Highland Games Sketchbook


44 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-88887-941-5





Reviewed by Else Ransom

Else Ransom lived in Chelmsford, Ontario.


Douglas Fales, a Canadian artist and author, captures the events of the Highland Games in this collection of 32 sketches. Since he is also a competitor, he understands first-hand the tension and the spirit that must go into this athletic spectacle.

Among the events portrayed (all of which call for heavyweight athletes) are the hammer throw, the caber toss, the shotput, and the “walk” — carrying two sections of iron weighing 300 pounds (126 kg) or more. All the events require brawn and skill.

Mr. Fales’s sketches, approximately 9 x 10 inches (20 x 23 cm) are all captioned and suitable for framing. He draws with sure strokes, whether it be a youthful solo drummer or judges in solemn discussion. His hefty subjects are captured with powerful grace and expressiveness. Character, vitality, and determination come through in every face. The text provides a history of the Games and includes a calendar of competitions held throughout Canada, the United States, and, of course, Scotland.

Highland Games Sketchbook ought to be of interest to any athlete, not only Scots, and an inspiration to those who like to draw.


Fales, Douglas A., “Highland Games Sketchbook,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 23, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/38249.