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St Giles Cathedral

St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh

St Giles Cathedral
St Giles Cathedral

Royal Mile

St Giles Cathedral stands proudly along Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile in-between the Castle and John Knox House. It has a distinctive crowned spire which reminds me of Newcastle’s St Nicholas Cathedral. Today it attracts a congregation of several hundred worshippers led by around 50 elders who manage the building and the church. When I say church, I mean the people, not the building.

Prints of Edinburgh

For this particular painting of Edinburgh I wanted to make the Cathedral the main focal point, so I made took photographs of the sun hitting the stone work. This meant that most of the rest of the buildings were in shadow. To create further interest, I wanted to show the Royal Mile on a typical rainy Edinburgh day, so I took some reference photographs of the High Street in the rain with plenty of folk avoiding the puddles. Using a combination of photographs taken on two different days I was able to produce this watercolour capturing a burst of sunlight breaking out from behind the clouds after a heavy Scottish downpour. The red phone box and black cab add further colour and movement to the whole aspect of life in the city. It’s been one of my best selling limited edition prints of Edinburgh.

Painting St Giles

Painting St Giles Cathedral in these colours can provide a number of challenges for the watercolorist. Warm, golden yellow colours running into cold greys can easily go wrong. The yellow merging into grey can go a dirty green which is not what you want at all. Practise is key to achieving a more than satisfactory result.

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