Monday 28 June 2021

Let’s draw Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – Saturday 24th July 2021

Pen & ink sketch of the Olympic Park by Nick Kobyluch

[Sasala Wickramasinghe writes]


In anticipation of full easing of restrictions on the 19th of July, this will be our first sketchcrawl since the pandemic started. It’s been a long time coming!

However, since COVID-19 and its variants are going to remain even after the restrictions are lifted, it’s prudent to take all the necessary precautions to make ourselves and fellow sketchers safe throughout the event. The risk of infection is low for outdoor events but basic rules do still apply - please don't attend if you're feeling unwell, wear a face covering if close to others, give people space and practice good hand  hygiene. There is also the option of self-testing before the event. (you can get home testing kits through this link). 

Our theme for July is sculpture and we’ve chosen QE Olympic Park in Stratford, East London. 

The famous ArcelorMittal Orbit is probably the first thing that comes to mind for most people when they think of the Olympic Park, but since the 2012 London Olympic Games, this place has become a bit of a treasure trove of modern sculptural art! The orbit is only one of nearly 30 different art installations; some are functional and others serve as time capsules. More information and a map here: Art in the Park – a field guide.

If you prefer to sketch at home or locally to where you live, please feel free to interpret the theme as you wish – they could be monuments which celebrate the history of your local area, sculptures made by local artists or even art installations that have specific functions. 

'Please be Seated' installation at Kew - Watercolour sketch by Sasala Wickramasinghe

At home, it could be a souvenir you brought back from your last holiday (remember those?!), a treasured gift you received or even something you are working on yourself. 

Whether you join us in person in Stratford, sketch locally in a smaller group or sketch at home, please don't forget to share your sketches on the USk London Facebook Page, or on social media (Instagram/Twitter) with the hashtags #urbansketcherslondon #usklondon #urbansketchers to help us find your drawings. Also, please send your location drawings to us via email to be included in the Our London interactive sketch map.

Plan for the day

11 am

Meet at QE Olympic Park, by the London Aquantics Centre (#1 on the map). The main entrance is just across the road from the Westfield Shopping Centre. This is a big open space with the Aquatics Centre on your left.

1 pm and 3.30 pm 

Both throwdowns and the final photo, by the London Aquatics Centre (#1 on the map). For the benefit of those who may join later and/or rain tomorrow, the throwdowns and the photo will take place by the Aqualtics Centre, same as the original meeting point. 

There are plenty of facilities dotted around the park; they’re clearly marked on the map in Art in the Park - A Field Guide. There are quite a few caf├ęs and restaurants in the East Village and in the Westfield shopping centre if people want to gather for lunch or stay for a drink afterwards. 

The meeting points (magenta) and toilet facilities (orange) are marked on the map below.

See you at the park!


Sunday 6 June 2021

Drawing Attention - June 2021

The official zine of the Urban Sketchers organisation

Drawing Attention April 2021

Drawing Attention, the official zine of the Urban Sketchers organization, communicates and promotes official USk workshops, symposiums, sketchcrawls, news and events; shares news about USk chapters; and educates readers about the practice of on-location sketching.

To subscribe to Drawing Attention click HERE .


Tuesday 1 June 2021

Let's draw Water - Saturday 26 June 2021

'Naked Ladies' fountain by John Swanson

An individual or small-group event with images posted online

June is a month of uncertainty for the organisation of groups, so we are planning cautiously. We are encouraging small scale self-organised meetings for another month despite the likely relaxation of COVID rules. Although we are so keen to be part of a larger sketchcrawl, we are holding off while we take in guidance about new variants.

11am - 3.30pm

Our theme for June is water. Interpret this as you will. Sit by a river and sketch the water, the boats, the bridge, the people walking by the river. Find a pond or a patch of water. Or feature something with a connection to water. Did you know that you can enter keywords in the Urban Sketchers London Facebook page and see how others have drawn water, rivers, fountains? This is how I found the images below. Try out different media and mark making and explain your location and process when you post the results.

As the weather improves we hope we don’t have an immersive experience in the rain.

Dulwich Village fountain, 1877 by Jo Dungey

Walking on Hackney Marshes by Liz McLaren 

If you need to sketch from home, consider vases of flowers, glasses of water, yourself in the bath (keep it clean).

Carnations by Satu Saastamoinen

Bathroom by Julija Svetlova

There will be a virtual ‘throwdown’ on the Urban Sketchers London Facebook page at 3.30pm on Saturday 26th June, but please share your sketches at other times during the month, if that is more convenient for you.

Use the hashtags #urbansketcherslondon #usklondonwater #urbansketchers if you are posting on social media to help us find your drawings. Send us your sketches by email so we can include them in the Our London Map.