Last week: People, food, buildings and my usual cuppas

January 20, 2020 | 8 Comments

I just discovered that I haven’t been regularly sharing my everyday sketches – it was Feb last year when I last published a Last Week article! What???? That’s a sign of how jam packed 2019 was and that even though I was sketching a lot, I just didn’t find the time to share.

So, I hope to revive the habit of sharing my everyday sketches so that you can see what I’m really up to. I think there is something very beneficial in seeing absolutely all my sketches in the one spot. It’s certainly a good way for me to reflect on what I’ve achieved and what I want to do next, and I hope it’s helpful for you too.

I returned to work on the 6th Jan and so this article will actually share the last two weeks worth of sketching. I’m picking up from the end of my Summer Break here where I was using a square Handbook Travelogue sketchbook. I’m now using a Kunst and Papier Watercolour Book 24 x 20.6cm (9.4″ x 8.1″) 120 page book with 160gsm 35% cotton paper. It’s a big book, the paper is okay (better for me that the Handbook but still not perfect) and I’m enjoying using it. (A more detailed review coming – of course).


My sketching has been dominated by three themes:

– Sketching people: I’m doing the Sktchy 30 faces/30 days challenge and using that as a prompt to sketch people on location.

– Sketching food: I’ve just completed a personal challenge of sketching everything I eat for a month – what I call my Sketching Diet

– Sketching buildings: I’m sure you all know by now, that I’m hosting a Group Run-through of my SketchingNow Buildings course and so I’m doing the homework and lots of bonus material to add into the classroom.

I’ll share my Sktchy sketches in a separate article and will also explain more about my Sketching Diet soon. But for today, here are the pages from my sketchbook from the last two weeks. Note: I haven’t included my 30 faces 30 days sketches in this article.

Here are my pages:


And finally…

A little slice through my sketch of Milan Cathedral which I did as a Building of the Week demo for the Buildings course.

BTW: The 3 videos I filmed last week will be replaced by a new one on Wednesday… so if you are doing the course and want to watch it please make sure you head to the classroom soon.


Wow, that was a lot of pages, wasn’t it?

Thanks to a few projects/challenges, I’m spending lots of time with my sketchbook and it feels great. I would still like to record more of my daily life, but it’s been a great start to the year for me and I feel as if I can build on this foundation.

How have you been going with your sketching this year? January can be a tough month for sketching – either due to the winter weather in the northern hemisphere or due to holiday time and lack of routines in the southern parts of the world.

I would love to hear from you in the comment section below.


  • Joanne Kalvaitis says:

    Thanks for the long post Liz. I see a couple of the bldgs you’ve sketched are for the course which, by the way is great. I have always felt fortunate to live in Victoria, BC Canada, as we have a lot of beautiful older churches and listed buildings. I live right downtown amongst them. Yesterday walking home I was studying them with some of the new found knowledge gained from your course and wishing it would warm up enough to sketch outside for more than a few minutes!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Joanne,
      Glad you are enjoying the course and that you are starting to see buildings differently. Sounds like Victoria is a great place to live and I hope you are creating a list of places to sketch when the weather warms up. It’s a pity for you all in the Northern Hemisphere that now’s the only time I could fit the Group Run-through into my schedule but I hope you you can still find a way to do a little sketching on location – from a cafe?

  • Sally Hirst says:

    I really liked this post and spent a long time browsing through, even though I read every post. I’m doing your Foundations course and learning a lot too.
    The best thing is that you’re obviously a real human, not someone trying to be a ‘blogger’. The blog is the medium through which you engage.
    Thanks Liz. You’re a delight.

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Sally – thanks so much! Great to hear that you are enjoying Foundations.
      I LOVE my blog – it’s my place to record and reflect on my art. The discipline of putting up crazy long posts like this one, help me focus on developing my art. I definitely try to resist the ‘professional blogger’ trends 🙂

  • Ellen Agger says:

    I too live in Victoria, BC, Canada. I love your blog, Liz, and I’m also taking the Foundations course. Five days ago we had a rare icy day here after two days of snow — I slipped and broke my left wrist. Since I am a lefty too, I had two choices: wait for months until I’m healed and can get back to my course or see what I can do with my right hand. I chose the latter and it is surprisingly fun. It makes me slow down and also be more playful. Perhaps a blog post from you on how to proceed when things aren’t going as you expected?

  • Benedicte says:

    Thank you for sharing your working with such generosity Liz. I’m looking forward to catch up with new contents in Building course. I did complete most lessons in December but I want to go through them again in order to really assimilate the concepts. Leaving in the french part of Switzerland, I still struggle with outdoor exercises and worked mostly from photos. I will do them all next spring as soon as street cafés open again. I felt a bit awkward sketching in the cold!
    I’m blessed with a lot of interesting buildings in my surrounding, taking the course has made me more appreciative of them. That’s great!
    I really appreciate your way of teaching 🙂

  • Thanks for the inspiration. I had a health scare back in November and have AFib , and now am on meds to control this rapid heart beat. I am fine, but the stress of the whole thing seems to have taken the inspiration out of sketching or painting. I am easing back slowly. Have you ever experienced a time when you did not feel like picking up your sketchbook?

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