Tag Archives: workshop

Aberdeen Architecture – perfect for a workshop

A sketch of the Mercat Cross in Aberdeen

My first visit to Aberdeen and a chance to sketch some of the granite buildings.

I was asked to run a couple of workshops in Aberdeen’s Union Street this month to help raise awareness and appreciation of the wonderful architecture this part of the city has to offer.

A quick sketch of a granite doorway

Known locally as the Granite Mile, Union Street is one of Aberdeen’s main streets. It is the subject of a Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS), which is providing grants for the repair of historic buildings. CARS also offers opportunities for events and activities that engage people in the history of the street and the wider regeneration objectives.

Which is where I came in, highlighting some of the stunning architecture and details which can really be taken in and appreciated when you take the time to draw a scene.

The Kirk of St Nicholas Colonnade

The workshops were free for people to attend which I really liked, and provided all the materials so people could come and have a go sketching in ink and watercolours, and perhaps see their city centre in a new light.

Hopefully I can work with more local councils around Scotland, offering these workshops to more people.

Find out more about the CARS project in Aberdeen HERE

A watercolour wash of a tower in Castlegate

Free workshops on Aberdeen’s Granite Mile

This Sunday I will be running FREE sketching workshops on Aberdeen’s ‘Granite Mile’ Union Street. And we still have a few places available for the morning session.

Working with Aberdeen Council I will run two walking and sketching sessions as part of their Union Street CARS sketching workshops, taking place throughout September providing an opportunity for participants to get creative and observe the wonderful heritage of the city centre.

If you would like to come along there is no experience necessary and I will bring all the materials you need for a gentle introduction to capturing your surroundings with ink and watercolours.

Book here

August workshop sketching

This week I have had a couple of workshops with Arienas Collective in the New Town.

It is great welcoming visitors to the city and on Sunday I was introducing a sketcher from New Mexico to Circus Lane, their first time seeing this iconic Edinburgh street.

I just love the curve of the cobbles as the pretty houses turn away into the distance. It is the perfect place to end my perspectives workshop.

It was a beautifully sunny day on Sunday, I do admit were a little creative with the sky for this one though 😉

Workshops are back

This week I was joined by a bunch of eager sketches to draw nature in the park.

It is so good to be back running sketching workshops again with Arienas Collective. We have the perfect, homely base right in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town and it’s so good to just head out with sketchpads and watercolours in hand, and to share a few tips and practices about the art I make and to see others inspired and truly proud of what they achieve.

Let’s hope this is a long spring summer of sketching in the Scottish outdoors. Have a look at my Workshops page for upcoming dates and I am also available for one to one sessions and private groups.

Below are a few of the pieces made by last week’s create bunch. The next one is on Sunday, and is all about easy ways to capture perspective.

Arienas Collective website

Online Creativity this Spring

As the lockdown continues and live workshops don’t look to be starting up again until May at the earliest, I now have two online workshops available to book.

In each one I am so glad to be working with fellow Edinburgh artists so you get two for the price of one!!

The image above is the North Bridge in Edinburgh using half of Julie Galante’s gorgeous mixed media painting and my sketch.

On Saturday 24th April mixed media artist Julie Galante and I will run a full day workshop featuring three live sessions which will guide you from simple line drawing to a finished mixed media piece. Also there is a materials kit you can order at the time of booking if you wish.

Then in May artist and teacher Cassandra Harrison will join me for three consecutive evening sessions where we will look at sketching and then using those drawings to create a collage piece.

Each session will be 75 minutes long starting at 7pm on the 4th, 11th and 18th May. Live workshops will return later in the year but in the mean time I am looking forward to these zoom session, connecting with artists online and creating new works together.

See my workshop page for more information and to book.

Seeing the shapes when sketching

The latest Zoom workshop with Cassandra was all about looking for the shapes in buildings which can often help you sketch out a scene.

We used tracing paper and print outs from photographs I had taken in Leith. The idea was to highlight the shapes I see when looking at a scene and then use those shapes to draw your own version, block by block.

If was great fun and the 75minutes flew by, and we managed four quick drawings in that time. I love sketching with a fineliner brush as you can get both fine lines and thick brush strokes. I will add a link below to where you can get them.

Our next workshop is live on Zoom on Tuesday the 1st December, from 7pm and each ticket is £10 or £7.50 for concessions.

You can read more about what we will be doing, the materials you will need and how you can book a place by following the link below. I hope to see you there!

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/urban-sketching-with-cassandra-and-mark-gas-lamps-with-andrew-kerr-tickets-121979876093

Zoom sketching with live music

This week my new fortnightly zoom workshops with local artist Cassandra Harrison had live music provided by cellist Laura Sergeant.

Cassandra and I have been running zoom workshops for the past couple of months, picking a different medium or artist to have a look at each session and creating step by step ideas so people joining in can have a go and try some of the techniques Cassandra and I use regularly.

Each session runs for 75 minutes on Tuesday evenings from 7-8.15pm, and we have also been asking special guests to join us and share a little about what they are up to, what art they are inspired by and if they like they can join in the art making. Those joining us have included comediens, architects and professors and most recently a cellist who regularly plays in Edinburgh with the Scottish Opera, Laura Sergeant.

I met Laura a few years ago after sketching some of her performances around Edinburgh and so I thought it would be wonderful to have her join us while we sketched the Usher Hall, a venue she has played many times before.

We used charcoal and soft pencils to create the drawing below on Tuesday evening and it was wonderful to be played to by Laura, it made me miss the festival and all the many performances that had to be cancelled this year.

If you would like to know more about the Urban Sketching workshops follow the link below and I hope to see you one Tuesday evening.

Urban Sketching with Cassandra and Mark

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.

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.

Watercolour workshops online

This week I took part in our second ‘Urban Sketching with Edinburgh Sketcher and Cassandra Harrison’ workshop on Zoom and had a great time.

Local artist and teach Cassandra Harrison and I thought we would set up an online fortnightly workshop where people could join us and create artwork looking at different mediums and techniques.

We will be sharing our tips and skills learnt over the years and also inviting guests on to share their thoughts about art and the city of Edinburgh.

We hope this will grow into a small community of creative types at all levels who can then share and learn together twice a month.

This week we were joined by comedien and Leither Jo Caulfield who introduced three of her favourite Leith buildings, which we all then captured in watercolours.

Above are my drawings as I showed people how to layer watercolour washes, leaving each one to dry and working on all three at the same time.

The results were amazing and to see some of the art out workshops produced go to the workshop facebook page at Urban Sketching with Edinburgh Sketcher and Cassandra Harrison

Above is a screen shot of our artists on zoom. If you have been on my ‘in person’ workshops in Edinburgh before then you will know that I always like to get a photo of everyones drawings at the end. It is a great way to see everyones unique take on the same subject, and to see how they all have merits. This is the zoom equivalent!

Join us on the next workshop by booking a place via the link below, each 75 minute class is £10 (£7.50 concessions) and on the 1st September we have architect David Blaikie joining us.

Read more and book your place here.