Thursday, 23 May 2019

A summer evening at Victoria Embankment Gardens - Wednesday 17 July 2019

Join us for early evening sketching (6 pm - 8 pm) at the Victoria Embankment Gardens by the River Thames.  Draw the Embankment area including Victoria Embankment Gardens, Whitehall Gardens, great views of central London from the Hungerford Bridge/Golden Jubilee Footbridges, and Charing Cross Station.
The event is free of charge, no need to book, just turn up with your art kit.

Where and when to meet: 
6 pm: Meet near the exit of Embankment Underground Station near the bottom of Villiers Street, not the riverside exit (see photograph above).  There is shelter inside the station if the weather is wet.
8 pm: Meet near the York Watergate inside Victoria Embankment Gardens (see photos at the head of this post, and below) if the weather is good, and inside the entrance of Embankment Underground Station if the weather is wet, to look at sketches done and take group photographs.
We can then decide where to go for refreshments if you wish to do so, as there are many cafes, bars and pubs nearby.

Options for drawing include:
There are public gardens running along the river on both sides of Embankment Station which have trees, flower beds, a bandstand, statues and views of the river.  Between Hungerford Bridge and Waterloo Bridge the monuments are mostly of cultural figures.  The gardens south of Hungerford Bridge going towards the Houses of Parliament have more military monuments; maps and signs use the names Victoria Embankment Gardens and Whitehall Gardens for this area.

The York Watergate, designed by Inigo Jones in 1626 as part of the York House mansion, once provided direct access to boats on the Thames.  This shows how much the course of the Thames was changed by the building of the Thames Embankment in 1864-70.

The Hungerford Bridge and Golden Jubilee Footbridges on either side provide great views of central London in both directions.
If the weather is wet, there is some shelter under bridges, in bars and cafes in the area, and the option of drawing in the concourse of Charing Cross Station. 

Practical information:
The nearest stations are Embankment and Charing Cross.  There are many food shops, cafes, pubs and bars in this area, and public toilets inside Charing Cross Station.
This event is run by John Webb and Gafung Wong.


Tuesday, 21 May 2019

We drew Dulwich Village - May 2019

(Rachel Bone writes) Urban Sketchers London left the city behind on 11 May, to venture to Dulwich Village, a beautiful and historic area in leafy South London. Stately Dulwich Picture Gallery, designed by Sir John Soane, provided the meeting point for our group in the morning, and welcome shelter from the rain for the 1 pm meet up.

Sketchers made the most of the periods of bright sunshine to sketch a variety of subjects in the area, huddling under umbrellas and taking advantage of the Picture Gallery's large windows to finish sketches when the sudden showers hit. Many sketched the exterior of the Picture Gallery itself and its surrounding church and almshouses. Others took to the village to recreate the picturesque rows of shops, restaurants, and the Crown and Greyhound pub, which served as our final meeting point. 

It was great to see so many people, including several new faces, find a whole new part of London to explore and sketch, and to enjoy a place so close to the hustle and bustle but with such a different feel. 


Friday, 17 May 2019

UK Urban Sketching Annual Event 7-9 June 2019

The third annual UK Urban Sketching Event this year is in Stoke-on-Trent.  It runs from Friday 7 June to Sunday 9 June 2019.  This is an opportunity to draw and socialise with loads of sketchers from all over the UK. This is the third year that this wonderful event will be run, this time in the historically fascinating city of Stoke-on-Trent. The Potteries area with the rich heritage of the 'six towns' will make for an excellent sketching location!
The event is free of charge and everyone is welcome.  Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.  Make your own accommodation arrangements, and just turn up with your sketching kit.
The event is organised by Urban Sketchers Stoke-on-Trent

Friday 7 June 5 pm – 7.30 pm
Stoke Minster:  This is around a ten minute walk from the station.  Meet at the church.   There are opportunities for sketching inside the church, or in the surrounding area, including views of King's Hall, and the Spode rose garden. Throw-down at  7.30 pm.   There are places to eat and drink in Stoke.

Saturday morning 10.30 am – 12.30
Burslem School of Art: This is accessible by bus, or train (Longport train station), which is about fifteen minutes by foot. Meet outside the Burslem School of Art. From there, you can also view the Wedgwood Institute - two impressive historic buildings.
Saturday afternoon 2 pm – 4 pm
Station Street, Longport: Accessible from the previous sketch location in Burslem by foot, or from Longport station.  Meet at "The Waiting Room" art gallery on Station Road, where there is access to toilets and refreshments.  From here, you can sketch the Chimney shop, or walk along the canal to Middleport Pottery (around a ten minute walk). Many parts of Middleport are free, or you can pay a small fee to access all areas. Follow directions on the map, which will be provided, to find Longport train station, where we will have the throw-down.
Sunday Morning 10.30am – 12.30
The Potteries Museum, Hanley: Accessible by bus. Meet outside the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Bethesda Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. You can sketch inside the museum, or outside, where there is a statue of Arnold Bennett, and views of historical buildings such as the Bethesda Chapel. You'll be spoilt for choice, with interesting buildings, old and new, in this area. The throw-down will take place by the Arnold Bennett statue, if dry.  

More information on this Facebook page: UK Urban SketchersAnnual Event

Alternatively, for further information telephone 07450 311759


Friday, 10 May 2019

Evening sketching at the South Bank Centre - Wednesday 19 June 2019

Join us for early evening sketching (6pm-8pm) at the South Bank Centre and Festival Hall by London’s River Thames.  Explore the new South Bank Centre roof garden, sketch the surrounding buildings and views across the river, and people enjoying the facilities of this leading arts location.  We can also draw inside the Festival Hall, particularly if the weather is poor.
This event is free of charge, no need to book, just turn up with your art kit.

Where and when to meet:
6pm: Meet near the doors of the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room (see photograph above).  The roof garden is at the top of the bright yellow concrete staircase in the photograph. 
8pm: Meet at the roof garden (if the weather is good) or inside the Festival Hall at level 1 by the riverside terrace (if the weather is poor) to look at drawings done, and to take group photographs.
If the weather is good we could then stay for a drink at the roof garden bar, or go to the bar/cafe inside the Festival Hall if we prefer. 

Options for drawing include:

The new South Bank roof garden has planting, and views of the buildings in the area, including across the river.

The Festival Hall has interesting interiors, lots of opportunities for people watching, and views from its big windows, on several levels.

There are views from the Hungerford Bridge/Golden Jubilee footbridges.
The South Bank has restaurants, bars, planting, and public art.
Practical information: 
The nearest underground stations are Embankment, Charing Cross or Waterloo.  The Festival Hall and South Bank Centre has food and drink, and toilets.
The event is run by Jo Dungey and Zane Karklina


Save the dates for summer evening sketching

Save the dates for summer evening sketching in June, July and August this year.  We are planning three evenings for sketching by the river in London - central locations offering a choice of subjects.  Here are the dates for your diary, and more details will be published here soon.

Wednesday 19 June 2019
Draw at the South Bank Centre including the new roof garden, the river, surrounding buildings including the Festival Hall
Run by Jo Dungey and Zane Karklina
Wednesday 17 July 2019
Draw the Embankment area including Victoria Embankment Gardens, Whitehall Gardens, views from the Hungerford Bridge/Golden Jubilee Footbridges and Charing Cross Station
Run by John Webb and Gafung Wong
Wednesday 7 August 2019
Draw on the south bank of the River Thames between London Bridge and Tower Bridge, including views of the Tower of London, the City skyline, City Hall, and Hay’s Galleria
Run by Lis Watkins and Jo Dungey

Details of these sketching events will appear on the blog and our Facebook group page soon so save the dates.  Events are free of charge, no need to book, just bring your own art kit.


Thursday, 9 May 2019

Let's draw Richmond - Saturday 15 June 2019

Richmond Bridge by John Swanson

We will be meeting in the pretty town of Richmond in South West London, to explore the parks, river and urban landscapes. The day is free of charge, no need to book, just turn up with your art kit.

Red phone boxes on Richmond Green

Key times and meeting points for the day:

11am:  Meet by the red telephones on the corner of Richmond Green, by The Prince’s Head and Cricketers pubs. This is about a 10 minute walk from Richmond Station, see map link and directions at the end of the blog.  There is shelter under trees here.  If the weather is too wet, we will meet at the Cricketers pub. 

From here, you can disperse to the nearby riverside or to the many places of interest below. Please note that there will be a high tide in the early afternoon. Sometimes the riverside is submerged, which makes for great sketching!

1pm: Meet again at the red telephones to look at drawings done so far.

Choose one of the many local pubs or cafes for lunch

3.30pm: Meet at the same place meet again to compare final sketches and for a group photo.

Afterwards you are free to retire to a local pub or café.  There’s a great choice, though in high summer it could be crowded. The White Cross is a lovely pub.

Options for drawing include:

Richmond Riverside
Richmond Riverside:  Walk down Water Lane to find the river Thames. Capture the boats, working arches, the Bridge and the terrace. Tide Tables café is under the arches and is a great (if busy) place to pick up a coffee and a vegetarian lunch. You can sit outside overlooking the river, even if the riverside is flooded.
The Thames from Richmond by John Swanson
Richmond Palace: This remaining fragment of Henry the 7th’s palace includes the Tudor Royal Wardrobe (where household furnishings were stored), with an old arched entrance and a tiny tranquil green.

Richmond Palace Gateway by John Swanson

The Royal Wardrobe

The Richmond Foodies Market: The market operates on Saturdays on Heron Square adjacent to the Riverside. Great for capturing the bustle while picking up something tasty to eat.

Richmond Foodies Market

Hill Rise: This street becomes picturesque as it winds up away from the Odeon, including lots of cafes and individual shops.

Hill Rise
'The View': Walking about 10 minutes further up Hill Rise, you reach the view made famous by JWM Turner, with many benches and the Roebuck pub for refreshments.

The View from Richmond Hill

Richmond is an historic town with plenty of interesting places to draw. For more information visit:

Practical information:

Travel: Richmond has frequent trains from Waterloo via Clapham Junction, and is on the District Line. There are also many bus services. For people travelling in from outside London, Richmond is served by trains from Reading, but there are planned engineering works at Feltham that day that will mean some disruption. The services between Waterloo and Richmond won't be affected. Do check before travelling.
Directions to the red telephone boxes (initial meeting point): When you leave Richmond station, turn left, and keep going straight on, crossing the road once at the junction with Duke Street (keep the Itsu cafe on your left). Near the end of the main shopping street, just before House of Fraser, turn right down Golden Court. The meeting point is at the end of the lane.
Loos: House of Fraser and Marks and Spencer both have loos.

This day is run by Helen Hayhoe with the support of John Swanson and Nigel Gibson


Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Brentford Community Stadium - April 2019

(John Webb writes) Its hard to appreciate its 2 years since my first sketch.  I've numbered the main stages since the start - site clearance - and so here we are at number 10.  The steel and tereraces of all 4 sides/stands are there and the final, north west corner's steelwork is nearly complete.  Cladding is well underway so the remarkably strident angles of the design are beginning to make an impact (see other sketches on our facebook page)
 Tightly fitted between 3 railway branches this going to be one impressive and strikingly different Stadium.