Friday, 15 January 2016

SketchCrawl, with an Unexpected Treat to Finish...

Last Saturday, Urban Sketchers Yorkshire had their January SketchCrawl. I have been a bit busy lately, so I thought I would do an easy one and get people together for a coffee-house crawl, always nice and cosy at this time of year. 

There is a particular stretch of road not far from me, with loads of little places but, as usual, I didn't know how many would turn up, so we met in a big Wetherspoons nearby first. Good job we did, as over 30 people showed up! 

We filled one whole section - pretty much everyone you can see above is a sketcher. It's a good place to draw, as the glass walls give easy views out all round. I was doing a lot of meeting and greeting, as about half a dozen new members arrived too, which meant not much time for sketching, but I managed this one painting. The highlights are white chalk: 

We decided to split into smaller groups when we got to the smaller coffee-shops, although we were lucky with timing and about half the group fitted into The Rude Shipyard, again, more or less filling the place on both floors. 

They too have great window views. They also do AMAZING food, so I spent half my time gorging not sketching. Actually, I spent at least half the remaining time chatting, so I went for a quick watercolour impression of the street outside: 

We were intending to work our way down the Abbeydale Road, popping into various cafes, fitting in where we could, but something rather exciting came up instead. It turns out that one of our members knows the man who has taken on the considerable challenge of renovating the old Abbeydale Picture House, a huge, badly decaying cinema from 1922. It was once a very grand place, the largest in Sheffield, with a ballroom and a billiard hall inside as well. I painted it last year, but from the outside: 

It's been closed to the public since 1975, when it went rather down in the world and was used as an office furniture showroom. Things got worse though, and it was boarded up in 1991. 

Anyway, a quick phone call and we suddenly had permission to go and draw inside for the rest of the afternoon. It is in a bad state, but the original splendour is still there, clinging on to the crumbling walls. We spread out all over the cinema, with some people up on the balcony, with great views down. 

It was hard to know where to start, so I just sat in front of the screen and painted the view back across the stalls. I loved the time-scourged glamour. 

It was slightly spooky. It was also freezing cold. I think everyone would have liked to stay longer, but our fingers were giving up the ghost, so we walked a bit further down the road to the Broadfield pub, where we warmed up while sharing the work. There were still so many of us that we had to sit at two separate tables. 

These are just some of the sketchbooks from the day:

I wonder if the brilliant turn-out was a result of all those New Year resolutions. If so, that's great - it was lovely to see new faces and to re-meet some people who'd not been for a good while. Come again next time everyone! Not sure what we are doing yet, but the date is Feb 13th, so mark it in your diary and join our Facebook group to get updates. It's all free!


Ali said...

Lovely sketches, it' such a nice thing you are doing Lynne Chapman

Lewerentz S said...

Yes, lovely sketches ! I particularly like your sketch of buildings on grey paper. Your sketch crawls seem to be great times ! I would like to participate here in Switzerland, too, but I don't know how to do. I'll see on the website.

Lynne the Pencil said...

Thanks Lewerentz. Yes, check out Urban Sketchers at for the regional group list and then leave a message on the Facebook page if you can't find an obvious group on the main site. There might well be an informal group near you, even if there's not an officially affiliated one.

Simon said...

Hi Lynne - thanks for organising the sketch crawl, great locations. I didn't make it back to the Broadfield, took a wrong turn and ended up the Forge Bakehouse! See you next time. Simon.

Lynne the Pencil said...

Oh no! Sorry it was a bit chaotic towards the end Simon. I'm normally better organised, promise. Hope you enjoyed it despite the all too sudden end!