Tag Archives: portrait

A birthday sketch for the Baird

Robert Burns ink sketch

Today’s sketch had to be a portrait of Robert Burns, drawn using ink and a fountain pen

I do have a hundred other things to get on with but I thought I would take a moment out of commissions this morning to make this ink sketch using my fountain pen.

I love using the smooth nib of a fountain pen, although my hands often end up covered in ink.

I also made a small video so was practicing holding the camera and drawing at the same time, but it turned out okay. I was inspired by a couple of videos online to use real time snippets of the drawing rather than a speeded up time lapse as I have in the past.

I think the chopped up real time video shows more of the truthful process, but what do you think?

Enjoy your haggis, neeps and tatties tonight, and remember to raise a wee dram to Rabbie!

Our lovely cat Mocha

As holidays come to a close and we head back to our routines Mocha will welcome the peace.

Today the kids went back to school and Joanne and I got back in to our busy routines, and Mocha, our elderly indoor tortie cat seemed to take a large sigh of relief.

Last night she looked a little tired as she laid curled up in her basket by the radiator, her chin resting on the side of her basket. I drew this sketch, while she watched us all watching the television.

So enjoy the peace and quiet Mocha, it will soon be another noisy weekend!

Pussy cat portrait

A recent commission of a beautiful cat had me stepping out of my comfort zone, which is always good if a little daunting.

I love how this puddy cat turned out. One of my first commissions of the lock down and as it was a gift I couldn’t share it right away.

Here are a few photos of how it came together, starting with a pencil sketch drawn from a photo, which was emailed to me.

I find portraits quite hard as I think everyone sees their loved ones slightly differently to everyone else, and matching that can be a little tricky. It is always such a relief when a client is pleased!

Once I was happy with my drawing I inked over and rubbed out the pencil marks, before adding a touch of watercolour to pick out the fur.

Finally I added the purple which was a bit of a gamble for me but he needed something to lie on and I like the contrast in the finished piece.

If you would like an original drawing of your pet drop me a line and I’ll send you price details and a few examples. Cheers, Mark ES

Cafe portraits

‘Catching up over a cup of tea’

I was up sketching in the cafe of John Lewis this week, early for a meeting. I love trying to capture people in my sketches, although I find it hard.

It can be tough to communicate the movement, curves, colours and characteristics of a real life person, compared to a non moving straight forward building!!

I do like the resulting portraits though, a moment in time, un-posed and natural. What do you think?

My cat and I, sitting watching the telly the other night

Moch_on_my_knee The Sketcher cat, Mocha. Not one for hogging the limelight, or even looking at you when sketching or taking a photo.

Mocha is a beautiful tortoiseshell cat, fifteen years old and on the cold nights in Edinburgh she likes to curl up on my, or Mrs Sketcher’s knee.


I love to draw her fur, beautiful colours but also random line work, a change from the ordered straight lines from buildings and architecture.


As she was on Sunday evening as we both watched Shetland together. Very tense we thought it was too.


Sketch is in blanck fine liner with a watercolour wash. If you would like your pet portrait sketched prices start at £65. Email me at contact@edinburghsketcher.com



Mocha 2011 sketch

Mocha 2013 sketch


Photography: A Victorian Sensation, at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh.

Museum_DaguerreotypeThis week I visited the current exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland in Chambers Street, Edinburgh.

‘Photography: A Victorian Sensation’ runs until November 22 and chronicles the birth of photography, from early shadows on a copper plate with the pioneering inventors, Louis Daguerre and William Henry Fox Talbot through the hugely popular stereoscopic photography to self developing your own film in a dark room like I was taught at college. Which of course now has been succeeded by the instant and simple digital photography we all use today.


Indeed many of you may not remember having to put your spent film in at the chemist and waiting a day or two for your photographs to be developed. I am thankful for the ease of taking a photo now and having it instantly available to share on line or use for work, but I also remember the excitement of picking up photos with my mum and looking through, reliving the event a week later!


The exhibition runs until November 22nd and is well worth and hour or two to see the wonderful portraits taken not that long ago, when photography was scene as magical, amazing and life changing.




My two sketches were drawn in black ink at the exhibition and then coloured later with a water colour wash.


National Museum of Scotland website


Sketchy profile

Today I sketched another bespoke EdinburghSketcher avatar. Only £10 from the ES shop you simply send me your photograph and I’ll sketch it and send back the avatar usually within 24 hours.

At 200 pixels square it’s the perfect size for twitter, facebook and all your social media sites, so head over to the shop and order one today.

Here’s a photo of the original photo with the sketch.

Thanks to Grant for the order 🙂