Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sketching the Olympic Park

Sketching the construction of the Olympic 2012 Stadium
8.5" x 12.5", pencil and coloured pencils in sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
Yesterday, the Drawing London Group had a lovely sunny day out sketching the Olympic 2012 construction site just west of Stratford in East London. It had an extra benefit for me as I got to walk home!

The Olympic Stadium has just celebrated its first birthday. You can see the progress being made within the Olympic Park through a series of Olympic webcams

2012 Olympic Games 27 July-12 Aug 2012 1153 days to go

I'm going to show you the four sketches I did in this post and the next couple of posts. The first one is of two fellow members of the Drawing London group sketching the Olympic stadium and the site of the Olympic Park.

However I like sketching people sketching so you only have a bit of the stadium from me - which is also helpful because it means I can cut down on complicated counting of struts! The people also help to give it scale. Plus it's a nice record of members of the group.

I do think I might have a bit of a lean on my stadium. I'm OK at knowing my verticals tend to lean but I've not had previous experience of ellipses leaning!

You can sketch the stadium site from The Greenway walk
the Greenway in east London, a 3km embankment and public way running from Victoria Park to West Ham down the full length of the Olympic Park. The Greenway will provide pedestrian and cycle access for visitors to the 2012 games
Building Design website - Greenway upgrade proposals
Getting to it is a bit complicated at the moment because of diversions due to building on the Olympic site. Here's what we did:
  • met at Stratford station - which will be the major hub undergound and railway station for the Olympics. This is your last loo stop (if you can find them!). The station is currently going through a £100 million upgrade which means things keep moving......! (Stratford International Station is also being built - and that's due to open late this year!)

Stratford station is a railway station in Stratford, Newham, East London on National Rail, London Underground, London Overground and Docklands Light Railway (DLR) lines. It is served by the Underground Central and Jubilee lines, and by London Overground, National Express East Anglia and c2c. It is in Travelcard Zone 3.
Wikipedia - Stratford Station
  • took the Docklands Light Railway to Pudding Mill Lane station (one stop)
  • exited the station and followed the signs to join the Greenway
  • walked north for about 300m
The Greenway runs right through the middle of the Olympic site. The main Olympic Stadium is being built on the right hand side. You also have a distant view of other stadia being built within the Olympic Park.

If you continue walking up the path beyond the Stadium you get to Old Ford Lock on the River Lea and Fish Island. Of which more in the next post!

One of the nice things about the Olympic site is the number of different ways you can walk and cycle to the Olympic Park area from other parts of London. I hope the plans to develop this network is seen to fruition.

Sketchercise count: 10,061 steps yesterday - which includes walking home from here!

Note: The Greenway is constructed on top of the embrankment which contains the Northern Outfall Sewer which was constructed by Bazelgette after a cholera outbreak in London in 1853 and The Big Stink of 1858.
Links: to websites relating to the area:


  1. Some great sketches and an interesting Blog - congratulations and keep them coming!

  2. I really enjoy your sketches and posts - so glad I found you:)


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