I don’t know how she does it

I am in awe of my Australian friend and fellow Urban Sketcher Liz Steel. She can sketch and eat at the same time. I’ve seen her do it and more importantly she did it outside, at night, with not much light to paint by, while having a conversation.

This month’s sketch outing for Urban Sketchers Montreal was in Chinatown where we met for some dim sum and drawing. This “drawing while attempting to eat” is pretty new for me. Yes, I do paint food but usually before I cook it.  On her recent trip to Singapore, Liz Steel  recorded almost every meal she ate — and there were many — with her Singapore sketching hosts. I know from meeting her that she’s a fast sketcher but it’s still a mystery to me how she gets any eating done or at least any eating while the food is still hot.

To add to the discomfort of having my palette on my lap (didn’t want to get paint on the white tablecloth!) I also tried to eat someone else’s food thinking it was from one of the communal plates and shortly after I dropped egg tart all over my palette.

Hats off to you Liz. You are the queen.



14 Comments on “I don’t know how she does it”

  1. Mrs. P says:

    What an adventure. Agreed, Liz is good and can multitask to boot! Nice sketches…different that recent ones.

  2. Linda daily says:

    Nice job,Shari. I don’t know how Liz does it either! All those teas.I like my tea hot!
    I love Dim Sum but usually save it for SF as I have not found a good spot in PDX.
    Too bad about the custard tart on the palette as those are yummy! Fun post.

  3. Yup. I see Liz’s point of diet sketching. You need to get the right and left hands working as a team (no, mine weren’t either). But these look great.

    I’m looking forward to seeing your next egg-tart-palette watercolour 😉

    • You’re right Jen. You need to be ambidextrous for this. But I don’t think I could manage chopsticks with my left hand. And thanks for reminding me to clean my palette!!

  4. Lee Kline says:

    These are delicious! I follow Liz’s blog and love it.

  5. Liz Steel says:

    thanks for the mention Shari and kind words!

    think your sketches are amazing!!! As always. You have captured the volume and the light so perfectly with an ecomony of lines and paint strokes.

    I am certainly not the only one that draws food – my friend Alissa does it a lot wiht watercolor pencils and Kumi does wonderful food sketches as well.

    I have had a lot of practice – in fact I first started sketching food as part of a diet- every single thing I ate for a month. I have the top secret advantage of being left handed but use my fork in the right hand so I can eat and paint at the same time. Having palette on the table, in the right spot beforehand is essential too (I often specifically chose my seat so out of the way of passing waiters. Yes, need something under the palette in the case of white table cloths. I was very worried when having high tea at Fortum and Mason top level restaurant for high tea on my own on a day when my palette was very grimy… but they didn’t mind in the least.

    Oh! dear, don’t get me started on drawing food…..I could go on for ages. In fact wrote a short magazine article on it last week!

    • I want to see this article Liz! Where will it be published?

      Ok, so now I have a few pointers from you.
      I was definitely sitting in the wrong spot. A lot of waiters were going right behind me with their carts and shrieking out the names of the foods. That sure didn’t help.
      Also, at these USk Montreal meetups I feel like the hostess at a party. I have to make everyone feel welcome so I end up talking a lot and never really focus on what I am painting. I guess if I was on my own for dim sum (although who would ever do that?) I would have a better result. But I could never manage eating with my left hand and painting with my right. That’s why I think you are so amazing.

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