Edinburgh Sketcher’s top 10 drawings from 2015

Hogmanay Fireworks, by Edinburgh Sketcher

Hogmanay Fireworks, by Edinburgh Sketcher

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What a year 2015 has been in Edinburgh. After an explosive start with fireworks over the Castle we have had museum and railway openings, a wonderful festival of entertainment and even a solar eclipse. I have been capturing the city’s events in my sketch books.

Edinburgh Sketcher has continued to grow in 2015, I know offer wedding sketcher packages as well as running sketching workshops for both young and old. My range of merchandise has increased also and with new stockists around town you will be recognising my drawings near you.

Mercat Tour, by Edinburgh Sketcher

Mercat Tour, by Edinburgh Sketcher

2016 looks set to be even more busy as it’s the VisitScotland Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, which is right up my street!

Thank you for your continued support and all the best for you and yours in 2016.

1. Hogmanay Fireworks: During the 2014 festive period I took part in Blogmanay, attending many events as a guest of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay. On Hogmanay itself I was sketching live from the world famous Edinburgh Street Party. This drawing was hastily penned as fireworks lit up the sky above me and 80,000 revellers welcomed in 2016. The action and speed of strokes captures the fireworks and this piece remains a popular print.

2. Mercat Tour: Sketching in the dark is never easy, but sketching in the dark underground in a cold and eerie cave was especially tricky! This is from a trip under the Royal Mile to see the hidden caverns as part of the famous Mercat Tour. With a distant flickering candle light my only guide I had to wait until I returned to the surface to see what I had captured.

Surgeon's Hall, by Edinburgh Sketcher

Surgeon's Hall, by Edinburgh Sketcher

3. Solar Eclipse: On the 20th March there was a partial solar eclipse when the skys were dark for a time around 10am as the moon crept between the sun and earth. I love to capture live events with my sketches and so using a pin hole in a piece of card I created a shadow of the crescent shape on my pad which I could then trace around.

4. Duke of Wellington: I am always looking for a new angle to draw, not the obvious ‘seen a hundred times’ view of a building or location. This is the Wellington statue on Princes Street opposite North Bridge. I like the way it includes the Balmoral Hotel and shows the Dukes view.

5. Lauriston Castle: During July and August I was asked to run a few sketching workshops at Lauriston Castle. The 16th-century tower house overlooks the Firth of Forth near Cramond and holds a special place for me as my wife and I had our wedding photos taken there. I hope to run more sketching days there in 2016, once the warmer weather returns!

6. Dragon theatre: A favourite subject to sketch for me is the stage. I try to capture the energy, colours and emotion from a show and give an impression of the event to my readers. This sketch is from the incredible Dragon, which was showing in the Lyceum Theatre as part of the Edinburgh International Festival.

Wedding, by Edinburgh Sketcher

Wedding, by Edinburgh Sketcher

7. Borders Railway: In September, after a nearly fifty-year absence, train services were reinstated in the Borders as first rail services began running between Edinburgh and Tweedbank. I went along on one of the first journeys to capture the occasion in drawings.

8. Wedding Sketcher: During 2015 I have been employed a number of times as a Wedding Sketcher. I attend the event and make random reportage-style sketches of the day which are then printed into a book for the bride and groom. This is from a particularly memorable wedding in September, the colour of the changing trees above the wedding party add great colour to the painting.

9. Surgeons Hall: Late September saw the reopening of The Surgeons Hall Museums after a major refurbishment and expansion program. I was there to sketch the opening and organise some sketching workshops inside. To help publicise the opening I drew this image of the exterior as if it was being unwrapped to the public.

10. Botanic Lights:

Dragon Theatre, by Edinburgh Sketcher

Dragon Theatre, by Edinburgh Sketcher

Just as the evenings were getting darker the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh hosted a wonderful show of light and sound through its beautiful gardens. I went along with the Sketcher family and we were all amazed by the colours, soundtrack and amazing projections, like this one of Inverleith House with stunning images overlaying the stonework.

• Mark Kirkham, the Edinburgh Sketcher is available for commissions and as an event sketcher, email him at contact@edinburghsketcher.com for more information. Prints (including many of the images above) and merchandise can be found in independant shops around town or via his website at www.edinburghsketcher.com.

Botanic Lights, by Edinburgh Sketcher

Botanic Lights, by Edinburgh Sketcher