Tag Archives: Old town

Snowy Steps in the City

The view down Fleshmarket Close is always a favourite and recently the snow fall in Edinburgh made this view even more special.

One morning in early February I got wrapped up in extra layers, gloves and big boots on and ventured into the city. The snow had not stopped the night before and everywhere was covered with a thick layer of crisp snow.

I took probably a hundred or more photographs, every corner revealed a new picture perfect scene, places I know so well but with a new slant, a freshness and cleanness which snow can achieve.

I did try to sketch on location but with minus temperatures my fingers didn’t last long before I had to stop and return to the warmth of my studio to work.

I have a number of photos to work from so you may see more snow sketches on here as the spring arrives in Edinburgh.

This sketch can be bought as a mounted and signed print on my etsy shop HERE.

Brand new locations for my sketching workshops this autumn.

Join me at Rosslyn Chapel on Thursday 18th October and in Edinburgh’s Old Town on Saturday 13th October and Saturday 10th November.

No prior knowledge is needed for my relaxed and friendly workshops. I provide all the materials and you will create a number of sketches out on location before adding detail and watercolour whilst discussing your pieces over refreshments. You will leave with a unique piece of art as well as a unique souvenir you created yourself.

First up is a perfect location for sketching: Edinburgh’s Old Town on Sat 13th October and Sat 10th November.

Thanks to the lovely people at the Patrick Geddes Centre above Victoria Street we will tour the Lawnmarket around Edinburgh’s Old Town creating a number of sketches in ink and watercolour. You will pick up some sketching tips and increase your ability to capture the world around you in a few lines.

In this combined history and sketching tour you will increase your knowledge of Edinburgh’s World Heritage site while picking up some sketching tips and increasing your ability to capture the world around you in a few lines.

All materials are included and you will also receive a hot lunch at the Patrick Geddes Centre, either before the afternoon session or after the morning session.

For more information and to book your place on this very exclusive workshop, which will take place on Saturday October 17th and Saturday November 10th, click HERE


A very special trip to the Rosslyn Chapel on Thursday 18th October. 

Capture this very special and mysterious location in pen and watercolour. We will create a number of sketches as we tour the excuisit interior which is crammed with carvings creating a wonderful location to sketch. Refreshments will be provided as we watercolour our drawings plus admission for the day is included so you will be able to relax in the grounds after the workshop.

For more information and to book your place on this one off workshop, click HERE.

The sketch above was drawn on location at the Rosslyn Chapel with ink and watercolour. 

An upcoming sketch and history tour at Canongate Kirk

CanongateKirk_gateAfter the success of my in residence Sketch Workshops at Lauriston Castle join me for my next class, which is combined with a history tour and will take place within the grounds of Canongate Kirk on Saturday 5th September.

Together with The Friends Of The Canongate Kirk charity you will learn about the residents of the Royal Mile’s Canongate Kirk, which dates back to the 17th Century. Plus learn speed sketching skills and pen and ink drawing techniques that will build confidence and enable you to create your own pieces of art on location.


The tour runs form 3-5pm on Saturday 5th September and is £20 per adult with children under 16 years of age just £5. For more information and to book your place on the one off limited tour call Laura at TFOTCK on 07783 293594


I look forward to seeing you there!


The Friends Of The Canongate Kirk on facebook


A spooky step back in time with Mercat Tours

MercatsketchMain2Last night I entered the Blair Street Underground Vaults, deep beneath Edinburgh’s Old Town, in search of a ghost or two.

Recently I tried night sketching on Calton Hill for the Torchlight Procession, and I’m no stranger to theatre sketching in the dark, but I have never drawn from deep within Edinburgh’s underground vaults, in complete darkness except for the shimmering of a candle on the stone wall. Once a hive of trade and slum dwelling the small cave like rooms were formed in the nineteen hidden arches of the South Bridge.


According to many the rooms, some only a few feet square are still a hive of activity, with ghosts and ghouls still lurking in the labyrinth of walkways and darkened corners.  Although I didn’t witness any apparitions myself the vaults are very spooky, with distant noises leaking down from street level and flickering candlelight creating menacing shadows on the walls.


My sketch above is of our guide, Alex in one of the haunted vault rooms. Below are a couple of quick sketches from above ground as Alex led us through the Old Town, plus the sketch from above before I darkened the outside edges digitally.


Take a look beneath the streets of Edinburgh if you dare with Mercat Tours, you will learn alot about Edinburgh’s history, and may even meet one of its late inhabitors.


Mercat Tours website

More about Edinburgh’s Vaults from Wikipedia

Mercatsketch1 Mercatsketch2



Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Blogmanay, Day 4

ScotLands1_blogmanay2014Yesterday the heavens opened on Edinburgh not that it dampened the spirits at Scot:Lands, a New Years Day event held in secret locations around Edinburgh’s Old Town.

Held in secret venues throughout the Old Town with the very best in music, art and theatre, the event is brand new for this years Hogmanay festival. Visitors first had to head to The Hub on the Royal Mile where they spun a wheel to decide where and what to visit.


I saw dance in a Cathedral, heard Rabbie Burns read to guitar music, witnessed nostalgic footage of Victorian Scotland on an outdoor screen (with gorgeous Scottish soundtrack from King Creosote), and listened to angelic Celtic singing in the stunning McEwan Hall.


I loved it and hope the event i back next year. Perfect for New Years Day each act  was different, relaxing but engaging. I walked home feeling chilled out and happy 🙂


The sketch above was sketched in black ink on location and then coloured digitally later. Below are a few of my other sketches from the day.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay




Victoria Street

Looking down from the walkway above Victoria Street you get a great view of the way the narrow street curves down from George IV Bridge to cobbled square of the Grassmarket. The brightly painted restaurants, pubs and shops make up a postcard image of Edinburgh’s old town. One sadly my mono sketch doesn’t do justice to.

The street was busy with tourists and awash with sunshine this afternoon.  I think I may of burnt my arm sketching this one 😉