Earlier this month I met with the London Urban Sketchers at Leadenhall Market in the City of London. Leadenhall market is one of the oldest covered markets in London and was designed by the same architect behind Smithfield Market and Tower Bridge. It’s also been the backdrop for many films, perhaps the most famous one being Harry Potter and Philosopher’s Stone.
I spent the first part of the day inside the market sketching the Lamb Tavern pub and after the lunchtime sketchbook sharing, I ventured outside.
Leadenhall Market sits alongside some of the City’s modern skyscrapers, including the iconic Lloyds of London building. I couldn’t get too close the the Lloyds building because the Pokemon movie was being filmed that day but I did manage to find one spot where there was a partial view of it and got a sketch done before we all met up at the end of the day to share the rest of our sketches.
You can find work from other sketchers and more photos on the London Urban Sketchers Blog.
Over the past week and a half I’ve been out sketching in a couple of different spots around London. The Saturday before last I went out with the London Urban Sketchers to Charterhouse and Clerkenwell. I hadn’t been well for about a week beforehand but I didn’t want to miss the whole day, so I arrived late but just in time for the lunchtime sketchbook ‘throwdown’.
It felt like a long time since I’d done any sketching on location so I felt a bit out of practise and wasn’t totally satisfied with my sketches. I think that’s just a sign that I need to do more urban sketching!
I think I also needed to slow down a bit. Maybe it was because I’d arrived late, or maybe it was the hot weather but I felt like I was rushing my sketches and not really taking in what I was seeing properly.
At the end of the day a few of us stayed on to sketch a bit more and I felt like I was starting to get into the rhythm of sketching buildings again. What that day did encourage me to do was to re-visit some of the materials from the course I took with Liz Steel last year, and I’m also going to work through the rest of the course that I didn’t finish.
Then last Friday a few of us from the London Urban Sketchers group met up informally to sketch at St Dunstan in the East gardens, which I’d never visited before. It’s a really nice quiet spot and had lots of shade from the sun which was welcome too. I worked on one and a half sketches in my A4 Moleskine, which is currently my dedicated urban sketching sketchbook. I also did one sketch in my new Hahnemuhle grey book but I haven’t got around to scanning that one yet.
Sometimes when I don’t finish a sketch I think to myself that I’ll come back to the same spot another day and carry on with it but actually that never seems to happen. And the other thing is, that I quite like some of my sketches that are half ink, half pencil (or sometimes just pencil and no ink at all) and no paint.
This week my sketching plans are kind of different. I’ll share that work here quite soon!
On Saturday I was out again with the London Urban Sketchers, this time sketching in and around the Barbican Estate in the City of London (not to be confused with London, the city!). It was a cold day and after spending the morning sketching outside we headed indoors for the afternoon.
Unfortunately we were asked to leave one particular area of the arts centre (half way through my sketch of a view from a window) because there was a wedding taking place, so we moved to some seats just outside the theatre and gift shop to sketch some of the inside of the building. This was a bigger challenge than I’d anticipated when I sat down and I made more than one mistake (as you may be able to tell in my sketch).
I also ended up leaving out a large and complex sculpture that was hanging in this space and have toyed with the idea of drawing it in afterwards using a white pen but so far I haven’t had the inclination (or courage?) to attempt this!
I’ve also noticed my tendency to exclude people from my urban sketches, but more on that some other time!
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