More borders and establishing sketching habits

February 3, 2020 | 6 Comments

Some weeks I just don’t feel as if I have much time or mental energy to do my own sketching. Last week was one of those as I tried to wrap up the 30faces30days challenge (I had 12 to do last week so that I would finish on time!), working on Group run-through of SketchingNow Buildings and some other background projects. I wanted to do a little more experimentation with borders, but it was a little half-hearted, and basically I didn’t do any sketching out of the ordinary.

But I still filled a good number of pages because I have created a few regular habits that ensure I sketch something:

1. sketching (and working) from a cafe most days
2. sketching from the carpark every time I go to the gym
3. sketching something from every outing I go on – if at all possible.

In addition to these, I’ve started up again on my Sketching Diet (in a separate book so you won’t see food in this collection) and I’m trying to establish a habit of sketching a few random objects from home a few times a week.

With the 30faces30days challenge complete, I will have more time for my own sketching this coming week, won’t I?

In terms of borders, I tried a few things including double lines, painted lines and using masking tape (painters tape). I was also experimenting with ways of painting textured coloured backgrounds on paper that doesn’t easily create smooth washes.

Anyway, that’s the summary of my week.

Here are the pages…


Note: Part of the reason why I like to do these “Last Week” articles is that it forces me to scan and review all the sketches I’ve done in the previous week. It always amazes me when I put it all together how much sketching I actually did – more than I think I had!

After seeing these pages together I realise that this is quite a good collection of images to describe last week –  just a full normal week of work!

So did you add any borders to your sketches in the last week?

Do you have any regular habits to help fit sketching into your daily life?

Please leave your comments below – thanks in advance!



  • Cindy Stipe says:

    Liz, do you ever battle the thoughts of “shouldn’t I be sketching something different?” Sometimes I feel like I’m just painting the same old same old and I battle with myself to try and find something different to sketch, which can be a challenge for someone who is a very routine person.

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Cindy – I never ask ‘shouldn’t I?’ because I have a packed schedule and in reality have little time to sketch, so I have to fit it in with my day. I often think that I would like to go out and sketch something different but never frame it the way you asked the question. In fact doing the same scene over and over is a great way to push through the boredom and find something new. Trying to find a new inspiring view of the carpark is a good challenge and my morning coffee is purely a wake up ritual.

  • No borders last week but looking back there may have been a sketch or two that could have benefited from a border. As for getting sketching into the daily routine, well, last year, 2019, I participated in the Inktober challenge. And surprisingly I produced 31 ink sketches. Some even have color added. Now, if I don’t sketch something every day it feels like a lost day. Even if I just sit for a few minutes and doodle.

  • Stephanie Fassnacht says:

    Your list of when & what you sketch will be very helpful. I’ve been sort of intrigued by the idea of sketching what I eat as I usually try to make my meals as “artistic” as possible. But I’m not yet at the point where I can sketch as fast as you, so don’t want to be sketching while my food gets cold. Would it be just as beneficial to sketch from photos?

  • No borders for me, although since I am doing small sketches they might work. My husband has been very sick and in the hospital for the last month, so the majority of my sketches have been done at his bedside from photos, often in very dim light. It has been a challenge but I am doing postcard sketches for a project a friend is doing. All the art postcards are being sent to the troops overseas. I have about 20 done so far. It is great to so try to stick to my regular routine and have the cards go to a worthy cause.

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