Thursday, 24 May 2018

East Molesey

[John Webb] Spent a pleasant if chilly few hours last week with a friend beside The River Thames in Hampton. Well actually on the other bank, East Molesey having taken the ferry over to sketch the old boatyards on Platts Eyot known as Port Hampton - once a thriving vibrant leisure boat island. Sadly very much less so now. As ever there's plans to develop it for luxury houses or apartments so it was good to get a good look and a sketch or two.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Fun in the sun in E3

[Evelyn Rowland]
Lovely afternoon near Bow flyover. I gravitated to the familiar sight of a clock tower rather than attack the algae and foliage. Tried a different method of working this time, more paint, less pencil. If I had got there earlier in the day, I probably could have managed another one.


Friday, 18 May 2018

Old and new in the City of London

(Olga Mackness)

As an architect I have always been interested in historic architecture - the City of London has plenty of wonderful buildings, churches and palaces.
I live in London since 1993 and I used to admire old City of London and the way it has been preserved over centuries. The old City of London has changed since that time, with the new iconic buildings such as The Shard, The Gherkin, The Cheese grater…

What lovely nicknames for the modern masterpieces of architecture!

I remember public resentment when first tall buildings were introduced to London’s skyline.
Frankly, I felt slightly unsure about new developments too.
But now I realise, how wonderfully it works together – old and modern.
I admire the way modern structures reflect beauty of the smaller historic buildings standing next to them. I carry on sketching old and new, famous and not very famous - hope to add to my collection with our next sketch crawl in Bromley-by Bow.


Brentford Football Club/Brentford Community Stadium

[John Webb] 

Brentford have a long and distinguished history in west London. Once in the top league, they have been through many difficult times but more recently seen huge progression upwards through League 2, League 1, and now a consistent top half finisher in the Championship – in 2015 we made a serious challenge to get to the Premier League by reaching the Championship playoffs.

This progression includes plans for a new stadium. Whilst longer in the planning than construction, at last the site has been cleared and construction is well under way.

As my son and I have been season ticket holders for a few years it was a natural instinct to draw it as it happens, documenting the progress towards what will be one of the most significant moments in the club’s history.

BFC and their development partner Be have arranged site access so I can make an artist-eye view of the journey towards our new era at Lionel Road.

Site clearance  April – July 2017

Groundworks & piling  April – June 2018


Sunday, 13 May 2018

Summer evening sketching 2018

Join us for some relaxed evening sketching near London’s river Thames. Explore, sketch, socialise, eat and drink, as you prefer. We have planned three evening meet-ups:

We will draw from 6pm to 8pm, then meet up again to look at the sketches done and take photos, then people have the option to eat, drink and socialise. Each evening is free of charge, no need to book, just turn up with your art kit. More information below:
Wednesday 20 June 2018

Meeting point: 6pm next to the Golden Hinde, a full-size replica of the 16th century galleon of Sir Francis Drake, next to the Old Thameside Inn, and at 8pm at the same place. 
The Golden Hinde is at St Mary Overie Dock, Cathedral Street, SE1. As well as drawing the Golden Hinde, we can draw river views, Southwark Cathedral, the ruins of Winchester Palace, and the small shops and streets around Borough Market. If it is wet, we can draw inside nearby pubs and cafes or under the canopies of Borough Market, and finish up at the Old Thameside Inn.
This event is run by Jo Dungey and Lis Watkins
Nearest station: London Bridge
Wednesday 25 July 2018
Meeting point: 6pm at Flat Iron Square, Bankside, off Union Street, and at 8pm at the same place.

Flat Iron Square is a new ‘foodie hub’ in Bankside. It is at the junction of Union Street, O’Meara Street and Southwark Street. Having redeveloped seven old railway arches, it has restaurants, bars, street food trucks and sometimes live music. Draw the people and buildings, including the old railway arches, and the nearby old shops, buildings and bridges in this mixed but historic area. If it is wet, there is plenty of cover and interior spaces at Flat Iron Square.
This evening is run by John Webb and Jo Dungey
Nearest stations: London Bridge, Southwark, Borough

Wednesday 8 August 2018

Meeting point: 6pm at Gabriel’s Wharf, near the central canopy, and at 8pm at the same place.
Gabriel’s Wharf, Upper Ground, is an open area just back from the river between the National Theatre and the OXO Tower building. It has small shops, galleries, restaurants and cafes, which we can draw.  Other options for drawing are river views from the nearby jetties, and the OXO Tower buildings. If wet, we can draw inside the National Theatre or inside pubs and cafes.   
This evening is run by Gafung Wong and John Webb
Nearest stations: Waterloo, Southwark, Blackfriars

Photographs by Lis Watkins


Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Five squares in London's spring -- James Hobbs on Urban Sketchers international

Cavendish Square by James Hobbs

Are you on the international Urban Sketchers mailing list? If not, you might have missed 'Five squares in London's spring' by our very own James Hobbs, co-founder of Urban Sketchers London. It's a brilliant reminder that Urban Sketchers sketchcrawls in London aren't just about drawing, they're also about discovery.


Saturday, 5 May 2018

Streets of Greenwich

Sketching every corner ...
[by Olga Mackness] Greenwich is a part of London which gives me just as much inspiration as the City of London.

Of course, the whole of London is like a universe - every corner, every step is like a different galaxy. We can only do our best to explore and draw what we find along our journey whilst discovering the great space called London.

I am very attached to Greenwich. I love wandering around through old streets, starting from High street and moving towards Greenwich Park.

Of course, everyone knows the main attractions of Greenwich – National Maritime Museums, Naval College, Royal Observatory, Cutty Sark.

But personally, I like the quiet residential areas of Old Greenwich town, with its terraces, old pubs and streets meandering up and down the hill.

Point Hill, Brand Street, Royal Hill, Crooms Hill – I often feel as if I am visiting Victorian times, checking out details like original windows, doors, hooks, tiles.

Drawing simple terraced houses and meeting with the residents, who pop out of the houses to see what’s going on, admire my sketches and sometimes buy them – this is my personal Greenwich.

In this post I included drawings from different years.

I keep drawing and finding more and more seemingly ordinary places full of history and character.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Drawing Attention - May 2018 plus links to back issues

May 2018 

The latest issue of Drawing Attention is here! 
It's the official zine of Urban Sketchers international, and it's full of information on Urban Sketchers workshops, symposiums and events across the globe.

April 2018

Each issue includes a review of sketching materials by Parka of

March 2018

Spotlight on the new Urban Sketchers chapter in Swindon and Simone Ridyard in Manchester

February 2018

In which Urban Sketchers London co-founder James Hobbs appears in NBC Nightly News

January 2018

First issue of Drawing Attention in the shiny new zine format


We Drew Walthamstow!

It was cold. It was damp. In other words a a typical English spring day, where glorious early summer had suddenly reverted back to winter. Even so, a creditable number of sketchers ventured out to the far end of the Victoria Line, many of them discovering the hidden pleasures of Walthamstow for the first time.

Many headed first for the area's most famous monument, the William Morris Gallery, set in Lloyd Park – bow windows at the front, delicate canopied staircase at the back, and a delicate spatter of drizzle all over anything painted outside.

Watercolour by John Trotman

Watercolour by Martin Stone

This was where we met up at lunchtime for a photo opportunity on those steps, followed by the welcome discovery that there were homemade hot lunches for a fiver in the park cafe.

Meanwhile down in Walthamstow old village, Nicky Browne was getting into the mood of the graveyard....

Watercolour by Nicky Browne

Devi Narayanaswamy tackled the half-timbered Ancient House.......

Sketch by Devi Narayanaswamy

and Maria Armengol Gonzalez had fun with the Victorian post box.

Image by Maria Armengol Gonzalez

But the unexpected hit of the day turned out to be the nearby kitsch emporium specialising in vintage neon signs, God's Own Junkyard. It took a bit of finding, tucked away on a backstreet industrial estate, but inside it was glowingly warm, there were teas and scones (and avocado on sourdough); it was, as one sketcher put it, 'neon heaven'.

It was also an artistic challenge, particularly for those who had arrived with all the right kit for delicate watercolours on on a pearly grey spring day. But there were some terrific attempts at catching its lunatic vibrancy.

Sketch by Steven Baker

We all ended up in the garden of the Vestry Museum, before finishing the afternoon in the pub.

Our next sketchcrawl will take us to Three Mills Island, down in the East End, just south of the Olympic Park, on the 20th May. And yes, this time we are meeting on a SUNDAY. Don't be confused. See you all then!