Reading Time: 3 minutes

Welcome back to the We Have Great Stuff – Volume 3 colour book-project. In this post, I will tell and show what we have been up to as well as offering insights into my working practice of turning pictures into sketches.

So, I took my own advice from my last post: I went on a long walk around Edinburgh on a beautiful autumn day. My goal was to take pictures around University of Edinburgh’s (UoE) campuses and buildings that could work as a basis for sketches to use in the colour book. I got away with quite a few inspiring pictures in addition to the benefits of the exercise and fresh air.

Next step was and is to turn those pictures into sketches that can be coloured by you; an activity that will hopefully offer a mindful stress-relief from pandemic anxiety (as well as every other kind) and a pause from screen time. When I create the drawings, I get into a flow of creativity; depending on my mood, I put on my favourite music or alternatively an audiobook/podcast if I want to learn something new while creating. In fact doing something with my hands, increases my ability to focus on the podcast, otherwise my mind wanders too much. As evidenced by the sketches below, I am mostly drawn to geometrical and flower-like patterns. This is because they are easier to draw on a computer but also because they are the kinds of illustrations I enjoy colouring myself. Hopefully, you will too.

The book is set to be ready for the summer examination period in 2021, and while I cannot wait to hold the final product in my hands, we thought the benefits of a creative time-out could be valuable right now. Therefore, some of the drawings I have already made are included in this post, and I encourage you to print and colour them to your heart’s content. If you do colour some (or all) of them, please do not hesitate to share the outcome (or your process) on social media using the hashtags #WeHaveGreatStuff and #WeAreEdinburgh. That way we can inspire each other and I can see which ones attract your attention and creative energy.

I hope you enjoy them as mush as I did making them, and that colouring them will offer you a creative and mindful break from stress and Zoom. Have fun and take care!

The Drawings

Some of the sketches are of pictures of items from UoE’s collections, from the Centre for Research Collections, which can be explored more at their digital image database: The University of Edinburgh, Image Collections. Others are of architectural details of UoE buildings photographed by me.

1. Iron fence

This is the fence found outside of Minto House. This was also featured in my last post, but here it is with a drawing ready for some colours.

2. Castle

This is a detail from a lamp post found outside of McEwan Hall.

3. Celtic knot

Drawn from the front cover of Scotland’s oldest book. Held in the CRC.

4. Soundboard detail

This is a soundboard detail from a guitar dating from circa 1640 attributed to Matteo Sellas. Items like this can be explored in person at St. Cecilia’s Hall.

  • Title: Guitar (Attributed to Matteo Sellas) : DETAIL
    • Item/Collection reference: 279
    • Collection name: MIMEd (Musical Instrument Museums Edinburgh)

5. Mural

This is a mural found at Charteris Land at the Holyrood Campus.

6. Ventilation detail

This ventilation grid can be seen on the side of The Bedlam Theatre.

7. Facade

This facade is found at 10 Crichton Street, the building right next to Appleton Tower.

Free online sketching tool

I use this online tool, Sketchpad to transform the pictures to drawings.

For more information on how to create your own, visit our colouring books page Information Services, Colouring Books.

Marta Christiansen

(Copyright © The University of Edinburgh 2021 CC BY)