Category Archives: Daily Sketch

A view through the Botanics

A stunning view on today’s walk through the Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh.

Out on my walk today and I had to stop and try and capture this view through the botanical gardens. Looking back through the trees to the Chinese gardens you can see the three spires of St Mary’s Cathedral in the distance.

Inverleith House is just around the corner on the right, with the gallery and cafe too. I love a walk through the ever changing gardens, and think of myself very lucky to have such a walk near to home.

Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh website.

Workshops are back

This week I was joined by a bunch of eager sketches to draw nature in the park.

It is so good to be back running sketching workshops again with Arienas Collective. We have the perfect, homely base right in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town and it’s so good to just head out with sketchpads and watercolours in hand, and to share a few tips and practices about the art I make and to see others inspired and truly proud of what they achieve.

Let’s hope this is a long spring summer of sketching in the Scottish outdoors. Have a look at my Workshops page for upcoming dates and I am also available for one to one sessions and private groups.

Below are a few of the pieces made by last week’s create bunch. The next one is on Sunday, and is all about easy ways to capture perspective.

Arienas Collective website

The end of an era

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. So here is the first 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

Dinosaurs are back at the Zoo, and bigger than ever

This Easter sees the release of some impressive prehistoric beasts at Edinburgh Zoo, and I was asked to take a sneak peek.

Who doesn’t love a dinosaur? Well the sketcher clan loves anything to do with them and we have been on many a fossil dig before, and seen many dinosaur bones over the years but they still hold such wonder and intrigue.

Even more so when you can touch and see them up close, realise their scale and imagine being opposite such creatures when they were alive.

I love the big ones, like the Brachiosaurus above, towering above the food trailers below. But I also sketched a couple of squabbling Parasaurolophus, headbutting eat other – which maybe reminded me of my kids!

The dinosaurs are included in a general Zoo admission ticket and you can find more details at the Edinburgh Zoo website.

Art to the rescue

I needed a little art therapy this morning after a hard weekend

A little distraction for an hour or so helps and drawing has given me that plenty of times over the years.

I drove along to Newhaven after the school drop off but although the sun is strong the air is still cold here in Edinburgh so I drew the view from my car.

It didn’t really matter the subject although I do like the shadow this van makes 😊

Take care, have a good day. ES

75th Edinburgh International Festival launches

This morning I was down at Commercial Quay to capture the launch of this years festival and anniversary flag.

Scottish Ballet principal dancer Marge Hendrick posed holding the flag above her head as press photographers clicked their cameras and I scribbled the scene.

It was cold in the capital though so I do admit my hands went numb and I added the colour back in my car!

The festival, which celebrates 75 years of bringing culture from around the world together will kick off with a joyful celebration of Australian and Scottish culture: Macro – A fusion of circus, dance and music which will be a free event at the BT Murrayfield Stadium on Friday 8th August.

Other highlights include The Pulse, which is a mixture of acrobatics, choir and live orchestra that sounds jaw dropping. And of course Burn with Alan Cumming exploring the true character of Scotland’s national bard.

There will be so much to choose from and I cannot wait, I need the buzz of the festival this year, and I am sure I am not alone. The city full of artists from around the world, all excited to perform and city visitors all eager to see them. So exciting, welcome back Edinburgh International Festival.

Booking opens to everyone at 10am on Friday 8 April, and you can book and find out more about the full programme via the EIF website here.

Looking to the night sky

The recent #WormMoon which has been distracting me the past few nights.

I used binoculars to follow its path across the night sky tonight, so beautiful, so amazing to see all the creators and markings. How amazing, and terrifying it would be to look back at earth from up there.

Thanks to friend Katie, or Ktp_kaptures who has steadier hands than I and caught the amazing photo I sketched from.

The John Muir Grove

A beautiful circle of Redwoods rising like columns into the tree canopy, this quiet part of the RBGE is wonderful.

Often used as a place to be married and I can see why, the magnificent redwoods create quite a cathedral of nature as you stand beneath them, just off the path through the Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh.

I am lucky to live close by and the ever changing gardens are a favourite place for me to come and draw, surrounded by nature but within the heart of the city.

This drawing is available as a print through my etsy shop HERE.

Sciennes Jewish Burial Ground

Established in 1816 this hidden away small plot of land was once the only Jewish burial ground in Scotland.

I pass by here often on the way to sketch stockist Art & Craft Collective on Causewayside, and have often peered through the railings and seen the strong sunshine lighting up the deteriorated headstones.

This time though I stopped to scribble the scene and try and capture that light on this scared place, which hasn’t been used for a burial since 1867.

Signed and mounted prints of this sketch can be purchased on my Etsy shop HERE.

Support for a new statue

Hopefully soon there will be a new statue on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, for Dr Elsie Inglis.

For #internationalwomensday today I’ve sketched my support for a statue to Dr Elsie Inglis, a Scottish doctor, surgeon, teacher, suffragist, and founder of the Scottish Women’s Hospitals, one of which stood on this site on the Royal Mile.

A campaign to raise £50k for ‘A Statue for Elsie Inglis.’ has begun and a group of enthusiastic Elsie Inglis supporters are on a mission to kickstart this campaign with a number of special events across Edinburgh, which famously has more statues of animals than women!

The design for the new potential statue is not finalised yet but I like the idea of a walking Elsie, on the ground rather than a plinth and slightly larger than everyone else at around 7 or 8 feet tall. Just walking through the Edinburgh crowds on the way up the Royal Mile, just as she once did.

Find out more about the cause here:

This pencil and watercolour sketch which measures 7 x 7 inches, is now available as a framed original (13 inch square in the frame) for £75 including UK delivery. All £75 from this sale will go to the ‘A Statue for Elsie Inglis’ appeal.
Email me for more details at