Tag Archives: fringe

Deserted George Square, looking splendid in the morning sunshine.

This is George Square, which during August each year, becomes an important hub for events at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Since lock down and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has meant a cancelation of all of Edinburghs Festivals in 2020, then this has left othe square looking very empty indeed.

But as I looked round the sun shone down through the trees and highlighted the natural beauty of the park which is often covered or disguised in lights and stages.

Many of the festivals are of course taking place online this year with lots to see from the Book Festival and the Fringe to name but two.

Enjoy the green spaces this year Edinburgh, as the show will be back soon!.

Well that was quick

It’s the final weekend of the festivals and I hope you are all getting out there to see something before it is all gone!!

Thanks to all those who make it happen each year and safe travels to all those visiting the capital in August, see you again 🙂 

PS Don’t forget the Fireworks concert in Princes Street Gardens on Sunday evening. If you can’t get tickets there are plenty of places around the city to watch the fireworks and I’m pretty sure you can listen to the orchestra on the radio. 

Edinburgh International Festival website

Edinburgh Festival City website

Reflections of Edinburgh Fringe

This is the Teviot Row House, one of the student union buildings at the University of Edinburgh and throughout the Fringe Festival, the Gilded Balloon.

The building has eight performance spaces, eight bars, and a café and is the oldest purpose built student Union building in the world, having been opened in 1889.

As the Gilded Balloon each year in August the building is a showcase for comedy and performance arts.

I drew this sketch whilst waiting for a show at The McEwan Hall and the rain had just fallen, giving great reflections of the pink branding. It was drawn in my small landscape moleskin over two pages which is why it is so tall.

The Gilded Balloon website

Opera for your tiny tots

I love the range of sights and sounds available in Edinburgh during the Fringe, one minute you are watching a dinosaur walking around Bristo Square and the next listening to opera for babies at Edinburgh Academy.

Fox-Tot! is a new production from Scottish Opera directed primarily at 12 to 24 month olds but I loved it too!

There is lots of interactivity for the babies and toddlers, who are encouraged to come on to the stage/floor to engage with the singers and puppets, to touch and feel all the wonderful textures whilst listening to the story sung to them.

The children there were in awe, of the puppets, the entertaining actors bringing the set to life with movement and song, and also to the musicians; a cellist and a percussionist had babies staring at them in wonder!

The full sketch, click to see larger.

The show runs for around 45 minutes and there is time for the audience to mingle on the set and get photos of their children with the puppets and cast.

I thought it was a lovely relaxed show, friendly gentle and interactive, a real sensory experience for little ones and their parents, and the perfect way to introduce opera to tiny ears.

Fox- Tot! runs until Aug 16th (not Mondays) at 10am and 11.30am within the Magnusson Theatre at Edinburgh Academy near Stockbridge. Plus there is onsite parking fro those with tickets.

For more information and to book a ticket see the Scottish Opera website below. And let me know what you think of it below too.

Fox-Tot! at Scottish Opera

Festival fun in full swing

The Mound just outside the National Galleries is packed with performers this August.

I love the colour and excitement of festival time in Edinburgh. The mix of people from all around the world both watching and performing in every available space around the city. It is such a happy and positive time.

There are many places to people watch and I love to find a quiet corner where I can find a wide vista of the performers and watchers all coming together. This particular place was just around the corner from the main entrance to the National Galleries at the foot of the Mound, just off Princes Street.

This is my first festival sketching with a moleskin sketchbook with its recognisably wide double page spread. It was perfect for capturing the crowds and buildings in which all seemed to be watching the acrobatic performer in the middle.

This drawing was made with a fadeproof fineliner, watercolour brush and moleskine sketchpad.

National Galleries Scotland website

A night at the Museum

NMS afterhours photoLast Friday I enjoyed making festival fringe collages as part of the After Hours evening at the National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street.

Similar to the successful Lates events at NMS, the After Hours nights are for adults only, with live music, food and a bar to keep guests happy. On each Friday night during the Edinburgh Festival the museum opens its doors to a variety of acts in town for the fringe.

Find out more about which acts will be on this Friday, and book your tickets at the link below.

NMS Museum After Hours website

A beautiful day in Edinburgh to bring the 2015 Edinburgh Festivals to a close

StAndrewSquare_2015I hope you are enjoying the sunshine in Scotland’s capital this afternoon and soaking up the atmosphere as Edinburgh’s many festivals build to a finale of tonight’s fireworks.


Here is a sunny sketch from inside St Andrew Square Gardens, as I was sitting eating my lunch on Friday.


I’m sure the busy thoroughfare looks similar today as visitors and residents alike soak up the atmosphere as Edinburgh’s many festivals enjoy their final day before tonight’s Virgin Money Fireworks Concert.


Unfortunately I can’t make it on to Princes Street Gardens to hear the Scottish Chamber Orchestra play beneath the amazing display but there is still time to get your ticket, via the link below. I will be watching from the outskirts, and perhaps listening in to the SCO via Forth One Radio.


EIF Virgin Money Fireworks Concert website


Forth One website 

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 Underbelly has landed

PurpleCow1Last night was the press launch of this years Underbelly Fringe Festival, and I was lucky enough to see a glimpse of what’s on offer.


It was great to be back under the gaze of the upturned coo, and as the transformed and unrecognisable Bristo Square filled with those eager to see what this years Fringe Festival had in store I sketched the inflatable heed :).


Compare for the evening was the very funny Felicity Ward, who did a great job introducing each act, and dealing with a rowdy crowd and kept the evening flowing superbly.


Each of nine acts (ten if you include Felicity)  had around five minutes to show off their act in a bid to make it into the watching reviewers ‘highlight of the night’.


For me that honour went to the spell binding ‘Circa: Beyond’, an amazing show of strength and agility which saw a performer suspend  from a piece of material, high from the stage.


A close second though was a hilarious double act called ‘Frisky and Mannish’ who sang out letters of advice for pop stars, possibly (or possibly not!) penned by Sinead O’Connor.


All the acts entertained and I can’t wait to see more, one thing is for sure – the Edinburgh Fringe has definitely begun! Below are a few of my sketches from the night, scribbled largely in a darkened theatre!! For more information about the acts on at the Underbelly this year see their website below.

PurpleCow2 PurpleCow3 PurpleCow4


Underbelly website.

Fringe appeal

FringeRoyalMile2013I got in a perfect position to sketch this performer and his captivated audience this week, on the Royal Mile. Now in the middle of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival the street is jam packed with street acts performing, fringe acts selling their shows and tourists taking it all in.


I love to find a new or different angle for my sketches and as I walked through the crowds I noticed this perfectly framed scene, I love the fringe banner above and St Giles Cathedral in the background. The Royal Mile in August isn’t just a place to watch the performers, it is also great for people watching. So here is my sketch of the audience watching a guitar player, who was excellent by the way, he must of been to have such a large crowd listening so intently.


If you are heading up in to town this morning have a great time, and smile – you may be being sketched 🙂