Wednesday, 9 November 2022

Let's Draw Covent Garden - Saturday 17 December 2022


Covent Garden
Sketch by Karen Jones

 [By Isabel Carmona and Sasala Wickramasinghe]


In December we go back and draw Covent Garden in all its Christmas splendour!


The giant Christmas tree specially selected for Covent Garden! 


This is our second attempt to sketch iconic Covent Garden, since our last visit had to be cancelled due to spiking Covid numbers. As usual, Covent Garden will be full of festive cheer and bustling with Christmas shoppers. The giant baubles and mistletoe are back in the piazza -- Karen Jones (see main image above) drew these in 2016 -- and new this year is the hand painted 19th century Covent Garden Christmas Sleigh. We certainly will be spoilt for choice on things to sketch!

The day is free of charge, no need to book, just turn up with your art kit. Don't forget to wrap up warm! 

Key times and meeting points


11 AM

Meet outside the Apple Store (1-7 The Piazza, WC2E 8HB) under the arches in the covered area, which should provide shelter in case of rain.

1 PM

We will meet at the same place outside the Apple Store for the first throwdown and group photograph. 

3.30 PM
Meet next at the side of St Pauls Church through the arched gate (see photo below) between the NatWest bank and the Church (by the performers’ area) to look at drawings and take final group photographs. This area is not sheltered, and if it rains we will revert to the covered area outside the Apple Store. One of the admins will be around to guide people if this is the case. 

3.30 pm meeting place at the side of St Pauls Church

Afterwards

We could then gather in the cafe/restaurant in the Royal Opera House on the ground floor next to the shop. This is open to the public until at least 8pm on days when they have performances. 

There are plenty of other pubs and bars (albeit very busy running up to Christmas) in Covent Garden, if people want to stay back for a drink. 

Options for drawing

  • The Victorian market buildings: the central market and Jubilee Market. There will be a Christmas market/stalls just outside the piazza opposite the entrance to the Royal Opera House. 
Sketch by Lindsay Topping
  • St Pauls Church (also known as the Actors’ Church) with its peaceful churchyard: numerous memorial plaques (including one for Sir Charles Chaplin!) and inside the warm interior is mostly covered in beautifully polished wood.  

  • Royal Opera House: the top floor bar area offers some spectacular views of Covent Garden markets below. The Floral Hall, with its magnificent barrelled roof and stunning ironwork, occasionally hold free public performances.  

Sketch by Isabel Carmona
Sketch by Jacqueline Röhr
  • Street performers and musicians: they’re everywhere! Street performers’ area outside the piazza (where the giant Christmas tree is); there is another performers’ area in the North Hall inside the piazza; there are regular Christmas carol and opera performances and musicians playing downstairs in the South Hall. 
  • London Transport Museum: The museum itself charges an entrance fee, but entry to the beautifully vibrant shop and cafe is free.  


Practical information


Getting there

The nearest Tube stations include Covent Garden (Piccadilly Line; 1min walk), Charing Cross (Bakerloo and Northern Lines; 7 min walk) and Holborn (Central and Piccadilly Lines; 10 min walk). 

COVID-19 visit information

We will remain alert to national guidance about COVID-19 and its variants. Even while restrictions have been lifted, it's sensible to take all necessary precautions to keep ourselves and fellow sketchers safe throughout the event. The risk of infection for outdoor events is low, but basic guidance still applies:
  • Please do not attend if you feel unwell
  • Wear a face covering when you're close to others
  • Give people space
  • Practice good hand hygiene.


Location map




See you in Covent Garden!


 
Celebrating 10 years of Urban Sketchers London
2012 - 2022



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Sunday, 6 November 2022

To remind: Let's draw Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery -- Saturday 12 November 2022


Trafalgar Square
Sketch by John Webb

In case you missed the original post:

This month we’ll be drawing one of London’s most famous landmarks, Trafalgar Square, and the surrounding area.

Meet us at Trafalgar Square on Saturday 12 November, where our very own John Swanson and John Webb will convene the penultimate sketchcrawl of 2022. For a taste of what's on offer, have a look the original blog post then make a plan to meet your fellow London urban sketchers at the Fourth Plinth

See you at Trafalgar Square!


 
Celebrating 10 years of Urban Sketchers London
2012 - 2022

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Monday, 17 October 2022

Let's draw Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery -- Saturday 12 November 2022


Trafalgar Square
Sketch by John Webb

This month we’ll be drawing one of London’s most famous landmarks, Trafalgar Square, and the surrounding area.

[Led by John Swanson and John Webb]

There are many sketching opportunities in the square and nearby. There is a new and striking statue on the Fourth Plinth, along with the famous lions, the fountains, and of course Nelson's Column, plus street performance artists and the endless crowds.

The National Gallery offers the chance to draw people in its galleries, while the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields is beautiful, famous and open to all -- another great sketching opportunity, inside and out. If you feel the need to wander further, The Mall and Whitehall are nearby.

If you wish to draw in the National Gallery, please keep to their guidelines, which are available online, and repeated here:

‘Sketching and drawing are permitted in the Gallery with the following guidelines:
  • Please be conscious of other people, and move aside if someone wishes to view the painting you are sketching
  • Sketchbooks or notepaper should be no larger than A3 size
  • Spend no more than 10 minutes in front of any painting
  • You may be asked to move along to another painting or room if we are particularly busy
  • No sketching is permitted in doorways or access routes
  • Painting and use of materials other than pencils is only permitted under the Copyist Scheme.’
The restriction to using pencils allows the use of coloured pencils, of course. If you draw inside St Martins, please keep to the same rule of using dry materials only. 

There is no cost, just wrap up warm and bring your drawing gear.

Key times and meeting points


11am

Meet by the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square. We will meet on the lower level of the square, below the statue.

(If it's rainy, we will meet under the walkway that connects the Sainsbury Wing of the Gallery to the older part of the building.)

Location of the walkway.
We will meet underneath it if it's rainy.

1 pm

Meet for the lunchtime group photo and throwdown, by the Fourth Plinth. (If it's rainy, we will meet inside the Sainsbury Wing of the Gallery, in the open area just inside the entrance. It takes a little time to get through the entry security checks, so it’s best to allow a few minutes for this.)

3.30 pm

Meet for the final throwdown and group photo by the Fourth Plinth, or if it's wet, inside the Sainsbury Wing of the Gallery. We will then meet for post-sketch coffee and chat in the Café in the Crypt, at St Martin-in-the-Fields.


The 4th Plinth
Sketch by John Swanson


Practical information


Toilets are available in Trafalgar Square, close to the Fourth Plinth, and in the National Gallery. There is a charge of 20p in the square; contactless payment is available.

Entry to the National Gallery’s general collection is free. However, the National Portrait Gallery, next to the National, is closed until next year.

If you forget any of your drawing gear, there is a Cass Art shop just round the corner in Charing Cross Road.

There are many cafés and restaurants in the area, including in the Gallery, and there's the Café in the Crypt on the lower level of St Martin-in-the-Fields.

The nearest Tube station is Charing Cross (there are many exits, so follow the signs for the Trafalgar Square exit), while Leicester Square and Embankment stations are very close.

There are many bus services, but it’s best to consult Transport for London (TfL) for advice.

COVID-19 visit information

We will remain alert to national guidance about COVID-19 and its variants. Even while restrictions have been lifted, it's sensible to take all necessary precautions to keep ourselves and fellow sketchers safe throughout the event. The risk of infection for outdoor events is low, but basic guidance still applies:
  • Please do not attend if you feel unwell
  • Wear a face covering when you're close to others
  • Give people space
  • Practice good hand hygiene.

Location map


See you at Trafalgar Square!

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Celebrating 10 years of Urban Sketchers London
2012 - 2022


London by Urban Sketchers - Our 10 Year Anniversary Book

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Monday, 3 October 2022

London by Urban Sketchers - Open Exhibition 8-16 October at The Art Pavilion, Mile End Park

 


Sketch by Isabel Carmona

As we approach the end of our 10th Anniversary Celebration Year, Urban Sketchers London are showcasing our work in an open exhibition. 


Come and be inspired by urban sketching! 


London by Urban Sketchers

Open Exhibition

Saturday 8 - Sunday 16 October 2022

11am - 6pm daily

At The Art Pavilion in Mile End Park E3 4QY


The Art Pavilion in Mile End Park
Photo courtesy of Visit London


Who are urban sketchers?

Urban Sketchers is a friendly all-volunteer network of people from all walks of life around the world who draw the cities they live in and travel to. Our mission is to ‘Show the World, One Drawing at a Time.’

Urban Sketchers London (USk London) is one of more than 300 chapters of urban sketchers worldwide. We organise monthly sketch walks (also known as ‘sketchcrawls’) in London which are completely free to attend – no registration or membership required. Our activities are publicised here on our blog and on our social media accounts -- you'll find links to Urban Sketchers London on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at the end of this blog post.


The Urban Sketchers Manifesto

What’s happening at The Art Pavilion?

Over 100 works of art will be on show, all drawn by urban sketchers, in London, on location, as per the Urban Sketchers manifesto. Some of the artwork will be for sale. 

In addition to the exhibits, we will be running several urban sketching activities. You are welcome to join in any and all of them: 
  • Urban sketching demonstrations (see schedule below)
  • A large scale communal artwork (material for this will be provided), and
  • A typical Urban Sketchers London 'sketchcrawl'. 
You’re free to watch the demonstrations, or bring your own art materials and draw along with us. 

We will also hold our monthly 'sketchcrawl' in Mile End Park on Saturday 15 October. We'll start by meeting at the Art Pavilion at 11 am. See the sketchcrawl blog post for more details.  

There is no need to register for any of these activities. Just turn up with your art kit!


Exhibition hours and the private view

 
The exhibition will run from Saturday 8 October to Sunday the 16th, open daily from 11 am till 6 pm.

A private view for exhibitors and their friends and family will take place on Sunday 9 October from 4.30 to 7.30 pm. 


Sketch by Ray Chan

Demonstration and sketch walk schedule

Sun 9 October    Demos         12-1pm and 3-4pm
Thu 13                Demo           3-4pm
Fri 14                  Demo           3-4pm
Sat 15                 Sketchcrawl 11am-1pm and 2-3.30pm
Sun 16                Demos          12-1pm and 3-4pm

Any questions? just drop us an email!

Sketch by Lis Watkins

How to get there


By public transport

Mile End Underground Station is on the District and Hammersmith & City lines. Connect at Whitechapel for the Elizabeth Line.

The 25, 250, 277 and 425 buses stop in Mile End Road. For their routes, locations of bus stops and real-time bus locations, please visit the Transport for London website.

By car

There is very little car parking near Mile End Park. The local streets operate a permit system for residents. Limited parking is available at Bow Wharf, to the north of the Art Pavilion.


Sketch by Jane Cradock-Watson

See you at the exhibition!

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Celebrating 10 years of Urban Sketchers London
2012 - 2022

London by Urban Sketchers - Our 10 Year Anniversary Book

Urban Sketchers London on social media

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Friday, 30 September 2022

The joys of pushing beyond your comfort zone with Urban Sketchers London -- by Doris Humer

Covent Garden sketchwalk 
Drawing by Doris Humer


Earlier this year as I was planning a trip to my beloved London, I was looking online for information on the regular monthly Urban Sketchers London sketchwalk in August. Then I found out that in July there would be an entire 10th Anniversary Celebration Weekend full of workshops and sketchwalks, so I quickly registered for the weekend before my brain was able to cry, 'That’s far outside your comfort zone!!!'. I have to remark that I am a beginner in drawing, hard of hearing, and I’m living in Austria -- so it was three times NOT in my comfort zone.

The Urban Sketchers London 10 Year Anniversary
Weekend Celebration July 2022

Now I am so happy that I dared to join the Anniversary Weekend. I took part in three sketchwalks, and two workshops -- 'Near and Far' with wonderful Lis Watkins, and 'London in My Pocket Sketchbook' with Gabi Campanario, the very founder of the Urban Sketchers movement.

'Near and Far' workshop with Lis Watkins
Sketch by Doris Humer

Everyone of this community was so caring and patient with my struggles in understanding and communicating in a foreign language, so I could soon relax and I started to enjoy the weekend to its fullest.


'London in My Pocket Sketchbook' workshop with Gabi Campanario
Drawing by Doris Humer

I had never been at an Urban Sketchers meeting before, so I was very fascinated by this community with most different sketching knowledge, origins, professions and ways of living. I felt the strong bonding just caused by the love of sketching the world and supporting each other in this way.

Sketchwalk at Bernie Spain Gardens
Drawing by Doris Humer

Sketchwalk next to Tate Modern
Drawing by Doris Humer


I don’t like the 'throwdowns' very much because I see so much to improve in my drawings (hello, comfort zone!), but at the Urban Sketchers London meeting it wasn’t a problem at all because I felt the non-judgmental way people looked at my sketches.

I loved to look at others' work, and was fully fascinated how great and so very different all drawings were. Also, I am proud of my own sketches and that I crashed my comfort zone that hard. You only can grow that way!


The 'grand finale' sketchwalk at St Paul's Cathedral
Drawing by Doris Humer


Follow Doris Humer on Instagram @doris.krimskrams

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London by Urban Sketchers - Our 10 Year Anniversary Book


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