Essaouira, formerly known as Mogadur, is a fishing town on the northwestern coast of Morocco. As a historic fishing village, it is another UNESCO world heritage site. A group of artists and students, including myself and others, are here with teacher Diane Olivier to sketch for a week.
The network of narrow alleys formed by thick walls and tunnels keeps the areas incredibly cool. The courtyards in the houses and riads (small hotels with courtyards originally private houses) are also provide light and ventilation to deep dark, and cool rooms surrounded by thick walls.
Above: Views of the local Medina, or walled village with shops inside. At one point there were more Jewish people living here than Moroccans, but now there is only one. Shops sell carpets, argan oil, wood products, and artwork to tourists. Every shot represents a drawing opportunity!
Speaking of Drawing, here are a few sketches below. We are encouraged to draw during free time and share our work at the end of the day. Diane, the instructor, has done this workshop for six years in Essaouira. She knows her way around the town and all the nooks and crannies. We officially started with gesture drawings (on the left) of people walking through the plaza. We also drew each other, and a twenty-minute “blind” gesture drawing of a classmate, without looking at our paper. The goal was to draw what your eye sees, not what your brain tells you to do.
Views from and of rooms were good material, as well as views from rooftop terraces.
Below: details to discover throughout walks inside the walls. The port and beach (apparently laden with camel poop) lie outside the walls.
My lovely room assigment: a suite with a sitting room:
There are plenty of restaurants in the local area, with fresh whole fish for $10.