With Urbans to Three Mills Island on the Lee River which runs through the Stratford area of East London. Olympics Regeneration Land....and how. But preserved is a little enclave of old buildings, one once a Gin Distillery....This was a sunny Sunday and although relatively compact it was thronging with people running, cycling, picnicking, photo-shooting, just looking - in all huge asset albeit a little oasis. And there are some big fish in the river.
Spent a pleasant if chilly few hours with a friend beside The River Thames in Hampton. Well actually on the other bank, East Molesey having taken the ferry over to sketch the old boatyards on Platts Eyot known as Port Hampton - once a thriving vibrant leisure boat island. Sadly very much less so now. As ever there's plans to develop it for luxury houses or apartments so it was good to get a good look and sketch or two.
One of the benefits of being in different groups is finding new places. I've lived in London for ?? years but had no idea of Mercarto Metropolitano in Newington Causeway. A street food, mainly Italian, Market. Despite heaters Sunday morning there was cold but we struggled on. Only a few of us; here's my sepia ink drawing which seems to work but no doubt I'll give into the temptation to add a little select colour wash sometime.
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....
Sketching thoughts and stories from John Webb.