Tag Archives: autumn

Five trees at the Scottish Parliament

ScottishParliament_TreesI walk through this park outside the Scottish Parliament most days, but today the colours of these five trees stopped me in my tracks.


I have tried to capture their beauty in the strong November sunshine with a touch of watercolour, on top of a black ink sketch drawn on location. The concrete seats in the foreground and angled pond to the right make up a beautifully landscaped garden, which today was full of the worlds media waiting on the SNP’s White Paper for Scottish Independence. I was looking the other way 🙂



  • The Scottish Parliament


A beautiful tree, shedding leaves in Queen’s Park

TreeLeaves2This is one of my favourite trees, I have seen it in snow, rain and glorious sunshine.


I had no time to colour it this morning, so instead I’ve surrounded it with colour from the ground.

I pass this tree most days and often think I should take a photo of it in all the different seasons. Perhaps a sketch instead, I think it is the perfect shape for a tree. I’ll add colour perhaps digitally and then post them together to show the difference.


Autumn colour on Calton Hill

Autumn is at it’s best just now in Edinburgh, surrounding us with lush greens, rich reds and burnt oranges.

I’ve been carrying a pack of colourful oil pastels around with me for a week or so, since opening the box to find colours ideal to capture the changing season.

Today I headed for the nearby Canongate Kirk on the Royal Mile. I was about to sketch a few trees, which were glowing amber against the grey/green of the headstones in the graveyard, when I spotted Nelson’s Monument, surrounded by golden trees on Calton Hill .


Here is a photo taken with Calton Hill in the background. The oil pastels spread into and over each other to create a thick surface of colour. Great fun!






Autumn in the Royal Botanical Gardens of Edinburgh

AutumnLeavesCones_RBGEToday’s sketch is of a few items I gathered after a lovely walk through the Botanics on Sunday. 


Fir cones, pine needles and golden, crunchy leaves. All things which now carpet the RBGE grounds along with busy squirrels, gathering the falling acorns and stashing them out of sight. Head there just now to see the wonderful colours as the low autumn sunshine streams through the few leaves that still hang on the trees.


I could spend days, weeks there and not sketch the same scene twice. Hopefully I’ll be back soon. This sketch is drawn in fine liner ink, no pencil. With a water colour wash to finish.


  • The Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh



Autumn colours

The Sketcher family had a great afternoon playing in the leaves at the Botanics yesterday. The twins are toddling around now and were loving running through the leaves and rolling about. So good there’s a dog free place to play for them, safe they aren’t going to roll in any muck.
We brought some of the leaves back and they made collages for Granny.
We got the leaves out again this morning, now dried out and crispy – and a lot messier to play with!

Black fineliner sketch with a watercolour wash. Available to buy as an original or one of 100 numbered prints.

Leaves in water

A busy day in the office today and it was great to get outside in the fresh air for an hour at lunch. Even better to use the time sketching. I sat outside the Sottish Parliament by the water pools and drew these Autumn leaves floating on the surface. It was a challenge to capture the difference between the leaves on the surfacse and those that had sunk to the bottom. How do you reckon I did?

Below is a photo I took on location to give you some scale of my sketches, all of which are available to buy as limited prints (from £12) or as the original (from £48). Email me HERE for more details.


There is something very theraputic about sitting in a peaceful garden and looking at trees for twenty minutes.

Concentrate on the many beautiful colours as the low light flickers through the leaves, notice how the dark branches weave their contrasting path through the sky. Let out a huge sigh and wonder in the fact you are only a few feet away from the hustle and bustle of the Royal Mile.

I tinted the sketch on my PC, its the nearest I could get to the autumnal foliage.