Saturday, August 31, 2013

Returning to classes with Liz Steel

Liz Steel is running classes to revisit fundamentals touched on in the first course.  But even in that month or so off from focusing on learning, not just sketching for the sake of it, my mind had rusted. So for the first week, apart from the planned lesson itself, through my own frustration I received another about slowing down, really looking hard and not just making assumptions about the subject.. and then finally to live with it, get over it and move on (very helpful to have a teacher who reminds us to not let stress or worry over a result ruin the joy of creating it in the first place).
This weeks class had a much happier outcome. We focussed on studies firstly with line work and hatching and then repeated the same subject using watercolour for form, tone and shadows.
This was a really good way of firstly understanding the subject with the lines and then shaking off the confines of that first sketch and being able to let that go and relax more with the paints. Added to this we had the most beautiful weather and spent the whole class outside at Balmoral Beach under the shade of the Rotunda and then the huge fig trees. A great upside of sketching on location when the weather is nice!

Our class is having a lot of fun discussing the expressive lines and work of talent such as Veronica Lawler and Nathalie Ramirez . Their use of colour and line is so full of life. I've started to experiment a little this weekend with coloured linework and brighter pigment mixes. Referring to a black and white photo of Frida Kahlo I first sketched her in  pale blue fineliner (happy to find my pack of Staedtelr Triplus fineliners are fairly water resistant), added the main features in with my Lamy and then celebrated with lots more fineliner and watercolour. Loved the effects of bright pigments mixing in puddles of water.


  1. Some lovely work here, Chantal. The bag is a little gem of a sketch! I met Liz in Barcelona... can imagine her workshops are really inspiring.

    1. Thank you Judith. You're quite right, it has been a joy and inspiration to learn with Liz. She is both passionate about sketching and is a very keen learner as well as teacher so we are never ever short of content or something new to try!


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