Lucca Workshop: Part 2

July 3, 2016 | 11 Comments

I am finding it hard to put into words how much I enjoyed my two day Sketching Lucca workshop – to have the opportunity to put my SketchingNow Foundations concepts into practice in such a gorgeous location and to have such a wonderful group. There was a really special feeling to the group, most of whom travelled to Lucca for the first time – sharing our excitement of being in a new place and also connecting with a few local sketchers.

Two days was too short as we really just started to get to know each other on the second day, so I will be seriously be considering an extra day or two in future workshops.

Day 2 morning was spent doing a measured elevational style sketch of a delightful church – San Giusto. I did a long demo sharing lots of tips for sketching architecture, including measuring, proportions, working in a structured way, how to decide what to do when you draw a wrong line and much more. It wasn’t a complete sketch, but I got this far before deciding that the group needed to start their own versions!

A few action shots…


And the crit time.

What a fabulous collection of sketches – hey?

After lunch I shared some approaches specifically for travel sketching and then was able to walk through my Italian sketchbooks showing how I mix up more serious sketches with smaller quick sketches and how I also changing my media. This makes my sketchbooks more varied and also keeps me always in a fun exploratory state.

I then did a 3 minute standing up demo to show them how to take risks and do a very rapid sketch of an urban scene using one watercolour pencil and a little ink.

I am convinced that developing a ‘fast techinque’ is the key to sketching more. Every sketch doesn’t need to be done in an traditional ink and wash approach. Mix it up!

I then gave everyone the assignment to explore a series of lovely quiet and do a collection of small sketches to describe what they like of the spaces. The end results were inspiring. (Sadly my camera fell out of its case and the photos I took at the end of the last session didn’t save onto my card – I will update this post when I get a copy from someone else)

A huge thank you to everyone that was part of this special event. It was such a joy and pleasure to sketch with you! I am missing you all big time.

Thanks also to Mike and Alex for taking photos (and videos) throughout the two days. It is great to have lots of photographic record of the workshop.


And a photo of the lovely place where I stayed in the hills – Il Gallo. Thanks Katinka for making this all happen!

I am now in Scotland and looking forward to spending Sunday with friends at church tomorrow.


  • It looks like everyone really did well at your workshop! Sounds great!!

  • JoAnne Kalvaitis says:

    Thanks Liz, for carrying on sketching, teaching and continuing to post to us not lucky enough to be with. I’m enjoying your travels immensely.

    • Liz Steel says:

      thanks JoAnne – I am really enjoying being able to blog as I go as well. Its a great memory for me to do it at the time.

  • chris kopet says:

    Wonderful! It brings back memories of my own visit to Lucca – and makes me more excited for your upcoming class “buildings” Enjoy the rest of your adventure!

  • Jeanette Gillings says:

    Everyone has done fantastic work! Well done all!

  • Christine Kaltoft says:

    I’d love to see the 3 minute quickie sketch you mention Liz – would that be possible? Thanks, Christine

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Christine, I am only sharing highlights at the moment, but you will be able to see it when I package all my pages from the trip together after I get home. I don’t normally share every one of my paid workshop demonstrations but if you keep following I might share a similar style 3 minute sketch during the rest of the trip!

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