Monday 31 December 2012

Next Sketchcrawl - January 19th 2013

Hi everyone,
A number of people have been asking about when and where the next Sketchcrawl will be – well, the date of the 38th Worldwide Sketchcrawl is fast approaching, and we will be a part of it too, on Saturday 19th January.

We'll be meeting at the Tate Modern, at 12 noon, in the big entranceway (the Turbine Hall).

As with the last venue, there's plenty to draw inside and out: the Millennium Bridge, the Globe, St Pauls, the crowds of tourists, the Thames, as well as the fascinating space that is the Tate Modern itself of course.

There's already a Facebook event page, started by Gillian Reid; and Tom from Drawing London on Location has set up a Meetup event.

Meeting point: at the top of this ramp, by the doors

Thanks to James Hobbs for the picture for the flyer.
Look out for details of further sketchcrawls coming up soon.
Hope to see you there!

Tuesday 25 December 2012


Merry Christmas everyone!
Did anyone get any good London based urban sketching related presents this year?
I was surprised with "Hugh Casson's London", first published in 1983, which I can thoroughly recommend as a wonderful collection of watercolours true to the spirit of the urban sketching manifesto.

I've been looking to snap up a cheapish copy of Ronald Searle's amazing "Looking at London" (1953) for a while now, I discovered the books of David Gentleman this year, and I also want to check out Geoffrey Fletcher's London.
But I'd be interested to know if anyone can recommend any other books by artists whose focus is on location drawings of London? I haven't seen too many books that are comprised entirely of this, and I'm always excited to discover them.

Sunday 16 December 2012

New Oxford street

New Oxford Street, London
A sketch of the corner of New Oxford street and Tottenham court road. I rested my sketchbook on the handrailing next to the pedestrian crossing.
I was staying in the St. Giles hotel, just a block away, and went there before breakfast to draw this. On the left you see the Dominion theatre, which features the "we will rock you" (Queen) musical.


Monday 10 December 2012

It seemed like a good idea at the time, but when the day came, as the rain drove down in biting winds, our booking of a November cruise along the river seemed a bit daft. It was supposed to be an architectural cruise, with a guide pointing out sites of architectural interest. The commentary was indeed informative, but the weather meant all our views were through steamed-up windows.
The  mulled wine was barely warm and the  mince pies were cold... I only managed 2 drawings. Curiously both of them include a view of ther appalling new tower that has gone up at St George's wharf, Vauxhall. Not the best day out.
Towards Vauxhall from Westminster.  Dilute inks

Approaching Vauxhall Bridge. Pencil


Saturday 8 December 2012

Peering into display cases

One of the reasons I particularly enjoyed the third Urban Sketchers London sketchcrawl at the Natural History Museum and V&A was because I found myself drawing things I don't usually draw, and this can't be a bad thing, surely? I found the stuffed birds in glass display cases strangely attractive to draw, if distasteful, an example of things that would not happen now. I don't think any bird expert would be able to tell one of my drawn hummingbirds from another, but I liked their shape and flow. A swallow-winged flycatcher caught my attention too.

I also liked the way the statue of Charles Darwin sits halfway up the stairs considering the goings-on in the central hall of the museum. A steady trail of people came to have their photograph taken next to the statue. I drew his shoes, which seemed rather stylish, I thought.

Well done to Nathan again for organising the sketchcrawl, and it was great to meet new people and see their sketchbooks. I'm looking forward to the next one – watch this website for news.


Sunday 2 December 2012

South Kensington Sketchcrawl on December 1st

Yesterday was the third Urban Sketchers London sketchcrawl, which took place inside both the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, it being a little cold for a full day's worth of sketching outdoors. We had another good turnout, so thank you to everyone who came, and there were some great drawings that came out of it at the end of the day, as you can see below.

I think it might've been helpful to have a bit more structure to the day, as it was very busy, especially at the NHM, and so it wasn't always easy to meet everyone as they went their separate ways, it would've been fun to spend time in specific rooms as a group or groups, so perhaps a missed opportunity on my part there, but hopefully people still got to mingle and see all the art going on during the day! We had a wonderful array of styles and subjects being displayed in all the different sketchbooks.

Museums are great for people-watching, and so I decided to focus mainly on the visitors, but couldn't help getting sucked in to drawing a few impressive exhibits too:

I also braved the cold just long enough to draw the ice skaters outside the Natural History Museum, London's most popular Christmas ice skating venue. I didn't bother sketching it out with a pencil first, (too cold to faff around with that as I would normally do), I just launched straight into it with a pen, which was quite satisfying.

Thanks again to everyone for coming, I hope to see you all again soon. Watch out for further announcements about sketchcrawls in the coming months!