I try not to get nervous when a soldier with a machine gun watches me paint. But this guy in the medina of Tunis was very cool. There was a language barrier, so after I exhausted my pleasantries in French and Arabic, he just quietly watched.
I actually spent two sessions to capture this watercolor of the minaret at the Sidi Youssef mosque in Tunis. The sun was rapidly setting and the moon rising, while the light of the souq was brightening. I used gouache on this one just for the sky, because I couldn't capture the even gradation in transparent watercolor.
Here's the narrow street where I was painting (photo courtesy Alan Dean Foster). The loudspeakers from the minaret resounded with the call to prayer, and behind me in the government square, a brass band accompanied the daily flag ceremony.