West Bow 2018

A new drawing of West Bow or Victoria Street; one of Edinburgh’s iconic streetscapes.

West Bow 2018 webversionThere is still a little editing to do on the upper half, but the drawing is all but complete. I wanted to explore a different way of projecting the image of a street and so turned to an ‘unfolded’ (or in this case flattened) architectural edit of the street as it curves its way from the Grassmarket up to the George IV Bridge.

Victoria Street was built between 1829-34 as part of a series of improvements to the Old Town, with the aim of improving access around the city. Inspired by Thomas Hamilton’s drawing of 1830, I decided to map the facades and context to reflect the current vibrancy of this beautifully curving landmark.

West Bow 1830

Andrew Siddall West Bow complete strip BW 40cmHistoric Environment Scotland’s archives have no drawings beyond Hamilton’s measured elevations of 1830 which records the eclectic properties that pre-dated the late Georgian redevelopment that we see today.  My drawing updates this and captures the equivalent contemporary  elevations – drawn by hand and digitally coloured to celebrate one of our most visited streets.

Combined Strip coloured left half v2 A3 sampleMy drawing is available to order in various formats as a giclee print. As a continuous coloured strip it measures 1.4m wide and so can be split into halves, resized or reformatted to suit requirements. The top image in this post is designed to fit a standard 70cm by 50cm frame so is slightly smaller than a standard A1 sheet. Please get in touch if you would be interested in ordering one. There is something very appealing about the panoramic, unfolded street though!

West Bow 2018 panoramic


  1. I am researching the West Bow and came across these amazing drawings. I am not a graphic artist so have a main question on technique – How did you do this? Was it from the 1830 Hamilton Prints, your own observations or other more recent photos – or Google Maps? It is very hard to stand well back in this tight curving street. – I am intrigued by your technique. (if you wish to share it with me – of course)
    Really – a job well done. Delightful. If they had demolished it ten years later we may have had photographic (calotype) records. The 1827 Improvement act has a lot to answer for!


    1. Hi! A mixture of techniques really – but mostly drawn by eye. Would be happy to meet up and show you the process if you’re interested? Best email for me is andy@civic..org.uk. Thanks!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s