Recent Sketches: From contained to open compositions

February 6, 2023 | 6 Comments

I’m really enjoying going through my Sketchbook Design course again and I’m especially loving our interactive livestreams!

Last week we had a fun session when we explored a number of different ways of how I could finish off a page. There were so many great suggestions from the chat and I created three different options as shown in the above photos. In the end I combined a few of the ideas to finish off the page.

It’s been really great to have a few weeks of ‘contained compositions’ – making sure sketches and elements align and having clearly defined white space. But I’m now moving to open compositions which involve overlapping, merging, extending! I’m working a little ahead of the group so that I have plenty to share during our next livestream.

Generally open compositions are harder than contained ones and so I’m taking risks and doing a few crazy experiments at the moment. A personal sketchbook should be a place where you are free to do this, don’t you think?

So here are my recent pages… and you’ll notice some of these crazy experiments at the end – the last few pages of Volume 167. There are even more to come in my next sketchbook! 🙂

And so ends Volume 167! You can see all the articles relating to this sketchbook here.



  • Cora Brown says:

    I love the way you finished off the page from our Sketchbook Design live stream session. You even solved the problem of not wanting to cut into the teapot space with borders from other sketches.

  • Jamie C says:

    Those sky experiments at the end are very effective in creating flow and making the open composition so interesting!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Thanks Jamie. I’m having lots of fun trying new things as open compositions and looking forward to sharing in next livestream!

  • Sandie Ingram says:

    I really love how you used the skies in the last two sketches! Very effective in establishing a path…a very vivid one that ties things together!

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