Wednesday, 19 February 2014

South East London sketching and exhibition

On Saturday I went to a sketchcrawl in my local area of New Cross and Deptford. The day started bright and sunny but within ten minutes of meeting, the rain started.
But for those of us who braved the weather, Deptford is an overlooked area in South East London with a fascinating history and plenty of rewarding places to sketch.

On Saturday there's a lot of markets around, from fish in the high street to a sort of jumble sale outside the Albany building.

Market outside the Albany Building, Deptford

interesting characters at the market
The sketchcrawl was organised through group Drawing London on Location, who have regular meetings each month. This one was a little different in that the aim is to put on a showcase of everyone's sketches - so everyone interested in taking part in a "pop-up exhibition" can pay £1 towards covering the cost of hiring space in New Cross. 

These kind of temporary communal exhibitions are a great way of bringing together (in a "real" rather than just online forum) the huge and diverse talent of sketchers the majority of whose work usually stays confined to sketchbooks. Hopefully we'll see more of these kind of showcases in future.

For those of you who were put off by the weather forecast there'll be a second crawl this coming Saturday (22nd Feb), and drawings done from either day will then be displayed March 8th-9th, at Hart's Lane Studios, New Cross.
For more information, see the event details at Drawing London On Location

Monday, 17 February 2014

Posers' paradise

The courtyard of Somerset House has become the regular venue for London Fashion Week.  I’ve drawn there before and find it completely fascinating.  A temporary catwalk fills the central area, whilst a host of fashionistas parade around with photographers clamouring to snap both the stylish classics and the outlandish art college creations.

The Vivienne Westwood show was due to take place at the end of the afternoon so there was a good turnout even though the weather was chilly.  There were a variety of hats, lots of fun fur and, of course, plenty of cool types in shades. 


Sunday, 9 February 2014

28 Drawings Later - Entrances in London by Thomas Corrie

This is a guest post by Thomas Corrie, an "Architect and aspiring flâneur"  who is an active participant in the Flickr Group for Urban Sketchers London

He also manages to demonstrate how to keep sketching every day despite lots of rain and a tube strike in London this week!

For the past two years I have participated in 28 Drawings Later, a challenge to draw something every day during February and post it online.
  • In 2012 I had no particular theme or format. 
  • In 2013 I decided to use a square sketchbook and draw with ink washes. 
In both cases I often just drew something from wherever I was going on that day, more often than not it involved casting around in the evening for something interesting to draw in my house.

This year I was determined to pick a theme for the month to have a more focused approach. I have set myself the challenge of drawing all of my sketches en plein air (whatever the weather!) and to cycle to every location. My theme is entrances which gives me sufficient flexibility as there are doors and gates everywhere.

I started at Fenton House in Hampstead having first bought some new pens and a 200mm square sketchbook...

Day 1: Fenton House copyright Thomas Corrie
The following day I cycled along the Grand Union Canal (suffering one puncture) to Osterley Park to draw Robert Adam’s fantastic open portico...

Day 2: Osterley Park - the Robert Adam Portico
copyright Thomas Corrie

Then I was into weekdays and although the light is improving in the evening it is still too dark after six o’clock so I have decided to draw before work which means I have to get up rather earlier than I am used to. On Monday I went to Kensal Green Cemetery to draw the stern Doric gatehouse…

Day 3: Kensal Green Cemetery - copyright Thomas Corrie

On Tuesday I was cut short by rain but managed a few lines of the elegant terraces in Little Venice…

Day 4: Clarendon Gardens - Little Venice
copyright Thomas Corrie

Wednesday was the first full day of the tube strike and I had to fight my way through the London traffic to get to St James’ to draw an extravagant curved entrance to a Nash terrace...

Day 5: Carlton House Terrace
copyright Thomas Corrie

I had an early meeting on Thursday so I found an Art Deco entrance near to my workplace in Marylebone…

Day 6: Ivor Court
copyright Thomas Corrie

It was raining on Friday morning and my original plan to sketch a modernist house on Frognal was scuppered. Instead I cycled down the hill to Swiss Cottage and sheltered beneath the library to draw the back of the Odeon Cinema…

Day 7: Swiss Cottage Odeon
copyright Thomas Corrie

More bad weather threatened Saturday and several attempts to draw the elaborate front of John Soane’s Pitzhanger Manor House were stymied by showers. Instead I took advantage of a break in the clouds to quickly draw a brick and flint gate he designed to enter the estate…

Day 8: Pitzhanger
copyright Thomas Corrie

I am surprised and pleased that I have managed so far to stick to my plan. I am looking forward to the next three weeks and seeking out parts of London that I don’t know very well and elaborating on my usually straightforward commute.

Thomas Corrie's kit comprises:
  • Seawhite of Brighton 200mm square 140gsm cartridge paper sketchbook
  • Staedtler pigment liners 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.5, 0.8mm
  • Brompton M3L folding bike
  • Ortlieb Mini-O Bag


You can continue to view Thomas Corrie's 28 Drawings Later 2014 Set on Flickr and/or see his posts as they come up in the Urban Sketchers London Group Pool

Thursday, 6 February 2014

I'm not sketching much lately, but... (1)

I haven't been out on location drawing much in London recently, so ! haven't had much to post here on the blog. What I have been doing is a lot of printmaking, and some of these prints have been based on drawings I've done on location in London.
I thought it might be an idea to post some of the prints and their original drawings, for your interest.

Here's the first: a  drawing I made in 2010, joining  4 sheets of A4 paper to allow me to draw from my feet up to the clouds

Later I got round to making a woodcut of the image, cutting on two large pieces of  maple plywood and printing them together on a single sheet of Japanese paper 90cm long. Can you see the join?

I'm pleased to say that this print has just been accepted for the Royal Society of British Artists Annual Exhibition in March 2014

Bank Tube station, London

Bank Tube station, London by Lion Ren
Bank Tube station, London, a photo by Lion Ren on Flickr.
A wonderful sketch of the area near bank Tube Station by Shih Jhih-Ren (Lion Ren) - a member of the London Urban Sketchers Flickr Group

See more of his work in the Flickr Group Pool for London Urban Sketchers

Anybody can join the Flickr Group for London Urban Sketchers - which you can apply to join and post your sketches if you've been on a sketchcrawl.

Make sure you post your sketches to your Flickr account first!

Plus Post sketches of London ONLY - and read the rules first which you can find if you click this link
the Group Pool for London Urban Sketchers - which you can apply to join and post your sketches if you've been on a sketchcrawl. Make sure you post your sketches to your Flickr account first! - See more at:
the Group Pool for London Urban Sketchers - which you can apply to join and post your sketches if you've been on a sketchcrawl. Make sure you post your sketches to your Flickr account first! - See more at:
the Group Pool for London Urban Sketchers - which you can apply to join and post your sketches if you've been on a sketchcrawl. Make sure you post your sketches to your Flickr account first! - See more at:


Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Urban Sketchers Exhibition Private View

On Wednesday evening we had a little gathering downstairs at Timberyard Seven Dials to celebrate the opening of our exhibition there. Around 70 people came along to see the work of Adebanji Alade, Lis Watkins, Evelyn Rowland, Olha Pryymak and Nathan Brenville, and to chat to some of London's Urban Sketchers themselves. As well as the five featured artists and their work, we screened 2 short films- one a profile of Adebanji, and the other an animation I made last year about my inspirations for sketching London. We also had a slideshow of sketches by regular Flickr group contributors Francesca Albini, Shih Jhih-Ren, Owen Mathers, and Dawn Painter, and all of the contributors to this blog: Katherine, Barry, Pete, Zhenia, James. Lis also brought in a collection of her sketchbooks to view.

Thanks to everyone who came, and again to Darren for the help in organising it!
There's a nice review of the show here by Inspiring City.

The magic of Bank

           Through the Looking Glass. Pencil 149 x 210 mm

On the way to a Life class in Bethnal Green, I thought I'd kill time on Bank westbound platform (as you do) because it was less crowded than the other one. Bank has it's charm as it has a totally curved platform but there isn't a long enough sweep to get a cool drawing. However, if you stand just inside the connecting tunnel, a whole new wobbly world opens up.

Monday, 3 February 2014

White lion street

With this sketch, I experimented a bit more and has taken it to print room. In order to preserve sketch quality, I used a mix of dry point and monoprint - but didn't post the results here, as it obviously wasn't done on location! Here's the link.