Tag Archives: drawing

Sketching the Surgeons’ Hall Museums reopening

SurgeonsHall_ToolsoftheTradeLast week saw the hugely anticipated reopening of the Surgeons’Hall Museums after a major refurbishment, and I was there to capture the day in sketches.

Having been closed for 18 months to undergo a £4 million transformation, the new combined space houses one of the largest and most historic collections of artefacts charting the history and development of surgery. The collections include surgical instruments and artworks and one of the largest collections of anatomical specimens in the world.


I was in my element sketching from the many beautifully displayed exhibits for an hour before the doors opened to the public. My sketch above shows how the surgeons surgical instruments are displayed in one glass case.


There are many interactive displays too, I loved having a go at key hole surgery, very tricky indeed, and tying a surgeons knot. You can also take a seat at a 17th Century Anatomy Theatre in the History of Surgery Museum, and watch as a (plastic) body is dissected and explained as if you were a 17th Century student.


There were many events on throughout the day including a welcoming speech from crime writer Val McDermid and Professor Sue Black, Professor of Anatomy and Forensic Anthropology. Also there was a Crime Scene re-enactment where visitors could try and solve the clues and find a murderer.


Below are the rest of my sketches from the day for you to look through. If you would like to book myself to sketch your event then please drop me an email at contact@edinburghsketcher.com


SurgeonsHall_DoorsOpen SurgeonsHall_CrimeScene SurgeonsHall_Cafe1505 SurgeonsHall_WelcomeSpeech SurgeonsHall_WohlPathology



Admission to the Surgeons’ Hall Museums is £6 per adult, £3.50 concessions.


The Surgeons Hall Museums website

‘Current Location’, on at SummerHall until August 30th

CurrentLocation_playThis morning I was at Summerhall to see ‘Current Location’ a play by Toshiki Okada, adapted by Fellswoop Theatre.

Telling a story of one villages perhaps impending doom and how the people living within a small community deal with the loss of control and uncertainty in the air. Gripping from the offset the unknowing of who to believe under constant rumours and counter rumours rings true to real life in 2015 and pulls the audience in as if they were involved.


The play is shown in Summerhall’s large and light Dissection Room, with audience members on both sides of the room looking at each other as the actors play in between. This again pulls you in as if you are included in the discussions and decisions made. A rollercoaster of emotions ensues which should not be missed, see the links below to book your place at Current Location.


The sketch above I made immediately after I left the show, imagining the audience looking into the village and the inhabitants lives, worries and thoughts.


Summerhall website

Fellswoop Theatre

Toshiki Okada


The Sketcher Twins in pen and ink

SkecherTwins_Aug2015Here is a portrait of the Sketcher Twins during the week they began their final year in nursery.

They are are growing up quickly and were this week raring to go and excited to see all their friends at nursery.


I find drawing portraits harder than buildings, the more detail I add the older the pair seem to look. In fact they are only four and a half although here they look older. I think I’m getting better though, as with most things, practice makes perfect.



Sketching workshops at Lauriston Castle

sketchers3_fromYana_webThis summer I am running a number of sketch workshops at Lauriston Castle, in partnership with Edinburgh Council

My first day of workshops took place in July and I am very glad to say, a sell out. Marketed for families just starting their summer holidays we had a good range of ages attending, and a good range of accents as many had made the event part of their holiday in Edinburgh.


You may of seen some of the images below on my social media at the time but for those who didn’t the blue door selection was one of our subjects. I like to have a whole class focus in on a detail, such as the blue door and then see all the work together. It shows the range of styles and how each one has merits and personality.


My next day of classes is tomorrow, Saturday 15th August and although the morning session is sold out, at the time of writing there was still a few places in the afternoon. The session runs from  1-3pm and costs £20. Tickets can be booked via the Usher Hall website HERE


Below are a few more photographs from the first event. Thanks to Yana from The Green Deer company who came along on the tour and supplied the images with myself in them!

Me2_fromYana_web sketchers1_web

Book your tickets here

Lauriston Castle on facebook


EdinburghSketcher sketching workshops – on Pinterest

See photos from my latest Sketch Classes on this Pinterest board. Collected from various events I will add more as I go.


Included are ones from Lauriston Castle​ and Honey Pot Ceramics – Arts and Crafts Studio​ from over the weekend.  If you have taken any photos from the classes which you would like to add to the board send them to me at contact@edinburghsketcher.com


EdinburghSketcher sketching workshops on Pinterest

Lauriston Castle on Facebook

Honepot Ceramics Arts and Crafts on Facebook


A sketching workshop in nature

HoneyPotCeramics_outsideI am pleased to announce I will be running a one day sketching workshop in partnership the Honey Pot Arts and Crafts on Sunday July 26th.

Based in Ratho at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena, the Honey Pot studio is huge, full of arts and crafts and with double doors to a secluded garden (within a disused quarry!), means this workshop will be able to include both outdoor and indoor sketching . The above sketch is from the garden, showing the impressive quarry rock faces that surround the EICA.


So join me for 2 hours of sketching , lose yourself in a world of crosshatching and watercolour. We will forage items to draw from the garden and create beautiful compositions. Through short timed sketches and fun activities you will relax into your art and discover a natural ability to record what you see in just a few strokes.


We’ll discuss and compare the artwork before mounting our favourites to take home.


This 2 hour workshop is aimed at Families: Adults £20, children (age 5+) £6 with an accompanying paying adult, who is also sketching. To book your place call Honey Pot Arts and Crafts on 0131 3336348


Honey Pot Arts and Crafts facebook page


Below is a sketch of the interior, crammed full of ceramics, glass work, jewellery and other on going creative projects. Both sketches are in black ink with a watercolour wash.


Aged by a pencil, drawing the Sketcher twins

ZoeJames_pencilSketching the twins this afternoon over a coffee.

I seem to have sketched the twins much older than their 4 years in this pencil drawing. I’m not sure why but  for sure the more detail I seem to put into a portrait then the older the subject can look. Another skill to learn for sure is to leave well alone, to be disciplined and know when you have done enough. Not easy.


It will be interesting to look back in a few years to see if they have grown into this portrait 🙂



The WhereArtI Quiz, 15th June

ES_WAI150615Morning everyone, can you locate today’s WhereArtI and tell me where I am sketching FROM?


There are points on offer for the first three correct answers and bragging rights for a week. Keep an eye on the facebook and twitter throughout the day for clues if they are needed. Answer to come before the end of the day.


If you would like to sponsor the quiz or indeed feature in the quiz, then get in touch HERE.


Fringe Schools Poster Exhibition Launch & Prize-giving Event

MuseumofChildhood_exteriorThe Schools Poster Competition winner is announced today at the Museum of Childhood on the Royal Mile.

I will be there as guest artist to say a few words and help congratulate the winner, who as well as having their design seen across the city throughout the summer, will also receive a cash prize of £300, plus £750 for their schools art department. I can’t wait to see the designs, it is always a favourite part of my fringe, children’s art can be so pure and free. Very inspirational to a sketcher!


The competition is open to all school children, aged 5-16, across Scotland, with each child getting the same brief: to create a poster design reflecting their interpretation of the Fringe. The winning design becomes the official poster for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and is also used on a range of merchandise such as mugs, bags and t-shirts.


“I feel very honoured to be invited. Children’s art can be so pure and free”


The top three prize-winners, as well as all of the 14 Regional Winners and over 60 shortlisted entries, will be displayed in a special exhibition at the Museum of Childhood on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile throughout the summer and for the duration of the Festival Fringe, so get along to see the amazing designs from the very talented Scottish school children.


Below is one of my favourite designs from past winners, by Jennifer Worrall. Click on the EdFringe website link below to see more past winners from the competition, which has been running since 1980.




Edfringe website

Museum of Childhood website


The Scotland WhereArtI Quiz, 4th May

ES_WAI040515Welcome to the monthly Scotland WhereArtI, can you locate this week’s drawing from somewhere in this beautiful country?


I am drawing somewhere in Scotland, all you have to do is tell me where. There are points on offer for the first three correct answers and bragging rights for a week 🙂 Keep an eye on the facebook and twitter throughout the day for clues if they are needed. Answer to come before the end of the day.


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


Remember the Edinburgh version of WhereArtI runs every Monday in the Edinburgh Evening News with a fantastic prize each week. You could win a bottle of Edinburgh Gin and a tour of the Edinburgh Gin distillery in Edinburgh city centre.