Moroccan Pigment Painting

14 Mar

1-IMG_6298As some of you may know last month we spent a week visiting the beautiful country of Morocco (see my travel column about our time in the Atlas Mountains here).  While in Marrakesh we spent quite a bit of time wandering through the maze of souks (markets) and admiring all the various stalls and shops selling leather purses and slippers, ceramic bowls, carpets, jewelry, antiques and pretty much anything else you could ever desire.

One of our favorite shops to visit were the spice shops.  They were full of bottles upon bottles filled with every kind of spice and herb you could ever imagine.  The aroma these shops give off can be smelled from far away and is almost intoxicating while you’re actually inside.

At the shop above we bought little plastic sacks filled with freshly ground cumin (did you know in Morocco they put salt and cumin on the dining table instead of salt and pepper?), Moroccan 35 spice, the most intense yellow tumeric I’ve ever seen, Moroccan curry and the most amazing and pungent smelling cinnamon ever.  Since returning home I’ve tried all my spices and they are absolutely amazing.  They add so much  flavour to any dish.


But the most intriguing items we bought in one of these little spice shops were the coloured powdered pigments.  At first we had no idea what all the jars full of coloured water were but the kind shop owner Mohammed explained that these are pigments used for painting and dying clothing.  As a lover of bright colours and anything creative I decided to buy some to experiment with back home on a rainy day.  As luck would have it, the week after we arrived home we had a stay-at-home day and these pigments were the perfect activity to stay warm in front of the fireplace.

Mohammed told us to mix small amounts of the pigment powders with lemon juice.  I think the kids had just as much fun doing this than the actual painting.  The colours turned out so vibrant and reminiscent of the colours we saw everywhere in Morocco.


The paint has quite a different texture to normal paints and actually dries with a beautiful smooth and almost shiny finish.


It’s not often that these big kids of mine have time to sit down and paint for a morning like we did so often in the past.  I have to admit that I loved every single minute of it.


3 Responses to “Moroccan Pigment Painting”

  1. MarianneToma March 14, 2013 at 14:49 #

    Lovely colors!!!!

  2. Hana March 14, 2013 at 20:08 #

    Those colours are so beautiful and vibrant. I love the pictures you’ve taken in the shop with all the beautiful jars on the wall.


  1. Moroccan Purchases | - April 26, 2013

    […] just need to be mixed with lemon juice and are great for painting or dying cotton clothing (see here what the kids painted). These pigments are sold by the gram  and we paid about €3/$4 total for […]

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