Tuesday 30 December 2014

Let's Draw the British Museum

WHEN: 7th February 2015

Full details on meeting points to follow.

For those on Facebook, the event is here.


Monday 29 December 2014

Roller-coaster sketchcrawl

It's true, last Saturday's sketchcrawl wasn't for the faint-hearted. It was cold, and rained a bit, and there was a feeling of smugness along with coldness when we headed back to the Tyburn pub. Winter Wonderland: I'm not sure about the "wonderland" bit, but it certainly was winter.


Sunday 28 December 2014

Winter Wonderland

Skaters II, watercolour only ©Sue Pownall.
On a cold, 4°C, and showery afternoon, ten sketchers met in a nice warm pub beforeheaded across Marble Arch and into the Winter Wonderland event.  
Near the entrance was a big wheel complete with Santa in his sleigh, and it had to be drawn. Taking shelter under one of the many wooden food chalets, I grabbed an Inktense pencil and started sketching. The slightly unusual effect is due to spots of rain on the page.
I wasn't happy with the red, so added red watercolour at home.
Next up, I sketched Zippo's Circus. I have to say I was tempted to go and see the show, especially as a sign boasted "It's warm inside". Instead, it was a cup of hot chocolate and onto the outside skating rink. I sketched the skaters directly in watercolour. The spots on the page due to the paint taking forever to dry.
Pencil with watercolour added at home.
 With icy feet, fingers & nose, a great find was the firepit, where thawing out whilst sketching was a perfect way to end a visit to the Winter Wonderland. Finally, it was time to head to the pub and share our sketches.


Saturday 27 December 2014

Winter Wonderland 27th December

Ten of us faced the cold day and enjoyed sketching this strange place full of visual inputs and people everywhere. There were rides and lights and noise  and a great roaring fire that was a life saver when our feet froze whilst standing up. A quick post and photo of the atmosphere today.


Tuesday 23 December 2014

Saturday night down the O2

Before Madness

I was fortunate to be given a free VIP box ticket for Madness' last night of their world tour. So while waiting for the support act to begin, I drew the very ordinary view of all the trappings of a world stage before the stars and the pretty lights come on.


Sunday 21 December 2014

Sketches from around Westminster

A lunch break crowd at St. Johns Gardens
Abington Gardens
Dean Bradley Street, view from St. John's


Monday 1 December 2014

December sketchmeet: Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

 Wrap up warm and join us to sketch at this unique London winter event. There are markets, ice skaters, food stalls and much more for us to draw. Save the date now!

Saturday 22 November 2014

View from London's lighthouse

Last Sunday's sketchcrawl around Trinity Buoy Wharf in Docklands was an eye-opener for me. I'd never been there before – the wharf sits across the river from the O2 Arena and is stacked with history. The event, with the Campaign for Drawing, the Dining Room Drawing Club and Independent Art School, merged heritage, water and new developments. It was great to meet new people and those I'd only known online before. This is one view from the top of the lighthouse.
An exhibition of drawings by shortlisted artists in the John Ruskin Prize 2014 continues at the Electrician's Shop Gallery there until 30 November. Thanks to the Campaign for Drawing for asking us.


Friday 21 November 2014

Trinity Buoy Wharf, well, almost

From East India Dock, E14

Having chosen to take the scenic route, which meant my walk was twice as long, I was rewarded by a lovely misty view of the cable cars. Things are so much more magical when you can't see them properly. I'm glad I got this done before joining the rest of the Urban Sketchers and Campaign for Drawing-ers as I didn't pick my pencil up again for the rest of the day. Rain dampens my spirits.

Saturday 15 November 2014

What to see and sketch on Sunday at Trinity Buoy Wharf

Urban Sketchers London is participating in Draw Britain Now - a big drawing event on Sunday 16th November 2014 at Trinity Buoy Wharf - between 12 and 4pm.

Trinity Buoy Wharf is on the western side of the mouth of the River Lee (where the boats are - bottom right)
Opposite the O2 in the image below
Click to see an even larger picture

Anybody can come along and do a sketchcrawl with Urban Sketchers London (a good option for those who like to do lots of sketch and draw whatever takes their fancy in whatever order they choose - you choose how you record the wharf)

You can draw the historic wharf with the Dining Room Drawing Club
    People are also participating in a free Getting Started with Drawing workshop with The Independent Art School 
      The event has been organised in collaboration with The Campaign for Drawing, Trinity Buoy Wharf (Urban Space Management) and The Guild of St. George.

      If you tweet about this event on Sunday can you please also use
      • the #The_Big_Draw hashtag if you want your tweet retweeted by the Campaign for Drawing - Twitter: @CampaignDrawing
      • #urbsketchlondon if you want your tweet retweeted by Urban Sketchers London - Twitter: @UrbSketchLondon
      The Trinity Buoy Wharf account is @artsTBW

      What you can sketch

      Here are some things you can see and sketch at the Sketchcrawl on Sunday at Trinity Buoy Wharf in East London.

      Trinity Buoy Wharf: Some of the main locations
      • Trinity Buoy Wharf Jubilee Pier - has views of The O2 and the River Thames - sort of obvious really when you see the location (see top pic)!  (There is no clipper service at the weekend so it's possible this may be closed - but the views are still visible from the bank - as is the Pier!)
      • A lighthouse -the only one in London!  It was built in 1866 to be a place to test new forms of lighting for lighthouses. This is where the 19th-century physicist Michael Faraday conducted optical experiments.
      • Two lightships - the Lightships LV93 and LV95 are moored here - one on the Thames side and one on the River Lea side
      • Container City - featured in numerous television programmes, brightly painted live/work spaces in stacked containers (More info).  The stacked containers of Container City II have a ziggurat shape. Read Living in a box to understand more about the people who live here.
      Urban Space Holdings have created a mad little urban quarter totally unlike the high-finance citadels and luxury-living elsewhere in Docklands. A sense of time and tide, lapping at the beyond, permeates the place. Let’s hope it survives yuppification, sea-level rise and the collapse of civilisation, at least until the music stops.
      Herbert Wright explores: Trinity Buoy Wharf \ Le Cool London
      • The Driftwood Cafe  - a cafe in a container
      • Fatboys Diner - an authentic American Diner and the subject of the winning painting in this year's Sunday Times Watercolour Competition
      Kathryn Maple with her prizewinning watercolour painting of Fat Boys Diner
      (See review - Kathryn Maple wins Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2014)

      Sue Grayson Ford - the Director of The Campaign for Drawing - will be on site to open the Electrician's Shop Gallery from noon, so sketchers can collect there, see the exhibition of drawings, paintings and textiles focused on the urban (and occasionally rural) scene, use the loos and leave any heavy items. The Gallery will remain open until 5pm.

      This space is currently displaying the Recording Britain Now: 2014 John Ruskin Prize Exhibition (which opened last week) until 30th November 2014. You can also visit for free when it is open - on Wednesdays – Sundays, 12 - 5pm, and Thursdays, 4 - 8pm

      How to get there

      The address for travel apps and satnavs is The Electrician's Shop Gallery, Trinity Buoy Wharf,64 Orchard Place, London E14 0JY (Tel. 020 8351 1719)

      The website provides advice about how to get to Trinity Buoy Wharf.

      Below are links to the Transport for London Travel Planner - the page shows options from:
      Just use the Edit button and change the "From" location to make it relevant to you.

      Here's a map of the location from Google Maps

      Some history about Trinity Buoy Wharf

      In 1515, Trinity House was granted a charter by King Henry VIII.Trinity Buoy Wharf was where Trinity House used to build and maintain the buoys and lightships which were used to aid navigation around the Kent, Essex and Suffolk coasts.  The development was created in the early nineteenth century and closed down in 1988 when it was purchased by the London Docklands Development Corporation. Urban Space Management acquired the site in 1996 and redeveloped the site to become an urban centre for the arts.

      You can read more about the history on their website.


      Sunday 9 November 2014

      London Sketchcrawl: Draw Britain Now

      Urban Sketchers London is teaming up with the Campaign for Drawing — the organisers of The Big Draw — for a sketchcrawl at Trinity Buoy Wharf in the East End on Sunday 16 November from 12noon to 4pm. It's free. Just bring your own drawing materials and be ready for whatever the weather has in store.

      It's a great venue for drawing a slice of docklands history and the location of London's last remaining lighthouse.

      We'll meet by The Electrician's Shop Gallery, Trinity Buoy Wharf, 64 Orchard Place, London, E14 0JY. There's information about the venue and the Draw Britain Now event at the Big Draw's event page and the Trinity Buoy Wharf website. You can find travel advice here.

      There are other drawing related events continuing at the gallery under the Recording Britain Now banner, organised by the Campaign for Drawing in collaboration with Trinity Buoy Wharf and the Guild of St George. The John Ruskin Prize exhibition of drawings, paintings, prints and textiles runs from 13 to 30 November.

      Looking forward to seeing you there!


      Tuesday 28 October 2014

      Sketchcrawl at Trinity Buoy Wharf on 16th November 2014

      Put this date in your diary!  The next Urban Sketchers London Sketchcrawl will on Sunday 16 November (12-4pm)

      Trinity Buoy Wharf is in East London on the north bank of the Thames - across from the O2

      You'll be able to sketch unfamiliar vistas of the Thames, the O2, Canary Wharf and other riverside landmarks from one of the last bastions of Docklands history, Trinity Buoy Wharf!

      More details later.

      Thursday 16 October 2014

      "... away above the chimney pots ..."

      Mile End Road, E2

      Grove Road, E2

      Perhaps it is all down to Judy Garland, I mean, can any of us look at chimneys without thinking of her? I can't stand it when the stacks are capped off or the originals are replaced with an apology of  ghastly short stumps. Anyway, Mile End has quite a good outcrop and I enjoyed getting a few more in, and their shops which are fortunate enough to own them.


      Wednesday 1 October 2014

      A new Nine Elms: coming soon

      This view upstream from the embankment opposite the Houses of Parliament is the kind of view I like the best: the obvious thing to do is draw the well-known sight (which I did as well), but what is behind you is often telling another story. Past the moored pleasure boats, Lambeth Bridge, and the towers of Vauxhall is a thicket of construction cranes that are working to change the face of Nine Elms. Disused industrial land larger in area than Hyde Park is being developed into a residential and business district, with new US and Dutch embassies (by 2017), homes for 30,000, jobs for 25,000 and there are plans for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge and rail stations. I've written before about the tortured landscape of Vauxhall; big changes there are also part of the plan.


      Friday 26 September 2014

      Drawing Covent Garden

      James Hobbs, Seven Dials
      Urban sketchers from all over London, and much further afield, met in Covent Garden earlier this month for Moleskine City Stories. It was great to meet so many people and draw with them on the day. Adebanji Alade, Olha Pryymak, Andrea Joseph and I took part in learning sessions with groups in the streets and squares around the neighbourhood. There was a lot of drawing going on!

      You can read more and see images of the day in:
      the Huffington Post, the Flaneur magazine and the Moleskine website.

      Monday 1 September 2014

      Sketching Covent Garden: Moleskine City Stories

      James Hobbs, Covent Garden
      On Saturday 6 September 2014, Urban Sketchers are going to be drawing around the streets of Covent Garden as part of the "live sketch event" Moleskine City Stories. 

      This day-long celebration of urban sketching focuses on the Moleskine store on King Street – where Adebanji Alade and Olha Pryymak will be in action – while Andrea Joseph and James Hobbs will be at London Graphic Centre, Shelton Street, close to Seven Dials. 

      They, along with other London Urban Sketchers, will be drawing in and around the stores and happy to talk about urban sketching from 11.30am to 5.30pm. During the day each store will build an exhibition of the drawings done by those who come.

      Interested? There's a lot more information about learning sessions, how to get your hands on a free Moleskine Sketch Album, and directions from mymoleskine.moleskine.com/community/citystories. Come along and say hello, and be ready to draw.


      Saturday 30 August 2014

      joining the circus

      Piccadilly Circus
      Hello London!
      I am now home from my recent jaunt back to my native city, armed with a massive pile of sketches to scan. One of the highlights of my trip was meeting many other sketchers on the Sketching Wren's City sketchcrawl...it seems so long ago now, but what an amazing day of exploration! I'll post my results very soon. For now, I will post this sketch of a well-known London tourist attraction. I am officially a tourist now, and I love it.
      On my first morning back, still dizzy with the transatlantic jetlag, the promise of sketching on the streets of London again proved too much for a morning cup of tea to satiate, so I took an early train down to what is usually one of my least favourite parts of the city: Piccadilly Circus, least loved because it is usually jam-packed with people and traffic and noise and nonsense. However, in the earlier pre-9am hours it is a calmer more respectable place, and I was waiting for Lillywhites to open anyway so I sat outside that large sports store and sketched the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain, also known as the Angel of Christian Charity, but known to Londoners and signposts alike as 'Eros'. I sketched in a large spiral-bound Stillman and Birn Alpha book, and stood looking towards Regent St and Shaftesbury Avenue. After a while, some police officers showed up, dressed in bright yellow overcoats. They were just hanging around, and then more came. Some photographers also started gathering, and then more police, and then two officers mounted on horseback, all in a jovial mood, all happy to pose with tourists. There must have been over forty police officers there, apparently there to launch a new initiative, and they all stood together and said “cheese, guv” and had their photo taken in front of the statue (“Ello, ello, ello, what’s goin’ on Eros then?”). A young woman from Germany, holidaying in London, stopped and watched me sketch for a while, sitting down when I crouched over to add the paint, and told me how she also liked to draw. I was in a good mood for my first out-and-about sketch in London, and when I was done I said goodbye to the circus, popped into Lillywhites to look at all the new football shirts, and set off to sketch the narrow dusty streets of Soho. It was good to be back.
      by Pete Scully


      Thursday 7 August 2014

      "In a street where you live"

       Grove Hill, South Woodford E18
      High Road, South Woodford E18

      Well, almost. I thought I'd go local again, with my first love, the 0.5 HB clutch. I remember listening to Ken Howard a while ago saying, "You don't have to go to Venice." Yes I know he did, and he has a studio there but mine is my living room, in South Woodford.


      Saturday 2 August 2014

      Sketching Wren's London - what next?

      Not quite everybody who was sketching Wren's London today....
      ...on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral at 4.15pm
      CLICK to see a much bigger version

      For all those who participated in Sketching Wren's London......
      1. Load your sketches onto your Flickr account - and then share them with the Urban Sketchers London Group Pool
      2. If you participated today and are not a member of the Urban Sketchers Flickr Group you can apply here - and then follow 1 above
      3. We'd like to try and find out and map how many of Wren's churches we managed to sketch so please be sure to state clearly which church it is on each image.
      4. We'll be posting a selection of the images of different churches to the blog in the coming days.
      For all those who want to see what people produced - come back later and see what people have been posting - to the blog and to the Flickr Group Pool

      Thanks to Pete Scully for organising this sketchcrawl - and his wonderful map and stickers!  Can you spot him in the photo?

      Sketching Wren's London is TODAY - Saturday 2nd August 2014

      Don't forget - today is Sketching Wren's City - a sketchcrawl across the City of London

      WHEN: Saturday August 2, 2014
      START: 10:30am, The Monument
      FINISH: 4:00pm, outside St. Paul’s Cathedral
      - See more at:http://urbansketchers-london.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/sketching-wrens-city-saturday-august-2nd.html

      This sketchcrawl is free and open to anybody with an interest in urban sketching. Artists of all levels and ages are welcome. All you need is something to draw with and something to draw on (oh and maybe a snack)

      Maps are ready for distribution at the start, and stickers for those who make it to the finish
      For those of you using Google Maps this is the digital link to the Google Map of Wren's Churches


      Wednesday 23 July 2014

      Living the dream

      Last year I did lots of sketching of people and places along the Sydenham Artists Trail which is run as part of the Sydenham Arts Festival and showcases many talented artists and crafts people living in this part of south east London.  So it was very exciting to be asked this year if I’d like to be an ‘Artist in residence’ at one of the venues. 
      The venue was the Alexandra Nurseries, a small garden centre very close to where I live and somewhere I knew would provide lots of material for sketches. 

      It’s an unashamedly pretty place where flowers and plants are packed in and is very popular as a place to stop for coffee and cake even if you have no interest in gardening.  

      The building used to be the Estate House for the nearby Alexandra Cottages which were built between 1866 -88. 

      The drawings here took about 14 hours spread over two sunny July weekends.


      Tuesday 22 July 2014

      Sketching Wren's City: Saturday, August 2nd

      Sketching Wren's City
      Sketchers of London! I hope you are well. I would like to invite you to join me for another 'themed' sketchcrawl on Saturday, August 2nd. I really enjoyed last years 'crawl around the Whitechapel of Jack the Ripper, and this year I really wanted to indulge my life-long love of the London of Sir Christopher Wren, the late seventeenth century architect and scientist, by seeing how much of his City I could sketch in a day, and I invite you to do the same.

      We will start at 10:30am at the base of The Monument just off King William St (the nearest tube is Monument), and from there we will sketch solo or in groups, as you prefer, taking in as many of the great Wren’s buildings as we can fit on our pages, before reconvening by the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Wren’s masterpiece, at 4pm, to look at each others’ sketchbooks. From there you can have a quick pint at the Old Bell on Fleet Street, the only pub built by Wren on our ‘crawl.

      WHEN: Saturday August 2, 2014
      START: 10:30am, The Monument
      FINISH: 4:00pm, outside St. Paul’s Cathedral

      As always this sketchcrawl is free and open to anybody with an interest in urban sketching, artists of all levels and ages are welcome. All you need is something to draw with and something to draw on (oh and maybe a snack). I will again be providing hand-drawn maps with a handy guide to the Wren church buildings for you to choose your own route. I hope to see you there!

      Facebook event: www.facebook.com/events/1525438077677897/

      - Pete Scully

      Saturday 19 July 2014

      44th Sketchcrawl - London Portobello Rd

      Let me introduce myself on this my first post for USk London. I am Isabel Carmona, architect and artist (watercolour and printmaking) and live in Newbury now although I spent 6 years in London pre 2002 and know it well. I am also part of USk Spain, helped as interpreter at last year's USk Simposioum in Barcelona and have recently organised the Oxford Workshop with Swasky and Miguel Herranz.

      Last Saturday 12th July, we spent a great day at Portobello Rd a large group of us as part of the 44th Worldwide Skerchcrawl, an event that occurs every four months.
      Special thanks to the group of Urban Sketchers Spain and Oxford that came following on from the Oxford Workshop.
      The end of the day at The Castle saw at least 30 or 40 of us discussing and enjoying seeing each other's sketchbooks.

      My sketches were quick as the sun was very strong and also I wanted to capture the people and the activity of the street, with street musicians and a great mix of people. I can still here the tune of the odd musician by Starbucks.
      I look forward to future events!


      Monday 14 July 2014

      Slow crawl through the market - 44th urban sketchers world wide day out

      214 Portobello Road W11. Pencil and watercolour 210 x 149 mm Evelyn Rowland

      A very hot afternoon down the coolest street in London. The last drawing before the obligatory drink in the pub opposite. I think the traffic lights would have been better off with a coffee.


      Thursday 10 July 2014

      Sketchcrawl: Portobello Road on Saturday 12 July

      James Hobbs, from the
      Old Street sketchcrawl
      There's a London sketchcrawl this weekend on Saturday 12 July 2014 organised by Urban Sketchers who are running this week's Oxford workshop.
      The plan is to meet at around 11am at Charlie's Portobello Road cafe, at number 58, and finish at the Castle pub (number 225) at around 4pm. It's a great opportunity to meet Urban Sketchers both from London and internationally.
      There's more information about the sketchcrawl here, and a plan of the route here.
      The weather forecast is looking good for Saturday, so we hope to see you there.

      Note: Saturday 12 July is also the new closing date of the London Urban Sketchers show at Timberyard Old Street. Last chance to visit!

      Thursday 3 July 2014

      Now the day is over ...

      South Woodford High Road from the Bus Stop. Pencil 105 x 149 mm Evelyn Rowland
      A little view of everyday life, well on a Thursday and Friday morning at any rate, while waiting for a W14. These are evening shadows though, as I finished it around 8.30 pm. 


      Tuesday 24 June 2014

      At the Illustrators' Fair

      I took part in the Ilustrators’ Fair in Granary Square, Kings Cross at the weekend.  It was organised by the ‘House of Illustration’ which opens there on July 2nd.  Of course as well as chatting to other illustrators, it was a great opportunity to sketch! 


      Monday 23 June 2014

      Drawings Events Happening Soon

      Hello everyone,

      there are a couple of sketchcrawls/group drawing sessions both minor and major happening in the next few weeks - please feel free to come along to any or all of them!

      Saturday June 28th - Brimmington Park Festival,  Peckham (near Old Kent Road)
      In conjunction with the Drawing London on Location Group we'll be milling around the area making sketches of this small and vibrant community festival, and encouraging people to display their sketchbooks at our stall.
      For more info, see http://www.meetup.com/Drawing-London-on-Location/events/189312502/
      and http://www.brimmington-green.co.uk/

      Monday, July 7th - Tour De France
      It's likely to be very crowded so meeting up may prove difficult, so instead we're encouraging sketchers to find convenient spots along the route, all the way from the borders of Essex to Buckingham Palace and then share your drawings of the cyclists, the spectators etc on our Flickr group, or on Twitter with the hashtag: #drawdefrance
      If you do want to try meeting up with our correspondents, Lis Watkins will be at the Fan Park not far from the finish line, in Green Park, central London for most of the afternoon, and Evelyn Rowland will be covering the Waterworks Roundabout in Waltham Forest around 2pm, whilst Katherine Tyrrell will be in the Westfield/Stratford area. Leave a comment or email the general email address for their contact details.
      For more info see https://www.tfl.gov.uk/campaign/tour-de-france-2014

      Saturday 12th July - 44th Worldwide Sketchcrawl - Portobello Road
      In conjunction with both the USK Oxford Workshop and the Drawing London on Location meetup.com group, we hope this will be a big one! Join us in the Notting Hill area for some outdoor summer sketching!
      More details here: http://www.sketchcrawl.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=11882

      We will be posting reminders nearer the time

      See you soon!


      Thursday 5 June 2014

      James Hobbs at Stoke Newington Literary Festival

      Meet James Hobbs (author of Sketch Your World ) in Stoke Newington

      In the foyer of Stoke Newington Town Hall (next to Clissold Park)

      from 12 noon on Sunday 8th June

      Adults and children welcome - get your drawings tweeted!

      Sketchbooks by Seawhite of Brighton available
      free on first come, first served basis


      Monday 2 June 2014

      Barbican Centre, London EC2

      Lauderdale Tower and Defoe House at the Barbican Centre

      Our sketchcrawl from Timberyard Old Street towards Shoreditch was a triumph of meteorological optimism on 24 May: the rain held off (occasionally) and using the Barbican Centre as a giant umbrella over lunchtime saved us getting too sodden. It was great to see familiar and new faces, and to see the drawings people have posted on the Flickr site. Thanks to Nathan, once more, for his organisational feats.
      I'll be at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival on Sunday 8 June from 12 noon with copies of Sketch Your World for an informal, free, drop-in and drop-out drawing event in our corner of north London. There's more about it here. No tickets required, and there are free sketchbooks courtesy of Seawhites while stocks last. I'll be glad to see you there.


      Sunday 25 May 2014

      Old Street to Shoreditch Sketchcrawl photos!

      Thanks to everyone who came yesterday. I thought the end of May we would have been fairly safe with the weather but no - so sorry it was a bit wet and windy at times!

      It was good to see the sun out at the Barbican at least - I spotted a fair few people from the group outside making the most of it!

      Check out the incredible variety of people's works on display below, and for those of you who haven't already, you can also post your sketchcrawl drawings in the Flickr group if you would like to share.

      Watch out for announcements here on the blog about more drawing get-togethers for the end of June and beginning of July.