AN INTERNATIONAL rugby star is making a splash in the art world after picking up a pencil during lockdown.

Harvey Elms has represented Scotland in the World Rugby Sevens Series across the globe but found himself grounded thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

And although he has still been training, he has also found time to return to art, with orders coming in in the lead-up to Christmas.

He said: “I started up an Instagram art page during the first lockdown when everybody was thinking of random things to do to keep themselves occupied.

“I always knew I could draw, my pop was not an artist but he did stuff – more with paintings.

“I always had an interest in art from school but never did anything with it. I was at university and then rugby and did not have the time.

“But lockdown meant I had more than enough time and gave it a crack.”

The former North Berwick and Currie star started taking commissions and soon found himself attracting plenty of interest.

The majority of his work has come from creating portraits of people’s pets, with the 25-year-old fitting in the orders around training and days off.

East Lothian Courier: International rugby star Harvey Elms has been showing his artistic side during lockdown

He said: “During the last lockdown and going into the winter, I was training away but this was something to do when I got back from training or on my days off to keep my mind not just consumed with rugby.

“I did that and said I would take commissions for Christmas.

“Quite a lot of people got in touch with me and I was pretty busy with that!

“Now, I’m trying to keep it going.

“I had a break after Christmas – I had been doing it for about a month straight and with training I was a bit knackered with it.

“I started up again a few weeks ago and I’m trying new things.”

Elms, who grew up in North Berwick before moving to Edinburgh, studied Higher Art when he was at the town’s secondary school.

Mum and dad Pamela and Brian still stay in the town, as well as nana Margaret Dunning, while Harvey’s brother Charlie and fiancée Daisy live in nearby Gullane.

Capped 21 times for Scotland, Harvey told the Courier he enjoyed the subject, if not the essay side of it.

Now, he is returning to art and again enjoying his work.

He said: “It is pencil stuff just now but I have still got quite a bit of time and might venture into new techniques and see what I like doing the most.

“I don’t think I’ll be swapping rugby for art just yet.

“It’s a little side hobby just now – who knows, I might become Picasso!”