Drawing in Stirling, Scotland


At the beginning of September I arrived in Stirling for a month. While my partner is doing a sabbatical at the university, I decided to treat my time here like an artist’s residency, and build up a body of work inspired by the area. Stirling is a beautiful small city, with large, gracious Victorian houses and a castle overlooking the town. It is in easy reach of both Edinburgh and Glasgow, and surrounded by lush green countryside. There is a deep sense of history, with the site of the Battle of Bannockburn when the Scots beat the English in 1314 close by and castles in easy reach in every direction, so plenty of enjoyable distractions to explore.  

However, I am not interested in depicting landscape or architecture, my inspiration tends to come from the small details found in the environment, so I have been wandering around with my camera taking photos of unusual or interesting plants, leaves, berries etc that I find in people’s gardens or in the hedgerows. 

When packing to come here, I deliberately limited my materials, partly because I didn’t want to be carrying a lot of extra stuff, and partly because I wanted to force myself to concentrate on just one or two mediums. So, I brought a number of different black ink pens, a selection of graphite pencils and my travelling watercolour set. I tore up a large sheet of drawing paper into 12 pieces each about 25 cm square, and that completed my kit, along with a small sketchbook to carry with me.

So, two weeks in I have completed 3 drawings, all using my Rotring EF Art Pen. It has a nice fine nib and is satisfying to hold. The three drawings are all based on plants, but all enlarged and exaggerated, no intention of botanical accuracy, there was more thought given to playing with form and texture, and building up shape with line.

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40 thoughts on “Drawing in Stirling, Scotland

    1. Thank you! The plants weren’t entirely drawn on location, mostly just observed in their environment, then worked up back at my desk – the weather here isn’t generally conducive to working a lot out of doors. The photos I take tend to be a useful starting point, then the forms take over, and dictate how they turn out!

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  1. Hi Anna! I haven’t seen any posts from you in a while. However, I haven’t been looking around WordPress as much as I used to either. Your drawings are always so detailed and delicate! I love your work. Wow, I can’t believe you are in Scotland! How exciting! Have fun! 🙂

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  2. What a wonderful way to spend your time in Scotland. The drawings are so lovely, I have been enjoying them on your other social media, but I do enjoy catching up in the blog as I get the back story of what you are doing which always makes it so much more interesting. Karen

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  3. Anna, I have been so excited to see your latest artwork, it feels so much part of your DNA – such wonderful details. In my mind its luscious and so very rich! Now the fact you are in Scotland also excites me and being so thoughtful about what you brought with you on this trip to create these beauties! Thank you for sharing, is it okay to say – please keep it coming! So very beautiful and inspirational.

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  4. How lovely Anna ! Are they crab apples … rosehips … Beautiful lines and as Julie has said the cross hatching – like etchings and show depth and form so well .Sounds like you ‘re enjoying your time very much x

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  5. I love the following line in your post: “However, I am not interested in depicting landscape or architecture, my inspiration tends to come from the small details found in the environment,” And as always, I love the drawings you have shared with us. I see little people popping out of each drawing, which makes them all the more interesting for me..

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