The most popular articles in 2018

January 2, 2019 | 5 Comments

Like last year, I’ve just spent a little time looking at my stats to see what the most popular posts were for 2018.

And they are… (drum roll please!)

  1. My new everyday sketching project
  2. Announcement of the One week 100 People challenge for 2018
  3. Some favourite sketchbook pages and layout

Other popular articles were:

These are the only articles actually written in 2018 that make it into the top 50 pages visited. So what are the other pages? They are all material-based articles which I have written over the years – surprise surprise! I know that if I want to grow my blog, all I have to do is to write about materials more often!

To be honest, I sometimes get a bit discouraged by most people’s extreme obsession with materials. I totally understand that it is helpful to read reviews before purchasing but many sketchers have way more stuff than they can ever use. It’s as if buying new stuff will make our work better! I know the feeling because I have gone through that phase myself, and even at the moment when I don’t have any interest in going into art stores just to look (truly!) I still manage to collect new tools all the time.

As much as I know materials reviews are helpful to many people, I prefer to write about ideas and concepts behind my art as that fuels my creativity and desire to improve further! And my hope that my musings do help you too and that most of all you are encourage to keep sketching.

I’m therefore very happy with the selection of articles which made the top list this year as they contain two themes – everyday sketching challenges/projects and watercolour! These have indeed been my themes on the blog for 2018 so I’m glad they made the cut!

My personal favourite articles are the trip reflection ones as they are an opportunity for me to pause and reflect on my own development as an artist.

Reflections from 11 weeks in Europe

Reflections from 3 weeks in California

Finally, I just want to highlight some instructional articles

But enough about what I did in 2018… what I want to know from you is:

  • What are your favourite articles on this blog?
  • What would you like me to write about more? (it’s ok to mention materials if you are specific about what materials you want me to talk about and/or why!)

I really look forward to your comments!



  • Deb DesMarteau says:

    “…many sketchers have way more stuff than they can ever use. It’s as if buying new stuff will make our work better!”

    That statement hit home! Ha! It’s like I am SO prepared with all my supplies, but a FEAR of starting gets in the way of actually sketching on a regular basis. Thanks for all you do to in continuing to inspire, instruct and include us in your sketching journey!

  • Pam Cope says:

    I appreciate your comments about not buying more stuff!! For me it’s a form of procrastination, I can’t start until everything is perfect. I love your daily small posts of what you are drawing, and have set up my sketch book with the daily prompts. The more I draw the less wobbly my lines are. I’m excited to see how I progess in 2019. Thank you for all the effort you put into your blog and for sharing it with us. I really appreciate it.

  • Kristine M Heilman says:

    I have used your blog as a resource for going on 4 years….mainly for information on watercolors. This past spring I discovered there was a local USk chapter and I joined up mainly because of seeing your adventures in Urban Sketching. I love it, have visited places I’ve never been to despite living here for 15 years and have met a wonderful group of people. Now I read your blog as soon as I’m alerted to a new post 🙂

    One of my favorite aspects of your blog is when you include both the real thing and your sketch in the photograph. This is a great way to visualize how one captures a scene in the moment. Very inspiring.

    My favorite article from the past year is when you did the comparison of student grade vs. artist grade colors. It was also nice to see your progression as a sketcher.

    One of my favorite products that you turned me onto is Super5 ink. Luckily I work about 10 minutes from what I think is the only shop in the U.S. that carries it: Wet Paint. I started out with Australian Red because it was the most different from inks I already have. Now I have 3 shades and will adopt more as my pocketbook allows. BTW – I have found that it works best in a Platinum Preppy/Plaisir because of their feature that prevents ink from drying out. I have some in a Lamy but I find it is bit hard to start up if I haven’t used it for a couple of days.

    I like the variety of posts that you have!

  • Stefan Wasinski says:

    Hi Liz –
    stefan wasinski – I’m fairly new to urban sketchers…and currently enjoying your value-packed Foundations course. Regarding your comments on materials – my suggestion would be to divide things into several clear sections – Artistic Focus and another on the basics of materials. That way you would not need to continue to go over the same ground on the latter topic – and your views as an artist would gain prominence – away from the admin of pens, paint and paper.

    You already have a tonne of reference material in paint, paper, brushes, etc and a proportion of that needs to stay within the walls of paid-for courses…however the ‘interest stimulator’ in what materials to buy is also vital for newbies like me who went to art school long ago and rely on experts like yourself to suggest what new tools we might consider.

    Just the huge injection of info on what new tools to buy has been an immense help and I can see my work improving greatly with each drawing – thanks to your helpful suggestions on tools and practical experience.

    Now of course i would like to hear your views on what you think makes a great composition…what art work you think is helpful to study for learning style and which books etc I should read to further advance specific techniques and appreciations. I’m currently studying philosophy and have been doing that for the last three years and all the books suggested by our lecturers have been an excellent enhancement to my appreciation for the subject and given me valuable additional insights.

    So in summary I’m simply saying divide the fabulous info you generously produce into two or possibly three subject streams. One might be pure art…one might be practical sketching and the third might be materials to consider.

    thanks for being a brilliant motivator – I;m delighted to be one of the foot soldiers in your army!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Thanks Steven. Really appreciate your thoughts!!! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave such a long comment.

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