Wednesday, 9 November 2022

NOTE CHANGE OF DATE - Let's draw Covent Garden - Saturday 10 December 2022

Covent Garden
Sketch by Karen Jones

 [By Isabel Carmona and Sasala Wickramasinghe]

In December we go back and draw Covent Garden in all its Christmas splendour!

The giant Christmas tree specially selected for Covent Garden! 

This is our second attempt to sketch iconic Covent Garden, since our last visit had to be cancelled due to spiking Covid numbers. As usual, Covent Garden will be full of festive cheer and bustling with Christmas shoppers. The giant baubles and mistletoe are back in the piazza -- Karen Jones (see main image above) drew these in 2016 -- and new this year is the hand painted 19th century Covent Garden Christmas Sleigh. 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. Don't forget to wrap up warm! 

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

For our throwdown and group photo, we will meet in the churchyard of St Paul's, at the benches by the Statue of the Conversion of St Paul. The nearest access is through the gate (see photo below) that is opposite the massive Christmas tree. 

3.30 PM
We will return to the benches at the Statue of Conversion of St Paul to look at drawings and take final group photographs.

The gate to St Paul's churchyard. 


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

Getting there

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). 

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 in Covent Garden!

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