Wednesday 26 April 2017

Let's Draw Sloane Square on Saturday 20 May 2017

Sketch by Evelyn Rowland

This month we meet in Chelsea, focused on Sloane Square. This area is brilliant for elegant period properties. There’s a specially arranged chance to draw inside Holy Trinity Church on Sloane Street. Other cool areas - Eaton Square, King’s Road, of course and Duke of York’s Square, where Saatchi reigns supreme.

The day is free of charge, no need to book, just turn up with your art kit.  *Please use only dry media  inside Holy Trinity church.

Venus Fountain in Sloane Square

Key times and meeting points for the day: Meet by the Venus Fountain in the middle of Sloane Square.

1.00pm for lunchtime photocall by the Venus Fountain again (or if wet, in Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Street).

3.30pm also by the Venus Fountain (or if wet, at Pret A Manger, 35 King’s Road).

We will then meet for post sketch coffee and chat in Pret’s, at 35 King’s Road.

Sloane Square
There are lots of sketching opportunities in this area:

Sloane Square was laid out in the late eighteenth century, and has a fountain and flower stall in the centre. Surrounding buildings include the Royal Court Theatre. The area has lots of elegant period properties.

Holy Trinity Church
Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0
Nicky Browne has booked us a slot in the amazing Arts & Crafts Holy Trinity church in Sloane Street, from 11.00am to 3.00pm for anyone who wants to draw in there. The church’s architect was John Dando Sedding, and the interior includes stained glass by Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris.

Kings Road is one of London’s most fashionable shopping streets.

Duke of York’s Square is a modern pedestrian development with café tables and fashionable shops, and sometimes a farmers’ market

The Saatchi Gallery, Charles Saatchi’s gallery staging contemporary exhibitions is in the Duke of York’s HQ on Duke of York’s Square, open from 10am to 6pm, with free admission.

Nearby Eaton Square is one of the most prestigious addresses in London, and includes St Peter’s church, completed in 1827, designed by Henry Hakewill in the classical style.

Practical information:

The nearest underground station is Sloane Square, one stop from Victoria on the District and Circle lines.

Eating options are many and include: Peter Jones 6th floor café right on the Square, Pret a Manger 35-37 King’s Road, Comptoir Libanais on Duke of York’s Square. The Royal Court Theatre, and Saatchi Gallery also have cafes. There are plenty of loos in Peter Jones.

There’s a rather nice art shop, Green and Stone, at 259 King’s Road.

This day is run by Evelyn Rowland and Nicky Browne. The drawings of the Venus Fountain and St Peter’s church, Eaton Square, are by Evelyn Rowland.

Sketch by Evelyn Rowland


Friday 14 April 2017


[By John Webb.] I had heard that Simpson's-in-the-Strand, the iconic wood-panelled London eatery with its stunning ceiling is closing.  But only for complete refurbishment. No one could say what will be done design wise but that it will be very different. A challenge for we Urban Sketchers who like to record reality which includes change. Simpson's kindly let me in towards the end of the luncheon sitting.

Started in 1828 simply as a smoking room, it became in the 1850s a restaurant then also the most important place in Britain for chess. P. G. Woodhouse called it ‘a restful temple of food’ and being able to sit in a corner for  two hours and observe lingering diners – some who came for a look and chat – confirmed that.


Saturday 8 April 2017

Along New River Walk, Islington

[By James Hobbs.] I've gone back to university recently and my new cycle route down to Clerkenwell takes me across the New River Walk, which just happens to pass across the road where I live further north. It's a long, thin, quiet park with water, ducks and a winding path, and people chatting on their way home through the sunshine. It's the kind of place that is so easily overlooked even if you live in London, let alone if you only come as a tourist for a short time and you get dragged as if magnetically towards the big tourist sites.

My dissertation, which I'll be working on over the summer, will (since you ask) be on sketchbooks in galleries, libraries, archives and museums, and how accessible they are. Let me know if you're a regular visitor of sketchbook collections.

There's more of my work on Flickr.

Monday 3 April 2017

Battle Bridge Place, King's Cross

Battle Bridge Place, King's Cross

[By John Webb.] I have been making irregular 'taxi' trips to the space between St Pancras - now International - and King's Cross Stations for ten years or more.  It has been fascinating while waiting to enjoy/draw the urban redevelopment.  Some successful some less so.  New alongside refurbished original has been very well done - the modern high rise offices although variegated less so.  There are now good spaces for people, some on roofs, but the structures dominate them.  Good use of street furniture and sub-divided spaces does go some way to humanise the 'square'.