Teacup Collection #14 and 15 - feeling lost without my normal paper

January 17, 2020 | 8 Comments

As mentioned previously, I can feel a bit lost when I use different paper as I can’t achieve my normal wet in wet techniques. This is especially the case when I sketch teacups as I’m dependent on the paper behaving, so I create the fun patterns on the saucer. These two sketches were done on paper which are not ideal for me. There is nothing wrong at all with either paper, but they would not be my first pick.

The first (No. 14 in my collection) is my Ashdene cup done in a Global Handbook Travelogue Book (now Speedball Travelogue). I find this paper hard to use and ended up overworking some of these areas in order to re-instate some hard edges.

As for the cup, I can’t exactly remember when I bought it or where (just from Myers) but the aspect which makes it special is that it holds the heat in well. Also I often use it when I’m drinking green tea. Hmm, that is something I need to get back to. Why do I stick to Earl Grey so much when I love green tea and actually feel better after drinking it? Do you find green tea more refreshing and invigorating?

The second is another of my Royal Albert 100 years set – 1920s Spring Meadow (#15 in my collection). This sketch was done in a new Kunst and Papier sketchbook which I started last week. The paper revealed the fact that I mixed potter’s pink into my tea wash, doesn’t it?

This cup was my least favourite in the Royal Albert set initially, but now I love it. It’s very old fashioned (cream background with a few random flowers) and well, rather 1920-ish! I think it’s rather elegant and really enjoy drinking my tea out of it.

Just for the record, I could write a lot more about every one of my cups… is that a bit tragic???



  • Lisa Holt says:

    Thanks for trying out different paper!

    And I also feel better after drinking green tea, but end up making black tea instead.

  • Megan says:

    Absolutely love the tea cup portraits, not sure what that says about me! Love the detail of the black ink.

  • Kim Anne Guthrie says:

    I do enjoy green tea and often overlook it for the black teas. Your sketches always make me wonder why I use coffee mugs and not teacups more often. I am using my first Silman & Birn alpha sketchbook and I do love the paper.

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Kim Anne – glad to hear you are enjoying Alpha.
      I use teacups all the time. I have one fancy elegant mug that I use sometimes for late night herbal tea, but otherwise its cups all the way. I hope you get teacups a go! 🙂

  • Dana Richards says:

    Your teacup lore is not in the least tragic! I have 50+ teacups in my (mostly inherited) collection and I wish I knew more about every single one of them! For your purposes, I’d say that paper was tragic though ? I’ve had a lot of fun painting my teacups in the past – you’re inspiring me to get back to it!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Dana – wow! over 50 cups. I have very few inherited – most of mine are modern and purchased by me on specific occasions. I would love more vintage ones.
      Glad you don’t think it’s tragic and hope you get back to sketching from your collection.

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