It was a great place to sketch - lots of shady spots to sit in, and lots of things happening: a band, bouncy castles and sack races for the kids. Great food and great stalls.
Initially I sat in the shade in the food area and sketched one of the stalls. There were many more people in the area than I drew here, but I found that after a while the area had become more of a thoroughfare, and that people were moving too fast to sketch easily. For the people I used my usual technique of basically just drawing on A4 paper, and sketching people as fast as I could.
I realised that this probably wasn't the easiest way to sketch people very fast. So I started drawing at a much smaller scale, using my favourite 0.05 technical pen. I also tried sketching the person's head reaslitically, but then drawing the rest of the stance as a stick figure, marking the shoulders and hips with a horizontal line. This worked much better, and was very quick. I got the stances more correct, and was able to check that I was drawing the weight bearing lines more convincingly. I could remember what the person was wearing, and finish the sketch more easily, even if they moved off. This is the sketch below that I did using this technique - you can still see some of the stick figure lines - and I think it worked out much better. Also, by this time, I moved over to the craft stalls, where people tended to stop and look for longer. I did the watercolour work at home.
Battle Hill was the site of one of the last battles between Maori and early colonial forces in the region. Now it is Battle Hill Farm Forest Park, which is a 500 ha working farm with a camping site, great views, lots of streams and many tracks to walk or ride on.