Edinburgh Castle from Calton Hill – Blue and Grey Inktense pencils in an A4 Watercolour Moleskine.

This picture was never meant to be. I have always wanted to paint this scene so, following a suggestion by Nick Powell, I armed myself with a new A3 Moleskine and set off for my vantage point, the one which national TV and newspapers always use when describing the city. My objective was to make initial sketches for use later. When I returned home I discovered that the sketchbook was too big for my scanner and that a photograph, of the book, was not sharp enough for a post. Never mind the fact that I spent about three hours travelling as the city was heaving with an influx of people for the annual festival and fringe. (Many locals avoid the centre of Edinburgh, during the festival, unless they want to see a particular show, or like my two eldest sons, actually work there). This effort is then, crazily, a sketch made from my earlier sketch so you can take in one of the most iconic views of Edinburgh. I hope I’ve done it some justice by restricting myself to two Inktense pencils.

Apart from the views of the castle, Scott Monument, Register House etc, the top of Calton Hill, itself, is worth a visit in its own right. (About a thousand tourists, last Thursday, also thought so). My sketch shows the Dugald Stewart Memorial to the right. Further on, but not visible, is Edinburgh’s other observatory – The City Observatory (see my post , 13th July, to see the one on Blackford Hill) To my left, but also out of scene, is Nelson’s Monument. The top of this is used in conjunction with the Castle’s One o’clock gun. A Large white sphere becomes visible when the gun is fired giving a visual as well as an audio signal to ships in the Firth of Forth. Behind me is The National Monument (Edinburgh’s disgrace as this memorial to the troops lost in the Napoleonic wars was never finished as they ran out of cash. The whole of the Calton Hill and
surrounds has a “Napoleonic feel to it; local streets include “Waterloo Place”; Wellington’s statue sits at the foot of North Bridge etc.). There a many other fine views of different parts especially of Holyrood Palace, where Mrs. Queen and the Chookyembra stay when up here and the New Scottish Parliament situated conveniently within sniper range below the south side of the hill.

Never mind. It was a great day out and I got some half decent material including a short video of the one o’clock gun being fired two miles away.

If you really want to see the gun look at my other video, taken inside the castle