McEwan Hall, Edinburgh – Pencil and grey watercolour washes

I pass this building often and have always wanted to paint or draw it. My problem is, like many 100 year old buildings, the architectural details are overwhelming. If you look too closely at it more and more bits and pieces appear. My problem is what to leave out. I’ve tried to solve this in two ways. Firstly, I concentrated on one section of the structure – in this case towards the left hand entrance. Secondly, I overplayed the tree in the foreground by making it really stand out. I actually started this last year and found the unfinished attempt while looking for something else. Hope it works.

The McEwan Hall was presented to Edinburgh University by a famous politician who made his fortune in the brewing industry. Edinburgh was/is world famous for her beers and McEwans ales and, later, McEwans Export were among the leading brands. The hall was completed in 1897 and has recently undergone a great deal of restoration. The paved square, at the front, is a wonderful place to relax – except when the skateboards take over. The hall is one of the leading venues for concerts and conferences while the university uses it for graduation ceremonies. One Moleskiner, a long, long, long time ago, was capped in this place.