Tag Archives: art

The WhereArtI Quiz, 26th January

ES_WAI260115Happy Monday folks, here is a WhereArtI for you to ponder, do you recognise my doodle?


The 2015 leaderboard is beginning to take shape, and with points on offer for the first three correct answers all is to play for. Keep an eye on the facebook and twitter throughout the day for clues if they are needed. Answer to come this time tomorrow.


If you would like to donate a prize for the quiz or indeed feature in the quiz, then get in touch HERE.


Remember WhereArtI runs every Monday in the Edinburgh Evening News with a fantastic prize each week. You could win a bottle of Edinburgh Gin plus a tour of their city centre distillery. Buy a copy today to find out more.

A wee beastie sketch for Robert Burns

National poet of Scotland, Robert Burns was born on this day in 1759. Here I have sketched a personal favourite of his poems, ‘To A Mouse’.

Starting with the famous words ‘Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie’, the ploughman’s tale tells of a mouse’s nest which is destroyed by the plough, leaving the tiny creature vulnerable to the harsh winter despite her careful planning. Burns notes how like the mouse, man’s best-laid plans often go awry.


My sketch is in black ink with a little watercolour on the mouse. I may make it into a tea towel or framed piece on canvas. What do you think?


For more information about Robert Burns, who wrote many world famous poems, including ‘Auld Lang Syne’ and ‘A Red, Red Rose’ follow the links below.


And be sure to raise a glass to the Baird tonight, when you settle down to your haggis , neeps and tatties.





Robert Burns website

Robert Burns National Trust for Scotland



The WhereArtI Quiz, 19th January

WAI190115Morning Edinburgh, another WhereArtI for you to ponder on your commute to work. This week I am indoors, but where exactly…?


There is a brand new leader board for 2015 and with points on offer for the first three correct answers all is to play for. And keep an eye on the facebook and twitter throughout the day for clues if they are needed. Answer to come by the end of the day on Tuesday.


If you would like to donate a prize for the quiz or indeed feature in the quiz, then get in touch HERE.


Remember WhereArtI runs every Monday in the Edinburgh Evening News with a fantastic prize each week. You could win a bottle of Edinburgh Gin plus a tour of their city centre distillery. Buy a copy today to find out more.

A spooky step back in time with Mercat Tours

MercatsketchMain2Last night I entered the Blair Street Underground Vaults, deep beneath Edinburgh’s Old Town, in search of a ghost or two.

Recently I tried night sketching on Calton Hill for the Torchlight Procession, and I’m no stranger to theatre sketching in the dark, but I have never drawn from deep within Edinburgh’s underground vaults, in complete darkness except for the shimmering of a candle on the stone wall. Once a hive of trade and slum dwelling the small cave like rooms were formed in the nineteen hidden arches of the South Bridge.


According to many the rooms, some only a few feet square are still a hive of activity, with ghosts and ghouls still lurking in the labyrinth of walkways and darkened corners.  Although I didn’t witness any apparitions myself the vaults are very spooky, with distant noises leaking down from street level and flickering candlelight creating menacing shadows on the walls.


My sketch above is of our guide, Alex in one of the haunted vault rooms. Below are a couple of quick sketches from above ground as Alex led us through the Old Town, plus the sketch from above before I darkened the outside edges digitally.


Take a look beneath the streets of Edinburgh if you dare with Mercat Tours, you will learn alot about Edinburgh’s history, and may even meet one of its late inhabitors.


Mercat Tours website

More about Edinburgh’s Vaults from Wikipedia

Mercatsketch1 Mercatsketch2



Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Blogmanay, Day 3

Fireworks_blogmanay2014Happy New Year! I hope you all had a great night. I was sketching at the world famous Edinburgh Street Party with over 80,000 revellers from around the globe.


Armed with my torch light, pen and watercolours I set off into the crowded streets of Edinburgh to see what I could capture in my sketchpad. If you follow me on twitter, Instagram or facebook you may of seen quick snaps of my sketches in your timeline but here I have scanned them for better quality.


With so much on offer this year it was hard to decide where to start. Thankfully the #blogmanay media centre was at the Assembly Hall right next to the Hot Dub Time Machine stage on the Mound. Anthem after anthem was blasted out over the cheering crowd which was jumping all the way down to Princes Street. The Sketch above shows the stage and behind it the Museum on the Mound. I could of stayed there all night very happy.



Instead I made my way down the Mound and into the Princes Street Gardens concert just as Soul II Soul were singing ‘Keep on Moving’ underneath Edinburgh Castle. I positioned myself high up towards the back and sketched the stage with the castle above.


After a short break and a word or two from compare Grant Stott (who did an excellent job as ever) Lily Allen took the stage for the main event. Belting out her well known pop tunes Lily didn’t disappoint and as she left the stage for the countdown the crowd were going wild.


For the first time the Castle was lit with different colours for each second in the final moments of 2014 as thousands of people counted down together. The fireworks were amazing of course, truly spectacular and being in the Gardens it seemed like they were going off all around me. I sketched away trying my best to capture each explosion!


I’d like to thank the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay team for helping me with access, it was a great experience and a terrific way to start 2015. I hope you enjoyed my sketching 🙂


Edinburgh’s Hogmanay

Edinburgh’s Christmas

Hot Dub Time Machine




Stockbridge Commission

StockbridgeMontageOne of my favourite Christmas commissions this year was this montage of Stockbridge, a beautiful area of Edinburgh close to the Water of Leith and full of interesting wee shops and relaxing places to walk.


Before starting a sketch like this I create the montage of photographs either taken by myself or supplied by the client. This one includes a family photo, a favourite walk, the main street in Stockbridge and the family home. Once happy with the composition I run it past the client before sketching begins.


If you would like to commission a similar illustration then get in touch via email at contact@edinburghsketcher.com or you can phone me at 07870991678. Prices start at £65.


A field of light in St Andrew Square

FieldofLightThe Field of Light art installation currently in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh.


Yesterday, whilst waiting for my ride on the Edinburgh Tram I sat in St Andrew Square and realised I hadn’t sketched the Field of Light, a wonderful art installation by Bruce Munro. I doodled this wee black ink sketch with watercolour wash whilst enjoying a coffee in the sunshine.


I know for many the Field of Light only comes to life in the dark, when each of the small ‘flower heads’ lights up to illuminate the area in swaying balls of colour. But for me I think I prefer it in the daylight, the heavy heads bobbling in the breeze creating a more realistic if slightly robotic summer meadow. What do you think?


Be sure to have a look before 27th April, when the Field will move on to another destination.



  • Bruce Munro website


Museum of surprises

MuseumofEdinburghI discovered a wonderful room of creativity, and a fascinating story at the Museum of Edinburgh.

I took the kids to the fantastic Museum of Edinburgh today, and didn’t want to leave. The story of Edinburgh is told in detail charting the rise of the Old and New Towns through film, recreations and beautiful four hundred year old exhibits.


But my true new discovery was the wonderful activity rooms they have for families. On one level a small reading and colouring room over looks the Canongate Kirk. Along the corridor of higgledy piggledy old rooms lies a room full of art materials and activity sheets available. Shelves full of paper of all colours, crayons, pens and pencils surround a large table all ready to be used. We never made it to the dressing up room further along!


Amazing, I’ll be there all the time… with or without the kids 🙂 PS If you do use the art materials on offer do make a donation so they can restock.



  • The Edinburgh Museums website



Scottish tour for this mobile art gallery

ArtBusI spotted this bus beside the City Art Centre, on Market Street. Preparing to leave on a tour of Scotland, ‘The Travelling Gallery’ will be available in Edinburgh until Friday, 30th August.


Parked in a space which made me think it must of been lowered in by helicopter (well done driver!), the bus is a custom-built, contemporary art space. Inspired by the Year of Natural Scotland, the Travelling Gallery’s autumn exhibition presents an alternative view of the Scottish landscape, through works by artists with a diverse range of practices.

Supported by Creative Scotland, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the City of Edinburgh Council, the Travelling Gallery brings art to schools and communities throughout Scotland.


The dates in Edinburgh and then further afield are below. Do try and catch the show when it passes by, it is both thought provoking and beautiful.



Fri 23 Aug: City Art Centre, 2 Market Street, 11am – 6pm

Sat 24 Aug: City Art Centre, 2 Market Street, 11am – 6pm

Tue 27 Aug: Hawes Promenade, South Queensferry, 11am – 5pm

Wed 28 Aug: Festival Square, Lothian Road, 11am – 5pm

Thur 29 Aug: Drylaw Neighbourhood Centre,67b Groathill Road North, 2pm – 5pm

Fri 30 Aug: High Street, Portobello (Outside Bank of Scotland), 11am – 5pm



2-13 Sept: Highlands

16-20 Sept: Lewis and Harris

23-24 Sept: Uists

28 Sept-3 Oct: Shetland

7-11 Oct: Perth & Kinross

21-25 Oct: Renfrewshire

28 Oct-8 Nov: – South Ayrshire

11-15 Nov: Midlothian

18-22 Nov: Renfrewshire

25-29 Nov: Edinburgh

3-7 Dec: Angus

10 Dec: West Lothian

For more information about The Travelling Gallery visit their website HERE.