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Sketching class at the Arienas Collective

Sketches I did on the course with the Edinburgh sketcher at Arienas Collective

As a tutor at the Arienas Collective I’ve been looking at the other courses available and deciding which to do first! Although I do a little sketching as a jeweller to get ideas down on paper I haven’t done any drawing or painting for quite a while so I decided to do the speed sketching taster class with Mark Kirkham aka the Edinburgh Sketcher. I really love his sketching style and the ability to do quick sketches of different scenes appealed to me.
First things first - tea! I had a lovely cup of tea and a chance to chat and get to know the other members of our group. Our host Lynn was very welcoming and the creative space is gorgeous so it was a very relaxed start to the day. When everyone had arrived Mark did a brief introduction and passed around some of his sketchbooks to give us an idea of what was to come. We then went straight out for a walk and did three short sketch projects in Edinburgh’s gorgeous New Town. Mark drew our attention to little details that I might not have noticed - the shape of a lamp post, a striking front door. 

Each sketch project helped us practice something different - shading, perspective and shape. Mark spent time with each of us in turn at every one of our sketches, giving practical and encouraging advice on our progress. It is lovely to be in a small group and although It’s nervy having a teacher looking over your shoulder, Mark was very helpful and constructive and I do feel I learnt a lot in this short course.
Sketching in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery with the Edinburgh Sketcher

It was a hot day so I was glad when we ended up at the nearby Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Here we did two sketches, one based on a sculpture and another of the very impressive entrance space.
The walk was short and, for those with worries about mobility issues, there was the opportunity to sit down and sketch at the Portrait Gallery. We did not need to walk far to get to some excellent locations to sketch.
We did one last sketch on the street to work on perspective and then went back to Arienas for very yummy soup and cheese and then some watercolour. I hadn’t tried watercolour before because I always thought it would be difficult but I really enjoyed adding the colour washes to the sketches and building up the colour intensity - so fun! All too quickly the morning was over. We were given a frame each and the opportunity to choose which image was our favourite.
Mark is a great teacher. He demystifies his sketching and painting process and although it is challenging and takes practice it is also fun. I learnt a lot and would love to do the full day speed sketching class as well as I would enjoy spending more time on the watercolour painting process. I’m definitely hooked and my husband was also keen to give it a try when I showed him my finished sketches so I’m off to buy some watercolours now!


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