Klipriver nature reserve is situated between Alberton and Kibler Park, below Mulbarton. There is no entrance charge or fence restriction.
When we went there at wintertime, there were youngsters on two quad-bikes having fun riding up and over rough terrain. Maybe they were there practicing, because nearby there is a popular cross country bike track grounds close to the reserve.
There is a sand bank dam in the upper part of the nature reserve is surrounded by reeds. Previously I have done an autumn colour oil painting of the dam. With silver shimmer on the dam water and the sun setting low, it gave the scene a golden-pinkish atmospheric haze. I’ve shown the dam in a photo, but I can’t show the painting I did because the painting has been sold. But why I have mentioned it? Because its a lesser known nature reserve and should be updated and upgraded as a tourist venue. I only hope its reserved for wildlife and folks don’t carelessly destroy it with sport vehicles and pollute it with rubbish.
Wildlife and birdwatching:
Some of the reserve is open velt (grassland) and a part with rock outcrops. But further along below Kilber park, there is marshland with a stream running through tall reeds. Naturally where there are reeds, there is always a possibility of finding water bird life, birds and ducks like weavers, Egyptian geese, coots, egrets and herons.
Now a watercolour demo of the Klipriver nature reserve:
I mainly use Winsor Newton pigments because of their quality, but sometimes use other products to create special effects. It all depends of cause on what art materials are available in South Africa.
- First a light overall imprimatura wash of raw sienna, and when that was dry a light wash of French ultramarine blue in the sky area.
- Next, the distant mountain range was put in, leaving a jigger (rapid jerky up and down strokes) contour bottom edge for grass outline. The camera always makes distant mountains look flat and insignificant. I always like to enlarge distant mountains and exploit the colours to enhance my paintings.
- The trees were put in before the middle ground and foreground. The big bare tree was painted with burnt umber with French ultramarine blue dropped-in.
- For me it’s always fun adding fine twigs to trees. Notice the light extra wash of blue and pink is added to the twigs. This aura softens the contrast and bareness of the branches and twigs of the tree, preventing the painting from been stark.
- For the dry winter grass I used raw sienna, and where spots were reserved for highlights I added Rembrandt gamboge yellow. This pigment is more translucent than Winson Newton’s gamboge yellow.
- The chiaroscuro over the tree’s roots gives the painting involved dimension. That is, not only visually stepping over the roots, but somewhat like you were climbing over them, up the bank.
- A tinge of sap green was added here and there. And the blue of the sky is recaptured below in the lower part of the painting.