Three sketches of the Hunter River

May 23, 2022 | 1 Comment

After 10 nights in Newcastle, I headed inland along the Hunter River to Maitland and surrounding areas for 4 nights. The Hunter Valley wine region is the most famous area connected with the Hunter River, but that wasn’t my focus for this brief visit.

In Maitland there is a new-ish riverwalk along the flood embankment and while it wasn’t the most exciting view the tables and benches in the sun looked to be a good spot to sketch from.

So late in the afternoon during my second day in Maitland with the sun on my back, I started to sketch the view – using my ink and coloured pencils first.

Here is the finished sketch with some of the foreground cropped. (I’ll show you the final double-page spread in a future article).

As I walked back to my car, I noticed that the view in the other direction would be fun to sketch as well.

And so that is exactly what I did the next morning – looking into the sun!

Here is the final version – and you can see that I’m still addicted to using Ultramarine blue pencil in shadow areas! 🙂

The third Hunter River sketch that I did was at Morpeth – once again in the late afternoon.

And here is the final version. Ah! I love being in the countryside! Both my parents grew up on dairy farms so it always makes me happy to be in this kind of farming area with cows nearby!

I was particularly interested in this part of the sketch where some interesting texture was achieved.

This is due to a combination of three factors:

1. The paper qualities of the Moleskine Watercolour sketchbook. This paper produces wonderfully varied washes and interesting textures. See more here and here.

2. The coloured pencils create some resist to the watercolour.

3. Most importantly, the characteristics of the watercolour wash – both in terms of the pigments/colours used (mostly DS Hansa Yellow Medium and SCH French Ultramarine) and the ratio of pigment to water in the wash.

If you haven’t already heard, I’m hosting a Live Version of my Watercolour course in June and I’m really looking forward to exploring these two important characteristics of watercolour in more detail. So stay tuned for more watercolour goodies in the lead up to starting the course. (Find out more about the Watercolour Live Version here).

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