Tag Archives: sketching

Coffee break sketch

I am determined to work in a few more random sketches into my day.

Not for commission, not for promotion, not for deadline. Just for me, as it brings so much joy and although I love drawing for a living and am so lucky to have clients wanting my work, sometimes itā€™s just so relaxing to just draw for fun šŸ˜Š

Have a great weekend all, and hereā€™s to a little more normal routine returning next week with the kids returning to school.

Online workshops in June

This month I am joining Cassandra Harrison to bring you a three session workshop online. Whilst we may not be drawing outside as much as usual why not join us once a week for an hour of online creativity.Ā 

Cassandra Harrison is an artist and teacher who creates beautiful bright and colour street scenes. Together we will walk you through creating some art in your own home, learning a few tips which you can then, once allowed, take outdoors to capture the world around you.

You’ll learn drawing, painting and mixed media techniques and the first session starts on Monday 15th June when Cassandra will introduce you to Urban Sketching and line work. I will take the second session on June 22nd where we will look at perspectives and adding detail and watercolour to your drawings. Then during the final session on June 29th Cassandra will help bring all you have learned into a piece which also uses oil pastels to add another dimension. 

This collaboration is sure to ignite creativity and experimentation in your art and is ideal for both professionals and absolute beginners. For me I find seeing how another artist works fascinating and trying new materials or a new way of using those materials can be very beneficial to my own process. 

This is the first online workshop for me and I am so excited about it, and very thankful to Cassandra for sharing her workshop and I look forward to developing this partnership in the future, and sharing more of my process with you. 

Find out more and book for either the whole session or a particular day via the link below, and I look forward to seeing you online!

Urban Sketching – Let’s Draw Some Awesome Cities

Bookbinding and sketching workshops with Arienas Collective

My first book binding and sketching workshop of 2020 was a success at Arienas Collective in Edinburgh’s New Town.

The morning is spent learning how to put together and stitch a couple of books using recycled paper and leather (or pleather) covers. There are so many ways to customise and add your own mark to them that they become unique to you, I love the one I made last time.

The class then have a delicious and locally sourced buffet lunch of fish, cheeses and salads with a warming soup which prepares us for heading outside to sketch.

After lunch I take everyone on a tour or the neighbourhood picking out New Town details, along with wide perspective views or Edinburgh’s stunning Georgian architecture. We return with a number of ink drawings which we can then touch up and add watercolour too whilst having a cuppa and a piece of cake.

It really is such a lovely way to spend the day, plus you come away with a renewed confidence in drawing the world around you plus a personal sketch book ready to be filled.

For details of all my workshops see the Sketching Workshops page and to book the next bookbinding and sketching day at Arienas Collective, which is on Friday 13th March, click HERE.

East Lothian Salt Pan Sketching

At the weekend I took part in the East Lothian Tradition Skills Festival at Cockenzie House and Gardens.

After a couple of warm up sketches in Tranent we headed to Cockenzie House, a beautiful 17th mansion with stunning gardens, plus a cafe, bakery and gift shops.

Open to the public most days, they have craft workshops and studios to rent. It is a beautiful location, on the banks of the Firth of Forth and was looking particularly pretty in the sunshine on Sunday.

I walked around the grounds capturing these sketches of some of the skills that were being demonstrated. It was fascinating to hear the history of these traditions and also to be able to have a go at some of them was a real treat.

I loved the salt pan in particular, the smell of the furnace and the sea water bubbling away was amazing, and so interesting to see an egg white used to take the impurities from the water.

It was my first visit and I would well recommend a visit to their sun trap of a garden and terrace cafe. There is a great crafty vibe and I am sure there will be something interesting going on whenever you come. Do check the website below first though šŸ™‚

In the afternoon I took a group out sketching around the block to the harbour and gardens. A wonderful day and less than an hour from the city.

Cockenzie House Facebook page

One from Tranent too.

Rooftop art workshops

Join me sketching from the private 5th floor roof terrace of John Lewis, in the heart of Edinburgh.

Following on from last month’s sketching from within the John Lewis cafe I am pleased to announce two exclusive workshops from the shop’s roof top terrace.

With panoramic views over the north of the city we will draw inspiration from the forth bridge on the left to Calton Hill on the right, and all of Leith below us.

In collaboration with New Town creative hub The Arienas Collective, these two dates (8th August and 15h August) are the first time John Lewis has run workshops from their roof space, and as such are a rare chance to walk out and see this stunning view over the city.

Using black ink and watercolours we will capture the skyline in a number of sketches which will teach you some of my tips to speed sketching and at the same time increase your confidence in capturing your view in a sketchbook.

We will also mount our favourite drawing to take home.

Tickets to this 2.5 hour workshop which runs from 10am – 12.30pm on both 8th and 15th August are Ā£38 and include all materials needed and also a tea or coffee.

Places are limited to ensure more one to one time as I work around the group. To book your place click on the correct date below.

John Lewis Rooftop Sketching – 8th August – 10am

John Lewis Rooftop Sketching – 15th August – 10am

Mini sketching sessions in Stirling this February

Join me at The Engine Shed on February 16th for some sketching instruction at their dedicated building conservation centre.

Explore The Engine Shed with sketchbooks in hand, using ink and watercolour to bring your visit to life. Either stop by during the 10-12pm drop in session, or book onto one of the 45 minute workshops during the afternoon.

We will have a go at different shading techniques, with both ink and watercolour to capture depth and perspective, making your drawings jump off the page!

There will be four bookable 45 minute sessions in the afternoon, starting at 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm. Book your places now as spaces are limited, using the link below.

Find out more and book your tickets from the Engine Shed Eventbrite page here

A new workshop for creatives in Edinburgh

Create your own sketchbook in the morning and then, after a hearty lunch fill those blank pages with lovely watercolour sketches in the afternoon.

My new book binding and sketching workshop in partnership with Cass Barron and Arienas Collective is launching on November 23rd. This creative full day class combines creating your own leather, or pleather bound book which we will then fill with sketches of the New Town.

Join local bookbinder Cass Barron to create your own A6 (landscape) leather, or pleather, covered sketchbook, complete with decorative exposed stitching and a nifty fastening to store your pens and pencils.

Then after a well deserved lunch break, I will take you and your newly bound book to the streets for a sketching tour, where you’ll learn some tricks of the trade and get some gentle encouragement to fill those blank pages. On colder days, sketching will be mainly indoors at the amazing Scottish Portrait Gallery.

a great opportunity to let your creativity flow … learn a range of skills and leave with a personalised sketchbook.

This workshop is a great opportunity to let your creativity flow in a supportive environment, learn a range of skills and leave with a personalised sketchbook.

Book binding and Sketching workshop. Friday 23rd November 2018, 10am – 4pm, Ā Ā£95 per adult which includes all materials, lunch and refreshments throughout the day.

Click here for more information and to book your place.

Bookbinding with Cass on facebook

Car free streets for #CleanAirDay in Edinburgh

As cars were banned from The Mound, Hanover Street and part of George Street for the afternoon I was asked to run a sketching workshop

On Clean Air Day, which is the 21st June events were held throughout the UK promoting better, cleaner inner city environments for pedestrians and cyclists. Here in Edinburgh the City of Edinburgh Council closed the route between the top of the mound and the St Andrews Street end of George Street.

An ‘Urban Garden’Ā  of cushions, trees and huge deck chairs were arranged and electric bikes were tested on the car free streets. There were processions and talks about how important it is to provide clean air, plus a pipe band and a ceilidh along the cobbled thoroughfare.

I thought is was great and think there should be sections of George Street pedestrianised to make this a permanent feature, or at least a summer feature when the weather is good as it was on Thursday.

After a quick invitation on line I was joined by some enthusiastic sketchers and we made these drawings of George Street without cars. Thanks those who came along and I look forward to catching up with you at a future event.

For more information about the Clean Air Day celebrations, and for information aboutĀ  how to be involved in next years event, see the link below.

The sketches were all made on location with fineliner pens, waterbrushes and small watercolour sets.

Clean Air Day website

Sketching Workshops for Summer 2018

WorkshopPage LauristonCastleAs the weatherĀ improves inĀ Edinburgh join me sketching around the city.

First off I have a welcome return to Lauriston CastleĀ (above), a stunning 400 year old castle which overlooks the Firth of Forth from a 30 acre estate of beautiful gardens and woodlands. The perfect peaceful place to practice your sketching, I have led successful workshops here for a number of years and the venue has a special place in my heart. My 2018 workshops at Lauriston are on June 13th, August 4th and 17th.

WorkshopPage QueensGallery

New for 2018 are two dates at The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse. I will be running afternoon workshops capturing the Canongate area and details around the Palace exterior, influenced by their current Canaletto exhibition.Ā This is an exclusive chance to sketch with me at Holyrood and I expect tickets to sell fast. Workshops will be on 15th June and 3rd August.

WorkshopPage CityArtCentre

Following on from last months debut Sketching Tour at the City Art Centre I will be returning to this fantastic setting for another sketching workshop on 20th July. This is a great opportunity to draw with me as we tour and draw our way along Market Street and the Mound area before returning to the 5th floor of CAC for refreshments and to colour our drawings.

WorkshopPage Arienas

And don’t forget my wonderful Sketching Days at Arienas Collective in the heart of the New Town. These small relaxed workshop days run from a beautiful home close to Queens Street from where we tour the cobbled streets of Georgian New Town and the Portrait Gallery,Ā  drawing all sorts from street furniture to Robert Burns statues! Lunch is included and plenty of delightful nibbles and drinks thanks to the very hospitable Arienas Collective.Ā The next full day workshop is onĀ Friday 22nd June

You can book all these tours on my Workshop page HERE, and I look forward to seeing you at a workshop through the summer.

Exciting news ahead for August.: I am currently planning a return to sketching in the West End with Paper Tiger, the must visit shop for beautiful and creative giftcards, stationary and gifts. Details to come soon.




Sketching in the Engine Shed

The Engine ShedOn Saturday I ran a sketching Day workshop at The Engine Shed in Stirling, somewhere I have wanted to visit all year.

Opened earlier this year the Engine Shed is Scotlandā€™s dedicated building conservation centre, run by Historic Environment Scotland. It serves as a central hub for building and conservation professionals and the general public.

The original sandstone building is approx 100 years old and was part of a military complex on the banks of the river forth. Inside is a large open space with large steel trusses spanning the width of the building and a number of exhibits showcasing the traditional building materials, methods and skills in Scotland.

Central in the room is a huge map of Scotland which when you hover an ipad above it shows a huge amount of information, this use of gadgetry is very addictive, I loved it!

TheEngineShed montage

During the morning I spent time sketching with visitors and moving around the various exhibits, taking time to concentrate on the details. WhenĀ focusing in on the details I notice so much more, and take in a great deal more. We all learnt lots about thatch!

The Engine Shed thatch


The Engine Shed website

Historic Environment Scotland website

The Engine Shed interior