Monday, 1 September 2014

Sketching Covent Garden: Moleskine City Stories

James Hobbs, Covent Garden
On Saturday 6 September 2014, Urban Sketchers are going to be drawing around the streets of Covent Garden as part of the "live sketch event" Moleskine City Stories. 

This day-long celebration of urban sketching focuses on the Moleskine store on King Street – where Adebanji Alade and Olha Pryymak will be in action – while Andrea Joseph and James Hobbs will be at London Graphic Centre, Shelton Street, close to Seven Dials. 

They, along with other London Urban Sketchers, will be drawing in and around the stores and happy to talk about urban sketching from 11.30am to 5.30pm. During the day each store will build an exhibition of the drawings done by those who come.

Interested? There's a lot more information about learning sessions, how to get your hands on a free Moleskine Sketch Album, and directions from Come along and say hello, and be ready to draw.


Saturday, 30 August 2014

joining the circus

Piccadilly Circus
Hello London!
I am now home from my recent jaunt back to my native city, armed with a massive pile of sketches to scan. One of the highlights of my trip was meeting many other sketchers on the Sketching Wren's City seems so long ago now, but what an amazing day of exploration! I'll post my results very soon. For now, I will post this sketch of a well-known London tourist attraction. I am officially a tourist now, and I love it.
On my first morning back, still dizzy with the transatlantic jetlag, the promise of sketching on the streets of London again proved too much for a morning cup of tea to satiate, so I took an early train down to what is usually one of my least favourite parts of the city: Piccadilly Circus, least loved because it is usually jam-packed with people and traffic and noise and nonsense. However, in the earlier pre-9am hours it is a calmer more respectable place, and I was waiting for Lillywhites to open anyway so I sat outside that large sports store and sketched the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain, also known as the Angel of Christian Charity, but known to Londoners and signposts alike as 'Eros'. I sketched in a large spiral-bound Stillman and Birn Alpha book, and stood looking towards Regent St and Shaftesbury Avenue. After a while, some police officers showed up, dressed in bright yellow overcoats. They were just hanging around, and then more came. Some photographers also started gathering, and then more police, and then two officers mounted on horseback, all in a jovial mood, all happy to pose with tourists. There must have been over forty police officers there, apparently there to launch a new initiative, and they all stood together and said “cheese, guv” and had their photo taken in front of the statue (“Ello, ello, ello, what’s goin’ on Eros then?”). A young woman from Germany, holidaying in London, stopped and watched me sketch for a while, sitting down when I crouched over to add the paint, and told me how she also liked to draw. I was in a good mood for my first out-and-about sketch in London, and when I was done I said goodbye to the circus, popped into Lillywhites to look at all the new football shirts, and set off to sketch the narrow dusty streets of Soho. It was good to be back.
by Pete Scully


Thursday, 7 August 2014

"In a street where you live"

 Grove Hill, South Woodford E18
High Road, South Woodford E18

Well, almost. I thought I'd go local again, with my first love, the 0.5 HB clutch. I remember listening to Ken Howard a while ago saying, "You don't have to go to Venice." Yes I know he did, and he has a studio there but mine is my living room, in South Woodford.


Saturday, 2 August 2014

Sketching Wren's London - what next?

Not quite everybody who was sketching Wren's London today....
...on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral at 4.15pm
CLICK to see a much bigger version

For all those who participated in Sketching Wren's London......
  1. Load your sketches onto your Flickr account - and then share them with the Urban Sketchers London Group Pool
  2. If you participated today and are not a member of the Urban Sketchers Flickr Group you can apply here - and then follow 1 above
  3. We'd like to try and find out and map how many of Wren's churches we managed to sketch so please be sure to state clearly which church it is on each image.
  4. We'll be posting a selection of the images of different churches to the blog in the coming days.
For all those who want to see what people produced - come back later and see what people have been posting - to the blog and to the Flickr Group Pool

Thanks to Pete Scully for organising this sketchcrawl - and his wonderful map and stickers!  Can you spot him in the photo?

Sketching Wren's London is TODAY - Saturday 2nd August 2014

Don't forget - today is Sketching Wren's City - a sketchcrawl across the City of London

WHEN: Saturday August 2, 2014
START: 10:30am, The Monument
FINISH: 4:00pm, outside St. Paul’s Cathedral
- See more at:

This sketchcrawl is free and open to anybody with an interest in urban sketching. Artists of all levels and ages are welcome. All you need is something to draw with and something to draw on (oh and maybe a snack)

Maps are ready for distribution at the start, and stickers for those who make it to the finish
For those of you using Google Maps this is the digital link to the Google Map of Wren's Churches


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Living the dream

Last year I did lots of sketching of people and places along the Sydenham Artists Trail which is run as part of the Sydenham Arts Festival and showcases many talented artists and crafts people living in this part of south east London.  So it was very exciting to be asked this year if I’d like to be an ‘Artist in residence’ at one of the venues. 
The venue was the Alexandra Nurseries, a small garden centre very close to where I live and somewhere I knew would provide lots of material for sketches. 

It’s an unashamedly pretty place where flowers and plants are packed in and is very popular as a place to stop for coffee and cake even if you have no interest in gardening.  

The building used to be the Estate House for the nearby Alexandra Cottages which were built between 1866 -88. 

The drawings here took about 14 hours spread over two sunny July weekends.


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Sketching Wren's City: Saturday, August 2nd

Sketching Wren's City
Sketchers of London! I hope you are well. I would like to invite you to join me for another 'themed' sketchcrawl on Saturday, August 2nd. I really enjoyed last years 'crawl around the Whitechapel of Jack the Ripper, and this year I really wanted to indulge my life-long love of the London of Sir Christopher Wren, the late seventeenth century architect and scientist, by seeing how much of his City I could sketch in a day, and I invite you to do the same.

We will start at 10:30am at the base of The Monument just off King William St (the nearest tube is Monument), and from there we will sketch solo or in groups, as you prefer, taking in as many of the great Wren’s buildings as we can fit on our pages, before reconvening by the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Wren’s masterpiece, at 4pm, to look at each others’ sketchbooks. From there you can have a quick pint at the Old Bell on Fleet Street, the only pub built by Wren on our ‘crawl.

WHEN: Saturday August 2, 2014
START: 10:30am, The Monument
FINISH: 4:00pm, outside St. Paul’s Cathedral

As always this sketchcrawl is free and open to anybody with an interest in urban sketching, artists of all levels and ages are welcome. All you need is something to draw with and something to draw on (oh and maybe a snack). I will again be providing hand-drawn maps with a handy guide to the Wren church buildings for you to choose your own route. I hope to see you there!

Facebook event:

- Pete Scully