Last Week: First round of Inktober sketches

October 10, 2016 | 6 Comments

Committing to a daily sketch challenge at the moment is a little bit crazy, so I have set my expectations very low.

The goal: just turn up and do something each day. Experiment and live dangerously!

So here is the collection and the descriptions written at the time. Follow me on Instagram if you want to see them all ‘live’.

Day 3:

We have just moved into summer time so it’s time to put away the winter things, including these gorgeous fingerless mittens – a gift from the lovely Corinna who did my Lucca workshop in June.

I used yellow De Atramentis Document ink (wash) and De Artramentis Document Cyan ink. Both are permanent but I love moving the pigment around the page before it dries. A nice relaxing sketch for day 3.

Day 4:

A sketch doesn’t have to be complicated or take a long time. Taking a line for a walk and enjoying the journey is a great way to fulfill your Inktober obligations. The line might not always be in the perfect spot but if you keep going you will have a finished sketch at the end. My work commitments are full-on this week so I am trying the minimal approach until things settle down.

Day 5:

Winding down from a huge deadline tonight I thought I would use today’s Inktober prompt of SAD. My studio is in a very sad state: things everywhere! I discovered a waterbrush with green ink in it and went wild.

One of the great things about monthly challenges is that they push you to do different things. This is certainly not what I would normally do but it was therapeutic and is a quirky record of lots of bits and pieces in my work-life lately.

Day 6:

I’ve never painted with ink before so last night I threw myself in the deep end. I put a little bit of each of these #deatramentis document inks in my ceramic palette and then started painting a teacup. Oh! it was so different from watercolour in many respects: I had no idea of how strong the colour would be when it hit the paper. I missed the heavy pigments and granulation of watercolour and also the ability to lift colour, as once this ink was dry, it was permanent. Wow – so much fun but keen to try it again now that I know what I need to look out for.

BTW this is the first teacup sketch in almost an entire month. Whoa! That might be a sign that things haven’t been normal for me… and well that is true in some  respects. But all is going well, honestly!

Day 7:

This morning along with filming my morning latte sketch (keep an eye in my Instgram stories for demos of my morning sketches) I also did this quick sketch of the view from the cafe. I was worried that I was going to run out of ink so I dropped some big drops of water on my page to start with – just for a bit of fun!

I managed to complete the sketch with the small amount of ink that I had left in the pen. I love using permanent fountain pen ink in a crazy way and I love the very limited time frame I have to move the pigment around on the page before it dries.

Day 8:

A bit light on the ink component in today’s sketch but I am using ink for the lines. I love ink and wash!

I am doing some tidying up and sorting out today… which included cleaning up my studio palettes. Now to work out what all those paint colours actually are. Don’t ask me for a listing because I am not sure about some in the secondary palette( the one of the left).

Day 9: (sketched this morning)

Catching up: Recording the drastic step I had to take on Friday night to prevent myself from working on Saturday- putting a rug over my computer. My workload has been very heavy lately and I need to slow my pace.

My experience is that when you work for yourself from home it is all too easy to let work sneak somehow into to your day. Does anyone else have that problem – how do you combat it?


  • LauraLupe says:

    I love the Bible verses. Thank you!

  • Dee Robotham says:

    Hi Liz,
    You’re doing so well with #inktober2016. I haven’t done anywhere near so much.

    As far as separating work from life is concerned, two suggestions you may already have tried…

    1) Fit a lock to the work room door and when you finish work, lock the door and put the key as far away as you can. Have a place for it in the garage, garden shed or if don’t have that sort of space put it inside a jar, in a box in the most inaccessible cupboard. Make putting the key away part of your end of work routine. Then you have to really want to get back into your workroom. It can be a pain when you leave something in there you later want, but you have to decide how much do you really want it.

    2) Learn to say “No” to others and to yourself. That way you will gradually take on fewer tasks on the periphery of what you, do leaving you time to do what your best at. Saying no to other people is relatively easy, just apologise and say there’s no way you can manage it at this time. Nicely, but firmly. Saying no to yourself is incredibly difficult. I’m in my sixties and I can manage it about twenty percent of the time. You are probably a lot more organised and disciplined than me. It helps you keep your focus

    Keep up the good work and good luck with it.

    • Liz Steel says:

      thanks Dee. Great suggestions. Yes, I am working at saying No in many ways and being firm with dedicated rest times (more about that coming up) Sadly I can’t separate my work room… and in a way paitning is still my hobby. Putting a rug on my computer was very effective though so I might try that in the evenings as well

  • Molly Reed says:

    As for work/being too busy, the verse, “Be still and know I am God,” is one I try to concentrate on. Over my adult lifetime I have found that God will ‘still me’ when I don’t do so myself. The Sabbath is part of that as I sense you know, but He asks for ‘mini Sabbaths’ during the week to slow us down & get our focus on Him & the peace that generates. Being out with my animals & the wild ones always settles me, refreshes my soul & spirit with laughter & awe of God’s creation.

  • Delores Azary says:

    Love the idea of sketching out your palette. I just may have to “borrow” that idea. I am loving all of your inktober drawings!

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