Monday 17 October 2022

Let's draw Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery -- Saturday 12 November 2022

Trafalgar Square
Sketch by John Webb

This month we’ll be drawing one of London’s most famous landmarks, Trafalgar Square, and the surrounding area.

[Led by John Swanson and John Webb]

There are many sketching opportunities in the square and nearby. There is a new and striking statue on the Fourth Plinth, along with the famous lions, the fountains, and of course Nelson's Column, plus street performance artists and the endless crowds.

The National Gallery offers the chance to draw people in its galleries, while the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields is beautiful, famous and open to all -- another great sketching opportunity, inside and out. If you feel the need to wander further, The Mall and Whitehall are nearby.

If you wish to draw in the National Gallery, please keep to their guidelines, which are available online, and repeated here:

‘Sketching and drawing are permitted in the Gallery with the following guidelines:
  • Please be conscious of other people, and move aside if someone wishes to view the painting you are sketching
  • Sketchbooks or notepaper should be no larger than A3 size
  • Spend no more than 10 minutes in front of any painting
  • You may be asked to move along to another painting or room if we are particularly busy
  • No sketching is permitted in doorways or access routes
  • Painting and use of materials other than pencils is only permitted under the Copyist Scheme.’
The restriction to using pencils allows the use of coloured pencils, of course. If you draw inside St Martins, please keep to the same rule of using dry materials only. 

There is no cost, just wrap up warm and bring your drawing gear.

Key times and meeting points


Meet by the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square. We will meet on the lower level of the square, below the statue.

(If it's rainy, we will meet under the walkway that connects the Sainsbury Wing of the Gallery to the older part of the building.)

Location of the walkway.
We will meet underneath it if it's rainy.

1 pm

Meet for the lunchtime group photo and throwdown, by the Fourth Plinth. (If it's rainy, we will meet inside the Sainsbury Wing of the Gallery, in the open area just inside the entrance. It takes a little time to get through the entry security checks, so it’s best to allow a few minutes for this.)

3.30 pm

Meet for the final throwdown and group photo by the Fourth Plinth, or if it's wet, inside the Sainsbury Wing of the Gallery. We will then meet for post-sketch coffee and chat in the Café in the Crypt, at St Martin-in-the-Fields.

The 4th Plinth
Sketch by John Swanson

Practical information

Toilets are available in Trafalgar Square, close to the Fourth Plinth, and in the National Gallery. There is a charge of 20p in the square; contactless payment is available.

Entry to the National Gallery’s general collection is free. However, the National Portrait Gallery, next to the National, is closed until next year.

If you forget any of your drawing gear, there is a Cass Art shop just round the corner in Charing Cross Road.

There are many cafés and restaurants in the area, including in the Gallery, and there's the Café in the Crypt on the lower level of St Martin-in-the-Fields.

The nearest Tube station is Charing Cross (there are many exits, so follow the signs for the Trafalgar Square exit), while Leicester Square and Embankment stations are very close.

There are many bus services, but it’s best to consult Transport for London (TfL) for advice.

COVID-19 visit information

We will remain alert to national guidance about COVID-19 and its variants. Even while 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
  • Practice good hand hygiene.

Location map

See you at Trafalgar Square!

⧫ ⧫ ⧫ ⧫ ⧫

Celebrating 10 years of Urban Sketchers London
2012 - 2022

London by Urban Sketchers - Our 10 Year Anniversary Book

Urban Sketchers London on social media

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Monday 3 October 2022

London by Urban Sketchers - Open Exhibition 8-16 October at The Art Pavilion, Mile End Park


Sketch by Isabel Carmona

As we approach the end of our 10th Anniversary Celebration Year, Urban Sketchers London are showcasing our work in an open exhibition. 

Come and be inspired by urban sketching! 

London by Urban Sketchers

Open Exhibition

Saturday 8 - Sunday 16 October 2022

11am - 6pm daily

At The Art Pavilion in Mile End Park E3 4QY

The Art Pavilion in Mile End Park
Photo courtesy of Visit London

Who are urban sketchers?

Urban Sketchers is a friendly all-volunteer network of people from all walks of life around the world who draw the cities they live in and travel to. Our mission is to ‘Show the World, One Drawing at a Time.’

Urban Sketchers London (USk London) is one of more than 300 chapters of urban sketchers worldwide. We organise monthly sketch walks (also known as ‘sketchcrawls’) in London which are completely free to attend – no registration or membership required. Our activities are publicised here on our blog and on our social media accounts -- you'll find links to Urban Sketchers London on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at the end of this blog post.

The Urban Sketchers Manifesto

What’s happening at The Art Pavilion?

Over 100 works of art will be on show, all drawn by urban sketchers, in London, on location, as per the Urban Sketchers manifesto. Some of the artwork will be for sale. 

In addition to the exhibits, we will be running several urban sketching activities. You are welcome to join in any and all of them: 
  • Urban sketching demonstrations (see schedule below)
  • A large scale communal artwork (material for this will be provided), and
  • A typical Urban Sketchers London 'sketchcrawl'. 
You’re free to watch the demonstrations, or bring your own art materials and draw along with us. 

We will also hold our monthly 'sketchcrawl' in Mile End Park on Saturday 15 October. We'll start by meeting at the Art Pavilion at 11 am. See the sketchcrawl blog post for more details.  

There is no need to register for any of these activities. Just turn up with your art kit!

Exhibition hours and the private view

The exhibition will run from Saturday 8 October to Sunday the 16th, open daily from 11 am till 6 pm.

A private view for exhibitors and their friends and family will take place on Sunday 9 October from 4.30 to 7.30 pm. 

Sketch by Ray Chan

Demonstration and sketch walk schedule

Sun 9 October    Demos         12-1pm and 3-4pm
Thu 13                Demo           3-4pm
Fri 14                  Demo           3-4pm
Sat 15                 Sketchcrawl 11am-1pm and 2-3.30pm
Sun 16                Demos          12-1pm and 3-4pm

Any questions? just drop us an email!

Sketch by Lis Watkins

How to get there

By public transport

Mile End Underground Station is on the District and Hammersmith & City lines. Connect at Whitechapel for the Elizabeth Line.

The 25, 250, 277 and 425 buses stop in Mile End Road. For their routes, locations of bus stops and real-time bus locations, please visit the Transport for London website.

By car

There is very little car parking near Mile End Park. The local streets operate a permit system for residents. Limited parking is available at Bow Wharf, to the north of the Art Pavilion.

Sketch by Jane Cradock-Watson

See you at the exhibition!

⧫ ⧫ ⧫ ⧫ ⧫

Celebrating 10 years of Urban Sketchers London
2012 - 2022

London by Urban Sketchers - Our 10 Year Anniversary Book

Urban Sketchers London on social media

Join our mailing list

Sign up here to receive all the latest Urban Sketchers London news in your email Inbox.