Sketching Goals for 2024

January 1, 2024 | 8 Comments

Happy New Year! I hope that 2024 will be a good year for you and your family.

For the last few weeks I’ve been flipping through the pages of my 2023 sketchbooks (see this article for more) and thinking about how well I achieved last year’s goals. They were:

  1. Continue experimenting
  2. Make time for more dedicated sketching sessions at home and on outings
  3. Continue to focus on telling better stories – of my day and the places I visit

And overall I’m happy with the progress I’ve made with these. As mentioned in my 2023 Sketching Review article I certainly had a year of experimentation – using pencils, markers, and neocolors along with my watercolour. I also experimented with sketchbook sizes!

I didn’t manage to do consistent sketching sessions at home but I now have a built-in routine for sketching outings on Wednesdays. I see this as a huge achievement as I’ve been trying to go on regular sketching outings for years!

The last goal seems to carry over from year to year as it’s something that can’t be definitively completed. It’s more about ongoing progress but I’m happy with my improvements in this regard during 2023. I’m particularly interested in using my sketchbook to create a narrative of my life, so the idea of story-telling involves both images and text. I certainly made an effort in 2023 to make my notes more descriptive of each day and it was very satisfying to re-read them as I flipped through my 2023 sketchbooks.


This year’s goals are basically a refinement of these three aspects of my work. So without any further ado, they are:

  1. Draw more objects at home 
  2. Create a program for night-time research and development sessions
  3. Develop techniques for quick experimental line and shape sketches


1. Draw more objects at home

As the main reason why I sketch is to capture moments from my day and create a narrative of my life, sketching small everyday objects often brings back lots of fun memories down the track. I seem to easily remember the incidents related to the exciting and successful urban sketches that I do (particularly when I’m travelling) but the small moments in everyday life are often forgotten.

When I look back through old sketchbooks I’m usually most interested in my sketches of everyday objects especially when they are related to something that happened that day. For example, this page records the day I cleaned a lot of fountain pens and the fact that a lot of the local eucalyptus trees were in flower this year (this doesn’t happen every year).

By making more of an effort to draw objects I’m providing myself with the opportunity to experiment, to tell a story about my day, and do a quick sketch at night. So yes, this first goal for 2024 covers all three from last year.


2. Create a program for night-time research and development sessions

As mentioned above I was very successful with sketch outings but not so much with sessions at home. I often think to myself ‘What can I sketch tonight?’ and because nothing immediately comes to mind, I go and do something else. Can you relate to this?

So in the coming year, I’m planning to create a program so that I spend time on my own research and development. This will involve working through some of the books from my library – doing exercises, and creating my own versions of other artists’ work, etc.

For those who are interested here are two books that I constantly look at – and so I’m going to begin 2024 with doing some exercises inspired by them.


3. Develop techniques for quick experimental line and shape sketches

In 2023 I did several fun experimental sketches combining line and shape in new ways using mixed media.

Here are a few examples.

Doing these sketches created an extremely enjoyable creative state and so I want to develop techniques for doing these more often – particularly on occasions when I don’t have a lot of time to sketch. At the moment my typical go-to quick sketches are continuous line drawings. Whilst I enjoy doing this type of drawing, I want to add colour to them. 

These are not replacements for more serious watercolour urban sketches but by developing techniques for these types of quick sketches I hope to be able to sneak more sketching into my everyday life.


So there you have it – three goals for 2024.

I’m looking forward to seeing how these three goals play out in the coming 12 months.


  • Hello Liz,
    great article. Very insightful, as always. Drawing objects from my daily life and making some notes shall be a goal of mine this year; thank you for the inspiration.
    I also love your fast line and shape lounge room sketch; would like to know more how you did that.
    Happy 2024

    • Liz Steel says:

      Thanks Susanne! Happy New Year to you too. I will be sharing more about those line and shape drawings at some point.

  • Jamie C says:

    The daily objects always bring more memories up for me, too. So easily forgotten, but wonderful when you sketch them! I look forward to seeing your work this year, as ever, and hearing about how these goals progress for you!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Thanks Jamie and happy new year. Thanks so much for all your comments during 2023! It means SO much to me

  • Ionne McCauley says:

    Hi Liz, Happy new year! I have already sketched my dog and my coffee mug in the past couple of days and am cleaning pens this morning, so no excuse to say- ‘what shall I sketch today?’. I agree, these pages of daily items are wonderful to look back on. So much memory encoded. Thanks again for your constant inspiration. I bought that book last summer- the Realistic Abstracts and am looking forward to seeing what you make of it. I have not done much from it yet, just flipped through several times. Have fun with those goals!!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Thanks Ionne! I love having you in the SketchingNow groups. I’ve have Realistic Abstracts for years and look at it fairly regularly. Just got to start actually doing some of the exercises!

  • Hanna True says:

    Hi Liz! Thank you so much for sharing. Your insights are very helpful as I consider my own art goals for 2024. Taking some of your classes is definitely part of my goals this year! I love the looseness in your line and shape sketches. I can’t wait to learn more about your process for them.

    Anyways, I so appreciate your blog and the way you share your faith with your art. God has definitely used your work to inspire and encourage me. Thank you for sharing so generously. Wishing you an art-filled 2024!

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