Tag Archives: garden

My Happy Place

During the lockdown my wife and I spent a lot of time working in our garden and now we are enjoying the fruits, and more, of our labour.

This really is the best time to be out in the garden, just as new shapes and colours are exploding from all the nooks and crannies. I realise I am very lucky to have an outdoor space to call our own and this past couple of years it has been a godsend.

And not just to look at and admire, I find the physical act of gardening, growing and building so important for my mental health. My family will often be out there together, my wife Joanne planting and pruning, our daughter painting some flowers and our son James chopping wood or helping me build some garden structure.

Idyllic days that I want to go on for ever. Happy days in my happy place.

I was inspired to draw this watercolour after seeing similar sketches from Rolandnissanart of his garden and I liked the fact he included his hands and the sketchpad. You can see his light and bright watercolours on his twitter page HERE.

Sun, flowers and shadows

As the sun shone and the temperatures soared in Edinburgh I found my happy place drawing in my garden.

The morning was so hot yesterday and as you never know how long the summer will last in Edinburgh it is important to enjoy it while you can.

Last week I took a day off to head to the beach and today I took the morning to ‘work’ in the garden.

Although I am sketching and honing my skills, and my sketch may become a print and so make some money, it is really a stretch to say I was working as I relaxed into my cross hatching happy place.

I recomend picking up a pen and having ago picking out the light and dark places infront of you. This composition really jumped out at me as the contrast was so great and the shadows so strong.

The flowers are a mystery, but I am thinking a Touch-Me-Not or a lobelia? I am not sure but here is a photo too, so do tell me if you know.

Spring sunshine outdoors

As the Coronovirus outbreak forces people to stay in doors I am fortunate to have a garden from which to sketch in.

It is easy to get caught up the news and be feeling anxious about the things you cannot do anything about so instead I am sharing some of the beauty and colour that spring is showing us.

These mini daffodils are shooting up in pots around my garden, they look so delicate I thought I would try and capture their colour without using my pen to draw them.

This is a good exercise for you to have a go at, blocking out the colour with your paint brush and then leaving to dry before adding another slightly darker shade to create form.

My final layer is always the darker parts, the shadows which can make a drawing look 3D. I think this one may of gone a little to dark now but I am happy. I enjoyed the hour or so of creativity, concentrating and focusing on something other than the news of the day.

Stay safe everyone 🙂

Heatwave in Granton today

GardenTwinsEnjoying a long lunch in the garden today with my beautiful Sketcher twins!

All this week I am working at a printers in Leith, covering for someones holiday. On a day like today I am thankful it’s only a 9-1pm shift so I still get to enjoy my lunch with the Sketcher Twins.

This afternoon we had it in our garden, too hot to move much I watched and sketched as they made mud pies and ‘saved’ creepy crawlies from the garden!

Special days with loved ones, captured in a sketch.

This sketch is drawn in pen and watercolour, brushed on with my new (and brilliant) Pentel Aquash Water Brush Pen, more of which to come in future posts. 

GardenTwins crop

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay still being felt in Princes Street Gardens

PrincesSGToday’s sketch is from the Mound in Edinburgh’s city centre overlooking the East Princes Street Gardens. 

During the Hogmanay celebrations in December the area was home to a winter wonderland of roller-coasters, rides and family fun. Unfortunately three months on the ground is still left scarred and off limits to those enjoying this afternoons sunshine.


Hopefully the gardens will soon be re-turfed and looking beautiful once more for both the residents and the many visitors to Scotland’s capital.



An inspirational garden supported by Jo Malone

JoM_GardenJoM_RoundhouseJo Malone London and the Scottish Association for Mental Health have created a new herb garden and roundhouse within Redhall Walled Garden in Edinburgh.


Personally I know how working outdoors can be great for your health, and your overall well being. I love to sketch in the great outdoors, to break free from the computer screen and breathe in fresh air and fresh perspective. So it makes sense to me that gardening can be good for the soul too.


That’s the theory behind Redhall Walled Garden in Edinburgh’s Slateford area. A beautiful 18th Century Walled Garden within a 6 acre estate where the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) offers training in horticulture, conservation, maintenance skills, ITC/admin and life skills for people with mental health problems.


I was there for the opening yesterday and was blown away by the good work which goes on within the garden and the beauty of a place I have not been before. I love that Edinburgh and the people of Edinburgh continue to surprise in this way. It is wonderful that Jo Malone have chosen to invest and work with SAMH to help create a wonderfully peaceful place in the city.


Visit Redhall Walled Garden today and see the beauty at work, follow the link below for more information.



The Scottish Association for Mental Health and Redhall Walled Garden


Jo Malone London

Sunshine on flowers

GardenFlowersPhotoI hope you are all enjoying the glorious sunshine in the city today. Here is my daily sketch, flowers from the garden 🙂

It’s so relaxing to while away an hour drawing in the sunshine. I’m so pleased I discovered my waterproof ink pens, allowing me to watercolour over the top of a sketch straight away.

Believe it or not in the Edinburgh heat today my watercolour pallet kept drying up!

Summer came to Edinburgh

An absolutely gorgeous day here in Edinburgh today, not a cloud in the sky and my child’s thermometer measured 34.2 degrees in my garden. Honest. We four had a great day in our wee garden, my wife cut the grass and clipped the shrubs while I got to play with the twins.

I also made this watercolour sketch of them enjoying the sunshine. James is happy in his ‘bumbo’ seat as Zoe hits the ‘playgym’ behind. Soon after we took a walk down to Granton Harbour for a look at the boats, a great place to sketch on the docks. I bet there’s a lovely sunset down there about now.