London TfL Tube stations: 'A weird fascination' - the man drawing the capital’s iconic Underground stops

Beginning with a series of drawings for a friend, Stephen Woodgate has so-far completed 17 illustrations of Tube stations around London.
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From Bow Road to Earls Court, Kennington to Wimbledon, London’s Tube stations are being captured on paper in a series of drawings by Greenwich-based artist Stephen Woodgate.

Mr Woodgate, 35, an architectural technologist for a housing developer, publishes his drawings under the name Stevo Sketches and has so far put 17 of the capital’s stations to paper.

He began sharing his intricate, black-and-white renditions in spring 2020, just as the pandemic hit. He had already been working on drawings in private, though it was once lockdowns kicked in that he decided to start putting his work on social media.

His first piece, he said, was a series of illustrations of Embankment, Tooting Bec and Covent Garden on an A3 piece of paper, completed for a friend who moved out of London.  

Stephen Woodgate began drawing London's Tube stations in spring 2020. Credit: Stephen Woodgate.Stephen Woodgate began drawing London's Tube stations in spring 2020. Credit: Stephen Woodgate.
Stephen Woodgate began drawing London's Tube stations in spring 2020. Credit: Stephen Woodgate.

While not restricted to drawing Tube stations, Mr Woodgate said he has a “weird fascination” with their signage, fonts and other features, and that he enjoys “the stories that they show and represent”.

“I’m fascinated by different kinds of architecture,” he said. “None of them are really the same. I enjoy experiencing the different styles.”

Mr Woodgate's illustrations of Covent Garden, Tooting Bec and Embankment. Credit: Stephen Woodgate.Mr Woodgate's illustrations of Covent Garden, Tooting Bec and Embankment. Credit: Stephen Woodgate.
Mr Woodgate's illustrations of Covent Garden, Tooting Bec and Embankment. Credit: Stephen Woodgate.

Each drawing ordinarily takes at least two weeks, with the work being done in Mr Woodgate's spare time.

Beyond Tube stations, he has completed pieces on buildings in Berlin, Midleton, in Ireland, and other known spots around London, such as the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, and the Greenwich Royal Observatory.

The hotel is one of his best-selling illustrations, likely because of it being so recognisable and its grandeur, but also, he suggests, due to the number of people who get married there. 

Great Portland Street station in central London. Credit: Stephen Woodgate.Great Portland Street station in central London. Credit: Stephen Woodgate.
Great Portland Street station in central London. Credit: Stephen Woodgate.

This connection others have with some of the places he draws, Mr Woodgate adds, is another reason he enjoys putting his creations out into the world.

For some, it may be that they used a particular station to get to work. For others, and this he said has happened a few times, it may be where they proposed to their partner.

Another piece which garnered quite a bit of interest was his illustration of Severndroog Castle, in south-east London. Completed during lockdown, Mr Woodgate drew it to help raise some money for the castle, which, like most public-facing spaces, took a major hit during the pandemic.

Mr Woodgate said he intends on continuing to fit in as many London stations as he can, and that he already has a list of requests he is trying to make his way through.

“When I’m doing these drawings, I notice things I probably wouldn’t notice before. That’s why I always enjoy drawing, really.”