Thursday, 19 July 2018

Old and New in the City of London - Part 2

The City churches
By Olga Mackness

Today I am posting three of the City of London Churches - done in different times.
Drawing in the City of London and finding beauty in the contrast between old and new architecture - this is what I call a true happiness.
I have visited some of the City of London churches and  aim to visit as many as possible, sketching, making notes, learning something fascinating every time.

They all on my list and on the map provided by the Friends of the City Churches.
I have met those lovely people during my sketch crawl around the City, near St Paul and surrounding streets. There are volunteers  in almost every church, who mind the building to allow public visiting.
I dedicate this post to them – and hope to join their team one day.
St Mary Somerset built in the twelfth century and re-built by Sir Christopher Wren- now converted into private family home! By the way - so is the Tower of the Christchurch Greyfriars Church (the tower and the garden next to Merryl Lynch office, EC1, King Edward Street). I am yet to draw it, but I have had a chance to visit the flat inside of the tower.

All Hallows-on-the-Wall. It is a guild Church associated with the Worshipful Company of Carpenters. 

I shall be continuing on this topic, with more of the City Churches and to include Sir Nicholas Hawksmoore churches, famous for their mystic symbols, secrets and architectural mysteries.


Tuesday, 26 June 2018

We drew Twickenham - June 2018

Twickenham Riverside: Katy Evans

(Helen Hayhoe writes) We met at 11am on a day of predicted mixed weather. We were delighted to see a number of new people, who were welcomed with the Urban Sketchers' usual warmth.

Café Sunshine provided great coffee, then we set out. People chose boats, the riverside, the rock legend that is Eel Pie Island, the Church Street market and the ‘Naked Ladies’ sculptures to sketch. Plenty of interest there.

Sketching the Oceanids or Naked Ladies statues

The Crazy Naked Ladies: Steven Baker

To wake the soul by tender strokes of art: Gafung Wong

River scene: Gafung Wong

Bertha: Mike Whalley

Apart from a stream of walkers the scene was peaceful and folk brought some wonderful work to the 1pm show and tell. We enjoyed eating lunch and sketching in the street market and pubs.

The group meets at lunchtime

The street market in Church Street was also a great subject for sketching.

Church Street, Twickenham: Jimmy Lu
In the afternoon we feared rain, so most decided to continue sketching locally rather than going down to Marble Hill Park. Some visited the Orleans Gallery exhibition in which work from John Webb and John Swanson was among the collection.
John Swanson
Crane: John Swanson

The 3.30pm throw down revealed the usual high standard, diverse viewpoints and techniques.  People scattered to various watering holes and, bar one lost and found phone, it was the end of a happy day.

Afternoon group photo


Monday, 18 June 2018

We drew Three Mills Island - May 2018

(Steven Baker writes) It turned out to be the perfect sunny day - after months of worrying we might have typical dreary English weather. We were taking a bit of a risk with this location, with limited facilities and having to hold the event on a Sunday. Thankfully we needn’t have worried - the sun shone and put on its Sunday best for us all. It made for a great day’s sketching at the historic Three Mills Island and the surrounding areas.

The group gathering under the Three Mills Clock Tower.

It was good to see such a fantastic turnout of eager Urban Sketchers.

Back at the Mill House for the lunchtime throw down and customary group photograph. It was great to hear that everyone was enjoying the location and we saw lots of superb midway sketches.

I love this photograph and had to include it - John Webb engrossed in sketching at the side of the River Lee looking towards the Olympic Park. 

We met up back at the Clock Tower again for the final throw down. As usual, everyone had produced some great work showing off the glorious blue skies.

The final group shot. Thanks to everyone who attended.

Then some of us adjourned to The Galvanisers Union pub with nice big tables for us to look through sketchbooks, hear sketchers’ tales of recent adventures, catch up with friends and share some handy tips. That’s what Urban Sketchers is all about, isn’t it?


Thursday, 7 June 2018

Brentford Community Stadium

[John Webb] Brentford Football Club – one of west London’s leading teams, mid-table in The championship – with creditable Premier League aspirations are building a new stadium. For a year or so now I have been following progress in my sketchbooks.
The club have recognised this and arranged limited site access but sufficient to get interesting viewpoints. Full PPE - hard hat, boots, hi vis and gloves (!).  There is a special page with an honourable mention for London Urban Sketchers on their website.

The series of sketches so far can be seen on my website.
Here’s my latest:


Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Drawing Attention June 2018

We're pleased to bring you the June 2018 issue of Drawing Attention, the official monthly zine of the Urban Sketchers organization, with news of official USk events, USk chapters, and advice about the practice of on-location sketching. Happy reading!


Thursday, 31 May 2018

Let's draw Chiswick House and Gardens - Saturday 18 August 2018

Join us to draw at Chiswick House, a Palladian villa set in beautiful grounds. The house was designed by Lord Burlington with the aid of William Kent. Kent also designed the gardens, one of the earliest examples of the English landscape garden, with classical vistas, a lake, sculptures and an eighteenth-century wilderness.

The day is free of charge, no need to book, just turn up with your art kit.

Key times and meeting points

11am: Meet at the café next to Chiswick House (see photograph above)

1pm: Meet at the front of Chiswick House (see photograph below) to look at drawings done so far.

3.30pm: Meet at the front of Chiswick House, as at 1pm, to look at drawings done, and take group photographs.

We could then go to the café, or the Old Station House pub, 2 Grove Park Road, on the other side of the railway line at Chiswick station.

There is one café at Chiswick House, which may get crowded, so it could be a good idea to bring food/drink.

If the weather is poor, there is scope to draw inside the house, which has an admission charge (details under Practical information below).  Admission to the grounds is free of charge. 

Options for drawing

Chiswick House was designed by Lord Burlington and William Kent, and completed in 1729.  After three Grand Tours between 1714 and 1719, Burlington had developed a passion for Italian architecture, in particular the buildings of Andrea Palladio (1508-80), based on antique Roman architecture. Burlington designed the villa with the help of William Kent, to house his art and furniture collection. Chiswick House was of great importance in bringing the influence of Andrea Palladio to English architecture – the Palladian style. We have the opportunity to draw this beautiful building.

Chiswick House is set in gardens, laid out by Lord Burlington and William Kent. The gardens  established the English landscape garden style, with planned vistas, classical style temples, ruins, a lake, designed to recreate an ideal pastoral landscape.

We can draw these views: the Classic Bridge, the lake, the cascade, the Ionic temple, the Eyecatcher.

There are lawns, statues and woodland. There is also a conservatory with a collection of camellias, although this is likely to be being used by a wedding party when we are there.  

We can also draw inside the house (admission charge) including sculptures, paintings and ornate furniture.

Practical information

Chiswick House is on Burlington Lane, Chiswick, London W4 2RP.  The nearest station is Chiswick, which is on the national rail line from Waterloo.  The nearest underground station is Turnham Green (District Line). 

Chiswick House and Gardens are managed by English Heritage. Admission to the grounds is free of charge. Admission to the house costs:  Adult £7.50, Concession (student, over 60) £5.00; Under 18 free. It is free to members of English Heritage or holders of a National Art Pass (Art Fund).

Inside the house, there are around 12 folding stools that can be used while drawing in the house (these cannot be taken outdoors).  Because of the collection based in the house there are some rules for drawing indoors: Pencils only (no pens, charcoal, paint, crayon); Eraser use should be very minimal or preferably avoided altogether; No fixative sprays; No photography.   

There is a café and public toilets.

There is more information about the history of the house and gardens, and practical information for visitors on the Chiswick House and Gardens website

The day is run by Nicky Browne and Jo Dungey. The drawing of the Classic Bridge is by Nicky Browne, and the photographs are by Nicky Browne and Jo Dungey.



Let's draw at St Katharine Docks - Saturday 28 July 2018

We meet this month at St Katharine Docks, a marina just to the east of Tower Bridge.  This day offers the chance to draw the boats in the Docks, and the former warehouses and modern buildings which surround them.  We will also have river views towards the City and Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, and across the river to the former warehouses of Shad Thames.

The day is free of charge, no need to book, just turn up with your art kit.

Key times and meeting points

11am: Meet at Starbucks, Cloister Walk, inside St Katharine Docks (see photograph – it is a small round building inside the Docks, there are other branches in the Tower Bridge area)

1pm: Meet in front of The Dickens Inn (see photograph below) to look at drawings done so far.  There is some cover at the entrance to the Inn if the weather is wet.

3.30pm: Meet at The Dickens Inn, as at 1pm, to look at drawings done, and take group photographs.

We can then go to a pub or café locally – we can decide on the day.

Options for drawing

St Katharine Docks is a marina with three basins.  It is mostly used by luxury yachts, although there are some older boats.  It is surrounded by restaurants, shops and residential developments, some in former warehouses, some modern.  The docks were originally designed by Thomas Telford and opened in 1828.

There is a wide range of boats, walkways, bridges and nautical paraphernalia to draw in St Katharine Docks, as well as the buildings, old and new

There are views of the Thames from the riverside walk, including Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, and the City skyline

If the weather is wet, some cafes have seating under arcades and umbrellas

Practical information
The nearest underground station is Tower Hill (District and Circle lines) or Tower Gateway (Docklands Light Railway).  From Tower Hill station, turn left towards the river, then follow the signs through the underpass to St Katharine Docks.  Alternatively, you can walk from Aldgate (Metropolitan Line), or from London Bridge, follow the riverside walk (south bank side) and cross Tower Bridge.  St Katharine Docks are immediately beyond Tower Bridge, on the north side of the River Thames.
There is a wide range of cafes and restaurants, with indoor and outdoor seating.  There are public toilets, indicated on the maps on display at several points.

The day is run by Jo Dungey and Gafung Wong.  The sketch is by Gafung Wong, and the photographs are by Gafung Wong and Jo Dungey