A byproduct of the lockdown has been the opportunity to focus time into a drawing that I had imagined and started over a year ago. As is often the case though, life and other things take over and I only made a tentative start. This year’s 100 Days Project rolled around and so I thought I’d make use of the combined Stay at Hone and the duration of the project to get this one finished.
During the last 3 months I have tackled it day by day, averaging two to three hours a day to assemble the aerial view over the centre of Edinburgh.
It isn’t geographically accurate; it was never intended to be. It gathers icons and familiar buildings into an edited record of the amazing architecture that binds the old and new towns together around Waverley Station and the Bridges.
It will be finished probably in mid-July and available as a black and white print so please do contact me if you would be interested in buying one.
I’ll then also be creating a fully coloured version so watch this space.
It has been a strange few months now since the world was asked to stay at home. I’m lucky to live near the beach and have found myself walking on the sands at low tide and crossing over the harbour which is half way along on my daily walk. The yachts have been kept up on the harbour for much longer than usual so it’s like they are all stranded too – all facing out and watching the sea where they would normally be.
In the early phase of lockdown we weren’t meant to stop other than momentarily, so I took a series of photos and drew from reference material – but it doesn’t have the same connection as drawing from life.
I’ll be out sketching again soon now that the lockdown has been eased – so will keep posting in my Instagram feed with work in progress and works for sale.
Stay safe all!
It’s been a busy few months of teaching which hasn’t left very much time for getting outside to sketch. A few cold weekends in the Borders and a handful of other weekend sketches but little time otherwise!
I’ve recently treated myself to some very smart new Copic markers from Cult Pens (courtesy of a kind and generous birthday ‘voucher’ from friends) and have been getting out with a marker pad to test them out.
Below are a few of my recent Urban sketches – mostly in and around Edinburgh.
The density of colour is something to play with, and the subtlety is sometimes lost but they have a lovely immediate quality. I’ll have to get them scanned too as I don’t expect the alcohol pigment to last. What I do like about them is the speed of laying down the colour. Most of these drawings were between an hour and 90 mins with probably only 10 or 15 minutes of colouring.
I’m also gearing up to exhibit at the Borders Art Fair in the Spring, so am collecting line drawings on some very heavy watercolour paper, ready for some colour work when the days get brighter and I have enough drawing work done for the show. I have a couple of free days this term so will be out and about drawing in the city and Border Country.
I’ll post more of the Borders series when I have them. In the meantime I wish you all well for the New Year and let me know if you’d like a copy of anything or to commission a drawing.
As we move into the Autumn and teaching at ECA starts up again, I’ve set a winter research project to test and experiment with different media and tools to try and find the right combination for me. Having read lots of reviews of different sketchbooks and paperstocks for different purposes I have concluded that the only way is to just play, make mistakes, look back and learn – so the next few months might see some varied outputs!
I’ll be composing a couple of large images in the next few weeks, but mostly testing out line and watercolour techniques in a lighter weight Stillman and Birn Epsilon sketchbook and a heavier Strathmore book. I’ve got a couple of large watercolour pads from St. Cuthberts and Cass Art (both 300gsm and smooth papers) and a beautiful new Namisu Ixion pen with Platinum Carbon ink, as well as some OHTO fineliner rolerballs to compete with my trusted Staedtlers. We’ll see!
If you have a favoured trio of watercolour paper, fine ink line (fountain or other) and watercolours – please let me know what works for you?!
More to follow but keep up to date with my Instagram posts, where all of my work goes as it is made.
In July this year (2019) I will have a small group of drawings included in an exhibition at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, marking their 150th Anniversary. The show is being populated by the wonderful range of artists from the Edinburgh Urban Sketchers, with whom I have been sketching there on occassion since the Autumn last year.
I have drawn a few of the buildings there, but mostly the Macmillan Cancer Day Care Centre and the Maggie’s Centre behind it. The staff there are always so warm and welcoming and its been interesting watching the landscape and buildings being transformed this last year too. My coloured sketch took a while to complete, using some lovely Caran d’Ache Supracolor pencils that I was gifted a very long time ago but have never used. A couple of other sketches will be in the show too – but I would put these firmly in the ‘sketch’ category rather than the coloured image above which is defintely a ‘drawing’!
We’ll be posting details of the exhibition on the Edinburgh Urban Sketchers and on my Siddall Drawing Facebook Pages, but the dates are running from the 17th July, in the Anne Ferguson Gallery at the WGH.
I have recently completed two commissioned drawings for quite different houses. One, a suburban Victorian villa in Portobello, Edinburgh; the other a long and low historic Cumbrian farmhouse..
I chose slightly elevated viewpoints for these to maximise the spaces that surround them and to make the most of their quite different contexts. Both are 50th Birthday presents; one yet to be unveiled, the other received with enthusiasm and thanks.
Both drawn with a combination of fine line pen thicknesses, varying degrees of pencil construction and in some parts many revisions to get the true character of these lovely houses translated onto the paper. Size: A2 (60cm wide by 40cm high) heavy cartridge, mounted into simple timber frames.
A new drawing of West Bow or Victoria Street; one of Edinburgh’s iconic streetscapes.
There 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.
Historic 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.
My 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!
A small selection of new drawings made for the 3 Harbours Winter Festival Exhibition held over the 22nd to 25th February in Prestonpans Town Hall.
The drawings are an ‘idea in progress’, starting to record the various layers of space that enclose the harbour at Port Seton in East Lothian. They will also form part of my submission for the summer festival in late June into early July this year.Each building, wall, opening, yacht and boat has been carefully hand drawn before being scanned and coloured digitally, producing a series of composite drawings. These harbours are a rich visual catalogue of working and living places, full of detail and idiosyncrasy. Each one of its own character.
These are all now available as giclee prints, ranging from the large coloured poster (91x61cm) where the buildings are drawn at a scale of approximately 1:100 down to the smaller A4 colour prints. POA, and ready to post to the UK.
I live and work in Edinburgh and am always looking for new drawing opportunities – so please have a browse and get in touch if there is a special place that you would like a lasting memory of.
I draw images of buildings and spaces from on-site observation. The drawings are tailored to reflect the spatial and architectural quality of the location, using clean and simple line drawing pen skills. I love to draw and record the everyday through detailed perspectives and cartoons.
Commissions include house or building portraits, views of interiors and views from favourite windows or places of interest. The drawings can be tailored for a range of digital or printed media formats and sizes depending on need. Contact me to discuss your project and which product might suit you best.
Call Andy on 0797 117 2250.