Tag Archives: Edinburgh Castle

Buy a limited print commissioned to mark 10 years since the Make Poverty History march in Edinburgh

MakePovertyHistoryTen years ago today world leaders came to Edinburgh for the G8 summit, and with them around hundreds of thousands of demonstrators who marched through the city in the hope of forcing those leaders to cancel world debt.

On July 2nd 2005, 200,000 people caused Edinburgh to come to a standstill, as the Make Poverty History march wound its way along Princes Street. To celebrate I have created this ink and watercolour illustration of the crowds on the capitals main thoroughfare, with Edinburgh Castle in the background.


There will only be 250 high quality signed prints made, they will cost £28 each and measure 28 x 28cm. £10 from each print will go to Jubilee Scotland to fund their campaign for debt justice.


Buy your copy HERE.


The original ink and watercolour illustration is available, framed for £250, with 50% going to Jubilee Scotland. Email medirect if you would like to purchase the original.



Jubilee Scotland

More about the lead up to the march in 2005 from Edinburgh Evening News


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




The perfect view for breakfast in Edinburgh

Apex_InternationalA visit to the Apex International Hotel in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket provides a stunning view.

The fifth floor restaurant boasts 2 AA Rosettes and an exciting menu of Scottish cuisine, focusing on locally sourced seasonal produce. As well as serving breakfast for hotel guests the restaurant also serves a 3 course dinner menu between 5.30pm and 9.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday.


But the real attraction has to be the view from this perfect setting, follow the link below to book your place and dine beneath Edinburgh Castle, I’m sure it looks equally stunning in the evening.



  • Heights Restaurant, Apex International Hotel




Sketches from on board an Edinburgh Tram

Tram_InsideCarriageThis morning I was one of the lucky few to take a ride on one of Edinburgh’s brand new trams, from St Andrew Square to the Airport and back.

The first thing I noticed once on board was how big the tram is, like the Tardis from Doctor Who the interior looks much larger and longer than the exterior lets on. The second thing I noticed once we had set off towards the Airport was just how quiet it was, we seemed to be gliding effortlessly along the tracks. What better way to check the smoothness of a journey than to paint a picture?!!


As we passed through Haymarket, up hill and right by Murrayfield Stadium the scenery opened up and the views spread out over the countryside. At Balgreen I noticed how the tracks rose up to give a great vista back towards Edinburgh Castle and Arthur’s Seat, one I captured below on the way back into town.


As we re entered the city I noticed how people are still not quite used to the trams, almost stepping in front of us as we approached, the driver alerting them with a ‘clang clang’ of the bell. I can see why the Edinburgh Trams are putting so much effort into their ‘Careful Now’ campaign to make residents and visitors aware that the trams are now operational.


On a beautiful day such as today the journey is worth making just for the stunning panoramas of our city, and I envy any new visitor to Edinburgh entering the city this way from the airport.


  • Edinburgh Trams website





Equal rights in Scotland

RainbowFlagCelebrations in Edinburgh and throughout Scotland as the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood passed laws to legalise marriage between same sex couples.


Scotland became only the 17th country in the world to adopt the change and MSPs voted overwhelmingly in favour; 150 for, 18 against. The debate was bitterly fought by supporters and non-supporters, but for those celebrating today I feel the result stands for equality and a freedom of choice that many take for granted.

Edinburgh Castle, drawn from the south

EdinburghCastle1013Pen in hand, I attacked Edinburgh Castle from the around the back.


A view many of you may not recognise this, it is in fact Edinburgh Castle, as see from Castle Terrace.


I don’t really plan my sketches as such, disregarding the pencil and diving straight in with permanent pen. Originally this was due to time restrictions, but I do love the unexpected results I often now get. Early on in this sketch I realised I wouldn’t have enough room on the page to fit in the top of the castle. Luckily enough there was another page above 🙂

I love the added dimension this gives though, the rough and real mixed media feel. It shows the sketch in the sketch book which is great. I added a little watercolour to finish.

Oh what a view..

On Saturday the family and I visited the stunningly visual, mind expandingly educational, humongously huge and importantly free, National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street, Edinburgh.

Followers will know this is a fave haunt for the EdinburghSketcher and family but even I still haven’t seen everything they have to show. On Saturday I took the lift to the top, the seventh floor infact and stepped out into the Roof Terrace garden. A stunning 360degree panorama of Edinburgh’s skyline awaits with handy plaques describing each famous landmark.

My sketch is looking towards Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile. It’s well worth a trip to see the cityscape, high above the buildings of central Edinburgh.

Fireworks Music Workshop

On Saturday I was lucky enough to attend a musical workshop for the Edinburgh Fireworks Concert. Before looking at all the fireworks lined up on the Castle ramparts we joined a couple of musicians in a workshop designed to explain a little about the music for Sunday nights fireworks concert.

In a small room within the castle walls we played various instruments that will be used in the concert and learnt about the various composers and music pieces that will combine to make this years event hopefully the best yet.

It was very interesting to hear how the music is chosen and then combined with the many thousands of fireworks to create a wonderful show that will light the sky over Edinburgh tonight (Sunday). Everyone, young and old enjoyed the music workshop, I think it would be very popular if it ran throughout the year at the castle.