Friday, 13 January 2023

To remind: Let's draw the V& A and South Kensington - Saturday 21 January 2023


Meet us at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) on 21 January for our first sketchcrawl of the New Year!

We will be drawing in South Kensington, home of distinguished cultural institutions at the heart of London.


We will convene at 11 am in the John Madejski Garden, the main courtyard of the V&A. For more details, see the original blog post for this event.

There is no cost, just wrap up warm and bring your sketching kit.

The day is led by Jimmy Lu and Rachel Bone.

 

See you at the V&A!


 
Let's draw London in 2023



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Saturday, 31 December 2022

Best wishes from Urban Sketchers London!

 



Best wishes from Urban Sketchers London



Thank you for helping to make our amazing 10th anniversary year such a success.
We wish you the best in the New Year, and look forward to seeing you again in 2023! 


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Tuesday, 13 December 2022

EXTRA EXTRA! Let's draw Covent Garden once more on Saturday 17 December





On Saturday 10 December we met at Covent Garden for the sketchcrawl we had originally planned for Saturday the 17th. The aim was to avoid the rail strikes that are now scheduled to take place on 16 and 17 December.

But those of us who can are still planning to meet and sketch in Covent Garden on Saturday 17 December. Despite the rail strikes that day, most London Underground lines should still be operational, albeit busy and with delays.

If you are able to, please come and join us on the 17th as well - there is no such thing as too much sketching!

The meeting times and places are the same as last Saturday's sketchcrawl, but travel disruptions are likely, and for that reason we need to stay flexible. Keep an eye on the blog and our social media accounts for updates (you'll find our social media links at the end of this post).

Please see our original blog post for all the details.

See you (again) at Covent Garden!


 
Celebrating 10 years of Urban Sketchers London
2012 - 2022



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Friday, 9 December 2022

Let’s draw the V& A and South Kensington - Saturday 21 January 2023


Cast Court at the V&A
Sketch by Jimmy Lu 

[ Led by Jimmy Lu and Rachel Bone ]

For the first sketchcrawl of 2023 we will be drawing in South Kensington, home to the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and several other cultural institutions.


This area is known for its high profile cultural institutions. In addition to the V&A, there's the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, the French Institute -- especially its Grade II-listed Art Deco reading room (open from 1 PM onward) -- and the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, better known as Brompton Oratory

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


The Cast Court - Room 46a
Photo by Cynthia Barlow Marrs 

Options for drawing

Indoors

In the V&A we are spoiled for choice. Here are just a few of the many subjects suitable for sketching:

• The Cast Courts -- Monumental Antique, 
Gothic and Renaissance plaster reproductions of ornamental architectural details and figurative sculptures from around the world 

The main courtyard -- also known as the John Madejski Garden -- and the Sackler Courtyard

• The view over South Kensington from the Ceramics section on the top floor.

The dome of the Brompton Oratory from the top floor of the V&A
Sketch by Cynthia Barlow Marrs 


Please follow the V&A’s guidelines for sketching:

• “We encourage sketching and drawing of objects with graphite and coloured pencils or white chalks.

• Please do not use charcoal, crayons, coloured chalks, watercolours, spray paints, adhesives, fixatives and other wet materials, as they may be a risk to our collections and visitors.

• Please also note that scissors and sharps cannot be used.

• We want you to be comfortable when you sketch and draw. We offer stools in most galleries for those who would like them.

• Please remember to respect the objects, cases and plinths, and do not use them as drawing boards or make any marks on them.

• On the rare occasion that sketching is prohibited within an exhibition or specific parts of the museum, please respect those conditions of access.”


Outdoors

For those brave enough to sketch in the cold, there are plenty of outdoor options.

• Exhibition Road, one of the first “shared roads” in the country, in which the separation between vehicles and pedestrians is deliberately reduced

• The Queen’s Tower on the Imperial College campus.

Unfortunately, due to the current refurbishment of the Natural History Museum Gardens, the ice rink will be closed.


The John Madejski Garden at the V&A
Photo by Jimmy Lu

Key times and meeting points

11 AM

Meet in the main courtyard, also known as the John Madejski Garden (see photo above). In case of inclement weather, we will meet inside the Raphael Court (room 48a on the ground floor, where you will find the Raphael Cartoons, one of the greatest treasures of the Renaissance in the UK).

1 PM

Meet in the main courtyard to look at sketchbooks and take a lunchtime group photo. In case of inclement weather, we will meet inside the Raphael Court.

3.30 PM

Meet back at the same spot to look at the day’s work and take a group photo. In case of inclement weather, we will meet inside the Raphael Court.

If you would like to stay for a while and chat, we will then move to the V&A Café on the ground floor.

Practical information


The museum is located in Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL. The main entrance is in Cromwell Road, with another entrance in Exhibition Road.

Entrance to the permanent exhibitions of the V&A and the other museums is free of charge. All the museums have cafés and toilets, and there are more places to eat in the area close to South Kensington station.

The nearest Tube stations are South Kensington and Gloucester Road (District, Circle, and Piccadilly lines) just five (South Kensington) or seven (Gloucester Road) minutes' walk from the V&A. As South Kensington can be very crowded on weekends, it is worth remembering that Gloucester Road is a quieter station, and is situated very close to the museum.

For additional practical information please consult the V&A website, where you will find a map of the museum and a Q&A.

COVID-19 visit information

The V&A has posted the following COVID guidance:

If you or anyone you live with has COVID-19 symptoms, or if you have recently been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, we ask that you please postpone your visit to V&A South Kensington.

We have installed protective screens at shop and café points and are regularly cleaning all areas of the building throughout the day.

Urban Sketchers London remain alert to national guidance about COVID-19 and its variants. Even though 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 the V&A!



 
Celebrating 10 years of Urban Sketchers London
2012 - 2022



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London by Urban Sketchers - Our 10 Year Anniversary Book


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Sunday, 4 December 2022

Let's draw London in 2023 -- Come join us for a smashing year of sketching

 Draw London with us in 2023

As our 10th anniversary year draws to a close, next year's programme is about to unfold. Have a look at our brilliant lineup for our monthly Saturday sketchcrawls in 2023.

As always, our regular sketchcrawls are free, and there's no need to book. Just show up with your drawing kit.

We look forward to drawing London with you.

See you at the next sketchcrawl! 


 
Celebrating 10 years of Urban Sketchers London
2012 - 2022




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London by Urban Sketchers - Our 10 Year Anniversary Book

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Friday, 2 December 2022

CHANGE OF DATE - Let's draw Covent Garden - Saturday 10 December 2022



PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE

After much deliberation, we have decided to bring the Covent Garden sketchcrawl forward by one week, to Saturday 10 DecemberThis is due to the planned RMT strikes on 16 and 17 December. Our meeting time and place will remain the same. For details please see our original blog post.


But wait, there's more!

In addition to this, some of us are still planning to meet and sketch in Covent Garden on Saturday the 17th. Despite the rail strikes that day, most London Underground lines should still be operational, albeit busy and with delays.

If you are able to, please come and join us on the 17th as well - there is no such thing as too much sketching!

The meeting time and place for the 17th will remain the same for now, but travel disruptions are likely and for that reason we need to flexible. We will post updates closer to the time.

See you at Covent Garden!


 
Celebrating 10 years of Urban Sketchers London
2012 - 2022


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London by Urban Sketchers - Our 10 Year Anniversary Book

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Thursday, 1 December 2022

We drew Trafalgar Square - Saturday 12 November 2022

Midday throwdown and group photo
Photo by John Swanson

By John Swanson

It’s always a little risky arranging a sketchcrawl at this time of year. The problem is the weather: what to do if it rains? Or it’s foggy? Howling gales? So, we went with a backup plan to draw in the National Gallery, but it turned out we didn’t need it. Landseer’s lions basked in warm sunshine, and Nelson looked down benignly on the crowds idling about in shorts and t-shirts, eating ice-creams. Completely wrong for November of course, but in the circumstances the only thing to do was enjoy it.


Initial briefing
Photo by Jimmy Lu 


We gathered at 11 am. Some people had arrived earlier, and already had sketches to show. By the time the briefing began we had maybe 80 people, gathered under the rather splendid statue 'Antelope' on the Fourth Plinth.



Photo by John Webb

Then the work began. The square was already busy with tourists, but soon it was even busier with sketchers. They were everywhere. All the seats down one side of the square were taken by people squinting, measuring, sucking on pens, drawing and painting. Sketchers sat on the fountains, they inspected the lions, they set up portable easels.

Photo by Zane Karklina


Photo by Zane Karklina


Photo by Zane Karklina


At 1pm we gathered again to compare stories and sketches in the throwdown. This took place below the wall on the west side, out of the way of the crowds. However, it also meant the pictures could only be seen from one side -– or from the parapet above. With so many sketchers, this led to something of a scrum, not very satisfactory.

Seeing this, one of our number took charge: ‘Form a queue and walk past from the right! Then everyone can see!’ And after we recovered from astonishment at such a sensible idea, it all worked, brilliantly. In fact, I’d recommend future sketch organisers adopt the idea. As for the sketcher who initiated this, given the authoritative way she brought order to a disorderly bunch of independently minded citizens -– they were all artists, after all -– I’d guess she might be a teacher. Or ex-military. (I owe her both thanks and an apology, for although I did meet her, I’ve forgotten her name. Sorry, but I hope you return.)

Photo by John Swanson


The square became much livelier in the afternoon. First, there was a noisy gathering of Iranian protesters up in the north-east corner, with flags, loudspeakers and a drum.

Iranian demonstrators 
Sketch by John Swanson


Down in the square, in front of Nelson’s column, a stage had been built, and before long another demonstration arrived, this one in support of -– or possibly against — COP27. Suddenly there were more police to be seen, who, despite the hostility shown towards them by some of the speakers, treated the whole thing in a good-natured way. However, the combined racket was a bit too much for some of us, and a few sketchers drifted further afield to draw nearby scenes, like Whitehall and St James’ Palace.


The demonstration
Sketch by Katy Evans



St James's Palace
Sketch by Peggy Thistlethwaite

The afternoon throwdown was at 3.30, in the same place as before, with a perfectly operational and self-organised queueing system to view the work, all of it excellent. By the time we finished, the sun was getting low, and many of the buildings were bathed in a beautiful golden light. You might think the photographs have been photo-shopped, but they haven’t -- they really looked like that.

Afternoon throwdown and group photo
Photo by John Swanson


Trafalgar Square in golden evening light
Photo by Zane Karklina


Finally, many of us went for a cup of tea and a chat in The Crypt café at the Church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, bringing to an end what I think was a very successful sketching day.

A selection of drawings from the day


Here are more sketches on the day -- out of very many -- chosen to represent the variety of scenes and topics we drew. The quality of work was excellent; there are many more to see on Urban Sketchers London social media accounts (see links at the end of this blog post). 

Thank you to everyone who joined us and helped to make the day so much fun!

View of Trafalgar Square
Sketch by Paul Gadenne


The Fourth Plinth
Sketch by Sasala Wickramasinghe


Trafalgar Square
Sketch by Jimmy Lu



St Martin-in-the-Fields
Sketch by Bruce Bignold


View past the National Gallery towards St Martin-in-the-Fields
Sketch by James Walding


A lion of Trafalgar Square
Sketch by Cat Donne




 
Celebrating 10 years of Urban Sketchers London
2012 - 2022



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London by Urban Sketchers - Our 10 Year Anniversary Book

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