Tag Archives: watercolor

Light at the end of the Walk

Today the sun is shining on a more open Leith Walk.

Great to see a more open look to Leith Walk. The street has been covered in ever changing roadworks and caged fencing that I forget how it looked before.

But hopefully not long now until the trams are rolling and the streets are construction, and diversion free.

Sketch made in my Works pad, using ink fadeproof pen and a waterbrush with Newton and Windsor watercolours.

Autumn inspiration has arrived

Shiny, reddy brown conkers mark the arrival of my favourite month

Yesterday I spent a wonderful morning workshop sketching leaves and plant life in Edinburgh’s Royal Botanical Gardens. The sun shone between heavy showers and my sketcher and I took cover in the cafe, drawing leaves and sipping tea for a blissful couple of hours.

This morning I was still inspired by the woody bits and bobs I had picked up and so arranged a few conkers to draw.

Using only the watercolours I layered the colour from light to dark, and for once I remembered to take photos of each layer so I could share them with you here.

Have a go yourself, draw the whole shape first with the lightest colour you can see. Then add each slightly darker layer until the final line of dark shadow to finish.

Edinburgh Skyline in Rainbow

My lock down influenced rainbow sketch of Edinburgh’s iconic skyline.

I had previously added a rainbow to my Leith Shore print, which you can see HERE but for this week thought about drawing a sketch from the start with rainbow colours.

This view is the iconic capital skyline featuring Edinburgh Castle and the clock tower of the Balmoral hotel on Princes Street.

I started with a pencil sketch of the skyline and then from that top edge drew a block of watercolour down the page.

After leaving to dry I then started added darker washes of each colour to pick out the shadows in the photo. With each darker layer the painting gained more depth.

You can currently buy the original painting which is 297x210mm for £150, which includes recorded delivery. Plus 20% for this sale goes to the NHS Lothian Covid-19 Appeal. More info HERE

Also you can buy prints from £20 from my Etsy shop HERE, with 10% from all print sales of this piece going to the NHS Lothian Covid-19 Appeal.

Scottish wild flowers in Victoria Park

Flowers Victoria Park
There is a beautiful patch of wild looking flowers in Victoria Park running alongside the cycle path entrance and tunnel which runs under Craighall Road.

Yesterday I took and hour to capture a small selection in ink and watercolour. Drawing for me has always been a way of relaxing, of taking time out of an otherwise hectic day and to shut out the million and one things arguing for space in my head. Just for an hour or so this can be hugely beneficial and often causes a new perspective on things once I return from my ‘me time’.

I recommend you do the same, either with myself on one of my Sketcher Days or just on your own. Pick up a pad and pen and get creative!

Join me this Friday and on dates throughout September, October and November as I join up with creative hub Arienas Collective to run sketching workshops. For more information click HERE.

This drawing was drawn in a black fineliner with a watercolour wash added on location. The original has been sold but mounted prints are available from £19.50 HERE.

My Victorian Cycle postcards have arrived

vintagepostcardsallMy new set of Victorian Edinburgh Cycle themed postcards are now available to buy in my online shop.

I have been planning this set of cards for some time so am pleased to see them printed and available to buy. This time last year I was asked to run a sketching table at the National Museum of Scotland and their Museum Lates event which was Victorian themed to tie in to their display all about photography since its origins in the Victorian era.

I was so inspired by the portraits and landscapes from the time I thought it would be great to try and sketch some Victorian scenes of Edinburgh, and I have always been a fan of including bicycles in my drawings. The lines and circles just appeal to me 🙂

So here are the resulting pieces from researching photographs of Edinburgh streets, clothing and bicycles being ridden at the time.

We have a young woman cycling through West Port, another circling the fountain in Princes Street Gardens and a smart gentleman riding a penny farthing along Princes Street. Bottom left sees a librarian delivering books on Hanover Street, a chap pushing his bike though the Meadows and finally a cycle race down the Royal Mile into Canongate.


Each of the A6 (105x148mm) cards is decorated with a backing design to mimic postcards of the time, with room for your message and senders address.

These postcards will retail around town for around £1.00-£1.20 each but you can buy a pack of all six designs from my online shop for just £5.00 plus postage and packaging.


Buy a pack of postcards on through my shop website


Beach sketching in warmer weather, at Elie in Fife

elie-beachA beautiful curved golden beach awaits in the small fishing village of Elie, in Fife where the Sketcher clan and I took a day trip earlier this month.

Sitting on the sunny side of the Forth we looked out across the water to North Berwick and the Berwick Law, the mound in the distance on my sketch.

We rock pooled, bult sandcastles and moats and collected seashells before grabbing a bag of chips in Queensferry on the way home. Summer time bliss to close out the season 🙂

Sketch drawn on location with ink and watercolour

My Elie sketch is available as an original 200x150mm watercolour for £50 or via my online shop as a print in two sizes. 150×100 = £18 or 297x210mm = £32. Prices do not include postage.

The Dazzle Ship in Leith, Edinburgh


Stunning reflections of the mesmerising Dazzle Ship by Ciara Phillips, in Leith as part of Edinburgh Art Festival 2016.

The contemporary coloured Dazzle Ship docked in Leith (near Ocean Terminal) was designed by the Turner Prize-nominated artist Ciara Phillips and will be available to see until August 28th.

Ciara Phillips’ Every Woman was co-commissioned by Edinburgh Art Festival and 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions and is actually the fourth Dazzle Shipto be commissioned after similar works in London and Liverpool which collectively commemorate the period from 2014 to 2018.

It wasn’t until I got up close to the shear size of the bold strokes of colour that I fell in love with the piece.

These unmissable floating artworks provide a visual connection to the hundreds of Dazzle Ships that crossed the seas during the First World War.

I had passed the ship by car and seen it from a distance but it wasn’t until I got up close to the shear size of the bold strokes of colour that I fell in love with the piece. Go and see it on the Prince of Wales Dock where there is also information panels telling the story of this artwork and more about the history of Dazzle Ships.

You can also get involved by creating your own ‘dazzle’ design on the Dazzle It App, follow the 14-18 Now link below to find out more.

Ciara Phillips

Edinburgh Art Festival website

14-18-Now website