Thursday 31 May 2018

Let's draw Chiswick House and Gardens - Saturday 18 August 2018

Join us to draw at Chiswick House, a Palladian villa set in beautiful grounds. The house was designed by Lord Burlington with the aid of William Kent. Kent also designed the gardens, one of the earliest examples of the English landscape garden, with classical vistas, a lake, sculptures and an eighteenth-century wilderness.

The day is free of charge, no need to book, just turn up with your art kit.

Key times and meeting points

11am: Meet at the café next to Chiswick House (see photograph above)

1pm: Meet at the front of Chiswick House (see photograph below) to look at drawings done so far.

3.30pm: Meet at the front of Chiswick House, as at 1pm, to look at drawings done, and take group photographs.

We could then go to the café, or the Old Station House pub, 2 Grove Park Road, on the other side of the railway line at Chiswick station.

There is one café at Chiswick House, which may get crowded, so it could be a good idea to bring food/drink.

If the weather is poor, there is scope to draw inside the house, which has an admission charge (details under Practical information below).  Admission to the grounds is free of charge. 

Options for drawing

Chiswick House was designed by Lord Burlington and William Kent, and completed in 1729.  After three Grand Tours between 1714 and 1719, Burlington had developed a passion for Italian architecture, in particular the buildings of Andrea Palladio (1508-80), based on antique Roman architecture. Burlington designed the villa with the help of William Kent, to house his art and furniture collection. Chiswick House was of great importance in bringing the influence of Andrea Palladio to English architecture – the Palladian style. We have the opportunity to draw this beautiful building.

Chiswick House is set in gardens, laid out by Lord Burlington and William Kent. The gardens  established the English landscape garden style, with planned vistas, classical style temples, ruins, a lake, designed to recreate an ideal pastoral landscape.

We can draw these views: the Classic Bridge, the lake, the cascade, the Ionic temple, the Eyecatcher.

There are lawns, statues and woodland. There is also a conservatory with a collection of camellias, although this is likely to be being used by a wedding party when we are there.  

We can also draw inside the house (admission charge) including sculptures, paintings and ornate furniture.

Practical information

Chiswick House is on Burlington Lane, Chiswick, London W4 2RP.  The nearest station is Chiswick, which is on the national rail line from Waterloo.  The nearest underground station is Turnham Green (District Line). 

Chiswick House and Gardens are managed by English Heritage. Admission to the grounds is free of charge. Admission to the house costs:  Adult £7.50, Concession (student, over 60) £5.00; Under 18 free. It is free to members of English Heritage or holders of a National Art Pass (Art Fund).

Inside the house, there are around 12 folding stools that can be used while drawing in the house (these cannot be taken outdoors).  Because of the collection based in the house there are some rules for drawing indoors: Pencils only (no pens, charcoal, paint, crayon); Eraser use should be very minimal or preferably avoided altogether; No fixative sprays; No photography.   

There is a café and public toilets.

There is more information about the history of the house and gardens, and practical information for visitors on the Chiswick House and Gardens website

The day is run by Nicky Browne and Jo Dungey. The drawing of the Classic Bridge is by Nicky Browne, and the photographs are by Nicky Browne and Jo Dungey.



Let's draw at St Katharine Docks - Saturday 28 July 2018

We meet this month at St Katharine Docks, a marina just to the east of Tower Bridge.  This day offers the chance to draw the boats in the Docks, and the former warehouses and modern buildings which surround them.  We will also have river views towards the City and Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, and across the river to the former warehouses of Shad Thames.

The day is free of charge, no need to book, just turn up with your art kit.

Key times and meeting points

11am: Meet at Starbucks, Cloister Walk, inside St Katharine Docks (see photograph – it is a small round building inside the Docks, there are other branches in the Tower Bridge area)

1pm: Meet in front of The Dickens Inn (see photograph below) to look at drawings done so far.  There is some cover at the entrance to the Inn if the weather is wet.

3.30pm: Meet at The Dickens Inn, as at 1pm, to look at drawings done, and take group photographs.

We can then go to a pub or café locally – we can decide on the day.

Options for drawing

St Katharine Docks is a marina with three basins.  It is mostly used by luxury yachts, although there are some older boats.  It is surrounded by restaurants, shops and residential developments, some in former warehouses, some modern.  The docks were originally designed by Thomas Telford and opened in 1828.

There is a wide range of boats, walkways, bridges and nautical paraphernalia to draw in St Katharine Docks, as well as the buildings, old and new

There are views of the Thames from the riverside walk, including Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, and the City skyline

If the weather is wet, some cafes have seating under arcades and umbrellas

Practical information
The nearest underground station is Tower Hill (District and Circle lines) or Tower Gateway (Docklands Light Railway).  From Tower Hill station, turn left towards the river, then follow the signs through the underpass to St Katharine Docks.  Alternatively, you can walk from Aldgate (Metropolitan Line), or from London Bridge, follow the riverside walk (south bank side) and cross Tower Bridge.  St Katharine Docks are immediately beyond Tower Bridge, on the north side of the River Thames.
There is a wide range of cafes and restaurants, with indoor and outdoor seating.  There are public toilets, indicated on the maps on display at several points.

The day is run by Jo Dungey and Gafung Wong.  The sketch is by Gafung Wong, and the photographs are by Gafung Wong and Jo Dungey


Wednesday 30 May 2018

Richmond: People and Places; Orleans House Gallery 2 June - 19 August

[Posted by John Webb] For those coming to the London USk day in Twickenham on 16th June there is an added option, pleasure or even shelter from the storms in The Orleans House Gallery where at least three of the works on display - possibly more - are by London Urban Sketchers. John Swanson's is on our Facebook pages, Nicky Browne's will (I hope) appear shortly.  This is mine....Boatworks, Eel Pie Island.


Monday 28 May 2018

Drawing in The London Borough of Richmond (and nearby)

[Nicky Browne] 

I usually draw locally and make cards and minibook compilations of drawings and sketches. Chiswick House is new to me. I chose the bridge and while I was sitting I was a target for every sniffing, dribbling dog that passed.
I started on the left and worked around to the right of the paper. The railings on the right made such beautiful patterns that I started to include them. Quickly I realised that they would obscure everything already drawn. Ah. Big mistake. What to do? The blade scratched them almost out and I tried to cover the resulting mess with plants. It doesn't quite work, but nothing is perfect in this life.