This week the Sketcher clan took a trip through Santa’s Wonderland in the Princes Street Gardens before warming up with some very fine Asian cuisine at Wagamama.
Its at least an annual visit to Edinburgh’s Christmas markets and kids fun fair for the Sketcher family, we love having a go on the rides, watching the kids get so excited when they see the candy house and remembering how fast the little rollercoaster is when you jolt around the corners!
I think Christmas is my favourite time of year and I love the colours, decorations, music and silliness which takes over the city centre and enjoy spending time with the family and seeing them get so excited by it all. And there is no better place to do that than in Santa’s Wonderland. The Sketcher Twins (aged 6) highlights were the Reindeer ride with falling ‘snow’ and of course the beautiful Helter Skelter, always a favourite.
We spent the afternoon soaking up the festive spirit, and a mulled wine for Mum and Dad before heading up onto Lothian Road for dinner at Wagamama.
Being Gluten Free myself the Japanese inspired restaurant chain is a familiar place for us, with a good choice of dishes for all. And the slightly spicy selection recommended to us by our helpful waiter was just the thing to warm us up on a frosty Edinburgh evening.
Edinburgh’s Christmas website
Wagamama Lothian road
Sketches made with ink and watercolourin an A5 ArtGecko sketch pad.
This morning whilst walking from the old to new town I noticed Princes Street Gardens is once again busy becoming a Christmas Wonderland.
On a rainy day in Edinburgh with the leaves still changing from green to orange to red is it perhaps hard to imagine the city in it’s Christmas guise, but the season will soon be here.
If you are in town during the next few days you will notice the transformation taking place ahead of the grand opening on the 17th November. Find out more about all the shows and attractions on over the festive period via the link below.
Edinburgh’s Christmas website
I’m always keen to sketch a new angle, and this one of the Duke of Wellington statue on Princes Street is from outside the General Registers House.
This memorial to the Duke of Wellington, and his beloved horse ‘Copenhagen’ was erected in 1852. It stands outside the Registers House in Edinburgh, at the corner of Princes Street and North Bridge.
Cast in bronze from a sculpture by John Steell, the monument was dubbed ‘the Iron Duke in bronze by Steell’ by the press at the time of it’s unveiling. John Steel scultped many of Edinburgh’s statues, including the statue of Sir Walter Scott sitting with his dog Maida under the Scott Monument.
My sketch is in black ink with a watercolour wash on the Balmoral Hotel in the background.
John Steell on Wikipedia
More new year organising and tidying of the studio today, and finding forgotten sketches on scraps of paper in boxes….
Another wintry day in the capital and one best to spend in doors I think, so I’m going through a few boxes of sketch pads and scraps of paper with doodles and notes on. I found this pencil sketch of Princes Street during Christmas time.
I’m not sure when exactly I drew it but it must be at least two years ago as the Helter Skelter is in Princes Street Gardens and the big wheel is hanging out over Princes Street. For once there are no notes along side the drawing to date and give details, which itself is a sign that this isn’t a recent sketch. It is certainly pre trams though.
I thought you may like to take a look though, as we say goodbye to Edinburgh’s Christmas for another 11 months and look forward to the warm (fingers crossed) summer months ahead.
Today 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
The weather outside may be frightful but there are beautiful glimpses of the capital at Christmas around every corner.
Yesterday was mixed weather wise to say the least. As I walked from west to south and then east before back to the west I was soaked, shone on and treated to some amazing dark skies with strong sun lit architecture making for stunning views of Edinburgh in the winter.
I kept stopping, unable to pass before I had either sketched, or snapped a wee photo to sketch from later. This view is from the bottom of the Mound looking across the square in front of the National Gallery towards Princes Street and the Scott Monument.
I’m a big fan of Edinburgh’s Christmas make over and love the views that combine those permanent city monuments and buildings with those features that are here for a just short period of time. Have a great weekend everyone and Merry Christmas.
Edinburgh’s Christmas website.
At a meeting with the Mercure hotels on Princes Street this week I noticed just how close the hotel is to the Big Wheel.
I am currently in discussions with the Mercure Hotel in Princes Street about supplying my EdinburghSketcher cushions for their newly refurbished rooms, more of which I will tell you about soon. But while there I noticed what a great view they have of not only Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street but also the Christmas festival and the huge Big Wheel.
My sketch is from their dinning room where they take Christmas lunch and dinner bookings, I will definitely be back for a little people watching!! It’s a quick sketch in black ink with a rough watercolour wash.
Mercure Hotel website
A Field of Remembrance has been created this week in Princes Street Gardens, next to the Scott Monument.
Thousands of small wooden crosses, each with a personal dedication and poppy, have been planted next to the Scott Monument.
The Field of Remembrance is open to the public for poppy week until Monday 11th November when there will be a service to remember the the millions killed, injured and effected by conflicts since Armistice Day, 1919.
Each year Poppyscotland helps thousands of ex-Servicemen and women, and their families, overcome physical, emotional and financial difficulties. Learn more at the link below.
Scottish Poppy Appeal
In an effort to raise a little money for PoppyScotland I will be producing 100 giclee prints of this image, signed, numbered and individually mounted.
Each will be £20 (including postage) and £10 from each one sold will go to PoppyScotland. If you are interested email me at email@example.com or visit my Etsy shop HERE.
One week from now, at 10am on Saturday 18th October the Edinburgh Apple store will open on Princes Street.
Situated opposite The Balmoral Hotel at the East end of Princes Street, the prestigious shop will finally open its doors after being clad in branded boarding for the past few months.
Eagerly anticipated the opening is hoped to spark a retail boom in the city centre. Expect the queuing and camping around the entrance to begin soon.
Apple UK website
The Festival Wheel is now up and spinning away, here is a sketch through the railings on Market Street.
I wasn’t a fan at first of the big wheel making a summertime appearance. Why make every season look the same? But I’m sure it’s nice to sit in the wee pods without being wrapped in several layers and watching your breath in front of your eyes.
Plus it was nice to sketch the wheel with the sun burning my back, rather than my fingers slowly going numb 🙂 I drew this from Market St just down from the Mound, which I guess will soon be turned into a summer fair?