Tag Archives: nature

Workshops are back

This week I was joined by a bunch of eager sketches to draw nature in the park.

It is so good to be back running sketching workshops again with Arienas Collective. We have the perfect, homely base right in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town and it’s so good to just head out with sketchpads and watercolours in hand, and to share a few tips and practices about the art I make and to see others inspired and truly proud of what they achieve.

Let’s hope this is a long spring summer of sketching in the Scottish outdoors. Have a look at my Workshops page for upcoming dates and I am also available for one to one sessions and private groups.

Below are a few of the pieces made by last week’s create bunch. The next one is on Sunday, and is all about easy ways to capture perspective.

Arienas Collective website

Camping in the Borders

A last minute stay in the Scottish Borders proved to be the perfect escape before school starts.

At the weekend the Sketcher Clan took a camping break to a favourite campsite; Ruberslaw in the Scottish Borders. Just an hour and a half away in the car, the stunning location sits between Hawick and Jedburgh in the heart of the rolling border hills.

Although we had meant to be there for three nights we stayed for two and a wonderful three days in the country, disconnected from our gadgets. The above sketch is of their beautiful glass house which sits within a walled garden.

James and Zoe had a great time playing into the dark with children on the campsite, including what looked like a toasted marshmallow eating tent crawl !

It was my mistake about the length of stay, I had mistakenly thought the schools in Edinburgh went back a day later than they actual did. The error did mean however that we could take our time packing up on the Tuesday morning and also fit in another walk up the hill to see the sheep and the ‘truly wild’ camping pitches (and safari tents) up in the woods.

Perhaps next time we will venture further from the comforts of the walled garden and communal hub!

Take a look at this family friendly campsite via their website HERE

We have visited Ruberlaw Wild Woods Camping before, back in 2016 and HERE is my post and sketches from then.

Autumn colours, as best as I could capture them

The beauty of Edinburgh’s green spaces are currently transforming into a wonderful colour show to rival anything our festivals can offer.

Today I enjoyed a peaceful walk along the cycle paths of North Edinburgh, the old railway lines run beneath the roads of the city providing a traffic free and nature filled way to get from A to B.

This mornings walk was full of colour and as I kicked my way though piles of fallen leaves every now and then I stopped to pick up a particular pretty leaf. I like to sketch the leaves this way each year, taking time to appreciate just how wonderful mother nature is.

Once home I arranged the leaves and created this colourful sketch and although capturing the autumn colours will remain my holy grail of watercolours, I am pleased with this years sketch 😉

This sketch was created in the warmth of my studio, with a Uni Pn 0.3 and watercolour brush/pallet. 

My new Friday afternoon Art Class

ZoeJames_Nature_650My new Friday afternoon Art Class begins on August 28th and runs for six weeks, in partnership with Honey Pot Ceramics Arts and Crafts Studio.


I’m so excited to be starting a regular class for kids after school on a Friday. Based at the Edinburgh International Climbing Centre, Honey Pot run a number of creative classes and together we will combine to run a creative and artistic weekly class through to Friday 2nd October.


Alternating the weeks between sketching with me and creating clay pieces with Honey Pots, by the end of the 6 classes your child will have learnt new sketching and clay making skills and have a number of sketches and pottery pieces to take home. Plus a framed piece from my classes encompassing all we have learnt to create a portrait.


Sessions run from 3.30pm – 5pm and will run in term-time. Each session costs £12 per child, or a block of six sessions is £60. Classes are suitable for children aged 5 and over.


For more information and to book one of our limited places on the course call Honey Pot Ceramics on 0131 333 6348 or visit their facebook page below.


Honey Pot Ceramics Arts and Crafts Studio on facebook.




My next sketch class, on Sunday 26th July

AutumnLeavesCones_RBGEMy next sketching workshop is just two days away!

Call Honey Pot Ceramics Art and Crafts studio on 0131 333 6348 tomorrow between 10am and 5pm to book your place on this family sketch class, focusing on nature and texture drawing. This is what they had to say about our first sketch class together…



We are really excited to announce that we will be working with the Edinburgh Sketcher (aka Mark Kirkham) over the next few months on a variety of projects. The first is detailed below:

Sketching Workshop for Families: Sunday 26th July 10.30-12.30

This is a fantastic opportunity to join us with the Edinburgh Sketcher for 2 hours of sketching bliss.

We’ll go outside into the quarry/canal and forage for items to draw. Mark will then show you how to do some close sketching, distance sketching combining short timed sketches with longer studies. You’ll discuss your sketches before mounting your favourite sketch.

This 2 hour workshop is aimed at Families: Adults £20, children (age 5+) £6 with an accompanying adult, who is also sketching.

You will learn speed sketching skills and techniques to be able to capture the world around you in ink and watercolour


Honey Pot Ceramics Art and Crafts Studio Facebook page