Sunday, 11 August 2019

A Christening Party....

[John Webb writes]  A once in a while sketching serendipidy...or I got lucky on Nicky Brown/The Fountain Gallery's Week of Saints.  Sketching at the Churches in Richmond.  While labouring over the page drawing a pinnacle or few in popped light relief.  They stayed sufficiently still to invite a sketch but not long enough for tightness to grab it.  So a compilation of the main parts...a quickie... more satisfying than my others on the day.


Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Let's draw Trinity Buoy Wharf - Sunday 15 September 2019

In September, we visit Trinity Buoy Wharf, which is on the north bank of the Thames, across the river from the O2 (formerly Millennium Dome in North Greenwich).  Trinity Buoy Wharf was established in 1803 as a Thames-side workshop for Trinity House, responsible for buoys, lighthouses and lightships.  It now preserves some of its old buildings as homes for creative industries including The Big Draw, and has outdoor sculpture displays, studios, cafes, a pier, and London’s only lighthouse.  These old industrial buildings contrast with nearby contemporary housing developments. The Wharf has spectacular river views of the eastern part of the Thames. 
The day is free of charge, no need to book, just turn up with your art kit.

Note we are meeting on a Sunday this month.

Key times and meeting points for the day:
11am: Meet by the lighthouse at Trinity Buoy Wharf (see photograph above).  If the weather is wet, there is some shelter inside the lighthouse and in the diner.
1pm: Meet at the same place to look at sketches done so far.
3.30pm: Meet at the same place to look at sketches done, and to take group photographs.

Options for drawing:
This day offers some dramatic contrasts for sketchers

The Wharf has interesting old buildings, a lighthouse and a lightship

There are many contemporary sculptures and installations, and artists’ studios

There are spectacular views of modern developments at Canary Wharf and North Greenwich, in this very rapidly changing area of London

If there is bad weather, there are two cafes.  There is also some scope to draw indoors in the lighthouse and the Chainstore, but this is primarily an outdoor location.
Practical information:
Transport: the nearest underground station is Canning Town, on the Jubilee Line and Docklands Light Railway. Leaving Canning Town station, follow the signs to Bow Creek and City Island.  Exit the station and take the red footbridge to City Island.
It is about a fifteen minute walk to Trinity Buoy Wharf.  Walk through the new housing developments of City Island (photograph above), then under a bridge where you can see the O2 (Millenium Dome) ahead.  On the route there are maps of City Island and signs to Trinity Buoy Wharf. There is building development happening in this area, some rough pavements and traffic, so take care.
Food and drink: there are two cafes, the Fat Boy Diner and the Orchard Café at Trinity Buoy Wharf, but no shops, so you could bring a packed lunch. There are public toilets at the back of the Orchard Café.
There is more information on the Trinity Buoy Wharf website.

This day is run by Jo Dungey and Gafung Wong


Sunday, 4 August 2019

We drew Regent's Park - July 2019

(Steven Baker writes) Thanks to everyone who attended our July meeting, focussing on the south side of Regent’s Park.  As always, we worried about poor weather conditions, especially as thunderstorms had been forecast for a few days beforehand.  This was of concern as the location did not provide too much cover.  Thankfully, we escaped with a short shower that had not deterred a good turnout.  As the day brightened, we were able to enjoy the gardens, and as always some fantastic work was produced by everyone.

Above, a few sketchers enjoying the sun and drawing.

The group meeting at lunchtime for the throw down of sketches done in the morning. 

Some of the sketchers, and throw down of sketches done in the morning and afternoon.

Final line up at the end of the day, in front of the park's decorative Jubilee Gates.


Friday, 19 July 2019

A summer evening at Embankment Gardens - 17 July 2019

[John Webb writes] We met in possibly the busiest pedestrian crossroads in London - hundreds of people heading in all directions. Most of us walked the few paces into the of the of the many popular small placid relaxed spaces London enjoys.

                                                      We perched on hillocks

                                                             sat on walls

                                                              with a beer

                                                               on grass

                                                                 the path 

                                                  deck chairs, leant on railings

                                                              and benches.

                                  Although it tried to rain we smiled for the camera.

View our Urban Sketchers London Facebook page to see some of the wide range of exciting sketches we produced.

Monday, 15 July 2019

BAFTA Piccadilly

[John Webb writes] BAFTA (British Acadamy of Film and Television Arts) has just opened a great cafe at 195 Piccadilly. It's open to the public and well worth a visit. This coincides with the start of its latest refurbishment project. As BAFTA occupies what was The Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, I felt bound to apply some to my sketchbook.


Monday, 1 July 2019

Let's draw Greenwich - Saturday 17 August 2019

Join us in August to draw Maritime Greenwich.  Greenwich offers a wonderful range of subjects for sketchers, including historical and modern architecture.  There are important buildings by Inigo Jones and Sir Christopher Wren and a lively modern environment.  There are opportunities to draw from both sides of the River Thames, as a foot tunnel runs under the river here to Island Gardens.  

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

Key times and meeting points for the day 

11 am: Meet near the entrance to the Visitor Centre of the Old Royal Naval College (see photograph above).  The Visitor Centre, formerly called Discover Greenwich, provides information on the area.  We can meet just inside if the weather is wet.  It is just to the east of the Cutty Sark. 
1 pm: Meet at the same place for a sketchbook throw down to see each other’s work and chat before lunch. 
3.30 pm: Meet at the same place to look at drawings done and take group photographs.

Options for drawing 

This location is absolutely packed with sketching opportunities.  The river, people and buildings in the area offer great subjects for drawing.  

The Cutty Sark ship is near the river. 

Along the river is the Old Royal Naval College (now part of the University of Greenwich) a masterpiece by Sir Christopher Wren.  The famous Painted Hall is part of the college.  Between the domes of the college can be seen the Queen’s House and colonnade designed by Inigo Jones. 

A wonderful view of Greenwich is available across the river from Island Gardens – cross under the river using the Greenwich Foot Tunnel, which is free of charge.  The entrance on each side is marked by a glass dome (see photo below).

From Greenwich there are views of the dramatic contemporary buildings of the Canary Wharf area. 

Historic Greenwich town centre has old shops, pubs, and Greenwich Market.  St Alfege church was designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor from 1712-1714.  It is undergoing renovation at the moment but the building is open to the public on Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm. 

There is an interesting area around Royal Hill, a short walk from Greenwich Market which has lots of examples of Victorian pubs and other buildings. 

Further from the river are the Maritime Museum (free admission), Greenwich Park and on the hill the Royal Observatory which stands on the Prime Meridian, the basis for Greenwich Mean Time.

A quiet spot to draw is De Vere Devonport House on King William Walk near the foot of Greenwich Park. 

If the weather is wet, options include the Painted Hall and Chapel of the Old Royal Naval College, inside St Alfege church, inside Greenwich Market, and the Maritime Museum.

Practical information 

The nearest station to the meeting point is Cutty Sark, on the Docklands Light Railway.  Greenwich station (National Rail) is also nearby.  There are plenty of places to get food and drink in Greenwich.  Greenwich Market opens every day 10 am to 5.30 pm and offers a variety of food stalls.  The Gypsy Moth is an excellent pub with a large outdoor seating area.  There are public toilets inside the visitor centre, also by the Cutty Sark, in the Maritime Museum and in the park (King William Walk).

The day is run by Mike Whalley and Olga Mackness.  The drawings of the Cutty Sark and of ship figureheads in the Maritime Museum are by Mike Whalley.


Friday, 28 June 2019

We drew Richmond - June 2019

(Helen Hayhoe writes) On Saturday 15 June 2019, we visited Richmond, by the river in south-west London. We were worried about the rising of the river and the falling of the rain, but a pleasing crowd turned out and stayed to produce some wonderful work. We welcomed sketchers from around the world.

We met each time at the Paved Court to catch up with the throw downs. Represented among the sketches are the riverside, Richmond Green, Richmond Theatre, the famous view of the Thames painted by JMW Turner, and the Royal Wardrobe. Sketches below are, in order, by Mike Whalley, Martin Stone, and Zane Karklina.


Thursday, 27 June 2019

A summer evening on the South Bank - 19 June 2019

London's South Bank has a new roof garden above the Queen Elizabeth Hall, and that is where we met for an evening of sketching on 19 June 2019.  Despite uncertain weather, we had a good evening with great views over London.
We started to assemble the group for a photograph, but only some of the group had arrived (photo below) before the clouds opened.  So we all headed inside the Royal Festival Hall to look at each others drawings.  Well done, all.

The evening was run by Jo Dungey and Zane Karklina and the photographs are by Zane Karklina.


Monday, 10 June 2019

Let's draw Regent's Park - Saturday 20 July 2019

This month we draw the south side of Regent’s Park, its gardens and parkland.  This offers the opportunity of many colourful subjects.  We start in the fragrant Queen Mary’s Gardens which have over twelve thousand rose plants which will be in full bloom, and the dramatic Triton Fountain.  We can also sketch the fountains and flower beds of the Avenue Gardens, and St John’s Lodge with its classical layout and English flower beds.  Finally, the bandstand, boating lake and the park’s open spaces.  There are views of the grand mansions of the Outer Circle, and people at play and leisure activities.
The day is free of charge, no need to book, just turn up with your art kit.

Key times and meeting points for the day
11am: Meet just inside the Jubilee Gates (see photograph above) on the south side of the Inner Circle road/Queen Mary’s Gardens
1pm: Meet around the Triton Fountain (see photograph below) in Queen Mary’s Gardens to look at sketches done so far
3.30pm: Meet at the Jubilee Gates again to look at sketches and to take group photographs.
After the final throw down of sketchbooks, we have a few suggestions for places to meet and catch up.  The Garden Café in the park has a selection of food, wine and refreshments.  Alternatively, the Volunteer pub is a short walk away at 245-247 Baker Street. 

Options for drawing
Options include: Queen Mary’s Gardens including the Triton Fountain and the famous rose garden:

The Avenue Gardens which have formal flower beds, fountains and planted urns:

The little known and beautiful St John’s Lodge garden:
The bandstand, waterfall, views of the Outer Circle and lake:
If the weather is wet, these are a few suggestions: the Garden Café inside the park; the Museum of the Royal Academy of Music on Marylebone Road (free admission, open 12 noon until 4 pm); St Marylebone Church at 17 Marylebone Road (open 8 am until 4 pm). There are also cafes and bars along Marylebone High Road.      
Practical information
The nearest underground stations are Baker Street and Regent’s Park, and Great Portland Street is not far away.  There are some line closures on the underground this weekend, so check the Transport for London website and allow enough time for your journey.
The website of Regent’s Park has detailed information about the facilities and history of the park, including a map and photographs.  There are also maps on information boards at several points in the park.  The park has several cafes including the Garden Café and Expresso Bar, and there are public toilets (locations indicated on the information board maps in the park).  Admission to the park is free of charge. 
This day is run by Steven Baker and Elwyn Edwards, and photographs are by Steven Baker.