This week saw the launch of Edinburgh’s electric bikes, joining the already 500 strong fleet across the city.
I was invited to cover the launch outside the City Chambers on the Royal Mile, as councilors and bosses from Serco and sponsors Just Eat showed off the brand new bicycles which are now available to hire.
The electric versions will stand side by side with their normal bikes in the many dock stations around Edinburgh and are all named after local areas in the city.
To hire a bike you will pay the usual £1.50 per ride as with the other bikes but then an addition 10p per minute for the battery power. With each ride on the Just Eat Cycles currently averaging at around 15 minutes that would be an extra £1.50.
I would definitely encourage you to have ago as the powered bikes are great fun, especially as for the first 2 weeks there is no addition charge. The power is very subtle, its a little like someone running behind you with a hand on your back, giving you a wee push when you need it.
I imagine I might be getting an electric one into town up the hills and then a none electric one home as its mainly down hill.
For more information see the Edinburgh Cycle Hire website below.
Last Friday I enjoyed making festival fringe collages as part of the After Hours evening at the National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street.
Similar to the successful Lates events at NMS, the After Hours nights are for adults only, with live music, food and a bar to keep guests happy. On each Friday night during the Edinburgh Festival the museum opens its doors to a variety of acts in town for the fringe.
Find out more about which acts will be on this Friday, and book your tickets at the link below.
Down at the bottom of the Royal Mile lies this famous public house, on the previous entrance and exit site to the city of Edinburgh.
Outside the pub on the street you can see brass cobbles marking the site of The Netherbow Port, the gate that guarded the city for around 400 years from the 1300’s to 1700’s. You had to pay to pass through the gate and many Edinburgh residents never did so, hence the gates nick name as the Worlds’ End.
This pub also features in Diana Gabaldon’s historical Outlander novels, and main characters Jamie and Claire make a visit. This illustration is one of many in my new book, ‘Midhope and more‘ cataloguing some of the Outlander filming locations around Edinburgh.
Created in conjunction with Scottish touring company Mary’s Meanders, and with support from Edinburgh World Heritage and ETAG, the book combines a collection of sketches with an insight to the book and a little history about each of the filming locations. More information and to order a copy of this original gift for any Outlander fan, visit my Etsy shop HERE.
Book price: £9.99, plus postage.
Time for a look back to November 2011, and one of my first sketches as Edinburgh Sketcher.
Five years ago I worked at the bottom of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh and would spend spare moments wandering up and down the famous high street, taking in the wonderful multicultural sights and sounds as the city came to life with , talented street performers and proud locals telling tales of Edinburghs history.
Inspired by the sights and sounds I began sketching my surroundings and this website, and ultimately, and thankfully my current employment ‘Edinburgh Sketcher’ was created.
This sketch shows the colour and architecture of that famous centuries-old street, and remains one of my favourites to this day.
‘Ness’ are creators of modern womens wear and accessories. Find out more about them at the link below.
This sketch was created firstly in pencil (see pencil sketch HERE) and then inked in with pen and watercolour later.
A tardis style police box on the High Street, and a crossing to the Royal Mile Primary School in the Canongate area of Edinburgh.
This sketch featured in the WhereArtI quiz for 27th June, with viewers asked to name the sketched location. I like to add in street furniture, often it is those details (the letterbox or parking meter etc) that people remember.
I like this zebra crossing on the Royal Mile, it is down in the quiet end of the street and always reminds me of the famous Beatles album picture on Abbey Road.
Once used as mini police stations with a phone and desk to fill in paperwork, most police boxes have now been sold to private buyers. Many are used as coffee kiosks around Edinburgh, I know there is one in Canonmills being used as a flower stall.
My sketch of the Camera Obscura and World of Illusion, which has delighted and intrigued people in Edinburgh for over 150 years
Mirrors, lenses and daylight combine to produce a moving panorama of Edinburgh’s city centre, projected onto a viewing table within the mid 19th Century purpose built visitor attraction.
Over six floors of optical illusions and interactive exhibits, your mind will be tricked, amazed and engaged. Great fun for all the family, I can’t wait to return! For more information about the city centre attraction visit their website, link below.
This sketch featured in this week’s WhereArtI competition and was drawn to create this table number illustration below. My full set of Edinburgh table numbers can be ordered for any event, including weddings and conferences. To see more drop me an email at email@example.com
Last night I attended the first showing of the Street of Light, as 60,000 bulbs lit up the famous cobbled high street in Edinburgh.
The huge (19m high) installation came to life as lights flashed in time to recordings of the Edinburgh Choral Union Choir. A series of illuminated arches cross over the Royal Mile and created a tunnel of bright light which thousands of wide eyed people slowly walked through.
I drew these sketches during the 20 minute show, the first from the entrance and the second from half way down. I loved being surrounded by the lights and festive music, and although busy it wasn’t too packed. I wouldn’t have any worries about taking the Sketcher Twins (aged 4) up to see the show, I’m sure they’d love it.
The Virgin Money Street of Light is supported by the Royal Mile Business Association and is part of Edinburgh’s St Andrew’s Day celebrations. The event will run daily until Christmas Eve, and is a free event although you should reserve a ticket at the link below to ensure entry in case it gets busy.
Graveyards can be beautiful places to draw in, the contrast between precise stone sculpture and overgrown, wild, natural habitation has always been a favourite for art students.
I am often to be found sketching in church yards around Edinburgh and over the years Canongate Kirk on the Royal Mile has become a favourite of mine. When I first started drawing for a living I sketched the kirk quite often for wedding stationary and invites for clients due to be married at the 17th-century church.
Current building work being carried out behind the Kirk may well change this view which I sketched last summer. I hope not too much as the view over to Calton Hill and the Old Royal High School is delightful.
Below is a sketch of the front of the Canongate Kirk, both drawn in black ink with a watercolour wash.