My LGA2021 Sketches Part 3: My Greenwood Journal

September 23, 2021 | 15 Comments

Today I’m pleased to share my collection of sketches done during my two-week break inside my Greenwood Journal. These are very different from the sketches in the large Goldline sketchbook, but they are just as important.

This notebook (Melbourne based company) has a gorgeous vegan leather cover, smooth paper that is great for writing, dry media and light washes, and opens totally flat. Sam from Greenwood sent me a journal with my name on the cover last year. I’m so happy to be finally using it.

The idea I had for the use of this book was for quick sketches using ink and pencil – with a little water added to watercolour pencils (WCP). These sketches were all done in less than 5 minutes… some even quicker – and many of them were done standing up, often mid-walk. In many ways, they would be more accurately described as big thumbnails!

I absolutely loved using this Greenwood Journal (it’s so gorgeous) and doing these quick, no-pressure sketches. They were fresh and spontaneous, reminding me of design-sketching when I was an architect. This super rapid type of sketching is very important to me (as a way of visual note-taking) so it was great to have a sketchbook where I felt free to create in this way.

Okay… enough preamble. Please let me know if you have any questions about these sketches (or the sketching) in the comment section below.

Here are most of the pages of my Greenwood so far. (A few pages have notes and other random stuff.)

I’m posting these as unedited photos so that you have a sense of the bleed-through and buckling when using a little water. It’s not as noticeable in real life.

How fun is this collection of sketches?

And finally, to bring you up to date with what has been happening inside my Greenwood in the last week or so…

Since I’ve gone back to work, I’ve still managed to do daily walks in Lane Cove National Park. Yay!

I have a new strategy which I will explain in full next week… but, in summary, I’m still using my Greenwood for quick sketches during my walk.

During the first week back, I continued using ink and watercolour pencils with a little water via my waterbrush. I even tried a little watercolour (as seen in this sketch above) but think that it’s best just to activate WCPs for washes rather than use watercolour paint.

However this week something else radical (and very exciting) happened…

I started using Copic markers again!!! Woo hoo!

I haven’t used these markers for sketching since 2012 and I’m really loving using them in this Greenwood journal. More about this next week, but I just wanted to share this first here with you, on my blog. How’s that for a tease?

Note: By Copic markers, I’m referring to alcohol-based markers – I mostly use the Copic brand but also have a few by Promarker, Pantone and Chartpac. I used this type of marker in the office when I worked full time as an architect.

And oh! I’ve started using De Atramentis Sepia Document Ink as well! 🙂



  • Laurence says:

    Simply wonderful!!!
    I love the energy that the line impulses, its immediacy, its feeling, Great!
    Just as inspiring as the sketching work of Mathurin Meheut, French painter and John Blocley, English painter.

  • Prashanta says:

    I’d be repeating myself if I said, “wonderful stuff”, so I’ll just say – Page numbering 67 is repeated twice 😉

    Doesn’t that tell you how much I pore over your excellent, inspiring sketches – even if they’re thumbnails!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Ah ha! I was wondering if someone would pick that up! 🙂 Nothing like having some quirks when you hand-number pages while listening to a podcast or something else. 🙂

  • Lise Gauthier says:

    Hi Liz … I like your smooth sketches without stress of perfection … As a signature, I recognize your nice lines, nervous lines, anyway you do, it is always interesting to see your self comments on your works … TECHNICAL QUESTION: copic alcohol marker, on your Greenwood papers, Do ink pass through the paper? … If yes, How do you manage it if you sketch on the back of the page?

    Pleasure to fellow you!

    Have a nice day!

    Lise Quebec, Canada

  • manuela says:

    Love these quick sketches, they are full of life and energy …. just beautiful….
    The greenwood paper and markers seem to like each other….gorgeous result…
    Looking forward to your article on using markers.

  • Arlene Lennox says:

    I’d like to see a list of the WC pencils you are carrying. Maybe you could make sure the name labels are facing up when you take a picture.

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Arlene – my selection is still changing constantly so I’m hesitant to share until it’s a little more locked in. I don’t have a full set either – more just want I’m using for my bush sense. These pencils are simply props.:-) But I will share where my selection is at soon-ish- okay.

  • Monica Paccione says:

    Hi Liz, I love Sketch number 34/35. The tree is beautiful and I love the pink and red colors in it. I also love your comments and what your thoughts are as you are drawing. But my favorite is the last one with the Copic markers and the watercolor pencils! I love this drawing of the green trees! I decided to start a daily habit yesterday. So we’ll see how that goes. And I know that the month of October has a drawing idea a day so may try that! Have a blessed Sunday! Thanks for always posting and writing and adding your thoughts and comments to those that post to you. It‘s so interactive!

  • Jammie C says:

    The ease and expressiveness of these sketches are so wonderful! So much life is in them! It’s great fun to see the Copic markers in use, too!

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