Tag Archives: sketch

African Woman and Child, an Edinburgh sculpture

This beautiful and emotive bronze sculpture by Anne Davidson stands in the south east corner of Festival Square.

Scottish sculptor, artist and teacher Anne Davidson (1937 – 2008) was commissioned by Edinburgh City Council to create a piece to symbolise the city’s stand against apartheid.

The sculpture depicts a woman standing with a young child in front of the suggestion of a shantytown. It was unveiled in 1986 and stands by the edge of Festival Square on Lothian Road.

Anne studied and taught at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen and her commissioned works are on public view in Scotland and abroad.

Its always been one of my favourite sculptures in the city, and is very moving to see. Perhaps because it is a recent subject compared with many in Edinburgh and one that depicts a struggle that surely goes on today.

I have been meaning to sketch it for some time so it was nice to capture it in watercolour for my WhereArtI competition.

Reflections on my sketches

Last Friday was National Selfie Day and to mark the occasion I was asked to sketch a lift mirror in the Apex Grassmarket hotel.

I took over the mirror on Thursday night and drew my design using Posca pens. These markers are a revelation I discovered when I drew on the window of the west end shop Paper Tiger.

They can draw over almost any surface and have the added bonus of being easy to clean off after a promotion.

I loved the challenge of drawing on such a large scale and using the grey and silver markers made for a great effect.

I imagine this would work well at a wedding event, a large scale piece drawn for the night and personal to the bride and groom.

If you are interested in discussing me making a bespoke illustration for your event then let me know.

Thank to Apex Hotels for commissioning me, and to Matt Beech for the photograph of me drawing ūüôā

Calton Hill views over the city

On Wednesday I was out sketching in the warm spring air, capturing the Edinburgh skyline for an upcoming feature with Edinburgh Evening News.

The morning was overcast but as I started drawing in black ink the sun started to shine across the Dugald Stewart Monument with the Balmoral clock on one side and Edinburgh castle on the other.

I love the view from Calton Hill, the bustling Princes Street below looks so distant but is just minutes walk away, and the numerous spires and domes that dot the skyline remind me of places visited and others waiting to be explored.

I recommend the short climb if visiting Edinburgh even just for the day – the view captures the whole city.

The EEN had a go cam hooked up to film the sketch being created so once the feature is live I will let you know.

Cafe portraits

‚ÄėCatching up over a cup of tea‚Äô

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?

Hearty fare at La p’tite folie as autumn arrived in Edinburgh

Last week I was invited to La p’tite folie on Randolf Place for a little sketching and scoffing…

It was a windy autumnal evening when I crossed over from Melville Street to see the beautiful Tudor looking exterior of La p’tite folie on Randolf Place. Welcoming us in to the cosy warm interior we were shown upstairs to our table overlooking the square.

I hadn’t realised autumn had arrived until that windy night and as we watched the amber leaves dancing around the cobbles outside I was glad we had full and lively restaurant to keep us warm. The steak was deliciously juicy and my partners fish beautifully seasoned and perfectly cooked.

The atmosphere was great and looked just like the sketch above, a perfect place for a family meal or special occasion, I felt relaxed and at home – just what you need on a chilly night ūüėČ

La p’tite folie restaurant website.¬†


Edinburgh’s Cycle Hire Bikes are set to be released across the city

Edinburgh’s cycle hire bikes will be launched on Monday 17th September and last week I got a chance to take one out for a ride around Leith.

Just Eat Cycles, named after the bike’s  sponsor, will launch with 200 bikes across an initial 19 different docking locations across Edinburgh. But this is just the beginning, as Matt McNulty, urban mobility director at Serco told me there would hopefully be 80 docking stations and 1000 bikes available by Christmas this year.

But how do the bikes handle? As a previously keen cyclist I miss using my bike in Edinburgh, when I had a regular commute I would used the bike most days, so it was great to be back in the saddle.

The first thing I noticed was the upright seating style of the bikes, which makes you much more aware of your surroundings, great for having a look around as a tourist but perhaps not the best for getting from A to B in a hurry.

The bikes feel sturdy although they do not come with a helmet so it is up to you if you take your own (as I did) or go without. The three gear system is simple and straightforward and although I didn’t hit the heights of the Royal Mile I’m sure the bikes will get folk around the city without too much effort.

I love the fact each bike has its own name, mine was ‘Heather’ and here is another sketch of her by the Victoria Bridge.

You can hire the bikes by a single, daily or yearly subscription:

¬£1.50 for a single trip of up to 1 hour ‚Äď each 30 minutes thereafter is ¬£1 extra.
£3 for a day subscription, allowing unlimited journeys of up to 1 hour each in a 24 hour period.
For ¬£90 you can sign up for an annual membership, allowing unlimited ‚Äė1 hour‚Äô hires for 365 days.

For more information and for details of how to download the app which you will need to hire the bikes, see the Edinburgh Cycle Hire website below.

Edinburgh Cycle Hire website

A new commission in a brand new building

CPG Photography

Today Lidl opened a new superstore on Easter Road, and they commissioned me to create a sketch for their wall.

The brief was to show the new store as both part of the local area and Edinburgh as a whole.

I really enjoyed sketching this out as it was a little stretch for me as many of the angles and perspectives are made up,
(I didn’t really have a seagulls eye view of the street!).

Easter Road swirls and curves its way into the centre of Edinburgh way in the distance, again not exactly right but suits the flow of the image. Leith Lines is hanging up on the first floor of the new Lidl store and you will see it if entering from the carpark area which is on the ground floor.

The Easter Road store is uniquely designed with shopping on the first floor and a large car park on the ground floor. The shop has a 1286 m² sales area and has an in-store bakery.

Pop in and have a look and let me know what you think of the sketch.

Giveaway: If you take a picture of my in store sketch and post it online, and be sure to tag me in  it Рthen I will pick one to receive a print of Leith Lines. 


Lidl website

Thanks CPG Photography for the image. 


WhereArtI 26th March 2018

Where in Edinburgh have I sketched?

If you can you tell me where in the Scottish capital I have sketched then you could win a great prize. Email me your answer using the link below and I will randomly pick a correct answer tomorrow morning, who will then go into the monthly draw to win a prize.

The prize for March is a set of my new Edinburgh Sketcher wooden postcards.

Currently being printed the three sketches featured on my new wooden postcards, which can be posted with the same postage as a normal postcard, will be Edinburgh Castle, Greyfriars Bobby and the Forth Bridge. A photo will appear here later.

Click HERE to enter your answer

The answer is always in Edinburgh so keep looking up and noticing the details in Scotland’s stunning capital city.¬†Keep an eye on my¬†facebook¬†and¬†twitter¬†feeds for clues through the day if they are needed.

Enter via the link above or email contact@edinburghsketcher.com with the subject line ‘WhereArtI¬†26th March 2018’.

WhereArtI Edinburgh : 22nd January

ESWAI220118Where in Edinburgh have I sketched in this weeks WhereArtI?

This week I am looking for the street name, if you know then click the link below to email me your answer. I will pick a random winner from all those correct on Tuesday, who will go into the monthly draw to win a prize.

The prize for January is two tickets to the Scottish¬†Fan Festival on Sunday 11th February and the stunning Signet Library in the heart of Edinburgh’s old town.

Find out more about this brand new festival celebrating all things Scottish by clicking on the link below.

Click HERE to enter your answer

Usually the answer will be within the Edinburgh boundaries, but on the first Monday of the month the competition is Scotland wide. Keep an eye on my facebook and twitter feeds for clues if they are needed.

I hope you join us to play along and keep looking up and noticing the beauty in the details, you never know where I will be sketching next time!

Enter via the link above or email contact@edinburghsketcher.com with the subject line ‘WhereArtI 22nd January 2018’.

Edinburgh Sketcher online store.

Scottish Fan Festival website.

Autumnal symmetry at the Gyle Shopping Centre

The Gyle - WAI041117 EENLast week I was out at the Gyle shopping centre for a meeting and noticed this avenue of colour which separates the shops from the offices.

In the centre is a small sculpture which I thought to be in the form of a plant but thanks to Canmore online¬†I found our it is called ‘Stacked Spades’ which I rather like. I couldn’t find out who made it though so please let me know if you can.

There are a number of sculptures throughout the 90’s development, and with the added colours from this beech hedge make for some beautiful views in an unexpected location.

Drawing made on location in black ink fineliner and watercolour, in an artgecko sketchbook. 

The Gyle Shopping Centre website.