01/13: Chefchaouen, or The Blue City

Chefchaouen is  a small city in northern Morocco with a breathtakingly beautiful old city, where whitewashed walls are covered with indigo dyes to create a blue labyrinth. The history of the city includes a sizable Jewish and Morisco quarter during the 15th century, and Spanish occupation in the 20th century. This history created an urban fabric that mixed the chaotic and maze like medina quarter with more western styled public courtyards and small plazas.

I have never been to Chefchaouen, however a class I took this past semester required that students sketch from a slide show, rather than traveling to a site and sketching the physical environment. This means that position and perspective are given, and it becomes an exercise in deciding how much and how detailed should the sketch become. Is it still an honest sketch? There is an idea of accurate representation remaining faithful to the photo, as opposed to an evocative representation, attempting to capture some sense of dynamism or emotion into a scene. I’m not sure I succeeded in either attempt, but it is a very interesting question of what is the highest sense of truth behind an image.

IMG_0321 IMG_0281 IMG_0341Images courtesy of Professor Valerio Morabito.

img007 img014 img004Sketches by the author.

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