Tag Archives: lothian road

Beautiful red stone pediment above the caledonian

I just love the detail in this stone doorway to the mighty Caledonian Hotel, now the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh.

Situated at the West End of Princes Street the red sand stone building was originally a railway station and opened in 1903. The station was closed in 1965.

It is amazing to think now, but at the time of opening there were two railway stations on Princes Street, one at either end. The other was the North British Railway station, now the Waverly and they were fierce rivals to the Caledonian Railway at the West End.

I love to find out about the details carved into building in the Victorian times and the following passage about the triangle sketched above is from the fantastic Canmore website. You can find out more about the building on their page HERE.

“The pediment over the door contains an elaborate scrolled shield carved with the coat of arms of the Caledonian Railway Company: a lion rampant. Flanking the shield are a seated male figure to left, and a seated female figure to right; their feet point towards the corners but their heads turn back to the centre. The male figure has his right hand on a model of an engine. By his left hand is a bag spilling coins. The female figure has her right hand on an open book, and her left hand on a winged wheel. Beyond the wheel is a lamp”
Canmore. National Record of the Historic Environment Scotland

African Woman and Child, an Edinburgh sculpture

This beautiful and emotive bronze sculpture by Anne Davidson stands in the south east corner of Festival Square.

Scottish sculptor, artist and teacher Anne Davidson (1937 – 2008) was commissioned by Edinburgh City Council to create a piece to symbolise the city’s stand against apartheid.

The sculpture depicts a woman standing with a young child in front of the suggestion of a shantytown. It was unveiled in 1986 and stands by the edge of Festival Square on Lothian Road.

Anne studied and taught at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen and her commissioned works are on public view in Scotland and abroad.

Its always been one of my favourite sculptures in the city, and is very moving to see. Perhaps because it is a recent subject compared with many in Edinburgh and one that depicts a struggle that surely goes on today.

I have been meaning to sketch it for some time so it was nice to capture it in watercolour for my WhereArtI competition.

The Usher Hall, a recent commission and now a print for sale

UsherHall_colourThis is the Usher Hall, on Lothian Road in the west end of Edinburgh. The city’s key venue for visiting national and international orchestras and the main venue for the Edinburgh International Festival.


The building owes its construction to whisky, as it was funded by Andrew Usher, a whisky blender who donated £100,000 to the city specifically to fund a new concert hall.


The building has featured in my WhereArtI competition before, I sketched the lions head above the entrance, the image is below.



Although meaning to I have never sketched the building in its entirety before and so I was glad to be asked to for a commission.  If you would like to commission an illustration then prices start at just £65, email me at contact@edinburghsketcher.com for more information.


You can buy a print of this sketch from just £18 plus postage in my shop.


Usher Hall website





St Johns Church, Princes Street and Lothian Road

StJohnsChurchToday I’m just looking through my sketch books, a little early spring cleaning and noticed this drawing from a sunny day in June last year.

On the corner of Princes Street and Lothian Road St John’s is a Scottish Episcopal church at the heart of Edinburgh. There is a terrace area with a few shops including a fair trade gift shop and a book shop. It’s a great place to sit in the sunshine during the summer months, like the day I sketched this which was June last year.


St John’s Church website


Standard Life building on Lothian Road, Edinburgh

StandardLifeThis impressive sand stone structure is the head office of Standard Life on Lothian road, at the west end of Princes Street.

Bit chilly today eh? Not sure if was the stunning architecture or the warmth of Cafe Nero but here is todays sketch – Standard Life on Lothian Road… from a comfy chair in Cafe Nero. Brrr 🙂


The sketch is in black ink using a fine liner, and later coloured digitally after scanning.


Bonus tip for coeliacs: Cafe Nero serve excellent gluten free chicken sandwiches. 


Standard Life

Cafe Nero