A large number of sketchers at London Urban Sketchers' March day - and another great location / learning event. My Facebook post says it all: Thanks for a wonderful location. Whoever identified/chose it deserves the USk OBE. As ever two excellent exhibitions to enjoy, some helpful advice/information gained, good conversation and food on hand. Add a couple of halfs of Guinness to add interest to the lines and one challenged yet contented grey haired old man trundled home to enjoy yet more on Facebook. A photo of some of the midday 'show and tell' group and my two here:
A great place to sketch, but not best in winter although the snow scenes were very tempting. We went specifically to see the A New Era - Scottish Modern Art exhibition which was brilliant. Saw work and artists I had no knowledge of. Some a bit challenging but most very engaging. Well annotated which is good.
It was so cold we had to take breaks in nice places. Afternoon Tea in Colonnades in The Signet Library - a huge, cavernous columned former Parliamentary Library - ripe for drawing and another chance to try the pens in St Giles' Cathedral - equally lofty but very different.
The snow enforced 3 more days so I took the opportunity for a second go. Proves the importance of preliminary sketches to find the principle lines, points and perspective/s.
Killed two birds with one visit with the Urbans. Tate Britain's Impressionists in London - a fine and informative exhibition with some stunning paintings. Lots, as usual of Urban Sketchers. My colleague is a Member so we avoided the cold and spent the morning in The Members' Room. Comfortable easy chair sketching, although the dramatic columns, arches and perspectives are anything but easy. Good learning exercise and chance to test the versatility of the new pen/brushes.
In the afternoon the exhibition and as several had braved the cold thought I should. Back to pen and watercolour. Must remember although the delicacy of the medium is lovely striking views need stronger colour.
New Year, new pens, new experience. Went with Sketchmob to the Science Museum LATES. What an experience. It closes then reopens at 6:45pm. When I arrived at 6:30pm a huge long queue down Exhibition Road. But the arrangements were so efficient we were all in by 7pm and set off to sketch but first visiting one of the many 'restaurants' around the galleries along with bars, live music and interactive staffed demonstrations. I gather the other museums do similar things scheduling their LATES so as not to clash.
Great places to sketch in the warm, dry and with masses of people.
I went for a view downwards into the Broadcast Gallery trying out my new Tombow Brush pens - brush one end pen the other. A whole new technique and one which will take some mastering. I've seen so many others in London Urban Sketchers use them so have to keep up...
Astonishingly I've done nothing for a month, apart from some 'studio' work for Christmas so was a relief to be joining London Urban Sketchers at The Wellcome Collection. As ever lots of artists and a wide range of work/styles. Always stimulating. I haven't been to The Wellcome Collection for some time. Previously I was not that impressed but the building, displays and facilities have been changed. It is now an impressive venue with a good café, restaurant and particularly the Reading Room where I started. Clearly out of practice - I felt the effect of a month's inactivity. The building retains its fine Art Deco stair lobby/well which was a challenging exercise in perspective and angles - but a delight. 20 minutes left...what better than the Reading Room again to sketch sketchers....
Two paintings go to new homes which is satisfying. Florin Court (aka Whitehaven Mansions in Poirot - view here) and a 'commissioned' Christmas Present .... a very active dog so lots of photographs, preliminary sketches and two or three attempts.
Museums with London Urban Sketchers today. Again lots of us and huge variety of styles, subjects and materials used. The V&A do not allow water based mediums so some were challenged. But that is one of the benefits of USks - learn something every time. I was taken by the Ice Rink outside the Natural History Museum but it was far too cold to stand and sketch there for a couple of hours. So I found a clear window overlooking it - but on Level 6.
High level foreshortened perspective is different. Lots of measuring and care. Retired to the new Sackler Courtyard Cafe for Hot chocolate and watercolour.
After the break I fancied some more measured perspective but in pencil....
Great news Sketchmob is up and running again. 30-40 of us invading The Royal Festival Hall for an evening. I was there early so some figure practice
Then the main event....the task composition, measurement, perspective then tone. Great discipline and education.
Went with a handful of fellow painters on Saturday morning to a Pub near Raynes Park Station. Most remained inside but have always been struck by the shapes and signage by the arch under the off-set platforms. Stations are hugely sketchable - although one colleague commented that I had managed to make an interesting subject even out of Raynes Park Station!but good experience and enjoyable.
To the Imperial War Museum with London Urban Sketchers meeting later, 11:15 to allow for The Silence at 11 am. Impeccably observed with a bugler and a brief recital from a local young musician on the ‘Western Front’ violin, an object from the First World War collection made from wood salvaged from Western Front battlefields.
Its recent reconstruction has made huge improvements to the displays - a feast for us sketching.
Being a bit of a plane fan I was in my element attempting the precision needed for a complete Battle of Britain Mk 1a Spitfire - a tough ask.
After lunch opted for the less precise demands of a wrecked Japanese Zero Fighter.
Sketching thoughts and stories from John Webb.