Category Archives: Daily Sketch

A trip to the Highlands

Last week I managed a few days up by Loch Rannoch and it was wonderfully peaceful.

Just off the main routes for tour busses and caravans my wife and I enjoyed a break at the Loch Rannoch Hotel and Spa and I thoroughly recommend it.

Perfectly positioned on the loch with walks all around us we ate and drank well, and exercised in the surrounding hills. Even heading up and over to Loch Garry on a couple of electric bikes.

This view was from an afternoon walk and sketch when we saw a group of stags eating infront of the village of Kinloch Rannoch.

I can’t wait to return.

Sketching the shops

A well needed pit stop to sketch this grocers on the Southside of Edinburgh.

Sometimes you just need to take a few moments for yourself, to forget your worries and concentrate on a little drawing.

I am very fortunate that although drawing has now become my job, that I can still find such joy and relaxation through my art.

After driving around town all morning, getting stuck in traffic and delayed by road works, I parked up the car and took 20 minutes to myself to destress.

This is Global Fruits, a busy little grocers in Bruntsfield, sketched from my car with ink and watercolours.

And remember to take time out for yourself, this half hour made uch a difference to the rest of my day. And do book yourself into one of my workshops to join me relaxing around the city!

Music in the gardens

The Mind Be Kind Festival brings happiness to Princes Street Gardens

I happened to be in Princes Street on Sunday and followed the music which led me into the gardens to a free concert in aid of Mind Be Kind

The The Well Happy Band were playing and Gail Porter was on stage, all raising awareness and positivity for mental health and well being.

Organiser and co-founder Mind Be Kind, Tania Pramschufer said: “It’s a chance to come together and take time out to enjoy music, chat and take part in activities that give us a boost for mental and physical health.”

Well done all involved 👏😊

I am selling a copy of a mounted print of this sketch from the day, for £24 with £5 from each going to the Mind Be Kind crowdfunding page so hopefully this festival for mental and physical health can become an annual event in Edinburgh.

Buy a print

See the Crowdfunding Page

Edinburgh’s Taxis day out

On Tuesday Edinburgh’s Taxi Outing took place, after a 2 year absence.

A fantastic, usually annual event where taxi drivers decorate their vehicles with balloons and take children with special needs, life-limiting conditions and terminal illnesses out for a day trip and a parade through the city.

I remember seeing the bright and colourful cabs driving up the Royal Mile many years ago. Children were firing water pistols from the windows and I remember wondering what was going on.

Such a lovely idea and 2022 marks 74 years of the tradition which I was so glad to see back on the streets after a two year absence due to the covid pandemic.

This particular taxi is Walter, a vintage taxi whose day job is as a wedding car with One Fare Day. I am sure he enjoyed all the extra attention on his day out in the Edinburgh sunshine!

Teatime trip to the seaside

Last night the Sketcher family took a trip to the beach by the bridges, ate fish and chips and enjoyed the epic views.

I had to hand over some artwork to a client coming from Perth so South Queensferry seemed a great place to meet. My family and I headed there with a plan of walking along the pebbled beach, up into the village and then sitting in between the old and new bridges, enjoying a fish supper.

And the weather didn’t disappoint, the recent mixture of strong sunshine, wind and frequent showers has made for some stunning skies.

Although I missed the later rainbow I did see this wonderful subtle shades of golden brown underneath the two road bridges. The land blending into the clouds in the distance.

The ink and watercolour original of this measures approximately 6×7 inches and is for sale for £75.

Signed and mounted prints are available for £30, sized at 8 x 10 inches. Message me below if you would like to purchase the original and click HERE to purchase a signed print.

Scottish Artists Celebrated

Today a new exhibition opens at the City Art Centre featuring work by the Glasgow Boys and the Scottish Colourists amongst many others.

‘National Treasure: The Scottish Modern Arts Association’ reveals the story of this a unique collection, and the artists represented in it.

Founded in Edinburgh in 1907, the association was established by artists and their supporters, and aimed to secure a collection of modern Scottish art.

I loved how diverse the mediums and subjects are, from the stunning details in Ernest Lumsden’s etchings to the loose pastel sketches from Julia Beatrice How. There are small delicate pieces and large scale bright and colourful murals. I also loved how I knew some of the scenes and subjects from around Scotland.

Exhibitions like this of multiple artists using a wide range of mediums and styles are so inspiring. Everyone should see this (it would be a great school visit) as you can see that art can come in all styles, sizes and some you will like and some you will not. To me they show that there is not a right and wrong, and everyone can create their art.

Well done City Art Centre, I will be back to take it all in again. Go see it, before mid October.

City Art Centre website.

My Happy Place

During the lockdown my wife and I spent a lot of time working in our garden and now we are enjoying the fruits, and more, of our labour.

This really is the best time to be out in the garden, just as new shapes and colours are exploding from all the nooks and crannies. I realise I am very lucky to have an outdoor space to call our own and this past couple of years it has been a godsend.

And not just to look at and admire, I find the physical act of gardening, growing and building so important for my mental health. My family will often be out there together, my wife Joanne planting and pruning, our daughter painting some flowers and our son James chopping wood or helping me build some garden structure.

Idyllic days that I want to go on for ever. Happy days in my happy place.

I was inspired to draw this watercolour after seeing similar sketches from Rolandnissanart of his garden and I liked the fact he included his hands and the sketchpad. You can see his light and bright watercolours on his twitter page HERE.

Sunshine on Ratcliffe Terrace

A caffeine fuelled sketch of a sunny corner in the Southside of Edinburgh.

This morning I enjoyed a flat white and a sketch in the sun as spring is certainly, beginning, almost here although when the sun went behind the clouds it felt like autumn!

So good to be out sketching on the streets again though, and I have more in person sketching workshops coming up later in the month so look out for me 🙂

The lovely looking purple, or is it maroon? building on the corner is The Earl Grange Cafe

Wood sketching

I have a new favourite hobby, after an afternoon sanding and burn-sketching this slice of sycamore.

I am practicing for a bigger project coming later this month and trying to get used to making marks with the burner. As I say in the workshops; the more marks you can make the more textures you will be able to capture.

The wood I think is sycamore and below is a photo of it once I added the varnish. It is great fun and I hope to make many more sketches on slices of wood, I love the smell, the feel of the textures and also the history of the tree itself.

This sketch is Edinburgh’s skyline from Holyrood Park. The original sketch I made a few years ago sitting on the hill in the sunshine. Happy memories of an afternoon drawing in the sun, but I never thought I would be burning it on to a piece of wood one day 😊

13 – 24 cat sketches for Mocha

Sadly, we had to say goodbye to the SketcherCat, Mocha recently.

She had been with us for 21 years, half our lives and for the whole of the Sketcher Twins lives who are now half that age. There is a huge hole in our small family and we are struggling through, but it takes time and although she was old and we knew it was coming, the pain isn’t any the less.

I have sketched Mocha many times, she was my faithful sketching buddy.

Since she left I have been sketching a cat a day for a #100catsketches project, inspired by a gift card I received. I thought it was a good way to improve creative character drawing, adding a narrative to my drawings for my picture book work.

I’m posting them on Instagram and Twitter in more detail but thought I’d group them into 12’s on here. And here is the second 12, and the one below is my last one of Mocha, which may never be finished. 😊😺

1-12 of the 100 Cat Sketches Project

13-24 of the 100 Cat Sketches Project