Last Week: A clear space to work

August 29, 2016 | 3 Comments

I feel like I am a cracked record at times, but I’ll be totally honest with you and admit that finding the time to sketch at the moment is hard, very hard. And yet as soon as I write that, I realise that finding a few minutes each day to sketch shouldn’t be hard, so it must be more a lack of focus.

The lead-up to an online class involves a massive amount of work and I am trying hard to get ahead as much as possible as I would like very much not to have to put in 70 hour weeks this year. I am not complaining about the work as I LOVE it.

It’s an amazing process to package up what I have been teaching in face to face workshops for over three years so that I can share it online. I am very excited about how the lessons are coming together and have been completely focusing on writing and filming in the past week, to the extent that I am forgetting to make time to sketch.

On top of that, I had to get out of the house for 4 nights last week while work was done at home. It wasn’t the best timing for me to have to pack up stuff, change environments totally and then after 4 days return home, unpack and get back to work immediately. But there was an unexpected bonus.

I was extremely thankful to be offered an empty flat to ‘camp’ in, so I took my computer, my wonderful Wilkhahn On chair and a temporary table and set up in the small living area. It turned out to be a great way to focus on my work and I did get a lot done.

I was so in the groove work-wise that I didn’t sketch my new environment. I thought I would be compelled to do so but instead I just wanted to work flat out! I was amazed at how easy it was to work in an uncluttered environment and I couldn’t help thinking why do I have so much stuff? Why do I have so many books and so many art supplies?

Things are a little hectic here at the moment so once again I can’t share the whole collection with you. Instead I will just share two simple sketch of my home desk and my ‘writing boot-camp’ desk.

A slow sketch at home because I didn’t want to pack.

A quick sketch at the flat because I wanted to get back to work.

And finally thanks to everyone who is joining me with my five day sketch challenges from last week. If you are on instagram, we are using the hashtag #fivedaysketchchallenge. Just choose any object and draw it for five days in the coming week.

I used my daily lattes as the subject last week, but I need to do something different this week so I actually will force myself to sketch! My plan is to sketch my desk or something related to my SketchingNow prep this week so that I have a record of the final 10 days before the course starts.

And… in the process of writing this article I suddenly thought of another plan to help me do this. It’s so simple that I am kicking myself! Drum roll please…

I am going to get my sketchbook, my pen and even my paints out sitting on my desk and ready to use. Perhaps my biggest problem has been that my sketchbook has been staying in my bag!

Do you have a plan for what you will sketch in the coming week?

SketchingNow Buildings – 6 week online sketching course – starts on 7 September. This is the only time Buildings will run as a weekly course with lots of teacher interaction, so don’t miss out! More details here.


  • Lisa Pierson says:

    I never plan on what I’m going to sketch…takes to much thought!

    • Liz Steel says:

      I don’t plan my sketch much but I do do some thinking about my subject. Saves a lot of time when sketching.

  • Kandy Phillips says:

    I’m just starting your segment on Seeing. I laughed out loud when I read your line about why do I have so many books and art supplies! My issue exactly. I literally crave an empty space.

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