Mubarakiyya Souk, Kuwait

Mubarakiyya Souk
Entrance to the Mubarakiyya Souk, Kuwait

Paintings of Kuwait

In 2009 I spent a couple of weeks painting on location in Kuwait. Several different subjects attracted my attention and demanded to be painted. One was the entranceway to the Mubarakiyya Souk in Kuwait City.

I found a suitable place to sit outside the entranceway in the warmth of the January sunlight. Peering into the darkness, I was able to pick out the architectural details of the souk. This was in contrast to the movement of the locals wearing their Abayas and Dishdashas.

I worked directly onto the handmade watercolour paper in my sketchbook with watercolour paint. It was important to capture the flowing fabrics of the clothing to create movement. The rich rusty reds of the interior of the souk created further interest.

Mubarakiyya Souk
Sketchbook Watercolour of the Souk

Sketchbook Study of Souk

My activities attracted some attention from the locals who were both curious and friendly. These studies later became the catalyst for two studio paintings. One was A4, the other a 21” x 14” watercolour. This has become a popular limited edition giclee print. I made a conscious effort to retain the fluidity of the sketchbook studies in the studio paintings. The smallest of the two of Mubarakiyya Souk sold at an exhibition in Kuwait.


You can read more about my exhibition in Kuwait in this blog post from September 2012.

It’s watercolour paintings like this that really do benefit from the sketchbook studies. In particular, the studies of the figures painted on the spot are fresh and spontaneous. It’s important to retain that freshness in the studio painting.

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