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 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:

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