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Watercolor sketching in Guanajuato, Mexico

Visiting Guanajuato can be overwhelming because there’s so much to see.  Sketching priorities compete with sightseeing and dining priorities and end up falling to the bottom of the list.  So the following watercolor sketch was done from a reference photo taken from an overlook over the city.

Guanajuato City is part of the State of Guanajuato in central Mexico.  It is a university town tucked into a deep valley and surrounded by the ruins of once majestic  haciendas from the Spanish Colonial period.  In the sketch below, the steep steps up to the entrance of the university are clearly visible.

Guanajuato2

Illustration: Watercolor and pen-and-ink by Black Elephant Blog author

The University of Guanajuato has about 30,000 students–and shares the town with a number of elementary and high schools.  Needless to say, at lunch time, the city’s small plazas and narrow alleyways are filled with students.  Fortunately for them, most of the main roads pass through the city via underground tunnels which were formed long ago by rivers.

There’s a whole lot to learn about this city from its past as a Spanish colonial city, a silver-mining town, its role in the Mexican War for Independence, and the birthplace of Mexican artist Diego Rivera.  Dining on the outdoor patios of one of the historic restaurants lining the main plaza is a real treat, and the chef in the one we visited clearly was world-class.  There is enough to do here for several days at least, but we must move on…

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