to attend a sketching event in Maastricht and then spend 2 weeks in the region visiting some places in Belgium including Brussels.

As my itinerary hadn’t been planned in detail I had a little freedom in what places I could visit but, as mentioned previously, it takes a lot of work to adequately collect photos of new locations. So I simplified and decided to just spend a week in Brussels.

My friend Franchoise Chome (Frannie) offered to collect some photos for me and to make my virtual visit to Brussels more real we organised a number of zoom sessions.

Frannie explained the photos to me and then we sketched together. It was so much fun!

For the first time during my virtual trip I was sketching alongside a friend which caused lots of distractions. Distractions of the very best kind!

Distractions while you are sketching are often a good thing as it makes you less likely to overthink and overwork a sketch and it adds liveliness to your marks. So it made it a little more like sketching on  location.

The first session I decided to do multiple quick sketches but that required a little too much thinking…

and so after that I simply found a complex building that I could just mindlessly sketch while chatting.

And there were some amazing Art Nouveau buildings which were super fun for me to sketch.

I also did some solo sketching from Frannie’s photos (and Google street view) to fill out the week. I also tried to find some Belgian food to eat!

I got a bit obsessed with the Town Hall (so hard to sketch quickly) and struggled to fit the tower in (some crazy short versions were done very late at night!) This was my last version and I decided it was time to do a little measuring.


Thie week in Brussels was definitely a highlight of my Virtural Trip Project. Thanks Frannie!!!

Next up… I had one day in a place I visited last year…



  • Francoise Chome says:

    Wonderful Liz to see the final result of your sketchbook wile your were here virtually. I also found the distraction of chatting with you and the excitement of sketching with you in Brussels while you were physically in Sydney interesting for my sketching. There are so many additional places in Brussels for you to visit and also in the rest of the country. I can’t wait for you to come here physically and if not then I will organise another V-tour for you. Your sketches give a great feel for Brussels center and the Grand Place with its Town Hall and high tower. x Frannie

    • Liz Steel says:

      thanks Frannie. I cant wait to visit for real. Thanks again so much for the V-tour! Take care my friend!

  • Monica says:

    I love Brussels: it’s one of my favourite capital in Europe. Yes, I’m an Art Nouveau fan and when I visited it in 2006 I got crazy about Victor Horta buildings…
    In the last days I “felt in my heart” 2 wonderful girls having fun somewhere in the world and now I Know exactly where they were.
    So happy to see you together : D

    • Liz Steel says:

      Thanks Monica!!! we would have had so much fun together in Marostica this year… but hope we can organise something similar in the future. Missing you!

  • Ted B. says:

    Are you just using digital photos from past trips, or GoogleEarth streetviews?

    • Liz Steel says:

      HI Ted – for Brussels I was using my friends photos plus google. But for most of my virtual trip I’m revisiting places and so mainly using my own photos.

  • Susana Smith says:

    Hi Liz … do you conduct Zoom online workshops where people anywhere can join in? If so, where would I find out about them?
    Cheers, Susana
    NW Tasmania

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Susana – at the moment all my focus is on my SketchingNow courses and I’m doing weekly livestreams for my Watercolour On Location course. No zoom classes at present.

      The zoom sessions mentioned in this article were private ones are with a friend and was not instructional – more like a sketchmeet. 🙂

  • Ceri Donovan says:

    You should have a look at the Atomium, if you haven’t already, that would make an interesting sketch! 🙂

Leave a Reply