Saturday, 30 June 2012

a South Bank Saturday stroll

thames jubilee campers

Here are some happy campers. A few more sketches from my recent visit to London. People came from all over the UK to wait by the Thames for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee River Pageant earlier this month, many bedding down on the banks of the river to be sure of seeing the flotilla pass by in the pouring rain. Long to rain over us, eh! Well it wasn't raining on the day before, when I strolled down the South Bank sketching, soaking in the excitement. I love a party with a happy atmosphere, as someone once said.

 sketching the jubilee campers

It was windy though, and that bunting on Southwark Bridge was taking a battering. I was fine, sheltered away from the breezes, but I couldn't block out the sound of a rather less-than-stellar street band playing in the tunnel behind me. I didn't want to put on my iPod headphones though, because it was nice to have little conversations with people as they passed.
 southwark bridge 

This charming house is right next to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, and after sketching I was surprised to learn that this is where London's great architect Sir Christopher Wren lived during the construction of St.Paul's!! Convenient location (except there was no Millennium Bridge in those days, so he probably took a ferry, or just sloshed over the muddy river in his boots).
cardinals wharf

And here is the Anchor, an old pub on Bankside, decked out for the Queen's big party. I sat for about an hour and drew this, finishing off much of the brickwork later on. I popped in to have a look around at the interior, but it was pretty busy, full of passing tourists, and so I decided against an interior sketch and went for a grilled halloumi sandwich at Borough Market instead (highly recommended!). I do love to sketch a London pub, on location. Though many are disappearing there are still so many out there, ready for us to draw (and we should, in case they do vanish, or become trendy). One flickr group I enjoy looking at is London Pubs, devoted to photos of pubs around the capital. (If you're interested here is my own Flickr set of pub drawings from London and elsewhere in the world). I would love to do an old London pub-sketch-crawl some time!
 the anchor, southwark
I am looking forward to seeing some other sketchers' London posts!



  1. How funny - I was sketching the sailing ships up at Tower Bridge on the same day! We waited until the weather got a bit better and went out late afternoon by which time it was sunny (shortsleeves weather) but very, very windy!

    See Avenue of Sail: Thames Sailing Barges & The Shard

  2. Sorry - clicked published before I'd said how much I liked your sketches!

    Your thumb is very helpful in getting the scale of them. I don't know you manage to get in so much detail!

    Also did you see my post Paintings for the Diamond Jubilee about the people who were painting the boats from the Millenium Bridge on the Sunday for the BBC coverage of the Thames Pageant - in the gales and torrential rain!!! Braver souls than me!


All comments are moderated and consequently may take a little time to appear. Spam and anonymous comments are not published.