About Hugh Buchanan
1.Tell us a bit about your background in watercolour.
My grandmother, Molly Ross, who lived at Ford near Pathhead was a talented watercolourist so I watched her working as a child. Then at Edinburgh College of Art I was lucky enough to be taught by Harry More Gordon, Elizabeth Blackadder and George Donald, all experts in that field.
2.Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Generally speaking, the buildings of Edinburgh, but more particularly the play of light over surfaces and how light enters a room. When modernists, speaking of Edinburgh, say that “We can’t live in a museum” I always respond “why not ?- what a privilege”.
3.Why do you like teaching?
I usually only teach for one or two weeks a year as I run out of things to say after that, but I do enjoy the conviviality and have made many new friends from my courses at Edinburgh College of Art Summer School, The Royal Drawing School, London and St John’s College, Oxford.
Light to Shade
Would you like to learn watercolour tips and tricks from Hugh? You have the chance to do just that! Hugh will be holding a week long architectural drawing course at Dalkeith Country Park and Palace from Monday 12 Sep – Friday 16 Sep. Come and find out more about the course and book your place now before they’re gone.
Hugh's Top Tips
4.What is different about this watercolour course?
The course is very intensive. I demonstrate each technique carefully each morning in easy to follow steps, which the students then copy. I tend to discourage people from expressing themselves too much during the week – they have the rest of their lives to do that. That may sound harsh but it’s all about acquiring traditional watercolour skills and that takes discipline, care and attention. Besides, it is much easier to express yourself when you have those traditional skills under your belt.
One of the most popular aspects of the course is the group discussion of the previous day’s work. One’s mistakes are always easier to deal with after a good night’s sleep.
5.What are your three top tips for a first time watercolourist?
You can get away with cheap paints but buy the best paper you can afford, preferably cotton rag. It really does make a difference.
Work with a limited palette. It’s amazing what you can achieve with one or two colours.
Draw one day – paint the next, at the same time – that way the light will be the same.
6.Where is your favourite place to paint/draw?
A Robert Adam bridge on the Esk – Dalkeith in other words.
7.What would you say is the biggest challenge when it comes to
Knowing when to stop.
Light to Shade | Watercolour Couse
Week long course: Monday 12 to Friday 16 September
Cost: £275 per person for the week
Times: Class starts at 9:30am and runs until 4pm daily. It is recommended to arrive for 9:15am to allow time for set up.
Location: The Loft, Restoration Yard
Refreshments: Tea and Coffee will be provided at 11am daily