construction taking shape

A look up into the new shopping and hotel complex where once stood the St James Shopping Centre.

The top of Leith walk is awash with brightly coloured construction workers as the huge rebuilding of the St James shopping centre and hotel into the new St James Quarter, which is due to open later this year.

This sketch is from just by the roundabout and show the new walkway and glass entrance which will lead to the covered shopping streets within.

I remember the old shopping centre being quite dark and small, I short cut rather than a destination. From the looks of the construction so far the new ‘quarter’ will be much larger and much brighter inside.

I look forward to stepping inside soon. Find out more about what will be inside from the website below.

St James Quarter website

Wherearti Quiz – 7th JuNe

A wedge shaped corner that must be on many peoples commute this morning, but where?

Can you tell me where in Edinburgh I have sketched?

Your comment will not show up until I reveal the answer tomorrow morning. Get your answer in before 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 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 and high quality prints are available on my Etsy shop and I am available for commissions too. Email me at contact@edinburghsketcher.com for more details.

WhereArtI Quiz – 31st May

A part of Edinburgh’s skyline but can you name this cropped version?

Can you tell me where in Edinburgh I have sketched?

Your comment will not show up until I reveal the answer tomorrow morning. Get your answer in before 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 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 and high quality prints are available on my Etsy shop and I am available for commissions too. Email me at contact@edinburghsketcher.com for more details.

A trip to Elie in Fife

On Sunday the family and I took a trip over the bridge into Fife and a drive along the coast took us to Elie.

A fabulous place, beautiful and so pretty with a couple of idyllic sandy bays to explore.

It was a little colder and a little cloudier than our visit a couple of weeks ago but still so beautiful. We swam in the bay ( with our new wet suits on) and explored the rock pools before having a delicious lunch at The Ship Inn, Elie, which has this idyllic view of the bay.

I can’t wait to return, but need a kayak to take back with me. Hi

#visitscotland#visitfife#thatsfife#eliebeach#fifelife#triptotheseaside

WhereArtI Quiz – 24th May

I was on a cycle path in Edinburgh but can you name this exit, and the street it leads too?

Can you tell me where in Edinburgh I have sketched?

Your comment will not show up until I reveal the answer tomorrow morning. Get your answer in before 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 and high quality prints are available on my Etsy shop and I am available for commissions too. Email me at contact@edinburghsketcher.com for more details.

Giving thanks to the Barbers

I am giving a personal thanks to this barber for my latest #supportabusinesssketch.

As we begin to get back to a little normality we must thank all the barbers, and hairdressers for making us look more presentable!!
These guys helped my boy and I fix a diy cut recently so deserved a sketch!!

We had a good laugh and my boy James now looks very smart. Best of luck to the Gorgie Road Barbers (266 Gorgie Road) and all the businesses suddenly getting a lot busier, especially those who have to get up close and personal with their customers. It is much appreciated.

Let me know below if there’s a small independent business near you who have been a lifeline, keeping you going through the lockdown and maybe they’ll be next for one of my sketches.

Gorgie Road Barbers on FaceBook

WhereArtI Quiz – 17th May

A watercolour scene in Edinburgh, but can you place it?

Can you tell me where in Edinburgh I have sketched?

Your comment will not show up until I reveal the answer tomorrow morning. Get your answer in before 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 and high quality prints are available on my Etsy shop and I am available for commissions too. Email me at contact@edinburghsketcher.com for more details.

Charles H Mackie retospective

On Saturday 15th May the City Art Centre reopens with a retrospective of a Scottish artist we should all know about.

First off, it is great news to be seeing that the City Art Centre on Market street is reopening after the lockdowns. Home to historic and modern Scottish painting and photography, as well as contemporary art and craft, the central venue has been greatly missed.

Earlier this week I had the chance to visit their new exhibition about an extremely talented and driven Scottish artist who I hadn’t previously heard of. But I am not alone and Mackie biographer and researcher Pat Clark told me the exhibition is a long-overdue tribute to one of Scotland’s outstanding and unjustly neglected artists.

The exhibition brings both private and public pieces together and is an exclusive chance to see the artists wide range of work in one place, from small Scottish rural scenes, to large Venetian oil pieces.

Born in Aldershot and brought up in Edinburgh, Mackie traveled and painted around Europe and the UK, creating beautiful art using a wide range of materials including watercolours, wood block printing and oils.

I loved sing the original watercolours along side wood block prints of the same scene. The wood block process reminds me of more illustrative pieces, the colours are strong and bright.

I took my pad and made notes and sketches, just totally loving being in a gallery again and the injection of inspiration that gives me. Welcome back City Art Centre 🙂

Charles H. Mackie: Colour and Light runs from 15th May 2021 – 10th October 2021, at the City Art Centre, 2 Market Street, Edinburgh. Admission is free, but pre booking is essential for the time being. You can do this via the website below:

City Art Centre website

Bluebells and Nettles

Bluebells and nettles on the cycle path to school pick up this afternoon. So nice to see a tint of blue to the hedgerows just now.


I’m often asked what I draw from, a screen, real life, a photograph and the honest answer is a mixture of all three.

Day to day sketches are usually made from real life, when I suddenly get some spare time or at a live event. Commissions I often take photos to capture the angle I like and then draw from photos.


Today I wanted to stop and draw these bluebells when I saw them but didn’t have the time and so photographed them instead and sketched this from the screen at home.

All three are useful and create slightly different looking sketches. For my in person workshops I have photographs to work from too, just in case the weather isn’t great out.

Sketching Workshops

WhereArtI Quiz – 10th May 2021

A watercolour scene in Edinburgh, but can you place it?

Can you tell me where in Edinburgh I have sketched?

Your comment will not show up until I reveal the answer tomorrow morning. Get your answer in before 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 and high quality prints are available on my Etsy shop and I am available for commissions too. Email me at contact@edinburghsketcher.com for more details.

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