Tuesday 5 December 2023

To remind: Let's draw the South Bank Christmas Market on Saturday 9 or Sunday 17 December 2023

 

The Southbank Centre Food Market
Sketch by Robin Wang


We're sketching the Christmas Market on the South Bank, and we'd love to see you there!


Come join us on either Saturday December 9th or Sunday the 17th. Check out our original blog post for all the details.

See you at the Christmas Market!


 

Coming soon: the Urban Sketchers London programme for 2024 -- watch for it!





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Wednesday 29 November 2023

Let's draw the Christmas Market at the South Bank on either Saturday 9 or Sunday 17 December 2023


The Southbank Centre Food Market
Sketch by Robin Wang

In December we're sketching festivities at the Southbank Centre, with an almost unrivalled range of opportunities for urban sketching, of buildings, people, the River Thames and its bridges.


Southbank Centre   London   SE1 8XX

[John Swanson writes]

The Southbank Centre extends roughly from the Hungerford Bridge round to the National Theatre, encompassing the Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Hayward Gallery, the National Film Theatre and the National Theatre, plus, of course, the glorious walk along the riverside.

If you are a member of the Urban Sketchers London Facebook group, do join the Facebook Messenger chat for whichever December sketchwalk you plan to attend, so we can alert you if there are any last minute changes of plan. 

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

⚫  On Saturday 9 December the day is led by Sasala Wickramasinghe and John Swanson, and our meeting place is the entrance lobby of the National Theatre.

⚫  On Sunday 17 December the day is led by Sasala Wickramasinghe and Alison Gardiner, and our meeting place is the Level1 foyer of the Royal Festival Hall.

Scroll down to find details of meeting points and timings for each day.  



If this is your first sketchwalk with us, welcome to Urban Sketchers London 

Every sketchwalk has a leader, a meeting point at the beginning, a gathering place in the middle and another one at the end, when we ‘throw down’ our sketchbooks and pose for a group photo. Sketchwalk leaders know the area and are there to help you feel at ease and give you some ideas about what to sketch. Please note there is no tuition during the sketchwalks. We all draw what we wish, following the Urban Sketchers manifesto and sharing our drawings at the end.

We look forward to seeing you! 





Key times and meeting points



As it is the festive season, the Southbank Centre will be bustling, and -- heads up! -- we have two different meeting points for Saturday the 9th and Sunday the 17th. Here's a handy downloadable map that shows the layout of the area.


The National Theatre seen from Waterloo Bridge
Sketch by John Swanson


Saturday 9 December - National Theatre entrance lobby

The entrance is on the river side of the building, where the information desks are located. You are welcome to venture further into the building to sketch, but be ready to have your bags searched.


11 AM We will gather for a short briefing.


1 PM We will meet in the same location for a throwdown and group photo. 

3.30 PM We'll convene once more in the same location for the final throwdown and group photo at the end of the sketching day.

Afterwards For those who would like to chat – and draw – for longer, we can stay in the bar area of the National Theatre.


Sunday 17 December - Royal Festival Hall (RFH)

We will meet in the Royal Festival Hall Level 1 foyer. If you use the entrance opposite the Hayward Gallery, you will find yourself in the Level 1 foyer. If you enter the building from the river side of the RFH, take the stairs down to Level 1. You can see the different levels of the Royal Festival Hall in this Southbank Centre access diagram

11 AM We will gather for a short briefing. After the briefing you are welcome to venture further into the building to sketch, but be ready to have your bags searched.

1 PM We will meet in the same location for a throwdown and group photo. 

3.30 PM We'll convene once more in the same location for the final throwdown and group photo at the end of the sketching day.

Afterwards For those who would like to chat – and draw – for longer, we can stay in the bar area of the Royal Festival Hall.


View of the South Bank
Sketch by Anthony Mark Peters

Options for drawing


The Southbank Centre architecture is spectacular, especially if you like concrete Brutalism, but there is much more. The Royal Festival Hall provides an elegant contrast, as do the bridges: Waterloo and Hungerford. The Christmas Market will be open, with stalls set up along the riverside selling Christmas gifts and food and drink, while under Waterloo Bridge you’ll find a large second-hand book market.

In the other direction there is the London Eye and the Jubilee Gardens, and of course there is always the River Thames, with views to the north bank, and the elegant lamp posts with leaping dolphins.

If it’s wet there is still plenty to draw, with public foyers in the Royal Festival Hall, 
the National Theatre, and the National Film Theatre/British Film Institute (BFI) -- all offering the chance to draw architecture and, especially, people.

Statue of Lawrence Olivier at the National Theatre
Sketch by John Swanson

Practical information


Travel

The Southbank Centre is three minutes’ walk from Waterloo Station, which is well served by mainline and Underground services. Alternatively, it’s a short walk over the footbridge from Charing Cross or Embankment stations.

Food and drink


There are many options for both. All the main venues -– the Royal Festival Hall, the National Theatre and the National Film Theatre -- have bars and caf├ęs. The Christmas Market along the river has stalls selling takeaway food and drink, and on the Belvedere Road side of the Royal Festival Hall the Southbank Centre Food Market offers an enormous variety of hot food and drink.


Toilets

Public toilets are available in all the main venues. There are also public toilets on the riverside by the Jubilee gardens (the 'Jubiloo'), behind the children’s fairground merry-go-round.

Health and safety

Urban Sketchers London follow current health and safety guidelines, and we count on all our sketchers to do the same. As always, we keep an eye on developments concerning Covid, and even though restrictions have been lifted, we think it's sensible to do everything we can to keep ourselves and fellow sketchers safe when we're together. 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
  • Practise good hand hygiene. 
Hashtags

Remember to tag us when you post your sketches on social media! And do be polite when posting online. We may be biased, but we think kindness comes naturally to urban sketchers -- so don't be shy, show your social media politesse at its best.

#urbansketcherslondon #usklondon


Location map



See you at the Christmas Market!


 

Coming soon: the Urban Sketchers London programme for 2024 -- watch for it!





London by Urban Sketchers - Our 10 Year Anniversary Book


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Saturday 11 November 2023

To remind - Let's draw the Wellcome Collection Sunday 19 November 2023

The Wellcome Collection lobby and cafe
Sketch by Helen Hayhoe

This month we're drawing the Wellcome Collection, a free museum and library near Euston Station that aims to challenge how we all think and feel about health.


Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE

This day is run by Helen Hayhoe and Sasala Wickramasinghe.


For all the details, check out our original blog post.

See you at the Wellcome Collection!

 

 

Coming soon: the Urban Sketchers London programme for 2024 -- watch for it!





London by Urban Sketchers - Our 10 Year Anniversary Book


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Friday 27 October 2023

Let's draw the Wellcome Collection on either Saturday 4 November = or = Sunday 19 November 2023

The Wellcome Collection cafe and foyer
Sketch by Helen Hayhoe

This month we're drawing the Wellcome Collection, a free museum and library near Euston Station that aims to challenge how we all think and feel about health.


Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE


[ Helen Hayhoe writes ]

Through exhibitions, collections, live programming, digital media, broadcasting and publishing, the Wellcome Collection creates opportunities for people to think deeply about the connections between science, medicine, life and art. There are many opportunities to draw the fascinating objects of the collections, and to respond to the architecture of the building and the local area.

The day is free of charge, no need to book, just turn up with your art kit. 
Please use only dry media such as pencil when drawing inside the Collection.

This day is run by Helen Hayhoe and Sasala Wickramasinghe.

Main entrance of the Wellcome Collection
Photo by Helen Hayhoe



If this is your first sketchwalk with us, welcome to Urban Sketchers London! 

Every sketchwalk has a leader, a meeting point at the beginning, a gathering place in the middle and another one at the end, when we ‘throw down’ our sketchbooks and pose for a group photo. Sketchwalk leaders know the area and are there to help you feel at ease and give you some ideas about what to sketch. Please note there is no tuition during the sketchwalks. We all draw what we wish, following the Urban Sketchers manifesto and sharing our drawings at the end.
We look forward to seeing you! 



Key times and meeting points for the day

The Reading Room at the Wellcome Collection
Photo by Helen Hayhoe



11am
We will meet in the Reading Room, a hybrid of library and museum, on level 2. 

1pm
Meet again in the Reading Room to look at drawings done in the morning and take a group photo.

3.30pm
Meet again in the Reading Room to review the day’s drawings and take our final group photograph.

Afterwards

We could continue to meet and talk in the Wellcome Collection cafe, or if people prefer a pub, the Royal George pub in Eversholt Street NW1 1DG is convenient.

Options for drawing


The Wellcome Collection has a wide range of options for drawing, including exhibits on current scientific issues, displays from the history of medicine world-wide, and artworks old and new related to the human body.

Several free exhibitions are showing at the time of our visits, and offer a multi-sensory experience to inform our sketches.
  • Genetic Automata is an ongoing body of video works by artists Larry Achiampong and David Blandy, exploring race and identity in an age of avatars, videogames and DNA ancestry.
  • Being Human explores what it means to be human in the 21st century. It reflects our hopes and fears about new forms of medical knowledge, and our changing relationships with ourselves, one other and the world.
  • The Cult of Beauty explores notions of beauty across time and cultures. Around the world, beauty is constantly seen as an ideal worthy of going to great lengths to achieve. But what are the driving forces that lead us to believe in a myth of universal beauty, despite its evolving nature?

The building itself is of interest: the ceiling of the ground floor features colour-changing lights and an upside-down Anthony Gormley sculpture. The shiny spiral staircase reflects light. Upstairs, the Reading Room provides sumptuous cushions to lounge on in a colourful and welcoming space.

Do bring dry materials to draw with, so that the collection is protected.


Amputation knives and saws from the 18th-19th centuries. Sketch by James Hobbs



The Collection may be busy when we are there, so please find spots to tuck yourself away.

Full details of the exhibitions and information about all aspects of the Collection can be found on their informative website.

It may be crowded, so be mindful of others, keep your distance, break into small groups, and use less busy areas of the Collection.

If anyone wants to draw out of doors, the exterior of this 1930s neo-classical building is an interesting prospect.

Another option is to walk down Gower Street, which has some varied University of London buildings, or walk down Gordon Street to Gordon Square, where there are former homes of many of the writers, philosophers and artists of the
 Bloomsbury Group.

The bustle of Euston station is a few minutes away.


The spiraling staircase in the Wellcome Collection foyer
Sketch by John Trotman
 



Practical information

Comprehensive information for visitors is available on the Wellcome Collection website.

Admission is free, and at the weekend the galleries are open from 10am to 6pm.
There is a cafe and a shop, a cloakroom with free lockers, and toilets. In the galleries there are some folding stools and seating.

Access

The Wellcome Collection is committed to making their building, services and programme as accessible and inclusive as possible. See their website for detailed accessibility information. According to the website, if you need a member of staff to meet you at a nearby station and help you make your way to the building, you can contact their Visitor Experience Team by phone or by email.

Food and drink

The Wellcome Collection cafe serves a selection of sandwiches, cakes and hot and cold drinks. There are many other food and drink outlets in the area, especially in and around Euston Station.


Getting to the Wellcome Collection

The street address is 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE, almost opposite Euston station. It is very easy to travel to the Collection by Tube, train, bus and bike -- for details you can use Transport for London’s journey planner


Public transport

The nearest stations are Euston Square (three minutes on foot), Euston (seven minutes on foot), Warren Street (a seven minute walk), St Pancras (one kilometre away, the nearest step-free station) and King's Cross.

By bus

The bus stop outside the Collection is currently out of use, but these buses stop close to the main entrance at 183 Euston Road:

•18, 30, 73, 205, 390.

London buses have space for a wheelchair user, low floors and an access ramp. Find out more about accessible journeys from Transport for London.

By bike

There are bike stands near the main entrance at 183 Euston Road and in nearby Gordon Street. There are also bike docking stations nearby.

By car

There is limited parking available for Blue Badge holders. Please contact the Visitor Experience Team by phone or by email to book a space.

Health and safety

Urban Sketchers London follow current health and safety guidelines, and we count on all our sketchers to do the same. As always, we keep an eye on developments concerning Covid, and even though restrictions have been lifted, we think it's sensible to do everything we can to keep ourselves and fellow sketchers safe when we're together. 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
  • Practise good hand hygiene. 

Hashtags

Remember to tag us when you post your sketches on social media! And do be polite when posting online. We may be biased, but we think kindness comes naturally to urban sketchers -- so don't be shy, show your social media politesse at its best.

#urbansketcherslondon #usklondon


Location map


See you at the Wellcome Collection!




 

Let's draw London in 2023 -- Find the rest of our programme for the year here. Coming soon: the Urban Sketchers London programme for 2024 -- watch for it!





London by Urban Sketchers - Our 10 Year Anniversary Book


Urban Sketchers London on social media


Join our mailing list


Sign up here to receive all the latest Urban Sketchers London news in your email Inbox.





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Thursday 19 October 2023

To remind: Let's draw Brixton - Saturday 21 October 2023

 

Foxes and cherries - the eye-catching sculpture atop Brixton market
Sketch by Catherine Bardrick


'We're gonna rock down to Electric Avenue'* and draw Brixton, the British capital of Afro-Caribbean culture with an eclectic mix of Victorian architecture and a vibrant multi-cultural marketplace.

If you missed the first Brixton sketchwalk,  come join us on Saturday 21 October 2023.

For details, see the original blog post.
The day is led by Rachel Bone and Dean Ashton 


See you in Brixton!



 

Let's draw London in 2023 -- Find the rest of our programme for the year here. Coming soon: the Urban Sketchers London programme for 2024 -- watch for it!





London by Urban Sketchers - Our 10 Year Anniversary Book


Urban Sketchers London on social media


Join our mailing list


Sign up here to receive all the latest Urban Sketchers London news in your email Inbox.






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