Virtual Art Academy

Morocco Episode 5: Marrakesh Medina

Marrakesh Medina, by Barry John Raybould, 22cm x 30cm, Oil on Linen, , 2020
Marrakesh Medina, by Barry John Raybould, 22cm x 30cm, Oil on Linen, , 2020

Cat. No. 1318 Marrakesh Medina – 22cm x 30cm – Oil on Linen

This is a somewhat larger painting in the same street as I did the micro painting, Marrakesh Alley.

I went onto the opposite side of the street to get a slightly different perspective.

This is very near the main souk (market) in Marrakesh, and is packed with tourists. The big problem with painting in these narrow streets is the fumes from the exhaust pipes of motorbikes. Eventually I had to leave Marrakesh and escape to the mountains because I was feeling that I was getting badly poisoned by the terrible air quality. The things we put up with in the name of our art!

Stage One

On the left is the first stage of the painting. I was getting a bit hot and bothered by the end of the morning because I lost my shade and was roasting in the sun. So I messed up the value structure and wasn’t too happy with the end result.

Stage Two

So I came back the next day when the sun was in the right position and reworked the values in the light to get them closer together. This strengthened the notan structure and in the end I was quite happy with the result, on the right. It had just the feeling of light I was searching for. You can see how the value structure is simpler. It is so easy to lose this when you are painting outdoors and simultaneously struggling with getting the composition worked out, getting the color right, dealing with all the people interrupting you, dealing with traffic, and the ever changing light conditions. This painting was a lot of work!



  • I appreciate your videos, and love to see not only your process, but get a feel for the locations. Especially now that we’re all so confined. Thanks very much and take care.

  • I am enjoying the videos. They appeal to me as a Plein air painter because they do capture the moment, movement and all. Thanks for sharing them

    • Yes I was wondering if it was too long? Basically I’m not making a teaching demo and I’m not making a sales video. I’m just trying to share my experiences of what life is really like as a working artist, complete with all its chaos. This is reality – real life is not a step-by-step process like they show in the art instruction books and art instruction videos. It doesn’t work that way. I hook up the Go Pro and just shoot. Things don’t go to plan and can go off in any direction. Would you prefer I just kept the video to a couple of minutes? I’m experimenting here to try to figure out what you all would like. Its a hassle to make these videos, so I don’t want to do them if they are not helpful to you. Let me know what format you like best?

  • Hallo Barry and Jaqui

    Thank you for your newsletters- they are very good.

    I just want to know if you are a all right?
    We heard on news that Italy are severe touched by the Virus.
    Kind regards
    Vriendelike groete vanuit die Kalahari South Africa