WhereArtI Quiz

Monday 18th January

Can you tell me where in Edinburgh I have sketched?

Still in the boundaries but not in the centre…

Leave your answer in the comment box below.

Your comment will not show up until I reveal the answer. Closing time for entering is midnight tonight and I will pick a random winner from all correct entries by this time tomorrow.

This week’s prize is a screen printed tea towel featuring my illustration of the Victoria Street.

Keep an eye on my facebook and twitter feeds for clues if they are needed later today, and remember you can also see my weekly competition in the printed version of the Edinburgh Evening News each Monday.

Keep looking up and noticing the beauty in the everyday, you never know where I will be sketching next!

My Edinburgh sketched merchandise is available on my Etsy shop and although I am fully booked for Christmas commissions there are plenty of Edinburgh prints available.

Urban Sketching with Cassandra and Mark
Join in my fortnightly online workshops with Edinburgh artist Cassandra Harrison. These Zoom workshops will restart in the new year, on February 9th and then continue on the first and third Tuesday of every month, from 7pm – 8.15pm

Snow fall in Edinburgh

On the second of January I woke early to find a new snow fall had dusted Edinburgh with a coating of what looked like icing sugar on a Victorian film set.

I dressed quickly and headed into town, eager to see the city centre streets before too many footprints and tyre tracks had muddied the white stuff. I walked up through Stockbridge taking photographs at every corner. So many views that look so different, fresh and clean with snow on the floor.

As I passed through the New Town I had to stop and make a quick drawing, I sat on a Georgian step and looked across Forres Street around the corner of Moray Place Gardens. Such a perfect scene with the stunning architecture, railings and lamps rising out of the snow!

After finishing my piece I walked up onto Princes Street taking more photos to work from, and trying to get the blood back into my fingers!

Enjoy the winter snow fall everyone 🙂

I later added a sledger being pulled across the road as an idea for a Christmas card for next year:

Bringing Festive Cheer to the Streets

A new #supportabusinesssketch for the new year and this beautiful shiny shop front is the Mark David Salon in Henderson Row.

During the festive break the Sketcher family when out on our daily walk would pass by Henderson Row frequently on a circle rout through Stockbridge and Inverleith Park.

This shop front (at 83 Henderson Row) always caught our eyes, with beautiful baubles and flowers, and a nutcracker drummer model, at first I thought it was a florist there were som many flowers and plants outside.

But this is home to the Mark David Salon and they provide a huge range of treatments and pampering, relaxation and escapism for both men and women, something which is very well needed for everyone just now!

Double check on their website for up to date details about the latest restrictions due to the pandemic, and when they can take appointments again.

https://www.markdavidsalon.com/

I am using my #supportabusinesssketch drawings to give a little boost to the independent businesses which make Edinburgh so special, especially during the current pandemic and lock down restrictions.
Also I am drawing each one in a new style of pencil and watercolour, which makes them quite distinctive and different to my usual ink drawings. See more of the support a business sketches by clicking HERE.

The WhereArtI Quiz

Monday 11th January

Can you tell me where in Edinburgh I have sketched?

A glimpse at a view through a passage, but where in the city?

Leave your answer in the comment box below.

Your comment will not show up until I reveal the answer. Closing time for entering is midnight tonight and I will pick a random winner from all correct entries by this time tomorrow.

This week’s prize is a screen printed tea towel featuring my illustration of the city.

Keep an eye on my facebook and twitter feeds for clues if they are needed later today, and remember you can also see my weekly competition in the printed version of the Edinburgh Evening News each Monday.

Keep looking up and noticing the beauty in the everyday, you never know where I will be sketching next!

My Edinburgh sketched merchandise is available on my Etsy shop and although I am fully booked for Christmas commissions there are plenty of Edinburgh prints available.

Urban Sketching with Cassandra and Mark
Join in my fortnightly online workshops with Edinburgh artist Cassandra Harrison. These Zoom workshops will restart in the new year, on February 9th and then continue on the first and third Tuesday of every month, from 7pm – 8.15pm

My 2020 Top Ten Sketches

In December the Edinburgh Evening News and Scotsman papers ran my top ten sketches of 2020

2020 is a year that most may want to forget. It is also one that we should remember when many of us took time to reflect, to stop and slow down a bit. For me, looking back through this years sketches brings back happy memories of family time and finding new ways to make my art and connect with people. 

Below are my personal favourites from the past twelve months and I look forward to sharing my sketches in 2021, hopefully with more crowds and live events. Keep playing the WhereArtI quiz every Monday on my website and in the printed Edinburgh Evening News. Thank you for your continued support. Mark, ES

1. Meadows Blossom

The year started so innocently, I was full of enthusiasm for a fresh start and trying new ways to make art, and this watercolour of the Meadows blossom was an experiment in not using the black ink as usual, instead light pencil and watercolour. 

2. Just To Say gift cards

And then, due to the Covid 19 outbreak, we went into lockdown early in March. At first I wondered what to do and how to continue my artwork from home. I thought a lot about how people couldn’t see each other anymore and wanted a way to help people connect with each other through art. I created individualised hand painted gift cards with personal messages on them. 

They were very popular and by giving a percentage to the NHS Covid fund I was able to donate over £350 and also keep myself busy through those early days. 

3. Lockdown Bedroom / Office

As lockdown continued I sketched from my house, capturing homeschooling and our daily walks, regular life which I could share to show how most of us were going through a similar experience. I know many people related to this sketch of my bedroom/office. 

4. Empty Princes Street

Once we could take longer daily walks I ventured into the city centre and it was amazing to see how empty the streets were. With all the shops closed and the buses not running this was the scene on Princes Street. 

5. NHS Rainbow Windows

For my family one of the highlights of our daily walks around our area was seeing the colourful and creative rainbow windows people were displaying in the houses. They were great to spot and also a reminder of how the community was going through this pandemic together. 

6. Zoom Workshops

Like many people I hadn’t heard of Zoom before 2020, but during lockdown I used it for home schooling and also for a new venture with fellow artist Cassandra Harrison. Together we started a fortnightly online art workshop where people can join in and draw together from anywhere in the world, so long as they had connection to the internet. It has been a learning curve but great to be in touch and drawing together again. This sketch is of the Usher Hall, drawn from a photograph using charcoal. 

7. Festival Cancelled

For the first time in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe’s seven-decade history there was of course no Fringe program in August. Knowing how busy and full of life the Royal Mile usually is at that time it was so strange to see it deserted. This watercolour captured the sombre mood as well as a passer by wearing a face mask, which at the time were still quite rare. 

8. Water of Leith

During the lockdown my outdoor sketching was practically non existent, with no sketching workshops to run or live events to cover it was hard not having that outlet. This sketch from the Water of Leith near Stockbridge was one of my first where I could just relax, take my time and capture the views in front of me again. It was great to be back!

9. Support A Business Sketch 

As the shops started to reopen in Edinburgh, I started visiting the few independent gift shops that sell my city merchandise. It was a pretty grim tale as although most were glad to be open again and able to sell, customers were still uneasy about returning to shopping on the high street and so business was slow for many.

I thought I could support local independent businesses by sketching their shop fronts and sharing them through my social media to highlight the need for support through the local community in order to survive. I continue to do this using the hashtag #supportasmallbusinesssketch

10. Leith Theatre

Another industry heavily affected by the lockdown is the theatre and events industry.I was recently commissioned to spend a few days sketching Leith Theatre, which is currently empty and falling into disrepair. I spent a couple of days capturing both the inside and out of this beautiful venue. This watecolour was drawn in the main hall. 

The WhereArtI Quiz

Monday 4th January

Can you tell me where in Edinburgh I have sketched?

A skyline changing fast, but where?

Leave your answer in the comment box below.

Your comment will not show up until I reveal the answer. Closing time for entering is midnight tonight and I will pick a random winner from all correct entries by this time tomorrow.

This week’s prize is a screen printed tea towel featuring my illustration of the Shore in Leith.

Keep an eye on my facebook and twitter feeds for clues if they are needed later today, and remember you can also see my weekly competition in the printed version of the Edinburgh Evening News each Monday.

Keep looking up and noticing the beauty in the everyday, you never know where I will be sketching next!

My Edinburgh sketched merchandise is available on my Etsy shop and although I am fully booked for Christmas commissions there are plenty of Edinburgh prints available.

Urban Sketching with Cassandra and Mark
Join in my fortnightly online workshops with Edinburgh artist Cassandra Harrison. These Zoom workshops will restart in the new year, on February 9th and then continue on the first and third Tuesday of every month, from 7pm – 8.15pm

Wherearti Edinburgh?

Monday 28th December

Can you tell me where I have sketched?

A beautiful Victorian building hidden along a residential street in Edinburgh.

Leave your answer in the comment box below.

Your comment will not show up until I reveal the answer. Closing time for entering is midnight tonight and I will pick a random winner from all correct entries by this time tomorrow.

This week’s prize is a screen printed tea towel featuring my illustration of the Shore in Leith.

Keep an eye on my facebook and twitter feeds for clues if they are needed later today, and remember you can also see my weekly competition in the printed version of the Edinburgh Evening News each Monday.

Keep looking up and noticing the beauty in the everyday, you never know where I will be sketching next!

My Edinburgh sketched merchandise is available on my Etsy shop and although I am fully booked for Christmas commissions there are plenty of Edinburgh prints available.

Urban Sketching with Cassandra and Mark
Join in my fortnightly online workshops with Edinburgh artist Cassandra Harrison. These Zoom workshops will restart in the new year, on February 9th and then continue on the first and third Tuesday of every month, from 7pm – 8.15pm

WhereArtI Edinburgh?

Monday 21st December

Can you tell me where I have sketched?

Do you recognise this view over the water?

Leave your answer in the comment box below.

Your comment will not show up until I reveal the answer. Closing time for entering is midnight tonight and I will pick a random winner from all correct entries by this time tomorrow.

This week’s prize is a screen printed tea towel featuring my illustration of the Shore in Leith.

Keep an eye on my facebook and twitter feeds for clues if they are needed later today, and remember you can also see my weekly competition in the printed version of the Edinburgh Evening News each Monday.

Keep looking up and noticing the beauty in the everyday, you never know where I will be sketching next!

My Edinburgh sketched merchandise is available on my Etsy shop and although I am fully booked for Christmas commissions there are plenty of Edinburgh prints available.

Urban Sketching with Cassandra and Mark
Join in my fortnightly online workshops with Edinburgh artist Cassandra Harrison. These Zoom workshops will restart in the new year, on February 9th and then continue on the first and third Tuesday of every month, from 7pm – 8.15pm

huge thanks to the busy post office workers

This is Boswall Drive Post Office, my local daily destination as I send out commissions and Etsy orders for Christmas.

My latest #SupportABusinessSketch is for not just my local post office but for all postal workers who are all so busy just now.

Like many post offices Boswall Drive is a family run business providing groceries and all sorts of essentials but at this time of year the post office counter takes over.

Thanks for all the help you are giving local small businesses and everyone sending messages of love to those they cannot be with in person at this time of year.

This sketch and all my #supportabusinesssketch ‘s are drawn only in pencil and watercolour for a slightly blurred effect. I am using these sketches to practice this technique.

https://www.royalmail.com/services-near-you/post-office/boswall-drive-eh5-2be

Steps on a shortcut

A link between streets and some beautiful iron work hidden away from the main road.

These steps at the top of Easter Road where once a twice daily sight for me as I walked to and from work. I love the iron work and the fact they are hidden away at the bottom on a dead end street.

Just by the previous primary school, which is now Abbeymount Studios, these steps lead up from West Norton Place to Melrose Terrace, providing a small short cut from Easter Road into Abbeyhill.

I have walked the street in all weathers and t all times of the year, but this week I drove up the road and sat to draw this sketch in the warmth!

You can buy a signed print of this sketch HERE

Sketches, news and family life in Scotland's capital city.