Thursday, 16 October 2014

"... away above the chimney pots ..."

Mile End Road, E2

Grove Road, E2

Perhaps it is all down to Judy Garland, I mean, can any of us look at chimneys without thinking of her? I can't stand it when the stacks are capped off or the originals are replaced with an apology of  ghastly short stumps. Anyway, Mile End has quite a good outcrop and I enjoyed getting a few more in, and their shops which are fortunate enough to own them.


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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

A new Nine Elms: coming soon


This view upstream from the embankment opposite the Houses of Parliament is the kind of view I like the best: the obvious thing to do is draw the well-known sight (which I did as well), but what is behind you is often telling another story. Past the moored pleasure boats, Lambeth Bridge, and the towers of Vauxhall is a thicket of construction cranes that are working to change the face of Nine Elms. Disused industrial land larger in area than Hyde Park is being developed into a residential and business district, with new US and Dutch embassies (by 2017), homes for 30,000, jobs for 25,000 and there are plans for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge and rail stations. I've written before about the tortured landscape of Vauxhall; big changes there are also part of the plan.



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Friday, 26 September 2014

Drawing Covent Garden

James Hobbs, Seven Dials
Urban sketchers from all over London, and much further afield, met in Covent Garden earlier this month for Moleskine City Stories. It was great to meet so many people and draw with them on the day. Adebanji Alade, Olha Pryymak, Andrea Joseph and I took part in learning sessions with groups in the streets and squares around the neighbourhood. There was a lot of drawing going on!

You can read more and see images of the day in:
the Huffington Post, the Flaneur magazine and the Moleskine website.
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Monday, 1 September 2014

Sketching Covent Garden: Moleskine City Stories

James Hobbs, Covent Garden
On Saturday 6 September 2014, Urban Sketchers are going to be drawing around the streets of Covent Garden as part of the "live sketch event" Moleskine City Stories. 

This day-long celebration of urban sketching focuses on the Moleskine store on King Street – where Adebanji Alade and Olha Pryymak will be in action – while Andrea Joseph and James Hobbs will be at London Graphic Centre, Shelton Street, close to Seven Dials. 

They, along with other London Urban Sketchers, will be drawing in and around the stores and happy to talk about urban sketching from 11.30am to 5.30pm. During the day each store will build an exhibition of the drawings done by those who come.

Interested? There's a lot more information about learning sessions, how to get your hands on a free Moleskine Sketch Album, and directions from mymoleskine.moleskine.com/community/citystories. Come along and say hello, and be ready to draw.



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Saturday, 30 August 2014

joining the circus

Piccadilly Circus
Hello London!
I am now home from my recent jaunt back to my native city, armed with a massive pile of sketches to scan. One of the highlights of my trip was meeting many other sketchers on the Sketching Wren's City sketchcrawl...it seems so long ago now, but what an amazing day of exploration! I'll post my results very soon. For now, I will post this sketch of a well-known London tourist attraction. I am officially a tourist now, and I love it.
On my first morning back, still dizzy with the transatlantic jetlag, the promise of sketching on the streets of London again proved too much for a morning cup of tea to satiate, so I took an early train down to what is usually one of my least favourite parts of the city: Piccadilly Circus, least loved because it is usually jam-packed with people and traffic and noise and nonsense. However, in the earlier pre-9am hours it is a calmer more respectable place, and I was waiting for Lillywhites to open anyway so I sat outside that large sports store and sketched the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain, also known as the Angel of Christian Charity, but known to Londoners and signposts alike as 'Eros'. I sketched in a large spiral-bound Stillman and Birn Alpha book, and stood looking towards Regent St and Shaftesbury Avenue. After a while, some police officers showed up, dressed in bright yellow overcoats. They were just hanging around, and then more came. Some photographers also started gathering, and then more police, and then two officers mounted on horseback, all in a jovial mood, all happy to pose with tourists. There must have been over forty police officers there, apparently there to launch a new initiative, and they all stood together and said “cheese, guv” and had their photo taken in front of the statue (“Ello, ello, ello, what’s goin’ on Eros then?”). A young woman from Germany, holidaying in London, stopped and watched me sketch for a while, sitting down when I crouched over to add the paint, and told me how she also liked to draw. I was in a good mood for my first out-and-about sketch in London, and when I was done I said goodbye to the circus, popped into Lillywhites to look at all the new football shirts, and set off to sketch the narrow dusty streets of Soho. It was good to be back.
by Pete Scully

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Thursday, 7 August 2014

"In a street where you live"

 Grove Hill, South Woodford E18
High Road, South Woodford E18

Well, almost. I thought I'd go local again, with my first love, the 0.5 HB clutch. I remember listening to Ken Howard a while ago saying, "You don't have to go to Venice." Yes I know he did, and he has a studio there but mine is my living room, in South Woodford.

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Saturday, 2 August 2014

Sketching Wren's London - what next?

Not quite everybody who was sketching Wren's London today....
...on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral at 4.15pm
CLICK to see a much bigger version

For all those who participated in Sketching Wren's London......
  1. Load your sketches onto your Flickr account - and then share them with the Urban Sketchers London Group Pool
  2. If you participated today and are not a member of the Urban Sketchers Flickr Group you can apply here - and then follow 1 above
  3. We'd like to try and find out and map how many of Wren's churches we managed to sketch so please be sure to state clearly which church it is on each image.
  4. We'll be posting a selection of the images of different churches to the blog in the coming days.
For all those who want to see what people produced - come back later and see what people have been posting - to the blog and to the Flickr Group Pool

Thanks to Pete Scully for organising this sketchcrawl - and his wonderful map and stickers!  Can you spot him in the photo?
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