Last week: Varied subject matter

March 28, 2022 | 8 Comments

I want to get back to the habit of reviewing my previous week of sketches and discussing the main themes that arise from my work. In a recent article I realised that thinking about ‘when do I sketch?’ related directly to everything I did that week. BTW Thanks to everyone who left a comment on that article – I loved reading every one!

A few thoughts that I’ve had as I review the past week’s collection:

  • How dependent I’ve become on my daily local ‘walk and sketch’. When I don’t manage something on-location I feel as if my sketching has been lacking that day! Related to this…
  • When sketching at home I find it hard to think of something (other than my teacups and teapots) to sketch.
  • I’ve really enjoyed doing all the Foundations exercises again!
  • I’m thinking about lots of techniques from my Sketchbook Design course as I try to make my ordinary pages more interesting.
  • How much I love using an 8×10″ Softcover Alpha (by Stillman and Birn) again. It really is the best size and format for me – with so many options for designing the page.

And oh! just to let you know there is a group forming who will go through the Sketchbook Design lessons starting on 6th April. So if you have been thinking about signing up for this course, it’s a good time right now to do so. You’ll then be able to work through the exercises with other supportive and motivating sketchers. To sign up for Sketchbook Design please check out this page. If you have already enrolled in the course, I’ll be sending out an email with specific instructions next week.

Okay… that’s enough preamble… here are all the spreads since my last update:

Friday: Fancy teapot (watercolour and coloured pencil) and a view I’ve sketched many many times while sipping my coffee.

Saturday: A teacup sketch that was intentionally placed in a corner (just for fun) and a very quick sketch from my car before an appointment.

SImple line drawing on my way to the supermarket and the first page of Manganese Blue Hue swatches. See more here.

More mixing swatches and a late night teacup sketch to complete the spread (close up here). I generally like to start a new page on a new spread so I often do an evening sketch just to complete a spread.

Tuesday: During the day I did the two following full spread pages so once again in the evening I had to finish this spread. Another tea-related sketch was the way I filled my page. This is the least practical teapot in my collection as it doesn’t have an infuser and is too big for daily use.

Doing Foundations Lesson 11 indoor exercise: Sketching my computer desk and documenting my new-ish Kanban board on the wall behind my imac. It’s working well even though I’m only using it for some projects.

Doing Lesson 11 outdoor exercise at Goodfields Eatery.

Wednesday: A bits and pieces page with two borders to add a little order.

The only visit to Lane Cove National Park for the week – it was raining so I had to sketch from my car. And in the evening a sketch from a photo relating to a documentary I had just watched.

Thursday: A quick sketch after an appointment before I drove off and so much blind contour drawings of 6 beautiful children I was visiting in the evening.

Friday: My teapot collection sketch that I did in the evening – see more here.

Friday: In the evening I realised that my first spread for the day was empty so I decided that I needed to do a Palladio sketch while having a cup of tea. So here is Palazzo Valmarana in Vicenza – it was nice to do a perspective sketch like this! Hmm, maybe I should get back to my Palladian Urban Building project.

And then I did a paint-only version of my cast iron teapot.

Saturday: A fun day with family – birthday party for my brother. I didn’t get a chance to sketch at the time so back home I sketched the cake from a photo and then added an envelope to store the cards and drawings given to me by my nieces and nephews. BTW each quadrant of the cake was decorated by a different child.

So all up… even though I didn’t feel as if I had sketched as much as usual, it turned out to be a fun collection of sketches with a good variety of subject matter.

I love mixing on-location sketches with objects and as much as I enjoy sketching teacups and teapots, I would like to sketch other things as well. So I’m thinking about whether I should start working through a prompt list for objects around the home. Stay tuned for more about that.

How did you go last week with your sketching? I would love to know – so please leave a comment below.

(If you are reading this via email, please click on the article title link below and add a comment on my blog. Thanks!)


  • Peggy Bowman says:

    You continue to inspire and motivate, Liz. I’ve been prepping a travel kit with minimal supplies for a 6-week trip to Europe (England, Scotland and Belgium). Haven’t been sketching daily, but I am studying and practicing the skill of adding people to my sketches. I know the skills I’ve learned from you and my classmates in Buildings, Edges, Foundations and Sketchbook Design (all the classes I’ve taken so far!!) will help immensely. Can’t wait!

  • Carole Brachna says:

    Liz, I love how you are including verses from the Bible on some of your sketch pages. It’s a great way to praise God, uplift your soul, and do your daily sketching, as well. It lifts the pages out of the ordinary. I’m going to try this, as well, even though I’m a beginner. Thank you for sharing these pages!

  • Susan Gaddis says:

    I read this post with delight and embraced giving myself permission to mix things up on a page. Please continue with the variety of things you sketch as it boosts my personal confidence and permission level to just sketch anything, even if it might be boring or complicated.

  • Gayle Lobban says:

    I am like you, Liz, in that when I am home, I have trouble coming up with subjects to draw. I love your idea to have a prompt list.

  • Harvey Karen says:

    I also appreciate your Bible verses. Your consistent pages keep me inspired to make time to sketch. Just finishing your Foundations course and excited to dip into another one soon. Sketchbook page design is sounding really good. Thank you for being you!

  • Cecelia Clarke says:

    Greetings Liz
    You mention that you are looking for different objects to sketch around the home. Have you considered vases?
    Your sketchbook pages incorporating text and image are beautifully presented and inspirational.

    Best from Metrogirl

  • Zoe says:

    You have always been the mistress of well designed pages. I admired that lots back when you were introduced in Cathy Johnson’s “Artists’ Journal Workshop.”

  • Tina Koyama says:

    I am currently on Day 44 of the 100 Day Project, and the theme I chose to work on is developing my skills in drawing from memory. Every day I choose a different common household object (cleanser bottle, stapler, pencil sharpener, faucet, etc), study and/or take notes from observation, then a few hours later, I draw it from memory. It’s getting more difficult finding objects to draw because I want them to be a little challenging but not too challenging. 😉 But what I was going to suggest is going room to room to find things to sketch: the stuff in your bathroom, the stuff in your kitchen, etc.

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