Meet the Correspondent: Omar Jaramillo > Berlin$show=/search/label/Omar%20Jaramillo

"I was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where I studied architecture. I moved to Kassel (Germany) in 1999 to accomplish a master degree. Although I have always drawn and paint, it was not until I started studying in the Uni-Kassel, that I started keeping a travel sketchbook. I had a teacher there who used to do a lot of sketches when he travelled on university excursions. When he retired, I helped to organize an exhibition of his sketches. He brought a huge box full of sketchbooks he had filled since he was an architecture student. I spent a whole day selecting the most interesting drawings. It was a wonderful experience that opened my eyes to a new world. In the last 10 years I have the feeling of being in a long journey. I like to discover the cities where I live, to understand why a place is the way it is and what makes it different and unique from others. Drawing is for me a way to learn to love a place, to become part of it. I like to draw architecture but I am more attracted to urban scenery, portraying how people live in the city. Since I’m a foreigner, everything that locals find normal and taken-for-granted, for me is exotic. I always carry a small watercolor travel set from Windsor and Newton and my sketchbook in my bag. I always thought that drawing was a solitary experience until I found Urban Sketchers. It was amazing to find so many people doing the same thing. It is a great place to share!" • Omar's blog. • Omar's art on flickr. • Omar's website.

Meet the Correspondent: Luis Ruiz > Malaga, Spain$show=/search/label/Luis%20Ruiz

At street level

Google’s Street View was launched in the UK last month, with 360 degree views of 25 cities now available as part of its mapping service. I have already found it handy, after time spent drawing, for recalling architectural details once I’m back in the studio. Images taken with a digital camera would do the job better and be more up to date than the Street View images, which were taken last summer (you can tell by the overcast conditions), but this online option could be a useful alternative.

It’s not, of course, something to rely upon too heavily. Street View rarely offers quite the view you worked on, unless you draw on central reservations or from the roofs of cars. As if to prove the point, the view above, drawn from a cafe in Lower Regent Street, is, like the views outside Downing Street and Buckingham Palace, unavailable on Street View. It's as if some parts of town just don't exist.

Meanwhile, I’m anxiously awaiting the time when Google gets around to introducing Cafe View, showing panoramic views from the windows of beverage emporiums around the globe. Now that would be really useful.



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