Category Archives: Daily Sketch

Beautiful red stone pediment above the caledonian

I just love the detail in this stone doorway to the mighty Caledonian Hotel, now the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh.

Situated at the West End of Princes Street the red sand stone building was originally a railway station and opened in 1903. The station was closed in 1965.

It is amazing to think now, but at the time of opening there were two railway stations on Princes Street, one at either end. The other was the North British Railway station, now the Waverly and they were fierce rivals to the Caledonian Railway at the West End.

I love to find out about the details carved into building in the Victorian times and the following passage about the triangle sketched above is from the fantastic Canmore website. You can find out more about the building on their page HERE.

“The pediment over the door contains an elaborate scrolled shield carved with the coat of arms of the Caledonian Railway Company: a lion rampant. Flanking the shield are a seated male figure to left, and a seated female figure to right; their feet point towards the corners but their heads turn back to the centre. The male figure has his right hand on a model of an engine. By his left hand is a bag spilling coins. The female figure has her right hand on an open book, and her left hand on a winged wheel. Beyond the wheel is a lamp”
Canmore. National Record of the Historic Environment Scotland

Edinburgh Sick Kids Hospital closes its doors

With a move across town to join the Royal Infirmary in Little France this week everyone said good bye to their iconic building by the Meadows.

As many of you know my boy has Haemophilia and he was in and out of hospital as a baby and small child and like many families the big red building on the edge of the park holds a huge amount of emotion to Mrs Sketcher and I.

The big beautiful Victorian building is home to a world of wonder, magic and the amazing. The people who work there make wonderful things happen, and deal with heartbreak and tragedy as well as such moments of happiness and miracles every day.

One of my first sketches of the hospital, ten years ago.

For those who have had to hand over their child and trust in the people within to help there is a bond that connects you. The hospital is a place you don’t necessarily think about until you have to and then it can take over your whole world. And then once away from that situation you can forget how intense the time was, and how wonderful the people within are.

So I say a huge thank you to all those who have worked and helped out within those walls between Sciennes Road and the Meadows. And all the very best to you in your brand new hospital, and all those patients and families who will be helped in the future.

From 8am on Tuesday 23 March, all patients and any child or young person requiring access to A&E, must go to the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People at Little France

Another from 10 years ago, this one is the back entrance.

My sketch of Olly the Octopus is now available as a limited print to raise money for the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity. 50 signed and mounted prints are for sale at £20 each including UK postage. £10 from each print will go to the charity.

Buy a print here.

Spring Equinox at Lauriston CAstle

Saturday marked the Spring Equinox and the weather was marvellous in Edinburgh.

What a perfect day in Edinburgh for the #springequinox. We enjoyed a lovely walk in Lauriston Castle meeting up with friends who we haven’t seen for ages.

Spring is here and the warm weather makes such a difference to my mood , lets hope for another glorious sunshine filled spring in the capital.

I love Lauriston Castle, such a beautiful space to stretch the legs and get some well needed fresh air. See more about the 16th-century tower house which over looks the Firth of Forth at their website below.

Lauriston Castle

Online Creativity this Spring

As the lockdown continues and live workshops don’t look to be starting up again until May at the earliest, I now have two online workshops available to book.

In each one I am so glad to be working with fellow Edinburgh artists so you get two for the price of one!!

The image above is the North Bridge in Edinburgh using half of Julie Galante’s gorgeous mixed media painting and my sketch.

On Saturday 24th April mixed media artist Julie Galante and I will run a full day workshop featuring three live sessions which will guide you from simple line drawing to a finished mixed media piece. Also there is a materials kit you can order at the time of booking if you wish.

Then in May artist and teacher Cassandra Harrison will join me for three consecutive evening sessions where we will look at sketching and then using those drawings to create a collage piece.

Each session will be 75 minutes long starting at 7pm on the 4th, 11th and 18th May. Live workshops will return later in the year but in the mean time I am looking forward to these zoom session, connecting with artists online and creating new works together.

See my workshop page for more information and to book.

Stunning View from the Belford Bridge

The Water of Leith flowing into Dean Village, such a peaceful view from the Belford Bridge in Edinburgh.

This ink and watercolour drawing was originally drawn A2 size (roughly 40x60cm) and so I managed to get great detail into the trees that line the river as it meanders its way through this scene.

I love how the ivy and other plants climb up the wall and over into the gardens of these Dean Village houses. Such a calming view from the bridge and a great place to play pooh sticks 🙂

This sketch was drawn large for a client but prints are now available from my Etsy shop in two sizes – 150x100mm for £20 and 297x210mm for £34. Buy them HERE.

Coffee break sketch

I am determined to work in a few more random sketches into my day.

Not for commission, not for promotion, not for deadline. Just for me, as it brings so much joy and although I love drawing for a living and am so lucky to have clients wanting my work, sometimes it’s just so relaxing to just draw for fun 😊

Have a great weekend all, and here’s to a little more normal routine returning next week with the kids returning to school.

A Lazy Saturday Morning

iPad time on the couch.

The Sketcher Twins are getting older, 10 years old this month and I’m losing them little by little to their gadgets. But then I’m just as bad plus this morning I welcomed the chance to get my little sketching fix 🙂 Plus it’s nice listening to them giggle together.

Time to put pens and gadgets down now though and get out in that glorious sunshine. Enjoy your weekend everyone 🙂

Snowy Steps in the City

The view down Fleshmarket Close is always a favourite and recently the snow fall in Edinburgh made this view even more special.

One morning in early February I got wrapped up in extra layers, gloves and big boots on and ventured into the city. The snow had not stopped the night before and everywhere was covered with a thick layer of crisp snow.

I took probably a hundred or more photographs, every corner revealed a new picture perfect scene, places I know so well but with a new slant, a freshness and cleanness which snow can achieve.

I did try to sketch on location but with minus temperatures my fingers didn’t last long before I had to stop and return to the warmth of my studio to work.

I have a number of photos to work from so you may see more snow sketches on here as the spring arrives in Edinburgh.

This sketch can be bought as a mounted and signed print on my etsy shop HERE.

hand painted charity gift cards

My hand painted gift cards which were so popular during 2020 when visiting loved ones was so difficult, are now available for you to send again.

They proved very popular during 2020 when visiting loved ones in person was so difficult or impossible due to the pandemic travel restrictions.

Thanks to sending out hundreds of cards we made over £300 for the NHS last year which was amazing.

This year I am supporting the charity Kindred Scotland with these bespoke gift cards. Kindred are an Edinburgh charity close to my heart, as I have benefitted from them in the past.

Kindred provide practical information, advocacy, emotional support and guidance for families of children with complex needs. You can read more about them HERE.

One of many charities working hard that provide vital help to those who need it at a time when they need it most. A charity you hope you never need but if you do then you are so glad they are there.

Learn more about this 30 year old Edinburgh charity by visiting their facebook page below and if you can make a donation to help support the amazing work they do.

Kindred Scotland facebook page

You can order your original gift card now via my etsy shop and 10% of all sales will go to the charity. Each A6 card will be sent direct to your loved one and you can request a message to be handwritten to both the front and the inside. Plus you can request a flower or object of your choice for me to draw on the front.

Order your original gift card here.

Home Schooling: Science

Today’s was Science class, and James and I made towers out of sticks and sweets!!

He came up with the idea of building towers using either squares or triangles to see which were stronger.

So looking around what we had we constructed them using toothpicks and marshmallows! and then with fruit pastilles as it turned out the marshmallows weren’t the best for construction – who knew?!

It’s been a hard week with not much ES work getting done as schooling comes first, but at least it is Friday!

Enjoy the weekend parents everywhere!!