What Next?

I can’t believe that we are already into February and My last blog was over a month ago!  To be fair I have moved and it does take a while to settle and organise.   Excuses aside it’s good to be back!  As this is my first blog of the year I thought I’d share my plans for 2018.  I’m really looking forward to the challenges of some new approaches: The ‘What Next’?  My commissioned reportage work including several weddings (London and the North West) will also continue to be a focus of my time this year.   I am also always on the look out for new reportage projects.  Here are some additional things to keep me busy!:



I am excited to be delivering workshops for various clients/audiences throughout 2018.  These should provide an interesting diversity of location and subject matter for delivery of a variety of drawing techniques and approaches.  These include reportage and my colour-first method.

I have already run several single day drawing workshops at Elizabeth Gaskell House in Manchester.  There will be a  further day on August 10th 2018 (where, weather permitting, we will focus on outside drawing).  We are also planning some additional dates.  Please contact Elizabeth Gaskell House directly to book these workshops.

I am also running an initial drawing workshop:  Sketching Stories, at Emmaus Mossley on 17th February using the wonderful backdrop of the secondhand vintage superstore Mill.  More sessions are likely to follow.  Booking is available through Eventbrite.

In the summer I will be contributing to the programme of  10 x 10 Urban sketchers Workshops as part of the Manchester Programme.  You can read more about them here.  Booking will be available soon and I will be running 3 sessions (2 as solo tutor and 1 with Simone Ridyard, founder of Manchester Urban Sketchers, lecturer and architectural illustrator).

I am also attending several art clubs in the North West to deliver workshops over the coming few months.  Please contact me directly if you are interested in me attending your group or club.

Finally, following some successful 2 day drawing workshops with fellow artist Hugh Winterbottom last year, we will be extending the programme with some single day workshops and focused topics e.g. drawing and capturing buildings. We will be running these directly from our studios at Woodend Mill, Mossley (dates and details to be finalised).



I am thrilled to be exhibiting at The World Peace Cafe, The Kadampa Buddhist Centre in Chorlton, Manchester.  The exhibition: From Chorlton to the City, will run from 4th May until the end of July.  I am currently creating new works for this show.  The focus will be street scenes in and around Chorlton with a mix of illustration and collage works.  Works created on location will be the mainstay of the exhibition.  All works will be originals and available for sale.

New work and approaches

Since acquiring a small Studio last year, I now have the opportunity for additional artwork development.  Last year I spent some time exploring alternative media and I am now beginning to pursue my collage work.  I am starting to explore all manner of papers, surfaces, paint and inks for this works as well as a process that will fit with my existing interests in drawing and linework.  I want to be able to pull techniques that I value in my illustration works, into my collage work as well as developing my fascination with composition and texture.  What an adventure!    I will start to devote blogs to this new work as I develop so please watch this space!

Liz Ackerley_collage

I look forward to updating you as I progress with the variety of projects on the go in 2018!

My Demonstration and workshop at Salford Art Club

Over the last couple of Wednesday evenings (2 x 2 hours) I ran a demonstration and workshop on Urban Sketching at Salford Art Club, held in Salford Museum and Art Gallery.  I am also a member of this art club so for some reason (I think it always is when you know people!) it was a little bit more nerve wracking than usual.  However, members made me feel very at ease and we had a couple of great sessions.  Fortunately, on the first session earlier in July, the weather was great, enabling me to demonstrate my colour-first technique outside and also set the group off with some thumbnail sketching practice around the outside of the gallery as a way of capturing snapshot views of the place before settling on an overall view.  Unfortunately we had to run the second session inside the gallery but with plenty to sketch (and an example to hand of how this compares with the outside situation), this wasn’t too much of an imposition!  The main focus of both sessions was capturing the essence of the place using relatively quick techniques and creating depth in the drawing (without necessarily focusing on perspective only).  Members seemed to really enjoy the sessions and engage with the approach of drawing from life.  For me, with an interest in reportage illustration as well as urban sketching, this is the focus of all of my work. Continue reading

Sketching the King Street Festival in Manchester

reportage illustration at King Street Festival in manchester

Manchester’s King Street Festival is now in its 3rd year and it is the first year it has included the top area of King Street, with parking bays turned into mini parklets for the duration! All along this iconic and historic shopping street there was al fresco dining, free fizz, gifts and goodiebags, a bandstand, a grand piano, pop-up parks, an art garden together with heritage tours and events from Manchester’s premium names in shopping, food and drink. The festival was also supporting The British Red Cross We Love MCR emergency fund for those affected by the Manchester arena attack.   This year I sensed, amongst the sadness and quiet reflection of the St Ann’s Square flower memorial, togetherness and a feeling of Manchester pulling together in solidarity. This is what makes Manchester special: its people and its places. Continue reading

What’s your Story?

I cannot believe that I have not posted a blog on here for nearly 3 weeks.  But I have a few excuses: firstly I have had a pretty hectic time with a few big commissions, including #citiesofhope and The Manchester Histories Festival.  Also, I have been writing blog posts as part of those commissions as well as posting on the Urban Sketchers blog on a weekly basis with my countdown to the Symposium sketches.  Am I forgiven yet?   The other thing that has been taking my time is that I have been running some Urban Sketching workshops, some for the Manchester Histories Festival and then this week I have had two days running two workshops at the Creative and Media Academy here in Manchester (MCMA).  It is this week’s workshops that I am going to talk about in this blog. Continue reading