Thursday 1 February 2018

Science Museum LATES

[By John Webb] New Year, new pens, new experience. Went with Sketchmob to the Science Museum LATES. What an experience. The Museum closes then reopens at 6:45. When I arrived at 6:30there was a huge long queue down Exhibition Road. But the arrangements were so efficient we were all in by 7:00 and set off to sketch but first visiting one of the many 'restaurants' around the galleries along with bars, live music and interactive staffed demonstrations. I gather the other museums do similar things scheduling their LATES so as not to clash.

Great places to sketch in the warm, dry and with masses of people.
I went for a view downwards into the Broadcast Gallery trying out my new Tombow Brush pens - brush one end pen the other. A whole new technique and one which will take some mastering. I've seen so many other London Urban Sketchers use them. One has to keep up...


Wednesday 31 January 2018

Let's Draw Leadenhall Market – Saturday 10 March 2018

In March we will spend a day drawing in and around Leadenhall Market in the City of London. The area offers contrasts between the Victorian market building and the modern financial district. It is also near historic churches and the garden of St Dunstan-in-the-East.

Leadenhall Market

Key times and meeting points for the day:
11am: Meet in the main entrance of Leadenhall Market on Gracechurch Street
1pm: Meet again in the Gracechurch Street entrance to look at drawings done in the morning.
3.30pm: Meet in the Gracechurch Street entrance to review the day’s drawings and take group photographs.
We could continue to meet and talk in a nearby pub, The Crosse Keys on Gracechurch Street.

Options for drawing

There is a great mix of old and new architecture in this area. Options for drawing include:
Leadenhall market: There has been a market here since the fourteenth century. The building we see today is a Victorian market building designed in 1881, by Sir Horace Jones, Architect and Surveyor of the city of London from 1864-1887, who also designed Billingsgate Fish Market, Smithfield Market and Tower Bridge. The covered market now has shops, bars and cafes although many will be closed on Saturdays.
As the main financial district, some of the modern buildings which now dominate the City of London skyline are in this area:
· the famous Lloyds of London building , known as the Inside-Out Building, architect Richard Rogers

30 St Mary Axe - The Gherkin

· 30 St Mary Axe -The Gherkin - designed by Norman Foster, is very short walk away

The Leadenhall Building - The Cheesegrater

· the Leadenhall Building - the Cheesegrater - also designed by Rogers, Stirk, Harbour and Partners
· 20 Fenchurch Street - the Walkie Talkie - architect Rafael Vinoly, looms over the area.
There are also others which are under construction in the area.
Amid the contemporary office buildings can be found some much older buildings including several churches which pre-date the Great Fire of London of 1666:
· St Andrew Undershaft, on St Mary Axe near the Gerkin, was constructed in 1532 but is under scaffolding at the moment
· St Helen’s Bishopsgate, shown in Olga’s watercolour, on Great St Helen’s off Bishopsgate, dates from the twelfth century, and is unusual in being designed with two parallel naves

St Ethelburga

· St Ethelburga, 78 Bishopsgate, was largely destroyed by IRA bombing in 1993; reconstructed, it reopened as a Centre for Reconciliation and Peace

St Katherine Cree

· St Katherine Cree, 86 Leadenhall Street, was built in 1628-30
· St Botolph without Bishopsgate is an eighteenth century church with a small garden.
Also, St Dunstan-in-the-East , (St Dunstan Hill, EC3R 5DD) - Church and garden, hidden gem of the City of London, with a beautiful set of stone stairs and the grounds one of Sir Christopher Wren's churches. Damaged in 1941 the Church has been made into public gardens.
If the weather is wet, we will have an opportunity to draw inside the market, which is under cover. There is also a covered area at the base of the Leadenhall Building (the Cheesegrater), and there are many cafés around Monument and the southern end of Gracechurch Street to find shelter.


Leadenhall Market is one of the oldest market sites in the City of London. It has been a market since the 14th century. Popular with merchants for centuries, Leadenhall Market survived the Great Fire of London and many re-building works. The original façade of the market can be seen at the north west entrance. The current market building was created in the late nineteenth century.
Leadenhall Market is a popular filming location and can be seen in many movies including: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus; Hearafter; and Love Aaj Kal. Part of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (the first film in the blockbuster series) was filmed in Leadenhall in 2000/2001. The market was used to represent the area of London leading to the popular wizarding pub The Leaky Cauldron and magical shopping street Diagon Alley. The pop group Erasure also filmed their music video for Love to Hate You in the market in 1991.

Practical information

Leadenhall Market is roofed but not heated, so dress warmly. There is some seating in the market, but drawing elsewhere, it would be useful to have a portable stool. Leadenhall Market can be found in the heart of the City of London, at Gracechurch Street, London EC3V 1LT. Public areas of the market are generally open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, although the shop and restaurant opening times vary, with most in the immediate vicinity closed at weekends. There is more information on the Leadenhall Market official site:
Leadenhall Market is near several underground stations– Bank, Monument, Aldgate, and railway stations – Cannon Street, Fenchurch Street, Liverpool Street. Nearby bus routes are 25, 48, 35 and 40.
The suggested pub for meeting after the sketchcrawl is The Crosse Keys on Gracechurch Street:
This pub is also part of the City of London Community Toilet Scheme, which means members of the public have free access to their toilets whether or not they are a customer.
There are other cafes and pubs in the area, although some are closed at weekends. The best areas to find cafes are around the Monument or in and around Liverpool Street Station.

This day is run by Olga Mackness and Cathryn Worrell