Thursday, 12 May 2016

Urban painting

Street Art pieces have been popping up on walls and shutters near where I live in South East London and last weekend I had a chance to sketch while one was being painted.  The artist doing the work was called Artista and she was being helped by one of the team from the London Calling Blog.  I drew whilst the emulsion coat was being added which would act as an undercoat to the spray paint layer. 

I thought I carried too much kit around sometimes but it’s small in comparison with the street artists’ materials which include a work box of spray paint, tins of emulsion, paint rollers, tape and ladders.  You also need a good head for heights!

The finished artwork

See more work by Artista at


Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Pizza Chicken Fry-up

Old skool restaurant in Mile End Road, just past the yellow bridge (forerunner of the Garden Bridge scheme). I just love the black and white tiles and the orange. And the fact that it's ordinary. The Happy Chippy round the corner in Grove Road is now a pizza place in dark matt grey paint. I never thought I'd get nostalgic about tacky photos on acrylic signage, but I have.


Monday, 2 May 2016

Let's draw Westminster: Houses of Parliament and River Thames

Date: Saturday 14 May 2016
Led by Jo Dungey

This is an extremely famous area and consequently very crowded. We propose two locations which are most practical for drawing:

• Victoria Tower Gardens, Millbank, the green area along the river, south of the Houses of Parliament

• the riverside walk on the opposite side of the river from the Houses of Parliament

For the afternoon session, and to finish the day, note there are two options given below, which we may choose, depending on the weather.

Nearest tube: Westminster

Outline timetable:
Start: 11am — Meet at Victoria Tower Gardens, near the Burghers of Calais statue by Auguste Rodin (above) at the southern end of the Houses of Parliament. View the location on this map. There is a sliver of shelter at the entrance to the nearby Parliamentary Education Centre.

You can choose to draw here, or cross Westminster Bridge to draw from the riverside walk opposite the Houses of Parliament. This has seats and good views of the Houses of Parliament (above), and of Westminster and Lambeth Bridges.

Lunch: 1pm — Photos and meet-up, again near the Burghers of Calais statue in Victoria Tower Gardens.

In the afternoon, you could move to a different side of the river, or towards Parliament Square and Westminster Abbey.

End: 3.30pm — Meet for photos and review of work. There are two possible venues, depending upon the weather.
If dry: at the southern end of Victoria Tower Gardens near the refreshment kiosk and children’s playground. We will then decide where to move for refreshments.
If wet: at Tate Britain inside the Manton entrance on Atterbury Street, and then in the Djanogly Café downstairs in Tate Britain.

What to draw:
The Houses of Parliament, and Westminster Abbey need no introduction. On the other side of the river is Lambeth Palace, originating in the thirteenth century. There are also smaller buildings, such as the Jewel Tower, monuments, statues, views of the river’s boats and bridges, and lots of opportunities to sketch people. Don’t feel you have to tackle a whole building; a single arch, window or doorway can often capture the essence of a historic building.

Victoria Tower Gardens has public toilets and a refreshment kiosk at the southern end. There are also toilets near Westminster Pier, in the underground station, in the Methodist Central Hall near Parliament Square, and other cafes. Food can be bought near the tube station, there are cafes on Millbank and Horseferry Road, and pubs on Whitehall.

There are no real indoor drawing locations in this area other than cafes, and a few crowded doorways and archways. So check the weather forecast, dress suitably and if necessary bring a brolly. If the weather is bad we will end at Tate Britain, further down Millbank at 3.30pm, and also visit their café. If it is cold or wet, you may choose to move on there earlier. The nearest tube station for Tate Britain is Pimlico.