Tag Archives: sketcher

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.

WhereArtI Quiz – 22nd Feb 2021

Can you tell me where in Edinburgh I have sketched?

Snowy steps in the city, but where are they?

Leave your answer in the comment box below.

Your comment will not show up until I reveal the answer tomorrow morning. Get your answer in before midnight tonight and I will pick a random winner from all correct entries by this time tomorrow.

This week’s prize is a screen printed tote bag featuring my illustration of Victoria Street, in Edinburgh.

Keep an eye on my facebook and twitter feeds for clues if they are needed later today, and remember you can also see my weekly competition in the printed version of the Edinburgh Evening News each Monday.

Keep looking up and noticing the beauty in the everyday, you never know where I will be sketching next!

My Edinburgh sketched merchandise and high quality prints are available on my Etsy shop and I am available for commissions too. Email me at contact@edinburghsketcher.com for more details.

My 2020 Top Ten Sketches

In December the Edinburgh Evening News and Scotsman papers ran my top ten sketches of 2020

2020 is a year that most may want to forget. It is also one that we should remember when many of us took time to reflect, to stop and slow down a bit. For me, looking back through this years sketches brings back happy memories of family time and finding new ways to make my art and connect with people. 

Below are my personal favourites from the past twelve months and I look forward to sharing my sketches in 2021, hopefully with more crowds and live events. Keep playing the WhereArtI quiz every Monday on my website and in the printed Edinburgh Evening News. Thank you for your continued support. Mark, ES

1. Meadows Blossom

The year started so innocently, I was full of enthusiasm for a fresh start and trying new ways to make art, and this watercolour of the Meadows blossom was an experiment in not using the black ink as usual, instead light pencil and watercolour. 

2. Just To Say gift cards

And then, due to the Covid 19 outbreak, we went into lockdown early in March. At first I wondered what to do and how to continue my artwork from home. I thought a lot about how people couldn’t see each other anymore and wanted a way to help people connect with each other through art. I created individualised hand painted gift cards with personal messages on them. 

They were very popular and by giving a percentage to the NHS Covid fund I was able to donate over £350 and also keep myself busy through those early days. 

3. Lockdown Bedroom / Office

As lockdown continued I sketched from my house, capturing homeschooling and our daily walks, regular life which I could share to show how most of us were going through a similar experience. I know many people related to this sketch of my bedroom/office. 

4. Empty Princes Street

Once we could take longer daily walks I ventured into the city centre and it was amazing to see how empty the streets were. With all the shops closed and the buses not running this was the scene on Princes Street. 

5. NHS Rainbow Windows

For my family one of the highlights of our daily walks around our area was seeing the colourful and creative rainbow windows people were displaying in the houses. They were great to spot and also a reminder of how the community was going through this pandemic together. 

6. Zoom Workshops

Like many people I hadn’t heard of Zoom before 2020, but during lockdown I used it for home schooling and also for a new venture with fellow artist Cassandra Harrison. Together we started a fortnightly online art workshop where people can join in and draw together from anywhere in the world, so long as they had connection to the internet. It has been a learning curve but great to be in touch and drawing together again. This sketch is of the Usher Hall, drawn from a photograph using charcoal. 

7. Festival Cancelled

For the first time in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe’s seven-decade history there was of course no Fringe program in August. Knowing how busy and full of life the Royal Mile usually is at that time it was so strange to see it deserted. This watercolour captured the sombre mood as well as a passer by wearing a face mask, which at the time were still quite rare. 

8. Water of Leith

During the lockdown my outdoor sketching was practically non existent, with no sketching workshops to run or live events to cover it was hard not having that outlet. This sketch from the Water of Leith near Stockbridge was one of my first where I could just relax, take my time and capture the views in front of me again. It was great to be back!

9. Support A Business Sketch 

As the shops started to reopen in Edinburgh, I started visiting the few independent gift shops that sell my city merchandise. It was a pretty grim tale as although most were glad to be open again and able to sell, customers were still uneasy about returning to shopping on the high street and so business was slow for many.

I thought I could support local independent businesses by sketching their shop fronts and sharing them through my social media to highlight the need for support through the local community in order to survive. I continue to do this using the hashtag #supportasmallbusinesssketch

10. Leith Theatre

Another industry heavily affected by the lockdown is the theatre and events industry.I was recently commissioned to spend a few days sketching Leith Theatre, which is currently empty and falling into disrepair. I spent a couple of days capturing both the inside and out of this beautiful venue. This watecolour was drawn in the main hall. 

WhereArtI Edinburgh?

Monday 12th October

Can you tell me where I have sketched?

A very pretty dead end, or is it?

Leave your answer in the comment box below.

Your comment will not show up until I reveal the answer. Closing time for entering is midnight tonight and I will pick a random winner from all correct entries by this time tomorrow.

This week’s prize is a screen printed tote bag featuring my Edinburgh Castle illustration.

Keep an eye on my facebook and twitter feeds for clues if they are needed later today, and remember you can also see my weekly competition in the printed version of the Edinburgh Evening News each Monday.

Keep looking up and noticing the beauty in the everyday, you never know where I will be sketching next!

My Edinburgh sketched merchandise is available on my Etsy shop and I am now available for Christmas commissions. Email contact@edinburghsketcher.com for more details.

Urban Sketching with Cassandra and Mark
Join in my fortnightly online workshops with Edinburgh artist Cassandra Harrison. On the first and third Tuesday of every month, from 7pm – 8.15pm

My first online video workshop with is now available

Cassandra, aka ‘Bookbinding with Cass’, and I usually teach together at the fabulous Arienas Collective but this is our first online offering and I am so excited to share this with you.

We have loads of online tutorials which will equip you with the skills to create a set of handmade sketchbooks and inspire you to start using them with a mix of fine liner and watercolour straight away!

During lockdown Cass and I have come to appreciate the everyday, particularly our beloved house plants and the nature on our doorstep. This series of pre-recorded video tutorials will encourage you to work with what’s around you and get creative in your own space, in your own time.

Cass will guide you on how to make a handy, refillable book case, ideal for sketching on the go, with the added benefit of being multi-use – the inserts are interchangeable so you can re-jig the inside depending on what you want to sketch on that day. There’ll also be chance to make a cut and fold concertina book and a series of stitched sketchbooks made up of different types of paper to add colour and texture to your sketching. Cass will also share a nifty technique for stitching single signature sketchbooks together once they have been filled – a great way to collate your work and keep it in one place!

I will join in throughout the bookmaking to share tips and ideas for adding a personal touch to your books and watercolour washes to your paper – a great way to take a way that blank page fear in preparation for sketching.

Once your books are complete I will then take you through a number of drawing exercises that will focus mainly on pot plants you have in and around your house, and the exterior of your home. This will involve working with an ink pen and watercolour set, exploring tone, light and shading to discover your own style and create sketches full of character.

Kits and links to our selection of online tutorials will be sent out on 5th October. All participants are invited to join a Zoom sharing event on Monday 26th October, 6-7.30pm, where you can ask questions, share your work and get hints and tips for your bookbinding & sketching practice.

Workshop costs £80 – £130 depending on whether you would like an accompanying materials/tool kit.

For more information and to book your place see this event listing on the Arienas Collective website.

WhereArtI Edinburgh?

Monday 28th September

Can you tell me where I have sketched?

A beautifully calm view in the city of Edinburgh, but where?

Leave your answer in the comment box below.

Your comment will not show up until I reveal the answer. Closing time for entering is midnight tonight and I will pick a random winner from all correct entries by this time tomorrow.

This week’s prize is a screen printed tote bag featuring my Edinburgh Castle illustration.

Keep an eye on my facebook and twitter feeds for clues if they are needed later today, and remember you can also see my weekly competition in the printed version of the Edinburgh Evening News each Monday.

Keep looking up and noticing the beauty in the everyday, you never know where I will be sketching next!

My Edinburgh sketched merchandise is available on my Etsy shop and I am now available for Christmas commissions. Email contact@edinburghsketcher.com for more details.

Urban Sketching with Cassandra and Mark
Join in my fortnightly online workshops with Edinburgh artist Cassandra Harrison. On the first and third Tuesday of every month, from 7pm – 8.15pm

Autumn arrives in the capital

I may be late to the party but Autumn has caught me by surprise this year. And now my walks are filled with every shade of orange.

This time of year has always been my favourite, I’m a sucker for Christmas and favour a snuggle in front of a warm fire to stripping off in the sunshine!

But mostly I love the colours that envelope our land through the month of September and turn everything a gorgeous burnt shade of orange. I long for a trip into the Highlands or to be honest any close countryside just for a day or a few hours so I can soak up the wonder and inspiration of mother nature.

This may be the first of many crispy leaf drawings 🙂

These sketches are available as both prints and merchandise and also in some cases as original artwork. If you can’t find a particular item in my shop then you can contact me at contact@scotlandsketcher.com

WhereArtI Edinburgh?

Monday 21st September

Can you tell me where I have sketched?

A close up on a famous building in the city, but where?

Leave your answer in the comment box below.

Your comment will not show up until I reveal the answer. Closing time for entering is midnight tonight and I will pick a random winner from all correct entries by this time tomorrow.

This week’s prize is a screen printed tote bag featuring my Edinburgh Castle illustration.

Keep an eye on my facebook and twitter feeds for clues if they are needed later today, and remember you can also see my weekly competition in the printed version of the Edinburgh Evening News each Monday.

Keep looking up and noticing the beauty in the everyday, you never know where I will be sketching next!

My Edinburgh sketched merchandise is available on my Etsy shop and I am now available for Christmas commissions. Email contact@edinburghsketcher.com for more details.

Urban Sketching with Cassandra and Mark
Join in my fortnightly online workshops with Edinburgh artist Cassandra Harrison. Every other Tuesday evening from 7pm – 8.15pm

WhereArtI Edinburgh?

Monday 14th September

Can you tell me where I have sketched?

As shops reopen after the lockdown and the city streets are once again busy, have you passed this view during a visit into Edinburgh?

Leave your answer in the comment box below.

Your comment will not show up until I reveal the answer. Closing time for entering is midnight tonight and I will pick a random winner from all correct entries by this time tomorrow,

This week’s prize is a screen printed tote bag featuring my Edinburgh Castle illustration.

Keep an eye on my facebook and twitter feeds for clues if they are needed later today, and remember you can also see my weekly competition in the printed version of the Edinburgh Evening News each Monday.

Keep looking up and noticing the beauty in the everyday, you never know where I will be sketching next!

My Edinburgh sketched merchandise is available on my Etsy shop and I am available for commission. Email contact@edinburghsketcher.com for more details.

Urban Sketching with Cassandra and Mark
Join in my fortnightly online workshops with Edinburgh artist Cassandra Harrison. Every other Tuesday evening from 7pm – 8.15pm

In person workshops begin again

Since the lockdown of 2020 began in March I have been unable to run my sketching workshops around Edinburgh.

I am so glad to say they are now back on once again, albeit with some very important modifications. On Saturday I ran my first 2.5hour introduction to sketching workshop with Arienas Collective in the New Town of Edinburgh and it was great to be back drawing on the streets of Edinburgh.

Here are a few photographs from our fabulous afternoon in the sunshine.

Our post lock down classes have reduced numbers of 6 maximum so we can feel safe as we move around and within our Arienas base, which now has minimal surface contact, multiple cleaning stations and also plastic screens between each work station.

We will continue to watch government guidance and keep minimal numbers for the forseeable but do be confident that Arienas and myself are taking all preparations to make the workshops as safe as possible. I also have complete kits of paint, paper, pen and wterbrush that can be added to the workshop or you are welcome to bring your own equipment too.

I have updated my dates for both intoductory workshops and the more advanced ‘Gorgian landscapes’ and ‘Crowds’ versions available on my Workshops Page.