Thursday 24 September 2015

Call for Entries: Urban Sketchers Exhibition 2015

This post explains WHO can submit WHAT for the London Urban Sketchers Exhibition that's being held between 2nd November 2015 - 30th April 2016 at the new branch of Timberyard in central London which also opens in November.

The post includes just some of the images people who have been on London Urban Sketchers 'Let's Draw' sketchcrawls this year.

Who can submit sketches?

We will only be hanging sketches by people who have been ACTIVE participants in London Urban Sketchers in 2015 i.e. since January 2015 when we introduced the monthly "Let's Draw" events which have been very successful.  The entry form will ask you which ones you attended.

London Urban Sketchers at the end of our visit to Kew Gardens in May 2015

How do we define active?

We had a discussion about this and agreed that we are looking for people who have:
  • been to a number of our Let's Draw events in 2015;
  • and/or consistently posted their sketches to our Flickr Group Pool (the easiest place to see what people have done)
  • and/or consistently posted to the blog
  • and/or consistently posted to the Facebook group
  • and/or contributed to the running of the group
We've already compiled a list of people who we think qualify - and know your name. If you want to know whether you are on the list please ask.  We're also very happy for people to make the case for why you might be eligible

The entry form will ask you to identify what you've done this year.

London Urban Sketchers at the British Museum in February 2015

What can you submit?

Subject matter

The first and most obvious condition is that you can ONLY submit sketches which conform to the principles of The Urban Sketchers Manifesto:
  1. We draw on location, indoors or out, capturing what we see from direct observation.
  2. Our drawings tell the story of our surroundings, the places we live and where we travel.
  3. Our drawings are a record of time and place.
  4. We are truthful to the scenes we witness.
  5. We use any kind of media and cherish our individual styles.
  6. We support each other and draw together.
  7. We share our drawings online.
  8. We show the world, one drawing at a time.

Obviously if you came with us on a Let's Draw event we know this to be true!

This means that you can't submit drawings made after the event. However you can submit work where you finished the sketch later e.g. by adding colour.

Next we aim to get a good mix of sketches which represent both us and London. So we will be looking to select sketches which are drawings of:
  • different parts of London
  • different types of buildings
  • different types of places - parks, events and people as well as buildings
  • different styles of sketching
  • different media used for sketching.
So think about what you have done. We will be looking to select the best of a unique view.

Sketches (or prints) can be for sale but they don't have to be for sale. If sold during the show they will be replaced. Which means if your work is not chosen for the initial batch of work hung it may well be still hung during the course of the show - which continues until the end of April 2016.

We'll also have a portfolio of details about the artists for visitors to view!

Some of the people who sketched the Mall, Horseguards and Trafalgar Square in August 2015

Eligible Media and Size

All sketches MUST be
  • 2D and sketchbook size as we want to hang as many works as we can
  • usual sketching media. (We're looking to get a good variety of different media including pencil, pen and ink, watercolour, coloured pencils, marker pens, digital colour etc. If in doubt email us.)
  • framed using a neutral frame which can be hung easily. (white, black, neutral paint, plain wood - we will provide more details to artists whose artwork is selected)
The entry form will state the maximum size for a framed sketch. Current thinking is no bigger than 30cm x 40cm but variations for a panoramic format (used vertically or horizontally) will also be fine if external dimensions do not exceed 150cm in total.

Printing a sketch

We realise that not everybody will have a loose sketch. Also that many of us would regard taking a page out of a sketchbook as sacrilegious!  We're therefore happy to accept very good quality prints of a sketch - so long as the work indicates it is a print and not an original.

Do bear in mind that unless you have access to professional scanning and/or printing that means that you're limited to sketches which are smaller than A4 - or reducing sketches so they can be printed using an A4 printing.

[Note: We'll be providing advice about scanning and printing later in a separate blog post]

Number of entries

At this stage we're looking to active participants to suggest THREE of their best sketches. See also selection and fee.

There is no entry fee but there will be a hanging fee of £5 per work hung to help cover costs.

Lots of us drew St Pauls and the Thames in April 2015


We'll be making a selection from online images - so we need you to make sure that the image online is the best you can make it.

We aim to do the selection pretty quickly so that we can give you two weeks to get your work framed. You'll find the dates in the timeline below.


The sketch needs to have been done in 2015 AND posted and shared online on Flickr, Facebook, your blog, this blog.

Key dates are as follows:
  • Wednesday 30th September - deadline for asking for an entry form (but we may extend this date)
  • Saturday 10th October - DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES (you'll get a reminder at the Sketchcrawl!)
    • make sure all images are online 
    • Return entry forms and a photo of yourself (see below for entry forms)
  • 15th October - target date for notification of selected artwork - giving you two weeks to get it framed
  • 29th - 31st October - Deliver artwork
  • Sat 31st October and/or Sun 1st November - Hang the exhibition
  • Monday 2nd November - Exhibition Opens
  • Tuesday 3rd November - Private View
  • Saturday 14th November - Exhibition Sketchcrawl - see London Urban Sketchers 2015 Exhibition + sketchcrawl
  • 30th April 2016 - Exhibition Finishes

London Urban Sketchers in Hampstead in June 2015

How to submit your entry

Entry Form and Fee

You first need to get hold of an entry form which we will need to email to you as we cannot attach a Word file to this blog.

Email London Urban Sketchers (see below) by 30th September with your name, an expression of interest in exhibiting and let us know which email address you would like us to use to send you an entry form and a note of the conditions of entry.

This is a picture and the link is not live!

Our entry forms will also ask for a photo of you and some outline details of your background in sketching for our portfolio.

You must also have your images loaded onto Flickr or Facebook so we can review what is available. Membership is free and we can help if you have problems with loading. We will create special albums for nominated work - see the entry form for details.

There will be a £5 hanging fee per work for those having work hung which is to cover the costs of the Private View to which you will be able to invite people.

We will update people via the blog and Facebook as the exhibition progresses.

Help with the Exhibition

We'll be looking for help with the exhibition. Specifically help with:
  • the delivery of artwork, booking in and storage prior to hang
  • hanging day - particularly if you have practical experience
  • Private View - nibbles / drinks etc.
  • Taking the exhibition down and handing out to artists
We'll be asking on the form whether you can help and what tasks you think best suit your talents!


Let's Draw Chelsea and Battersea - 10th October 2015

Albert Bridge from Cheney Walk by Swasky
It is going to be difficult to know what to choose this month!
We will be on two sides of the river and two very different areas, Chelsea and Battersea roughly between the two bridges Albert Bridge and Battersea Bridge.
Start Meeting 11:30 Albert Bridge by the river (western end) on the Chelsea side. See map link here for exact location.
To get there use the TFLwebsite, here, as there are various buses that get you there but the fastest route will depend on your point of origin.
In the morning, we suggest:
  • Exploring the embankment - there amazing buildings and history along Cheyne Walk  and the Chelsea embankment.
  • Sketching Views of bridges and the southern modern Riverside.
Lunch time 1:30 pm at the Battersea Park Buddhist pagoda - Great spot for a group photo.
For lunch - Bring a picnic, grab a tea on the park kiosk or have a bite at The Prince Albert on the Battersea end of the Albert Bridge.
In the afternoon we suggest:
Drawing from Battersea Park and around the Riverside and around the Royal College of Arts 
The end - meet on the Battersea side - at the Doodle Bar- 4pm

note: If the weather is bad we can retreat to the Doodle Bar early and draw there, or visit the Royal College of Arts at Battesea Ground floor Galleries.

Thanks to Swasky for letting us use his image this month!


Wednesday 23 September 2015

London Urban Sketchers 2015 Exhibition + sketchcrawl

In November this year, London Urban Sketchers will be having an exhibition of sketches of London in the third - and brand new - Timberyard in London - and will also have an extra sketchcrawl associated with the opening of the new exhibition.

The Exhibition

Our aim with this exhibition is to include sketches from as many people as possible who have been active within the Group up until now. That means:
  • came to sketchcrawls
  • posted sketches on Facebook
  • posted sketches in the Flickr Group Pool
  • generally supported the group in terms of making things happen
Tomorrow we will publish the detailed Call for Entries from active members of London Urban Sketchers and detail how the process will work.  So make sure your Flickr account is up to date with all your best sketches!
    This is the wall we will aim to cover with sketches. We're finding out in the next few days how much space we have now the fittings are being installed into this new space.

    The exhibition wall - Evelyn is in there for a bit of scale!
    We'll be having a Preview Party - probably on 3rd November - and hope that you can all come to that. We'll be confirming the date nearer the time.

    The new venue is located at 4 Noel Street so we had a think about what's close and worth sketching....

    An Extra Sketchcrawl

    ...and have arranged a special sketchcrawl associated with the exhibition - starting and and finishing at Timberyard - on Saturday 14th November.  We think we'll make this one a shorter sketchcrawl than usual and will start at 11am and finish at 2pm - but of course you can start even earlier and finish later if you want. So put that in your diaries.

    Great Marlborough and Carnaby corner
    Carnaby Street and Liberty's - in Great Marlborough Street
    It is an iconic building, a jewel of Art Deco design, celebrated on its opening as ‘the new Tower of London’ (The Architectural Review) commenting on Liberty's
    We've got two sets of buildings right next door to one another which we suggest you might want to have a go at will include:
    • the magnificent mock-Tudor building (built in 1924) which houses the department store Liberty's on Great Marlborough Street - which faces....
    • the stage door to The London Palladium Theatre which you can find on Argyll Street - which also faces Liberty's
    London Palladium Theatre
    The London Palladium - in Argyll Place
    A short walk north of Oxford Street you can find an odd pair of buildings right next door to one another

    Broadcasting House by Stephen Craven
    Broadcasting House

    • BBC Broadcasting House at Portland Place London W1A 1AA - that's the old building - (described below and the new extension
    • Right next door is All Souls Church, 2 All Souls' Place, London W1B 3DA
    Church of All Souls Langham Place 2 (8292695824)
    All Souls Church
    So we hope you like the idea of the exhibition and a sketchcrawl - and we'll fill you in on more details about the exhibition tomorrow.


    Tuesday 22 September 2015

    Let's Draw Blackheath followup

    I've been away on my holidays recently so I didn't get chance to scan my drawings from the last sketchcrawl until now. Thanks to all those who came to the Blackheath sketchcrawl - the weather wasn't too promising but it stayed dry, if a little chilly, and there was even some sunny spells. It was also nice to meet new people and get the chance to find out a bit about everyone, which can be difficult sometimes when it's a larger group.

    Blackheath is such a big, flat, open space that it can be quite challenging to capture on the page. Instead I tried to focus on details or look at the architecture. There's also still a nice village feel to Blackheath, but on a slightly grander scale.

    During the course of the day we had about 25 sketchers - special thanks to those who came from outside of London! As ever, if you want to share your drawings from the day, you can find the London group pool over at Flickr.

    Now that summer is over it's only going to get colder, so make sure you wrap up for the next one, in Chelsea, on the banks of the Thames. Personally I'm looking forward to sketching the Royal Chelsea Hospital, which is an amazing building, founded in 1682 no less.