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Chefchaouen, Morocco

Incredible, colorful & inspirational- Morocco is an artists absolute dream.

Hi friends! Madeline Rose again, founder and Illustrator at Wander Scarf. This was the first city I ever digitally drew. Why did I start with Chefchaouen? I was completely taken with the cities signature blue hue.

Also known as the blue pearl of Morocco- there are many theories as to why the city is blue. Some locals say its to keep mosquitos away, others that it has symbolic spiritual origins and many that claim it was painted to attract tourists. Whatever the case may be the city is truly singular in its beauty.

Meandering the blue streets of the city is a memorizing fairytale experience that got my imagination racing. So of course I had to recreate it in my sketch book!

My original painting of Chechaouen, Morrocco (as pictured below) is wonky to say the least... but in the messy brushstrokes I recall the full story. In the indecision to outline the buildings in pen & ink the never wrong choices of what street to wander down next. In the haphazard watered down squares is the reality of being on a road trip not able to sit down long enough to paint the windows just right. In the explosive color choices the excitement and wonder of a new experience.

These details are important when I later translate my work digitally from my sketchbook to my ipad. In redrawing my work digitally I get to refine the illustration and most importantly make new decisions.

This may sound tedious but I see it as a way to fully process and digest my experience of a city. Magenta, poppy, teal & chartreuse as you can see pictured above in my sketchbook I went a little crazy with the colors painting a city that is known for being monochromatic!

In my digital drawing of Chechaouen I decided to focus on making the signature blue of the city pop! I did this by using a more limited color pallet, meaning I chose to use less colors than I did in the original sketchbook painting. I chose colors like marigold, tangerine, papaya and wheat to compliment the azure, sky and admiral blues with a pop of jade teal.

And now here I am! Wearing my scarf creation. Chefchaouen will always have a special place in my heart. If my illustration can bring you even a tiny fraction of the wonder I felt in the blue pearl of Morocco then I am incredibly happy.

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