Thursday, 18 November 2021

CANCELLED Let's draw Covent Garden: Saturday 18th December 2021

Covent Garden Sketch by Karen Jones

[By Isabel Carmona and Sasala Wickramasinghe]

= Cancelled =

In December we will draw Covent Garden.

The giant Christmas tree, specially selected for Covent Garden! 

Iconic Covent Garden will be full of festive cheer and be bustling with Christmas shoppers. The giant baubles and mistletoe are back in the piazza - Karen Jones (see main image above) drew these back in 2016. We certainly will be spoilt for choice on things to sketch!

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

Key times and meeting points

11 AM

Meet outside the Apple Store (1-7 The Piazza, WC2E 8HB) under the arches in the covered area, which should provide shelter in case of rain.

1 PM

We will meet at the same place outside the Apple Store for the first throw down and photograph. 

3.30 PM
Meet next at the side of St Pauls Church through the arched gate (see photo below) between the NatWest bank and the Church (by the performers’ area) to look at drawings and take final group photographs. This area is not sheltered, and if it rains we will revert to the covered area outside the Apple Store. One of the admins will be around to guide people if this is the case. 

3.30 pm meeting place at the side of St Pauls Church


We could then gather in the cafe/restaurant in the Royal Opera House on the ground floor next to the shop. This is open to the public until at least 8pm on days when they have performances. 

There are plenty of other pubs and bars (albeit very busy running up to Christmas) in Covent Garden, if people want to stay back for a drink. 

Options for drawing

  • The Victorian market buildings: the central market and Jubilee Market. There will be a Christmas market/stalls just outside the piazza opposite the entrance to the Royal Opera House. 
Sketch by Lindsay Topping
  • St Pauls Church (also known as the Actors’ Church) with its peaceful churchyard: numerous memorial plaques (including one for Sir Charles Chaplin!) and inside the warm interior is mostly covered in beautifully polished wood.  

  • Royal Opera House: the top floor bar area offers some spectacular views of Covent Garden markets below. The Floral Hall, with its magnificent barrelled roof and stunning ironwork, occasionally hold free public performances.  

Sketch by Isabel Carmona
Sketch by Jacqueline Röhr
  • Street performers and musicians: they’re everywhere! Street performers’ area outside the piazza (where the giant Christmas tree is); there is another performers’ area in the North Hall inside the piazza; there are regular Christmas carol and opera performances and musicians playing downstairs in the South Hall. 
  • London Transport Museum: The museum itself charges an entrance fee, but entry to the beautifully vibrant shop and cafe is free.  

Practical information

COVID-19 visit information

COVID-19 and its variants remain prevalent even though restrictions have been lifted. It's sensible to take all necessary precautions to keep ourselves and fellow sketchers safe throughout the event. The risk of infection for outdoor events is low, but basic guidance still applies: please do not attend if you feel unwell, wear a face covering when you're close to others, give people space, and practice good hand hygiene. There is also the option of self-testing before the event. 

All indoor venues (Royal Opera House, London Transport Museum) require visitors to follow social distancing rules and wear a face covering. 

Getting there

Unfortunately, there are tube strikes scheduled on several lines on the London Underground on Saturday the 18th. Please check service updates before starting your journey and try to use alternative modes of transport if possible. 
More information on the planned strikes can be found on the TFL website here.

The nearest Tube stations include Covent Garden (Piccadilly Line; 1min walk), Charing Cross (Bakerloo and Northern Lines; 7 min walk) and Holborn (Central and Piccadilly Lines; 10 min walk). 

See you at Covent Garden!

The day is run by Isabel Carmona and Sasala Wickramasinghe.

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  1. Hi any reason why London sketchers has moved over to Instagram.?


  2. Hello Phil,
    We expanded our social media presence to Instagram, where we're in excellent company with Urban Sketchers groups around the world, from Norway, Milan and New York City, to Portugal, Sidney and Seville. You'll also find us on Facebook and Twitter as usual.


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