The hotel I have been in for the last two weeks (I changed due to the appalling food and service at the other one, but that's a tale for my other blog) is on a busy down-town junction. Following writing exams, I got to come back early to mark the papers. Before starting, I'm great at procrastination, I had lunch and was watching the people opposite catching buses. Masses of people would appear, as if from no-where, stand for no more than 5 or 6 minutes and then get swallowed up by a bus. The three women in my sketch were not standing there at the same time, but are representational of the groups that were. I drew them in consecutively left to right. Sometimes they were all women of mixed ages, sometimes old married women in their thobes, and at other times young women in their denim skirts and bright colours. Men were also waiting.
The traditional wear for married women is the thobe, and it can look really beautiful and elegant. However, some of the larger ladies allow it to slip underneath their bellies and get wrapped around their shoulders, as the lady on the left of the sketch and in this bottom photo.
Back in my room and after doing half the marking, I worked with the resistance of the moleskin paper, using a virtually dry brush, to add the colour. I also took the photos out of my 5th floor window.
Top - people disappearing into a bus, middle - a daisy-print thobe & traditional jelabiah, bottom- how thobes often end up. Can you imagine what it looks like face on?