Travel-Sketching Oaxaca: Jumping Right in

I’m back from a wonderful week teaching a travel-sketching workshop in Oaxaca, Mexico. I thought I’d share sketches from the trip and take you along for the ride. We sketched in markets, and in the streets, at ancient sites and on walking tours of the city. We drew people and places, and captured the life, color and magic of Oaxaca in our sketchbooks.

I arrived early on Sunday morning in Oaxaca, a couple of days before the workshop so I could check out actual locations and do some prep-sketching before the workshop. There’s something surreal to stepping into a completely new world, especially after a red-eye flight. I headed straight to the zócalo when I arrived. Because there’s something really lovely about how many families you see around on the streets on a weekend enjoying a stroll, a meal or just a balloon from a colorful balloon seller.

I had breakfast at Mercado 20 de Noviembre where you can choose from a lot of food stalls and watch the action as you enjoy your breakfast tamale with steaming bowl of chocolate con agua. If you’re in Oaxaca, don’t skip the tamale experience: Oaxacan tamales are cooked in banana leaves, not corn husks, and this gives them a truly wonderful aroma.

I wandered through the narrow, hot and bustling alley where meats are smoked and served with tacos. I wanted to check it out for a market sketching location, but some places, exciting as they are to draw, that are not meant for group sketching… But I couldn’t resist a quick sketch in the alley.

Here is the finished sketch.

And here’s one more sketch from the market. This time of a stall selling plump chorizo and giant tortillas used to make tlayudas. I call a sketch successful when I can look at it later and see what struck me most about an experience. Can you tell I was fascinated by just how plump those chorizo sausages were?


This was just pre-workshop sketching, so there’s a lot more from Oaxaca coming up. Soon.


About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in oaxaca, Sketch Journal, teaching, Travel, Workshop and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Travel-Sketching Oaxaca: Jumping Right in

  1. Thomas Richmond says:

    really enjoyed the sketches in the market,interesting subject and well done

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Seems like I can smell that smoking meat! Can’t wait to see more.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. rhodadraws says:

    Thanks for bringing back memories of my visit to Oaxaca last year!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These scenes are wonderful. I love the inclusion of photos and even the video clip to make it so vivid!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I neglected to mention that I absolutely love your use of all those bright colors and wonderfully loose lines!!

    Liked by 1 person

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