Paterson and Morpeth

May 25, 2022 | 9 Comments

On my first full day staying in Maitland I decided to visit two small historic towns nearby. The first was Paterson, a lovely little village along the Paterson River. The main road weaves its way through the village and this is the main corner with the Post Office and Court House Hotel behind.

There was a cafe nearby, so after ordering a coffee, I started a sketch of these two buildings.

I took a few video clips at the time, so here are a few screenshots. Ink first and then some coloured pencils.

Someone needs to sharpen her pencil!

And then the fun part – painting over the top in a way to support the CP lines below.

Here is the finished sketch…

… and detail of the Post Office. The brickwork was really fun to do and I’m loving the CP in the shadow areas.

Here is a detail of the pub – with more colourful shadow areas!

After my coffee and sketch I went for a walk around town… this looks like a courthouse!

I wanted to do some sketching but there was a bit of smoke in the air.

So I ended up simply taking a few photos and then hitting the road again.


The next town – Morpeth – is a place that I’ve been to before. In fact, this is the location where I wanted to stay but accommodation was too limited/expensive. It has a very impressive main street…

with lots of verandahed buildings! I was looking for a cafe with a view.

And I found one – however it was a cool morning with a strong breeze so it was not really pleasant sitting at this outside table in the shade. Just for the record, I don’t always sketch my coffee or my food! 🙂

My line drawing

Coloured pencils added – just before starting to paint.

Finished sketch – I had a lot of fun doing this!

And here is a detail of the corner pub.

I was a little chilled after doing that sketch so I walked back to my car and then parked in a sunny spot to warm up.

I was opposite a church… so that was my next subject.

Here is the finished version.

As Morpeth is only 10 minutes drive from East Maitland (where I was staying) I decided to return to it the next day and visit a tearoom. The Servant Quarters Tearoom is in a courtyard behind the Campbell Stores so of course, I had to sketch the building first.

This sketch took me 9 minutes to do standing up on the side of the road. BTW coloured pencils are certainly more convenient to use than watercolour for a quick standing up sketch.

Here is the finished sketch after a little watercolour.

The tea and scones were really good and I loved the spotty teapot!

I finished that afternoon in Morpeth doing this sketch of the Hunter River (which I shared in a separate article). Here is the full spread including my most used coloured pencils at the moment. The three Bruynzeel Design pencils that I had purchased the week before from Adamstown Art became favourites straight away!

And then finally here are the completed double-page spreads containing my sketches of Paterson and Morpeth.

And finally (finally!) I finish this article with a photo of some cows. Just because it makes me happy!


  • Tina Koyama says:

    Well, now you know why colored pencils have been my only color medium the past several years… I do almost all my location sketching standing up! 😉

  • Arlene Lennox says:

    Thanks for this series. I’m going to have to get a few colored pencils and try watercoloring over them. I especially like the texture it creates in foliage.

    • Liz Steel says:

      Have fun Arlene – I think most people would find WCPs easier to use with watercolour… though of course I’m liking CPs at the moment.

  • cat b says:

    Well first, thank you for the field of cows. They make me happy. I enjoyed having them outside my front door in Wales when I was stationed there. Never thought of sketching them, but they would have given me the time to do several poses.
    Second, I have been following your book of CP usage, and I admire you for committing 100%. As with probably many students, I am trying them too. Can’t say I enjoy the experiment, but I enjoy the challenge of learning.
    Thanks and welcome back!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Thak s Cat – glad cows make you happy too! I’ve certainly enjoyed the CP but its nice to get back to plain ink and wash 🙂

  • Jamie C says:

    There is beautiful and distinct style emerging in this technique and trip!

  • Sharon Bergman says:

    I have visited and stayed at Morpeth as my ancestors came from there. I love that so much of the town would have been the same in their time. You have inspired me to go again and sketch.

    Sharon from Perth

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