Edinburgh Zoo has a new exhibit

Dinosaur_EdinburghZooFrom the 3rd April to 1st November 2015 a number of animatronic dinosaurs will be visiting the city zoo.

On a recent visit to Edinburgh Zoo what I first thought to be a crane towering above a fence in the distance turned out to be this beautiful dinosaur.


For a number of weeks the highest part of the 82 acre site has been kept under wraps, as a number of animatronic dinosaurs have move in.


Dinosaurs became extinct around 65 million years ago, and these man made replicas have been brought to Edinburgh as part of ‘Dinosaurs Return!’ highlighting the plight of animals around the world close to extinction.


Dinosaurs Return! opens to the public on April 3rd. But if you are at the zoo before then keep your eyes peeled, you may get an early glimpse.


Edinburgh Zoo website

Sketches from Scotland’s partial eclipse

SolarEclipse_2015This morning there was an eclipse of the sun with people all over the world hoping to see the rare event.

Although in Scotland it was a partial eclipse creating a dusk like darkness in Edinburgh, other areas around the world were plunged into darkness as the Moon came between Earth and the Sun.


(Surprised to see clear skies) I hastily pricked a hole through a piece of card so I could see the resultant crescent shaped highlight in the shadow of the card. I realise now the shape created within the cards shadow was a reverse of what you would see if looking directly at the sun, but was much safer.


I traced over the shape created on my pad at different intervals to create the doodles above. Even in times of global chat and video links it was very exciting to think millions of people were watching a variation of the same event all around the world.


Learn more about the eclipse at the BBC News link below, and if you missed this one there will be another in August, 2026.


BBC News eclipse coverage

Spring beckons as crocuses appear around Edinburgh

VictoriaPark_CrocusesAt this time of year signs that spring and then summer are on their way are very welcome.

This week I’ve been noticing more and more the parks and cities green spaces have been exploding into colour as firstly the snow drops and now the crocuses and daffodils come into their own. Over the coming weeks the colours will only intensify and Edinburgh Council has to take some of the credit in making our city look so beautiful at this time of year.


The above sketch on Victoria Park in North Edinburgh was drawn between showers on a bright, cloudy, wet and sunny day in the capital. Enjoy the colour and energy of the current floral display, and why not try and capture it in a watercolour sketch?

Food sketch blog – Day1

FoodDiary1Why photograph your tea when you can sketch it instead?!

Like most folk at this time of the year I am thinking about what I eat and trying to improve the ingredients I put in my body. So I thought I would keep a food diary, but instead of writing (to much hard work) or photographing (enough of that online already) I thought I would sketch while I was cooking.


Last night it was bacon, asparagus and peas to go with some mashed potato and it was yummy. That is all :)

Make a lovelist for the Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre.

LoveListsMMECThe MMEC in Edinburgh researches epilepsy and the causes of the condition in the hope of finding new treatments and prevention strategies.

St Valentine is the patron saint of epilepsy and until the 14th February the MMEC have asked members of the public to list five of their most loved things. Using the hashtag #lovvelistsmmec photos of the lists can then be shared on social media, raising awareness of this tragic condition.


The list is five items long to highlight the fact that five out of every one hundred people will have an epileptic seizure at some point in their lives, a shocking statistic.


Take part by listing, or sketching as I have done, your love list and posting it online with the hashtag #lovelistsmmec. You can also donate two pounds by texting MMEC14£2 to 70070.


Can you name my five love list items?!


Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre website


Edinburgh Sketcher is a sketch blog from Mark Kirkham, an illustrator and designer living in Edinburgh, Scotland's capital city. Using a wide range of mediums including ink, watercolour, pencil, oil paint, charcoal and collage. Available for illustration commission, please get in touch at contact@edinburghsketcher.com for more information.