Tag Archives: george street

George Street at Christmas

Christmas on George Street and great to see the busy thoroughfare full of life once again.

As shoppers rush about grabbing their last minute presents I stood up on the Ice Rink bridge to get this view along the Georgian shopping street.

I really liked the ice rink working its way along this city centre location and hope it returns here again next year. I have taken some photos to create a sketch of the skaters in action so watch this space to see that one soon.

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’  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 about  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

Ice cold Sketching as Edinburgh’s Christmas comes to life

IceAdventure nessie As Edinburgh’s city centre is once again transformed into a magical, colourful and sparkly wonderland for Christmas I visited one of this years highlights on George Street.

There is a huge blue structure at the East end of George Street which is housing some beautiful and very temporary pieces of art, sculptures made of ice kept from melting by a bitterly cold -10degree atmosphere. Life size stags, Vikings and Kelpies line the walk way through a mythical history of Scotland.

I visited as finishing touches were being made to some of the frozen figures and as I quickly removed my gloves to sketch I realised my watercolours were beginning to crystallize!!

IceAdventure horse

Lit  from spotlights all around the watery ice sparkled giving each piece a magical mystical quality, perfect for Nessie.

Tickets can be booked via the link below, do not miss these beautiful sculptures and remember to wrap up warm!

Edinburgh’s Christmas website

This watercolour was drawn in my new ArtGecko sketchbook which combines high quality paper with a hard back cover – perfect for drawing on the go when you don’t have a clipboard to lean on. 

A trip to town, sketchbook in hand

Costa George Street interior copy Yesterday I had a couple of meetings in town and drew from the bus ride into Edinburgh and a lunch break in a beautiful George Street building.

Following on from my previous post about spontaneous sketching I thought draw from my journey on the bus, and with what I had to hand: a pencil and small note book. Sketching on the bus is always a challenge, the constantly changing view, people getting off and on etc.

OnTheBus pencil sketch

But on this occasion thanks to the construction site on Leith Street the number 14 bus was redirected along London Road, which gave me extra time to finish my scribble, below.

Between my first and second meetings I had lunch in Costa on George Street which is well worth a visit to see the wonderful ceiling dome at the back of the store. I believe this was converted from offices but if you know more about the history of this building then do let me know.

The top drawing was sketched in black fineliner and a little watercolour as I sipped my hot chocolate.

Drawing inspiration from the George Street Assembly Rooms interiors

AssemblyRooms BallroomWindowJoin me for a sketching workshop inside the iconic Edinburgh venue in it’s 230th year with this one day only experience.

Explore the timeless elegance and beauty, the enormous crystal chandeliers, gleaming gold leaf and giant gilt mirrors with a sketch book in hand, using ink and watercolour to bring your visit to life.

With helpful instruction from myself, you will quickly pick up sketching skills while increasing confidence in your own artistic ability as you tour the various rooms of this Georgian venue.

Once we have filled your pages with beautiful ink drawings, we’ll end our tour with tea or coffee and time to add watercolour to our sketches and compare our doodles around a table in this relaxed and friendly workshop.

No previous experience is required for this relaxed and informal drawing tour and all materials are provided.

Click here to book your place on this limited event.


Surrounded by stunning details inside the Assembly Rooms

AssemblyRooms_corniceI’ve been trying to capture the beautiful interior flourishes which are all around inside the grand Assembly Rooms on Edinburgh’s George Street.

This is a corner close up from the ball room and will make up one of my six new illustrations which will go on show inside the famous events venue later in the month.

This year marks the Assembly Rooms 230th birthday and the Georgian building in the heart of the New Town is looking splendid after her 2012 refurbishment.

I will be helping celebrate later this year when I run two Sketching Day tours within the venue which you will have the chance to join me on and create your own drawings. More about that to come in the next few days.

The Assembly Rooms website

Close up on Christmas

dome-closeup-christmasFor this week’s WhereArtI I drew an Edinburgh institution, the beautiful festive garlands which wrap around the pillars of The Dome on George Street each year.

The Dome is a wonderful building with stunning architecture both inside and out and for the past 20 years has been a welcoming venue to meet, eat, have a drink with friends in beautiful surroundings.

It really is worth a visit to see the dome from inside especially at this time of year, when dressed in all it’s Christmassy finery.

The Dome website.


Wonderful workshops of Hamilton & Inches

HamilltonInches_TheRookBehind the purple exterior of 87 George street hides a world of creation, skill and mystery.

Paul - Click for a full image
Paul – Click for a larger image

Celebrating 150 years of creating handcrafted silver Generations of skilled workers create amazing pieces of jewellery.

Jewellers and silversmiths for 150 years, Hamilton & Inches is home to generations of craftsmen, creating amazing pieces in their three story workshops in centre of Edinburgh’s George Street.

Recently I had the privilege of meeting a few of their creative geniuses.

Like Paul and his dad Panos who is training his son in the art of being a silversmith. In this sketch Paul is ‘chasing’ a Kelpie candle holder, With a drawing for reference he hammers out a 3d image of the famous Andy Scott design.

And Rowena, who was on placement from university, learning on the job skills surrounded by such beautiful pieces and talented people must be amazing. When I was there Rowena was filing down some tiny pieces for a silver pendant.

In another room Master Engraver, Ruairidh was engraving a silver Quaich.

Rowena – Click for a larger image

Surrounded by sharp implements, mini hammers and intricate detailed designs on pieces of paper taped to the desk, and with an eye held magnifying glass and earphones in place he was in a creative world of his own.

So go along and see the Rook on George Street and the beautiful items on display in the George Street shop, and spare a thought for the skills that go into such objects, skills that haven’t changed for 150 years.

All sketches were made in the workshops of Hamilton and Inches, with black fine liner and a watercolour wash.

Hamilton and Inches website