Wrapping up Sketchbook Design

February 18, 2021 | 11 Comments

Yesterday I held two livestreams for my Sketchbook Design course and wrapped up my involvement in the current Group Run-through. The classroom remains open, and I’ll still be answering questions, but my weekly review of work and livestreams are now completed. The first runs of a new course are always special, but this time the community feeling and inspiration was off the scale.

I’ve been doing back to back Group Run-throughs since January last year and for this whole period I was providing nearly an hour of additional material each week (either in the form of bonus videos or livestream sessions) or preparing/filming Sketchbook Design. It’s been an incredible 14 months and I felt somewhat emotional last night when I hit the ‘End Broadcast’ button to finish the livestream. I’m going to miss hanging out with everyone, but it’s time for me to have a break.

Last night I did a quick demo – it’s a mirror-reversed photo from Assisi and I used this as the basis for some of my theory drawings inside the course.

During the sketch I summarised some of the core concepts in Foundations and Watercolour and I also shared how I was designing the layout at the same time. This included thinking about how far to extending my sketch (how to add the sky and what the bottom edge of the sketch should be like), how to align the edges with other elements on the page, and where to add text. It’s a simple sketch and layout but there was a fair bit of thought that went into it.

We were also discussing watercolour magic/pigment party (a big part of the Watercolour course) and why I switched to using Schmincke French Ultramarine. Hmm, I just might do some watercolour swatches, revisit this decision and write an article about it – would you be interested in that?

But to get back to Sketchbook Design… even though the Group Run-through is over, I’m still going to be exploring the concepts and ideas from the course. There were so many amazing ideas shared inside the classroom and it’s nice to have a bit of breathing space to explore some of them.

So finally – I just have to publicly thank everyone who was an active part of the Sketchbook Design classroom. No words to describe how amazing the last 7 weeks were. It’s so incredible to read that many of you are inspired and confident to sketch more! Thanks again!


  • Martine says:

    Your course was absolutely fantastic! The livestreams were the highlight of my week in these lockdown times. I learned a lot and I definitely need some time to process it all. Thank you so much for all the time and energy you put in to it. Enjoy your break!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Thanks Martine – was so lovely to have you in the course and see you on the livestreams. I will enjoy a break… although I will miss you all!

  • Laurence COULAUD says:

    I don’t know where to lay these few lines, so I choose this other place to share blog that I am assiduously.
    Here, another course completed (sketchbook design) after all the others and what path traveled (… And coming YES !!!) with all your teachings!!!
    I do not know how to give you as much as you have brought me: Thank you for your generosity, your energy, your curiosity, thank you for guiding me and taking me where I didn’t even think I was going… So many incredible discoveries!!!
    So I confess how lucky I was to meet you on my way when I decided to get into “the travel diary”. It bears its name because indeed, I am not disappointed by this magical journey 🙂 through all your classes.
    So I can only hope that our paths cross again.
    Very good break to you and may be coming soon
    Warm thoughts to Chantal too

    • Liz Steel says:

      Thanks Laurence – I don’t know how to thank you for your lovely comment 🙂 Was great to have you in the course and be part of the livestream! Keep up the great work… and I’m definitely dreaming of traveling to France again one day! 🙂

  • Bunny de Ridder says:

    Thank you so much Liz for this course. It was a first for me with you / SketchNow and definitely an eye opener! Very well done and truly inspiring. For those who did not take the course, do yourself a favor and take it. Hopefully you have a nice time off, enjoy! Best regards, Bunny

  • Christina Chapman says:

    I can’t thank you enough for your wonderful teaching.

  • Karen King says:

    I’ve been actively keeping a sketchbook for about ten years or so and have taken several online classes including Sketchbook Skool where you were one of the teachers. This is my first course with you and I am overwhelmed with the content and effort you have put into it. I thought I already knew quite a bit but I learned way more than I thought possible. I suspect this is the best of all your classes, but I will just have to take more of them to see. (Smile) I’m not sure which classes would be best for someone at about an intermediate level, but I’m thinking of “Edges” and “Watercolor on Location”, at least after a rest period for a bit. One thing I am curious about is your reference to the Schminke Fr. Ultramarine. I use Ultramarine Blue in a lot of mixes and sometimes I’m not happy with the results. I’d like to know the reason you changed to Shcminke and how is it better than your previous brand?

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Karen – so glad you enjoyed the course. All my other SketchingNow courses are similar in style and with heaps and heaps of content, instruction and demos… but perhaps Sketchbook Design was the most fun. Certainly the community interaction was incredible. Hope to see you in more courses 🙂 Happy sketching!

  • I can’t believe the Sketchbook Design class is over! I so enjoyed learning all the creative ways to layout my sketchbook.
    This is my first class with Liz and I was very impressed with the amount of material she passed on to her students. She gave so much thought and insight to the class. Thank you so much.

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