What aspect of your art do you want to work on in 2022?

December 30, 2021 | 45 Comments


For many years I’ve had a tradition of lining up all the sketchbooks from a year and flipping through them on NYE. This year I wanted to do a more serious review and so I’ve been taking all week to go through them. I’m looking at every page carefully and reading every word. I’m also assessing my work in regard to the goals I set at the start of the year.

This morning I asked three questions on Instagram:

1. Do you set yourself any art/sketching goals?
2. If yes, can you share your goals?
3. What aspects of your art do you want to work on in 2022?

It’s been really fun to get some responses… so I wanted to ask the same questions here as well.

At the moment on Instagram, 30% of people do set art goals for themselves (which is a good number!) and one of the recurring themes in the answers for questions 2 and 3 is wanting to create a daily practice.

This is a topic that I love to think about and discuss!  Practice is very important but it’s only part of the picture. To see real development in your work you need to add some research to your practice – it must be deliberate practice. Otherwise, it’s easy to get a little stuck and do the same thing over and over (get into a holding pattern). It’s even possible to cement bad habits.

2021 has been a really great year for me in terms of output – I’ve never done as much everyday sketching!

As I look through my work I see a lot of repetition. Part of that is inevitable, as my daily life IS repetitive and my intention to sketch 6 days a week does mean that some days I just go through the motions. Daily projects, such as my 100+ teacups during our Sydney lockdown, also have this tendency as simply sketching the same subject every day can be a struggle.

But it’s really interesting to see how much my sketchbook work has been impacted by the Group Run-throughs of my SketchingNow courses. There is no doubt that the weekly livestreams keep me motivated to do the work and to explore the concepts for the current course in a new way. I always have to have something new to show the group. This is a vital way of adding some deliberateness to my practice. So thanks to everyone who has been a part of the Group Run-throughs this year. Your inspiration has been huge in 2021 and I can’t wait to go through Foundations (starting next week) with you! One of the things I want to work on in 2022 is to sketch more objects from my life in order to tell better stories about my everyday life… and I know that Foundations will be perfect for that. But I’m getting ahead of myself as that is what I want to share more about tomorrow when I do my yearly review.

And in terms of goals (more about this tomorrow as well)… in recent years I’ve been more focused on developing habits and I’ve been influenced by James Clear’s book Atomic Habits. In fact, I just discovered that he has a great article on deliberate practice here. Ah! this is another big topic that I could write more about. 🙂

But for now…

I’d love to hear from you and your response to these three questions. So if you have time I would love to hear about any goals or areas of your art that you would like to work on in the comment section below.

(If you are reading this via email, please click on the article title link below and add a comment on my blog. Thanks!)

 

 

45 Comments

  • Liz Steel says:

    Thank you in advance for leaving a comment 🙂

    • Carmel Campbell says:

      Hi Liz,
      I don’t set goals. Goals or daily prompts don’t work for me. I do have a daily art practice which I started back in 2013. I tend to move from one subject to the other and generally land back to my favorite subject …people. Unfortunately with all that has gone on in the last two years I have lost some of my motivation. It has not been easy to sketch people. I have still maintained my daily art practice. My sketchbooks are filled with sketches from daily outings and then a couple of pages of mixed media and collage. I guess if I was to set a goal it would be to weave my sketching into mixed media and collage. However, it is not a goal…just an idea. I have no idea where I will go with my art in the coming year.

    • cat bast says:

      Hi Liz! Great article and another resource (James Clear) from which to learn. I set goals; no matter what I’m doing, Regarding your three questions concerning sketching/art practice I can say beyond the simplistic goals (sketch daily,) I am stuck. I don’t have the basic framework to evaluate what I do and how I can do better. I might have a gift for wonkiness, but I’d like to get to where I don’t need to label what I draw so others can identify what they see. That’s not really a goal. I’ve created frameworks for other areas of my life, so maybe that will be the goal for this year; We start a second class together next week, and I hope a more deliberate practice in class will help me figure out how to be strategic, as well as deliberate.

      • cat bast says:

        After having said all that, I can say that I do have goals unrelated to becoming a better artist, sketching artist in particular: create a 2023 calendar for friends; continue Nature Journaling; practice Urban Sketching; continue focused learning with books/classes.

        So I am seeking a method of evaluating and making changes to creating a better product. Seeing is a start. teaching the brain to translate to hand what interests the eye is the skill I seek.

        Liz, I have loved your blog for ages. Thank you for all you do and share with us!

    • Adeline Violas says:

      Hi Liz!

      To be honest, I think I have set goals in my mind, when in reality, I have not actually made any actions on my thoughts. In my head I think, “I should sketch more,” but then it’s just a passing thought and I don’t commit any action to that. I do *have* time to sketch every day, but this time is highly unpredictable, as my care-taking duties can be unpredictable, and easily and often derail any plans I do make, and leave me exhausted and thoroughly uninspired afterwards.

      In December of 2021 I started learning about Bullet Journaling. I don’t have a lot of plans, and I keep track of my scheduled appointments digitally, but the idea of having a daily practice to guide me and get these “goals” in my head objectively on paper, as well as a way to assure that I work on personal development tasks (instead of every day blurring into the next as it has for the last 2 years).

      I am starting slowly, trying out things and exploring ideas to incorporate for my personal development, and one area I need to focus on is self-care. ART, for me, IS SELF CARE. It’s something I do for myself, and to continue being honest, the positive interaction with others in Sketching Now courses have really been the most valuable “public” social interaction I have had during this time. Thank you thank you thank you for creating this community! It has really been a bright spot for this social-distanced extrovert!

      So I have this idea in my head: DO MORE ART… but unless I make that goal actionable, it just gets lost in the clutter of my daily life. So I’m making it part of a tracker where I just mark the days where I make art. no dots gives me a sense that time is passing without me making art, more dots mean I’m taking action TOWARD that goal, without that nagging ‘should’ adding emotional burden and negative associations with NOT meeting the goal. The idea is that seeing some progress, any progress, in a measurable way, helps to see what I CAN do rather than the things that hold me back and let time pass without knowing where it went or what I did as it slipped by.

      In 2022, I am thinking more about other aspects that have prevented me from doing art more often. One is, that using water based media in a temperate rainforest usually means working indoors (I’m in Southeast Alaska, it literally rains many more days than it does not). I have an ongoing hobby with fountain pens, but in 2021, fell in love with TWSBI pens, especially the ECO. I also have been exploring pigmented fountain pen inks, like those offered from Kakimori, De’Atramentis, Birmingham Pen Co, and Rohrer & Klingner. I’ve made quite a collection of colored pens and inks this past year, and they work well on watercolor paper in the ECO’s, and are compatible with watercolor. They also require little more than a pen case and a sketchbook, so it’s easier to drag along on location and use in the car while waiting, and doing sketches that I can paint later. I also won’t have to wait someplace for it to dry before closing my sketchbook.

      Even if it’s only a “doodled” page in an A6 or pocket sized book, it still counts toward getting a more regular sketching practice. It makes me feel good. It COUNTS. When I want to make larger more detailed sketches, hopefully it will make me a little more skilled to accomplish those bigger pieces more confidently. Daily sketching would be nice, but I know I’ll just feel guilty later trying to hold myself to that standard. but sketching MORE is doable for me, as long as I have some way to objectively show that I’m acting to make progress on my intentions.

  • Janet Bower says:

    Both my husband and I are amateur artists and have set up a ‘beach hut’ in the garden as a studio. Apart from drinking coffee there(!) and watching the wildlife we plan to set at least one day per week aside doing serious practice of techniques we know we enjoy ( watercolours and sketching) as well as experimenting with other mediums. Lately I’ve been playing with lino cuts and am fascinated by the outcomes. This year I plan to produce my own Christmas cards before it gets to December(!) and therefore, too late to do it properly.

  • Thank you Liz for all your comments and generously sharing your thoughts throughout 2021. I’ve been a great fan for a few years now and value your insights. My Art goal (s) this year is to Complete my 300th painting (I’m on 285), focus more on Portrait painting this year – last year was landscapes. My aim is to complete 1 finished pen and ink drawing, 1 outdoor painting (in pastels) of either a landscape, clouds, waves, sunsets, reflections and 1 portrait per week.
    I paint or draw 4 days out of 7, and always like to try new materials (have just been experimenting with pouring acrylics), many different types of paper and always mount each work I do before I start ! I try and improve my processes each week and also have everything ready the night before so I can start in next day and not waste time. I think it is important to have a number of subjects in mind to draw, so you can think clearly about how you plan to render the subject and in what medium and on what material, so you can avoid making the same mistakes over and over and build on your progress using new techniques and skills.

  • Peggy Bowman says:

    My goal is to create a “walking kit” with a sketchbook, pen and several clips to carry when I walk daily at home. When weather permits, I’ll use continuous line to sketch whatever catches my fancy, work on speed, then journal when I get home. I want to focus on “seeing” and “feeling” rather than laboring to make the scene or object into a completed painting as I am wont to do. I hope this practice makes me more comfortable with ink only and more willing to accept “wonkiness!”
    Happy New Year!!

  • Barbara Alscher says:

    1) Yes, I set ‘creativity goals’.
    2) The most important one is to find kind of a balance between learning ( mostly through your sketching-now tutorials), simply enjoying what I do and – instead of being disappointed If things don’t turn out as I wanted – reflecting on what I have achieved vs where I want to improve.
    The 2nd goal: To accept that my free time is restricted, I love to do different things and there are days, when drawing a straight line is impossible for me, so those days may be ideal to explore some new colour combinations or new materials. Some weeks ago you had a very interesting blog post with Cecilia (Walking Kit), where “riverbed” was a key word: almost all of my creative activities are not necessarily ‘competing stand alones’ but are somehow intertwined. I really want to explore my first thoughts on this topic much more. Some first thoughts: I love bookbinding: I have found a sketchbook and (at least at the moment) I love the paper for everyday sketching/writing, but it doesn’t lay flat: I cut the “paperblock” out, made a new cover with canvas that I painted and stamped on. I love making jewelry and the more I deal with color harmony, hue and tone, the easier it is to choose beads and other materials. I also got the idea to try sketching my jewelry pieces (as kind of a ‘substitute’ for your tea cups :-)). Another design element could be the book covers from books I read…
    3) I surely want to improve my sketching skills (ALL of them, in order to find out what subjects, style, techniques I love most) and hope to take part in the Group Run-throughs!
    I wish you all the best for the New Year and THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for everything you offer to us!

  • Rika says:

    My goals are to become more spontaneous in my sketches, do (almost) every day a little sketch with pencil, pen and ink, watercolour pencil or watercolour and tell a story with my sketches. Besides that I would like to get better in drawing trees and shrubs (the surroundings that help tell the story).

  • Martine says:

    I have 2 goals. I would like to incorporate more nature journaling into my daily sketchbook and would like to improve my nature drawing skills (including landscapes on location, so watercolor on location is my big new course for 2022). The second goal is to put more effort in drawing outside a sketchbook and exploring subjects thay I like, e.g. animals. And not necessarily sketching from real life.

    • Judy KIstlerRobinson says:

      When I started sketching as a regular practice 5 years ago, my goal was to do 2 sketches a day (pen or pencil) and use up all the small notebooks and sketch books accumulated over 20 years that had only 1-2 sketches in them. After that year, my goal was to learn to sketch with watercolor and take on of Liz’s online classes per year. I’ve just gone through Buildings for the first time and completed maybe half of the assignments so there’s still much to learn in the next run-through. The sentence that struck me most in what Liz wrote above is “ Practice is very important but it’s only part of the picture. To see real development in your work you need to add some research to your practice.” For me Liz’s courses have provided that research structure and her analysis of her own work is amazing! So for me, this year’s goal, beyond “sketch daily”, is to go through Foundations again (3rd or 4th time) and let what I’ve missed or wasn’t ready for last time sink in this time. And to start analyzing my work and explore other techniques. I’d also like to do a workshop with Suhita Suhodkar, whose bold lines and colors really interest me.

  • Hi Liz. First off, I do so enjoy reading your blog.

    Great questions, by the way. I do set goals for myself, and not necessarily in the form of annual resolutions, but more as a periodic self review. I find it helpful to reflect on where I’ve been and what I’ve done to better assess where I’m going. I will often scroll through Instagram and marvel at some of the wonderful artworks posted there, sometimes thinking to myself “I should do something like this.“ Thumbing through my own sketchbooks helps to keep me grounded, focused on what most interests me personally.

    So one of my goals is always to be drawing and painting purposefully – not just scribbling to make a “pretty picture.“ I am interested in “human stuff“… The places we live, the things we impact, the people we are. My favorite sketches are often a form of social commentary. As a designer, I am a formalist. So another goal of mine is always to use formal characteristics to guide the viewer into and through a drawing. I love finding ways to create visual intrigue through contrast and texture and line and pattern. That brings me to a related goal: simplicity. I am always actively searching for ways to simplify my work without losing visual interest. What’s the most direct way to communicate with a viewer? I’m often searching for ways to eliminate complexity and clutter to enhance the visual narrative. In the end, my goal is always to be a better storyteller.

  • Yves Couture says:

    Foundations and Buildings have made me able to draw buildings in a somewhat satisfactory manner i.e. my inner critic has been happy with a few sketches and the few are getting more numerous. I feel that I am somehow getting there. So this is a matter of practice. I draw buildings every day (from photographs mainly) and plan on continuing. Each drawing takes me further in seeing what I do not like and what I like. I ought to go on location more than I do presently (it is winter, here).

    The problem I want to tackle this year is my not feeling/understanding colour. I manage to ruin perfectly acceptable drawings with my colours. Rarely are my coloured drawings satisfying. That means that I will have to go through the watercolour course again and again if need be. I will have to sit down with my colours and explore them per se, not applied to drawings, get to know their characteristics (how they granulate, change when they dry, etc.).

    So, plans:
    1) continue drawing every day;
    2) draw on location at least once per week;
    3) go through the Watercolour course;
    4) develop a watercolour book with themes (brick, trees, water, textures, snow, etc.)

    • Janice Troyer says:

      Yves, I love your idea of developing a watercolor book around themes! I’ve been wanting to get better at doing landscapes and perhaps that is a way I could do that by giving myself a focus! Rocky cliffs, mountains, rocky and sandy beaches, evergreen trees, lakes and oceans, snow…..Thanks for the idea!!

      Also, I could highly recommend Jane Blundell’s Mastering Watercolors online course if you truly want to understand color. Her style is totally different than Liz’s but you learn a LOT about color in her course as well as other watercolor skills. I refer to the mixing charts I created in the course all the time. She is also from Sydney.

  • Bobbie Bruno says:

    I have incorporated a written and sketching journal this year. Normally I read through my journal and set intentions for the coming year. This year I want to:
    1- develop a daily sketching habit. 2- find my own style.3. Pick a subject sky, water, cars, etc to focus on. 4. Continue to take classes.
    Thanks Liz, see you in Foundations.
    Happy 2022, Bobbie

  • Janice Troyer says:

    Having just finished the Buildings course for the first time, I wanted to make sure I did not lose all those hard earned skills, so my plan is to draw at least one building every two weeks. Because it is dead of winter here I will be doing it from photos until it is warm enough to paint outside. I’m drawing buildings I’ve visited on my past international trips so it’s bringing back really good memories. I also want to do improve my skills in painting landscapes, an important topic in Alaska. I’m not quite sure how to do that, but it’s a topic always in the back of my mind. And I’m looking forward to taking the Watercolor on Location course as well as Jane Blundell’s Travel Sketching course in 2022.

    • Adeline Violas says:

      Hi, Janice! if you even get to Juneau let’s get together and social-distance sketch! Adeline

      • Janice Troyer says:

        Hi Adeline,
        It’s been a very long time since I was in Juneau….I lived there for about 12 years…left in 1997 I think, but I still have good friends there. Yes, will definitely give you a holler if I ever get down there, There are a lot of people I’ve “met” through Liz’s sketching courses from across the world I’d like to meet someday!

  • Yvonne Frindle says:

    New Year goals/resolutions never work for me. There’s something about the disruptiveness of NYE that makes trying to begin something new and exciting on 1 Jan a bit fraught. So I’ve taken to making Epiphany Resolutions instead 😉 Somehow, starting a week later takes some of the pressure off.

    That said, for January 2021 I decided at the eleventh hour to take on the Sktchy portrait-a-day challenge and I made a portrait every single day for a month. It was very stimulating, with a variety of media and models and mostly excellent guidance. And although I fully didn’t expect to keep up or complete the challenge, I actually did! It made for a great start to the year. On the downside, I calculated that I must have spent on average 2 or 3 hours a day on it, which isn’t necessarily sustainable or practical. I was just “lucky” that I didn’t have much work that month. This January will be different – with formal study and work projects to occupy me – so I’m not going to attempt a similar challenge this time. But I’d certainly recommend it to anyone who has the time each day and wants to immerse themselves in art-making in a varied but focused way.

    I think my Epiphany Art Resolution for 2022 will be much more modest. One of things I miss as a result of the pandemic is sketching strangers on train journeys and making quick ink sketches when out and about generally. So my goal will be to devise a compelling substitute for this, with the same ultimate result that I’ll be observing and sketching something unfamiliar/unexpected nearly every day.

  • Yvonne Carpenter says:

    Hi Liz!
    I do set creative goals, but I have found over the years that not only am I a perfectionist (which very much goes in line with ‘deliberate practice’ !), but I am also ‘single minded’. I am not sure this is the correct term though… I have noticed I am only able to truly concentrate on one “goal” at a time. I multitasked at work for 30+ years (heavily multitasked!) by necessity, but my preference is/was always to concentrate on ‘perfection’ on a single task. Once that was achieved, or perceived to be (nearly) achieved, I would lose interest and move on to ‘perfecting’ something else. But I would (do!) get blocked/paralyzed when trying to give my all to different, sometimes completely different tasks/goals! I don’t particularly like that trait, but it is very hard to fight it, lol! I have competing hobbies. I took up sketching in 2016, but before that, I have had a nearly lifelong hobby of building miniatures. There are national conventions (competition) for the hobby, with different categories (divided by subjects and scale). I started building for fun only when I was around 8 or 9 years old, stopped around 15 when I ‘discovered’ boys (!). I got renewed interest around 30 and plowed towards ‘perfection’. I was able to win 1st prizes on several occasions, but once that was achieved, I lost motivation. Then sketching showed up in my life! And I devoured everything and anything I could get my dirty little paws on, in terms of ‘how to’s’, which brought me to you and your wonderful jam-packed classes! The reason I am sharing with you my other hobby is because it “clashes” with sketching. Miniature building requires precision. Sketching does not, at least not the kind of sketching I am interested in. Ironically, I first started my art journey thru colored pencils, and dove into photo-realistic reproductions of photos. Then I took interest in watercolor, again photorealistic still life, all done in the studio of course. Neither captured my interest for too long as it felt perhaps “more of the same” as the miniature building process. Sketching though (or urban sketching at times) gave me a totally different challenge, one of ‘deliberate imperfection’, if I may call it that. I continue to find my sketching to be too “perfect” and “tight” and therefore extremely time consuming for an outdoor activity. I really like the outdoors and love hiking, biking, running, so I thought urban sketching would be right down my alley. I have not yet given up on developing a style that allows for a higher output, specially outdoors, so I don’t have to decide whether to sketch or build miniatures on a single day! Right now it is one or the other (in a single day, sometimes a single week as I get in a roll!) as they are both extremely time consuming.

    My creative goals for 2022 are:
    1) sketch every day, even if “Inktober style” where no watercolor is used – does not have to be an urban sketch
    2) sketch outdoors at least once a week – and paint it outdoors too, balancing everything on my lap. Car sketching counts too. When I was urban sketching a lot this past summer, I got really good at trimming my supplies and getting setup fast (I HAD to be fast as I did not want to pay for parking – I had to renew my free parking voucher every 30 min, with a max time of 1.5 hours – for someone that often takes 4+ hours per sketch, it was a true challenge, LOL!)
    3) split my days between my 2 artistic hobbies so neither is sacrificed
    4) Dedicate a sketchbook for looser sketches so there is no pressure of carrying over the “tight” style to match the other pages
    6) complete at least half of the online classes I have ALREADY purchased! Your classes are the only ones I truly dedicate time for!

    Boy, oh boy, 2022 should be a BUSY year, lol!

  • Heather Crellin says:

    LIZ STEEL – This would be a great year for a perspective class. Please!

    Goals for this year
    1) work in perspective! This has plagued me since I started drawing. So It needs dedicated practice.
    2) Work on what setup I need for walking/hiking trips. My cross shoulder bag flops around too much to be comfy and I dont have a seat that works for the ground.
    3) Continue to work on getting more confident sketching on my own.
    4) Figure out ways I can help others start drawing.

    I am proud of what I accomplished this year. I have increased my sketching from a half page to full page A4. I paint from life every day. I started a sketching group and started volunteering at the watercolor society. And I have 2 paintings ready for framing, that has been a big goal for a long time. I like your idea of reviewing my sketchbooks. I usually write my goals in them so I will double check.

    End note – you are a huge inspiration to learn and to keep going out. So thank you! I don’t say it enough but I really enjoy reading your blog.

  • Ann Robertson says:

    Thanks for this blog post, Liz! Perfect timing for me.
    I have not set clear art goals before but you’ve got me going on it. I had already signed up for a watercolor course, so now I know what I want to focus on during it.
    I want to work on these 3 things, because they are important to me:
    1. Become more “fluent” in water-to-paint ratio on my brush.
    2. Mix strong juicy color puddles. Mine end up wimpy or too thick to accomplish what I’m aiming for.
    3. THINK in preparation and in execution of painting—two aspects being to THINK about composition and about process (the steps, such as light to dark, big shapes to details)
    I’m really excited about this. I will post this in my studio space, and in my sketchbook. I will also add a monthly reminder to my calendar so I don’t forget too long!

  • Linda Hackett says:

    As I am a Virgo ( neat, perfectionist, driven) goals are too much pressure. I have always had a strong work ethic in my different careers and when I discovered Sketching Now 3 years ago I was so happy to see classes crammed with wonderful creative content with lessons to follow! I am still at it learning more each time I take a class and now with the current state of Covid so grateful to have the time to continue the journey!
    As a former botanical painter which has impossible levels of perfection, I am fighting the tendency. I am working on loosening up and plan to do many more sketches in direct watercolor. I have an ongoing project sketching local farmhouses before demolition and substitution into mega mansions. I have learned to sketch on location with no more embarrassment and will retreat to my car this winter in cold weather. I very much enjoy the run -throughs and live streams so I have signed up for Foundations again and will try to venture into unchartered, for me, territory in completing the assignments. 🙂

  • Wayne Magee says:

    Happy healthy New Year Liz to you and family. Thank you very much for your inspiration and educational influences. I have been sketching for 7 years and the past two have been the most rewarding. We have revitalized our Urban Sketching Group and duringi 2022 will be scheduling monthly crawls and outings here in Phoenix AZ.

    Personally I have developed a keen interest in just using pen & ink sketching, using graphite pencil and limited amounts of watercolor [ like only sky or roof colors], but most importantly my goal is to work a lot smarter at hatching values and texturing to my sketching.

    Retired, to a great extent I have found great happiness and fulfilment sketching of which you have played an important role. Each day I look forward to more from Liz Steel. I thank you…..Wayne…..

  • Debra Powell says:

    Because I run a business full time, my only goal each year is to make marks daily. This will continue.

    Having taught creativity and design for years at UCLA in their design department, I reflect on my habits easily and often. Lately I find that because often I am making marks when exhausted at the end of the day, I tend to think too much about what I am going to do — soooo, inserting a correction on that one, I made a list and have a stack of things to sketch by the bed and this is working well. I choose without looking sometimes, because it doesn’t matter what I am sketching, as long as my hand is moving.

    I’d love to be retired and able to sketch whenever — a few more years!

  • Paula Dieli says:

    In 2022 I plan to practice what I learned in the Building course at the end of this year. I’ve set a goal to sketch 1-2 times per week (I work full time) so that I can keep progressing.

  • Tina Koyama says:

    One of my goals this year was to practice drawing more from memory/imagination. I made a little progress, but not as much as I wanted, so I will work on it again in 2022. At the same time, I am always working on developing my observational drawing skills, because obviously I can’t draw from memory/imagination without solid observational drawing skills that allow drawing from the head. Looking forward to your year-end review! Your process-oriented analyses of your own work is always interesting and insightful.

  • Katie Roberts says:

    1. Draw or paint everyday.
    2. Concentrate on nature journaling – plants and birds.
    3. Work more on watercolors, understanding warm vs. cool colors and color mixing. Finish your watercolor course.
    4. Draw outside. Take a small drawing pack with me. Take the time to draw my garden, rather than always planting, weeding, etc.

  • Teresa C Finch says:

    Hello, Liz
    I have always set goals for myself.
    And for the year 2022 I am planning to finish 3 paintings.

    1. Night ~ She is the only standing statue, from the Tennessee State Capitol after 1958
    remolded. Her location today.

    Rutledge Falls: The lady of the Falls, Coffee County

    My friend Marilyn has asked me to paint her for her home.
    The canvas is waiting in my studio. She will be 5 x 3 feet or larger after your class and a few day trips to Rutledge Falls studying her. There is very little information about Night and the other two figures.

    2. Cowboy boots belonging to my brother Terry. Leather tells the viewer how this person lives in his boots.
    I hope to express Terry in the painting.
    Looseness is important to me in this project, because too many details may look just like a pair of boots.

    3. Cocktails, the life we once had traveling and sharing good times with friends.

    I am posting the pictures ideas in my gallery.

    Once I decided after 30 years to pick up the brushes, I started looking for a teacher.
    Hired & Fired one in early 2020.
    Surfed the INTERNET again and your name keep popping up. You treat us as guests with a helping hands showing us your best ideas and that the wonky style is personally OK.
    Thank You!

    Sketching/Painting Goals
    1. Daily, simple clear bowl and one piece of fruit
    As these get better make design more complex.

    2. Weekly Class Project ~ Sketching Now
    Try out new supplies/tools.

    3. Nightly: You Tube ~ watching inspiring artists for their variety of ideas.

    4. Books to inspire the goals!

    One last note, American’s are not tea drinkers.
    I have bought several kinds of tea and a teapot warmer.
    Please share your tea recipes, products so we can follow the leader in style.

    The best thing about goals they are wonky too!

    Again, Happy New Year 2022

    Teresa Finch

  • Jamie C says:

    I do love to make goals! The last few years I set quarterly goals more than annual goals, as it’s more responsive to changing life conditions. I agree, Atomic Habits was a great book. Aspects of my art I want to work on in 2022? Well! Number one, I am obsessed with actually finishing the art classes I start! I’ve so long wanted to develop that daily practice/everyday sketchbook. Insecurity or self-criticism holds me back most. This year I aim to work on improving my pen and ink skills, particularly in depths and thicknesses, texture, and shading. My biggest desire, has always been to capture daily life. I’m thinking a list of subjects and mini projects would be a good way to practice daily habits. Most of all, I want to give myself permission and freedom to draw, sketch, and paint freely, “my way.” I could call it develop my style, but really, it’s just about playing on the page and letting go of negative judgements that hold me back.

  • Stephanie says:

    Creating sketching goals is much more fun than New Year’s resolutions! :O) Thank you Liz for all your wonderful posts and courses. Here are my goals for 2022:
    1. Work on seeing/sketching shapes more rather than just seeing edges.
    2. Experiment more with my WC pencils.
    3. Improve my trees and work on landscapes.
    4. Use both warm and cool shadows.
    Happy New Year!

  • Marta Raaka says:

    Happy New Year, Liz,
    Your post inspired me to review all of my sketchbooks from last year at one time. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I had done. It was also fun to be reminded of important events of the year.
    I’ve taken most of your classes, so it was fun to have the new Sketchbook Design course to start the year. Looking at my pages, I realized how much that course has helped me do a better job this year. I have always loved adding text, but now I plan it out much better. And I understand why I like a page better (usually because it’s better balanced).
    I’ve really enjoyed your blog and I really appreciate being able to do the run throughs with added content and the wonderful live streams. I also really appreciate your detailed notes that I can save as PDFs and print or review. I have a few nice “Liz” binders!
    My goals are:
    Learn to tell better stories
    Improve my nature sketching
    Spend more time on site and streamline my set up for this
    Speed up my line and wash when outside sketching

    That should be enough for now.
    Thanks again, Liz, for all that you share with us.
    Marta

  • David Campbell says:

    I’d like to develop some strategies to help me do more art in the evenings after a long work day. Or if we could fit in a new day between Wednesday and Thursday that would be great. Good luck to us all with our goals, and Happy New Year!

  • Michelle Watson, New Zealand says:

    Last year, my goals seemed to be scattered and haphazard, I started too many sketchbooks and basically got lost. This year, just a few simple goals, to improve my drawing of buildings and perspective, people and animals, sounds easy enough !
    After reviewing last year and my sketchbooks, I have a clearer view of what I want to work on, maybe get back to some botanical art as well.

  • Shiva Honar says:

    Happy new year Liz!
    I have set many goals for my sketching journey 2022 although I haven’t list them down, so coming across your article made me think and break down my goals, so thank you for that!
    I have started my sketching journey recently (approx 2 years back) as I have neglected my creative side for years since college. I came across watercolor again and fell in love with the medium for its transparency and unforeseen end results! My 2022 sketching resolution is to finish many more sketch books this year (min of 12 sketch books/ journals) create stories for my sketches, at least once a week experience the on location sketching/ sketching outings, sketch at least 1 to 2 hours per day no matter how busy I am, and take more urban sketching courses (yours is on top of my list for this year) read and educated myself more on urban sketching and launch my page in 2022. The other aspect that I need to tackle is being a “perfectionist” and with urban sketching I need to take the form and shapes more lightly yet keeping the overall volume and proportion of the object that something can be achieved by practice and determination which hopefully I can improve by time.
    It’s a long list yet doable lol.
    Thank you for being an inspiration!

  • Isabelle Lantieri says:

    I like to work more on my sketching layout and I should finish « sketching design* .
    Sometimes it is hard because I still work but I will be retired in June so I will have plenty of freedom. In the meantime I want to continue to sketch daily and improve sketching people. I also want to spend more time playing with colors, I realize that I always use the same colors instead of mixing .
    I hope to take the Foundations Group-Run.
    Bonne année !

  • Susan says:

    No goals for me. I tend to drift from one medium to another. I work on a specific technique for a while until I feel I’ve gotten a grip on it, do some practice paintings or sketches, and then probably move to another medium.

    I like watercolors, pastels, collage, acrylics, and I have just begun learning to use gouache. I also practice my drawing with pen and ink, though I use fineliners and gel pens instead of fountain pens. I am a hot mess with fountain pens and get more ink on me than on the page, so I gave them up. I’m happy with that.

    Art is my happy place and escape. I have enough goals in my life, and I want to have a place I can just freely create.

  • Fran Arthur says:

    Goal number one is to learn as much during the Foundations run thru. and keep up with all the homework!!
    additional items to focus on:
    watercolor mixing techniques
    use more pen less pencil
    try a variety of paints, brushes, pens, and supplies that I have purchased through out the years
    experiment with different sketch books
    improve perspective and fan lines
    improve eye hand coordination
    try a new media thinking acrylics or pastels !!

    Thank you Liz for everything you have taught me in 2021!! Cannot wait to keep learning more.

  • Teresa C Finch says:

    Hello, Liz
    I have always set goals for myself.
    And for the year 2022 I am planning to finish 3 paintings.

    1. Night ~ She is the only standing statue, from the Tennessee State Capitol after 1958
    remolded. Her location today.

    Rutledge Falls: The lady of the Falls, Coffee County.

    My friend Marilyn has asked me to paint her for her home.
    The canvas is waiting in my studio. She will be 5 x 3 feet or larger after your class and a few day trips to Rutledge Falls studying her.

    2. Cowboy boots belonging to by brother Terry. Leather tells the viewer how this person lives in his boots. I hope to express Terry in the painting.
    Looseness is important to me in this project, because to many details may look just like a pair of boots.

    3. Cocktails, the life we once had traveling and sharing good times with friends.

    Once I decided after 30 years to pick up the brushes, I started looking for a teacher.
    Hired & Fired one in early 2020.
    Surfed the INTERNET again and your name keep popping up. You treat us as guests with a helping hand showing us your best ideas and that the wonky style is personally OK.
    Thank You!

    Sketching/Painting Goals
    1. Daily, simple clear bowl and one piece of fruit
    As these get better make design more complex.

    2. Weekly Class Project ~ Sketching Now
    Try out new supplies/tools.

    3. Nightly You Tube ~ inspiring artists for their variety of ideas.

    4. Books to inspire the goals!

    One last note, American’s are not tea drinkers.
    I have bought several kinds of tea and a teapot warmer.
    Please share your recipes, products so we can follow the leader in style.

    Again, Happy New Year 2022

    Teresa Finch

  • Sue Mildrum says:

    I just started sketching/art/watercolor in May of 2021. I began with two on-line teachers that focused on flowers because that is all I had seen. After a couple months of this I was completely uninspired and thought maybe this art thing was not for me.

    Then I saw someone’s ink and wash travel journal on Instagram (I don’t remember whose) and was SO excited! THIS is what I wanted to do! One sketcher led to another until I discovered Liz and have been immersed in her Foundations and Watercolor classes ever since.

    This question has prompted me to set goals for 2022. So here they are:
    – Do the Foundations Group Run Through (I have gotten through lesson 8 on my own)
    – Do the Watercolour Group Run Through (I have gotten through lesson 2 on my own so far)
    – Go through Edges (I purchased all three classes at once, not realizing how extensive each was!)
    – Go to my first Boston Urban Sketchers meetup (yikes! sketching in public!)
    – Sketch on location at least twice a month (I have been mostly sketching at home from pictures)
    – In addition to doing the exercises from the classes, remember to have fun and sketch what I want. I am also learning to play guitar (check out JustinGuitar dot com, he’s awesome) and he emphasizes learning songs you like in addition to doing the exercises as being able to play songs is the point. I just realized last night that I was so busy doing the exercises from Liz’s classes that I hadn’t sat down and done something of my own choosing for a while. I need to make sure sketching and watercolor are FUN and not let them become one more chore on my to-do list.

    Thank you Liz for prompting

  • Liz Steel says:

    Thank you everyone so much for your comments and for sharing your goals. I’m absolutely loving reading them all!!!!


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