Tag Archives: city

Free workshops on Aberdeen’s Granite Mile

This Sunday I will be running FREE sketching workshops on Aberdeen’s ‘Granite Mile’ Union Street. And we still have a few places available for the morning session.

Working with Aberdeen Council I will run two walking and sketching sessions as part of their Union Street CARS sketching workshops, taking place throughout September providing an opportunity for participants to get creative and observe the wonderful heritage of the city centre.

If you would like to come along there is no experience necessary and I will bring all the materials you need for a gentle introduction to capturing your surroundings with ink and watercolours.

Book here

WhereArtI? Quiz – 11th October

A city centre detail, look up and you may see this one

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.

Workshops in the city

Last week I was back at the City Art Centre with a sketching workshop to tie into their current exhibition: Classical Edinburgh.

I was asked to run a couple of workshops to tie in with the Classical Edinburgh exhibition of photographs which is free to see until Sunday 8th March at the Market Street gallery.

This exhibition is a celebration of Edinburgh’s neo-classical architecture, as seen through the eyes of two architectural photographers, working half a cen­tury apart. Edwin Smith (1912-72), and Colin McLean who has spent the last two years re-interpreting Smith’s evocative black and white images. 

I used the stunning images to kick off some sketching, picking out certain features and tones to make often very detailed views seem simpler to tackle with pen and paper.

The results were amazing (the above sketches were by those attending) and the two sessions were very enjoyable, with all my workshoppers leaving with a few completed drawings one of which they mounted in a card frame.

I will be running another two sessions the day before the exhibition ends on Saturday March 7th and if you want to join me the £28 ticket (£18 for children 7-15 yrs) which includes all materials needed plus a hot beverage can be booked via the link below.

Capturing Classical Edinburgh at the City Art Centre – 2.5 hour sketch tour

More information about the exhibition can be found here:

Classical Edinburgh, 9 November 2019 to 8 March 2020 at the City Art Centre.

WhereArtI this week?

Monday 27th January 2020

Can you tell me where I have sketched?

I was sheltering from the rain, looking out from inside.

Leave your answer in the comment box below. Your comment will not show up until I reveal the answer tomorrow.

I will pick a random winner from all correct entries on Tuesday morning, and they will go on to the ‘Winners wall’ for the month. At the end of the month one of those on the wall will be picked to receive a prize.

The prize for January is one of my screen printed tea towels featuring a sketch of Edinburgh castle.

Your comment will not show up until the winner is announced. Keep an eye on my facebook and twitter feeds for clues if they are needed later today, and I will pick a winner for the Winners Wall tomorrow afternoon.

I hope you join us to play along and keep looking up and noticing the beauty in the everyday, you never know where I will be sketching next!

If you would like to buy a tea towel you can find them in my Etsy shop.

FiveTelegrams brings the 2018 Edinburgh International Festival to life in style

My sketch from the amazing opening event of the Edinburgh International Festival where a stunning light show was projected onto the Usher Hall in front of 15,000 onlookers. 

I was lucky enough to be invited onto the press platform to capture this sketch live during the evening. 

Celebrating Scotland’s Year of Young People and reflecting on the centenary of the end of the Great War the light show was split in to four separate sections, each seeming to swallow up the Usher Hall and surround the audience in sound and illusion.

I love the fact this is a free event to open the Edinburgh International Festival is now a regular occurrence and if you didn’t get chance to see it this year I recommend looking out for next years spectacle. This year for the first time  actors in the audience lit lanterns and sang to the atmospheric music creating an all encompassing sound which made me feel quite emotional, adding to a sense of wonder and inspiration I felt by the end.

Lothian road was completely closed off a couple of hours before the show and as Festival Square and the road in front of the Usher Hall began to fill with the lucky ticket holders I started to draw my sketch in black ink. I added all the detail as darkness began to fall saving only the watercolour wash to add once the show began.

I am currently having a limited number of signed giclee prints made of this piece so if you are interested in finding out more leave a comment below.

A familiar site from my walk into Edinburgh

Black Bull LeithStThe famous Black Bull pub on Leith Street, opposite the current building site that was St James’ Hotel and shopping centre.

I’ve lived in both the East and West of Edinburgh and when I stayed in Pilrig Street just off Leith Walk this was a daily sight as I made my way from Leith Walk to Princes Street.

Many of you will recognise this basement bar and entrance steps from the Trainspotting opening credits as Renton runs through the city streets. Not much has changed on the exterior, apart from the lettering now on the railings.

The bar is an iconic Edinburgh location so I am glad to finally capture it in ink and watercolour. This original piece was made for a commission but mounted prints are available for £18 (100x150mm) or £32 (210x290mm) from the shop link below.

Also if you would like to commission your own piece of Edinburgh Sketcher art then email me HERE, prices start at £65.

Black Bull prints to buy.

The Black Bull website

A new view and a fresh perspective

Edinburgh from Corstorphine HillThis afternoon I went for a walk up Corstophine Hill, looking for a new view of Edinburgh which had been recommended to me some time ago.

It is always good to get a fresh perspective on life, I often walk up Arthurs Seat in Edinburgh to get some fresh air, fill the lungs and stretch the legs. It gives you chance to take stock, time to think about things and hopefully come back down more able to rationalise your problems and look at finding solutions in a fresh state of mind.

The walk up to this view from the Queensferry Road car park took around an hour and I passed the Corstophine Tower on route and also got a little lost! After asking a few friendly dog walkers the way I soon found what I was looking for, and what a stunning view of the Edinburgh.

I recommend taking a walk up the the Rest And Be Thankful spot yourself, it is marked on the map in the car park too. I can’t think of a better situated bench in the city!

This sketch was drawn with aink fineliner and waterclolour added with a waterbrush. 



Dome sketching from an Edinburgh roof terrace garden

mcewan-hall-from-nms-roof2It is one of my favourite views in Edinburgh, with a 360 degree vista of the city skyline.

If you are visiting the National Museums of Edinburgh on Chambers Street be sure to take the lift and or steps to their roof top terrace for an unparalleled 360 degree view of Scotlands wonderful capital city.

I was visiting to take some photographs of Edinburgh Castle for a new artwork, but whilst there I captured this of the McEwan Hall dome popping up over the terrace wall.

The McEwan Hall is the graduating hall of the University of Edinburgh, and is where I graduated some years ago. The building was presented to the University in 1897 by William McEwan, brewer and politician.

Next time you are on Chambers Street take a look from the top and see if you can name all the steeples and domes of Edinburgh.

National Museums Scotland website

University of Edinburgh website

Pen and Ink on Queens Drive, Edinburgh

arthursseatroadRecently I was commissioned to draw this view from Arthurs Seat, as Edinburgh emerges from Queen’s Park as you drive/walk/cycle around the city’s extinct volcano.

I am often asked what is my favourite view of Edinburgh and this is always in my top five (the favourite changes constantly depending on where I have been sketching) as I love the way the city opens up as you climb and turn the corner.

A must see and a great cycle in the centre of town Queen’s Drive climbs and circles Arthurs Seat, passing Dunsappie Loch before being rewarded with this fantastic view.

Sketch drawn on location in black ink. Commissions start at £65, email me at contact@edinburghsketcher.com for more information.

Arthurs Seat on Historic Enviroment Scotland website


Sketching Stafford Street in stages.

StaffordStPHOTO_1Yesterday I drew a scene from Edinburgh’s West End, and posted photographs online as the drawing took shape.

Standing on the corner of Stafford and Melville Street, looking towards Shandwick Place I noticed the architectural angles directing me along the Edinburgh street. In a rush I took a photo to sketch from later.


Here are the four stages of my illustration which shows some of the process as I sketch. Although I often don’t draw in pencil if out and about, favouring the speed of using the pen straight away.


StaffordStPHOTO_2 StaffordStPHOTO_3 StaffordStPHOTO_4