Monday 1 July 2019

Let's draw Greenwich - Saturday 17 August 2019

Join us in August to draw Maritime Greenwich.  Greenwich offers a wonderful range of subjects for sketchers, including historical and modern architecture.  There are important buildings by Inigo Jones and Sir Christopher Wren and a lively modern environment.  There are opportunities to draw from both sides of the River Thames, as a foot tunnel runs under the river here to Island Gardens.  

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

Key times and meeting points for the day 

11 am: Meet near the entrance to the Visitor Centre of the Old Royal Naval College (see photograph above).  The Visitor Centre, formerly called Discover Greenwich, provides information on the area.  We can meet just inside if the weather is wet.  It is just to the east of the Cutty Sark. 
1 pm: Meet at the same place for a sketchbook throw down to see each other’s work and chat before lunch. 
3.30 pm: Meet at the same place to look at drawings done and take group photographs.

Options for drawing 

This location is absolutely packed with sketching opportunities.  The river, people and buildings in the area offer great subjects for drawing.  

The Cutty Sark ship is near the river. 

Along the river is the Old Royal Naval College (now part of the University of Greenwich) a masterpiece by Sir Christopher Wren.  The famous Painted Hall is part of the college.  Between the domes of the college can be seen the Queen’s House and colonnade designed by Inigo Jones. 

A wonderful view of Greenwich is available across the river from Island Gardens – cross under the river using the Greenwich Foot Tunnel, which is free of charge.  The entrance on each side is marked by a glass dome (see photo below).

From Greenwich there are views of the dramatic contemporary buildings of the Canary Wharf area. 

Historic Greenwich town centre has old shops, pubs, and Greenwich Market.  St Alfege church was designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor from 1712-1714.  It is undergoing renovation at the moment but the building is open to the public on Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm. 

There is an interesting area around Royal Hill, a short walk from Greenwich Market which has lots of examples of Victorian pubs and other buildings. 

Further from the river are the Maritime Museum (free admission), Greenwich Park and on the hill the Royal Observatory which stands on the Prime Meridian, the basis for Greenwich Mean Time.

A quiet spot to draw is De Vere Devonport House on King William Walk near the foot of Greenwich Park. 

If the weather is wet, options include the Painted Hall and Chapel of the Old Royal Naval College, inside St Alfege church, inside Greenwich Market, and the Maritime Museum.

Practical information 

The nearest station to the meeting point is Cutty Sark, on the Docklands Light Railway.  Greenwich station (National Rail) is also nearby.  There are plenty of places to get food and drink in Greenwich.  Greenwich Market opens every day 10 am to 5.30 pm and offers a variety of food stalls.  The Gypsy Moth is an excellent pub with a large outdoor seating area.  There are public toilets inside the visitor centre, also by the Cutty Sark, in the Maritime Museum and in the park (King William Walk).

The day is run by Mike Whalley and Olga Mackness.  The drawings of the Cutty Sark and of ship figureheads in the Maritime Museum are by Mike Whalley.