Tag Archives: Calton Hill

Calton Hill, from the Canongate Kirk Yard

CanongateKirkyardGraveyards can be beautiful places to draw in, the contrast between precise stone sculpture and overgrown, wild, natural habitation has always been a favourite for art students.

I am often to be found sketching in church yards around Edinburgh and over the years Canongate Kirk on the Royal Mile has become a favourite of mine. When I first started drawing for a living I sketched the kirk quite often for wedding stationary and invites for clients due to be married at the 17th-century church.


Current building work being carried out behind the Kirk may well change this view which I sketched last summer. I hope not too much as the view over to Calton Hill and the Old Royal High School is delightful.


Below is a sketch of the front of the Canongate Kirk, both drawn in black ink with a watercolour wash.




Canongate Kirk website


Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Blogmanay, Day 2

TorchLight_blogmanay2014Yesterday was another fun filled day for #blogmanay including a trip out to Murrayfield on the tram and the Torchlight Procession up Calton Hill.

Sketching on top of Calton Hill in the pitch black darkness with only my pen light and a the flicking light from the flaming torches around me was a challenge to say the least. The sketch above is the result, I even managed to add a watercolour wash before returning to Princes Street with the other 30,000+ walkers that helped create a river a fire through Edinburgh’s main thoroughfare.


With twinkling lights shining over from Fife in the distance those that climbed onto Calton Hill were treated to a huge bonfire, a mesmerising light and sound show before an amazing display of fireworks that seemed so close that we were up in the sky amongst them.




Earlier in the day I visited the Edinburgh Rugby team to see them training before their match on Friday night against Glasgow. I’ll be back to watch them hopefully win that game on Friday night but yesterday the sunset was so beautiful I drew from outside the stadium. The sketch above shows part of the world famous ground to the right, silhouetted against the golden sky. To the right you can see the tram lines that take supporters into Edinburgh centre.


Edinburgh’s Hogmanay

Edinburgh’s Christmas

The Murrayfield Experience

Edinburgh Rugby


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!






Thanks to the car, a new view from the bike

Calton Hill from Queen's Park
Calton Hill from Queen’s Park

Today I had to take the car into the garage. I am now awaiting the dreaded call to tell me what is wrong with it and how much it will cost to put it right.

But on the plus side I put the bike in the boot and cycled from Seafield to work in between Queen’s Park and Arthur’s Seat. This was my view through the park to Calton Hill, with Holyrood Palace below and the old Royal High School to the left.

Now, fingers crossed for some relatively good news from the garage…

Summer flyer anyone?

Would anyone like to commission artwork for a flyer this summer?

I  know Easter is yet to arrive but the Edinburgh Festival is only just around the corner, and the streets will once more be awash with promotional flyers fighting for your attention.

Thousands of shows will be on offer throughout the city and each one will have an A6 shiny piece of paper to promote their act.

So plenty of business for me then!

Here is one I mocked up today, don’t get too excited as the info isn’t real, sorry.

I can incorporate the star of the show into the city, or perhaps infront of the venue.

And all in my distinct Edinburgh Sketcher style. What could be better? 😉

Happy Friday everyone #FF

Down the barrel

…of one of  Edinburgh Castles cannons. Today my wife and I took the twins for their first visit to a very windy Edinburgh Castle, taking advantage of the St Andrews Day free entrance offer.

The kids loved looking at the medals, swords and armour on display. But best of all must be the amazing views of Edinburgh and the surrounding countryside from the thick stone walls that once protected the castle from attackers.

Like this view towards Calton Hill and Nelson’s Tower. I have again added a little watercolour to give the sketch some life.  What do you think?

Stunning side street

I was in a grump today, nothing was going right and all seemed to be going wrong.

I took a walk up the High street at lunch time, I needed to pick up a postal tube to mail an illustration. I ended up going to three shops before finding one, by which time I was late and had no time to send it. I was heading back to the office when I looked to see this view of Nelson’s Tower on Calton Hill, between two buildings on the Royal Mile.

Looking splendid this afternoon in the November sunshine, Nelson’s Tower was built between 1807 and 1815 to commemorate Nelson’s victory over the French and Spanish fleets at the battle of Trafalgar.

Short on time I took a photo and sketched this image later, just in black ink. Here is a close up of the tower to show the detail.