Tag Archives: New Town

Snow fall in Edinburgh

On the second of January I woke early to find a new snow fall had dusted Edinburgh with a coating of what looked like icing sugar on a Victorian film set.

I dressed quickly and headed into town, eager to see the city centre streets before too many footprints and tyre tracks had muddied the white stuff. I walked up through Stockbridge taking photographs at every corner. So many views that look so different, fresh and clean with snow on the floor.

As I passed through the New Town I had to stop and make a quick drawing, I sat on a Georgian step and looked across Forres Street around the corner of Moray Place Gardens. Such a perfect scene with the stunning architecture, railings and lamps rising out of the snow!

After finishing my piece I walked up onto Princes Street taking more photos to work from, and trying to get the blood back into my fingers!

Enjoy the winter snow fall everyone ūüôā

I later added a sledger being pulled across the road as an idea for a Christmas card for next year:

Bookbinding and sketching workshops with Arienas Collective

My first book binding and sketching workshop of 2020 was a success at Arienas Collective in Edinburgh’s New Town.

The morning is spent learning how to put together and stitch a couple of books using recycled paper and leather (or pleather) covers. There are so many ways to customise and add your own mark to them that they become unique to you, I love the one I made last time.

The class then have a delicious and locally sourced buffet lunch of fish, cheeses and salads with a warming soup which prepares us for heading outside to sketch.

After lunch I take everyone on a tour or the neighbourhood picking out New Town details, along with wide perspective views or Edinburgh’s stunning Georgian architecture. We return with a number of ink drawings which we can then touch up and add watercolour too whilst having a cuppa and a piece of cake.

It really is such a lovely way to spend the day, plus you come away with a renewed confidence in drawing the world around you plus a personal sketch book ready to be filled.

For details of all my workshops see the Sketching Workshops page and to book the next bookbinding and sketching day at Arienas Collective, which is on Friday 13th March, click HERE.

A new workshop for creatives in Edinburgh

Create your own sketchbook in the morning and then, after a hearty lunch fill those blank pages with lovely watercolour sketches in the afternoon.

My new book binding and sketching workshop in partnership with Cass Barron and Arienas Collective is launching on November 23rd. This creative full day class combines creating your own leather, or pleather bound book which we will then fill with sketches of the New Town.

Join local bookbinder Cass Barron to create your own A6 (landscape) leather, or pleather, covered sketchbook, complete with decorative exposed stitching and a nifty fastening to store your pens and pencils.

Then after a well deserved lunch break, I will take you and your newly bound book to the streets for a sketching tour, where you’ll learn some tricks of the trade and get some gentle encouragement to fill those blank pages. On colder days, sketching will be mainly indoors at the amazing Scottish Portrait Gallery.

a great opportunity to let your creativity flow … learn a range of skills and leave with a personalised sketchbook.

This workshop is a great opportunity to let your creativity flow in a supportive environment, learn a range of skills and leave with a personalised sketchbook.

Book binding and Sketching workshop. Friday 23rd November 2018, 10am Р4pm,  £95 per adult which includes all materials, lunch and refreshments throughout the day.

Click here for more information and to book your place.

Bookbinding with Cass on facebook

Making montages in the New Town

fulldaysketchingTomorrow I will be once again sketching with Arienas Collective. And with many dates booked in for 2018 there is plenty of opportunities for you to join us.

The Arienas Collective experience is that of a friendly, relaxed creative hub in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town. Run from a beautiful home environment our host Lynn creates a welcoming space where you can release your creativity.

Spaces are limited to these special workshops to enable more one to one tuition and in the full day workshops a delicious lunch is provided as well as teas, coffees and snacks. All of which mean guests canlet the time flow by, being fully submerged in the creative process.

All equipment and materials needed are provided so you can just turn up, leave any day-to-day worries behind, and immerse yourself in creating something unique

I think there are still a couple of places free for tomorrows all day class, details of which can be found at the link below. We will be touring the New Town picking out some sights to sketch and creating a number of quick ink drawings. We will also visit the Portrait gallery before returning to the cosy studio at Arienas Collective to add watercolour and frame our masterpieces. I look forward to seeing you there!

Sketching the New Town with Arienas Collective

More dates for my Arienas Collective workshops can be found on my Workshops page HERE.

fulldaysketching 4pics

A trip to town, sketchbook in hand

Costa George Street interior copy Yesterday I had a couple of meetings in town and drew from the bus ride into Edinburgh and a lunch break in a beautiful George Street building.

Following on from my previous post about spontaneous sketching I thought draw from my journey on the bus, and with what I had to hand: a pencil and small note book. Sketching on the bus is always a challenge, the constantly changing view, people getting off and on etc.

OnTheBus pencil sketch

But on this occasion thanks to the construction site on Leith Street the number 14 bus was redirected along London Road, which gave me extra time to finish my scribble, below.

Between my first and second meetings I had lunch in Costa on George Street which is well worth a visit to see the wonderful ceiling dome at the back of the store. I believe this was converted from offices but if you know more about the history of this building then do let me know.

The top drawing was sketched in black fineliner and a little watercolour as I sipped my hot chocolate.

Get creative this summer at The Arienas Collective

ArienasCollective soapmaking A new collective is launched for Edinburgh creatives wishing to try something new.

Yesterday I dropped in to see the new creative hub that is The Arienas Collective, situated in a delightful Georgian mews house in the New Town.

The collective is a group of local artists (hopefully myself included) and designer-makers who are passionate about what they do, and who believe there is a creative soul within everyone waiting to be released. Run from a central Edinburgh home environment attendees will be encouraged to relax and lose themselves in their creativity, experiencing a wide range of different processes. Such classes as Photography, Screen printing, Sketching, Soap making and Calligraphy.

Running both open classes where people can make friends and grow confidence in their own skills within a like minded group, and also private groups where friends and family can come to celebrate and create,  I think it will be a huge success and I look forward to being part of its growth.


Yesterday I sketched proceedings but will have to return myself to have a go, especially the screen printing and calligraphy.

For more information visit The Arienas Collective website below and book yourself in for a creative day soon, I might see you there!

The Arienas Collective website

The Scottish Soap Works on facebook.

Great King Street in Edinburgh’s New Town

GreatKingStreet This is Great King Street in Edinburgh’s stunning New Town, drawn in black ink fine liner for a client.

Edinburgh’s New Town is home to sunning Georgian architecture, straight lines and symmetry that stands in stark contrast to the Old Town and its higgledy piggledy closes and cobbled alleyways. I love the contrast, and walking around the grandeur of the New Town from George Street down in to Stockbridge and the Water of Leith is one of Edinburgh’s joys for me, and a must for any visitor.



My commissions start at ¬£75 for a sketch roughly A5 (150x200mm / 6×8‚ÄĚ) in black ink and with or without a colour wash.

For a larger A4 (200x300mm / 8×12‚ÄĚ) drawing the price is ¬£115 for black ink only, ¬£145 with a watercolour wash.

A larger A3 (300x420mm / 11.7×16.5‚ÄĚ) sketch is ¬£195 for black ink only, ¬£235 for black ink with a colour wash.

Further sizes and prices are available on request. Sketches can be framed, for an added £15 (A5) and £25 (A4). Prints start at £18 for 150x100mm and £32 for 290x200mm.


From the New Town to Fife

HoweStreet_viewThe view from the New Town in Edinburgh down Howe Street and over the Firth of Forth into Fife is one of my favourites in Edinburgh.

I’m lucky enough to see this view most days, in all seasons. But this week, on a sunny spring day I had to stop the car and sketch it. The Church in the foreground is St Stephens Church and if you follow the road to the left you drop into Stockbridge, a beautiful part of the city full of eateries and charity shops.

The sketch is in fast drying black ink with a watercolour wash over the top. The original is still for sale and prints are available from my shop, starting at £18.

Outside looking in

I love the reflections falling across the window panes of the Open¬†Eye Gallery, in Abercromby Place, Edinburgh’s New Town. The trees stand tall in the Queen Street Gardens just behind me as I sketch. The ever changing flickering of the branches contrasts with the buildings strong stone arch.


The gallery is currently exhibiting some of John Bellany’s work, entitled ‘Works on paper’. The framed pieces they display in¬†their windows look great, sketchy and right up my street. I’ll be back for a closer look inside, before the show comes to an end on the 30th January.


For more information on the current exhibition visit the gallery’s website HERE.


The sketch is simple black finliner in an A5 sketchbook.