Meet the Correspondent: Marina Grechanik > Tel-Aviv, Israel$show=/search/label/Marina%20Grechanik

"Sketching is one of my passions. I don't feel comfortable when I leave home without a sketchbook and some pens in my bag. I think that my way to put things in my memory is to draw them. And taking pictures isn't the same thing.

I live in a very dynamic surrounding — Israel is a warm country with warm weather and warm people. Of course, we have seashores, which calm us a little bit. I love to sit in a corner of some Tel-Aviv coffee shop and explore relationships: between people, their environment, between myself. All this unique local mix of cultures, languages and styles is always a great source for inspiration. You need to be fast, because, as I said, everything is very dynamic. But that's why I love it so much.

Sometimes, I look around, and I find some usual items like sugar bags or napkins. I use them in my drawings to show the atmosphere. Sometimes I draw directly on placemats."

• Marina's art on Flickr.
• Marina's website.

Meet the Correspondent: Tina Koyama > Seattle$show=/search/label/tina%20koyama

"The dictionary says that a hobby is “an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation.” Although urban sketching certainly provides both pleasure and relaxation, I don’t think of it as my hobby. I think of it more as a way of life – something that has become such a normal part of my everydayness that it shapes how I view the world.

For most of my life I had both the fear of drawing as well as the desire to draw. In 2011, inspired by Gabi Campanario’s Seattle Sketcher column, I finally decided to overcome the fear. His drawings of Seattle – my birthplace and lifelong home – were of sights that I had seen many times, yet had never truly seen. I wanted to learn to see, and therefore experience, those locations (and any new ones that I travel to) more completely. Part 8 of the Urban Sketchers Manifesto, to “show the world, one drawing at a time,” has a flip side: Sketching enables me to see my own world, one drawing at a time.

In the last four years, it is not an exaggeration to say that Urban Sketchers has changed my life. I have met and sketched with many wonderful people around the globe, either at symposiums or during other travel, because the USk network brought us together. I sketch almost weekly with my local group, sharing sketches, art supplies and friendship. Even when I stay home and enjoy sketches online, I am still a part of that rich network, learning with every sketch about other people’s lives.

In May, my husband Greg and I went to France for the first time, and I sketched the Eiffel Tower. Sketching one of the world’s most famous icons felt like a dream come true – the ultimate in urban sketching. But although I can’t resist sketching world-famous icons whenever I’m fortunate enough to see them, for me, urban sketching is much more than that.

Urban sketching is a tree with its middle chopped away to accommodate Seattle’s ubiquitous power lines. It’s about a couple of women chatting over coffee, or about workers roofing the house next door. It’s about an excavator filling a hole where a cherry tree once stood. Or the Tibetan monastery I drive by frequently that I couldn’t resist because it’s bright orange. Urban sketching is a string band performing at a local farmers’ market – or perhaps in Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Celebrating the mundane as well as the famous is what urban sketching is all about. My sketches are not necessarily about “special” moments; they are moments made special because I sketched them."

Tina has been editor of Drawing Attention since 2013 and now serves on the Urban Sketchers editorial board. See more of her sketches on her blog, on Flickr and on Instagram.

Meet the Correspondent: Pete Scully > Davis, Calif.$show=/search/label/Pete%20Scully

"I am from urban north London, but now live in urbane Davis California. I sketch, I write, sometimes do things and go places and my name is Pete.

When not Davis, I sketch Sacramento, San Francisco, London, or anywhere else I happen to be. I tend to erase people and cars from my cities, but I'm starting to get over this.

Davis: calm, old-fashioned, progressive, quirky, very very hot in the summer. I use micron and copic pens, with watercolour."

• Pete's blog.
• Pete's art on Flickr.

Meet the Correspondent: Suhita Shirodkar > San Jose, Calif.$show=/search/label/Suhita%20Shirodkar

"I was born in Mumbai (Bombay) and lived in different parts of India until I moved to San Jose, California, where I now live.

Travel inspires my art, but, traveling or not, I try to view the world around me as a traveller would; so whether I’m capturing a moment of calm on the banks of the Ganges in India, or sketching over coffee at my local coffee shop, I aim to look deeply, and with wonder, at both the everyday and the exotic, the old and the new.

I love color. My sketch kit consists of Extra Fine Sharpies (the fact that they bleed into the paper as soon as they touch it works really well for me—it forces me to work super-quick), a small set of Prismacolor pencils and a little watercolor travel set".

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

Drawing Attention: Happy Birthday to Urban Sketchers!

November marked the second year of the Urban Sketchers blog and today, Dec. 6, marks the 1st anniversary of our incorporation as a nonprofit organization aimed at fostering the art of on-location drawing and helping sketchers around the world connect with each other.

Please join us in celebrating our achievements and consider ways to get involved and help us fulfill our mission of showing the world, one drawing at a time. (Keep reading to find out volunteer positions we are announcing today.)

The three-day Symposium in 48 photos.

Our first educational initiative: The Urban Sketching Symposium
In July, we organized our first major event, the 1st International Urban Sketching Symposium in Portland, Oregon, USA. The three-day, hands-on workshop was hosted by Pacific Northwest College of Art and drew nearly 100 sketchers from across the United States and from countries as far as Australia, Singapore, Japan, Mauritania, Dominican Republic, Belgium, Spain and Italy. Participants received sketchbooks and art supplies provided by Moleskine, Canson, Faber-Castell, Legion Paper and Portland art store Art Media. The event featured a blend of lectures, panels, exhibits and sketch outings led by a diverse team of international presenters with backgrounds in art education, architecture, illustration and journalism. Details are being nailed down for the next Symposium in beautiful, sunny Lisbon this July. Look for an official announcement soon!

O Estado de São Paulo newspaperIndonesia SketchersIl Corriere della SeraEl País. January 21st, 2010

In the media
In 2010, media outlets around the world continued to draw attention to the art of urban sketching and its practicioners. Our blog correspondents and members were featured on TV and radio broadcasts and in newspapers and magazines, including
The Artist’s Magazine, O Estado de Sao Paulo (Brazil), Red Report (Brazil), El País (Spain), The National (United Arab Emirates), Il Corriere della Sera (Italy), Kompass (Indonesia) and I Journal (Portugal). More articles here.

By the numbers
Since its launch in November of 2008, volunteer correspondents have published more than 6,000 entries on the Urban Sketchers blog, which has received 2.9 million visits. More than 7,000 readers subscribe to the blog feed.

The urban sketching community has grown to 3,555 flickr members and 9,961 Facebook fans.

Regional blogs
Our regional blogs have grown thanks to the initiative of many urban sketchers who have started sketching groups where they live. As you know, drawing together is part of our manifesto! Our current blog roll includes eight country-based blogs (
Singapore, Argentina, Indonesia, Portugal, Mexico, Italy, Spain, República Dominicana), nine city-based blogs (Seattle, Twin Cities, Indianapolis, Seoul, Moscow, Portland, San Francisco/Bay Area, Memphis, Washington DC) and one island-based blog (Sardinia).

Urban sketchers on Facebook
Some regional sketchers groups have formed on Facebook as well:
Málaga, Singapore, Bangkok, Penang, Indonesia, Portugal, Portland and Italy.

100630_Tiong Bahru Sketches

Group exhibits showcase on-location sketches
The work of Urban Sketchers correspondents and members has been featured in group exhibits around the world:
Several blog correspondents have published books this year: Sketches of Pulo Pinang by Kiah Kieahn (USK Penang), St Emilion by Lapin (USK Barcelona), Diarios de Viagem em Cabo Verde by Eduardo Salavisa (USK Lisbon), Diarios de Viagem em Lisboa by Eduardo Salavisa, João Catarino, José Louro, Pedro Cabral (USK Lisbon) and others, Flaneur by Edgardo Minond (USK Buenos Aires), Hier colonisés by Laura Genz (USK Paris).

USk_USA_HaitiPosterCanson-USK collaboration
  • Call to action poster: To call attention to the need to help victims of January’s earthquake in Haiti, Marc Taro Holmes produced a print-ready, call-to-action-poster with location sketches by Melanie Reim.
  • Canson ad: Canson selected NYC blog correspondent Veronica Lawlor to illustrate one of their ads for Juxtapoz Magazine. The urban sketching illustration project was possible thanks to a partnership between Urban Sketchers and Canson. Lawlor generously donated 10 percent of her commission to the nonprofit.
Here’s a breakdown of our nonprofit's finances since incorporation on Dec. 6, 2009.

Income: Our sources of income so far have come from direct donations, revenue from the Symposium (which was a joint partnership with the host art school), a Moleskine fundraiser campaign and revenue from Google Ads and Blog Ads.
  • Individual donations: $955.98
  • Moleskine fundraiser donations: $2,756
  • Google Ads: $337.50
  • Blog Ads: $558.07
  • Share of Symposium revenue: $11,978.41
  • Total income: $16,585.96
Expenses: Our expenses were associated with organizing the Symposium, shipping costs for the Moleskine sketchbooks fundraiser, filing fees associated with the nonprofit status and web account renewals.
  • Reimbursement of Symposium instructors travel expenses: $7,951.39
  • Tax exempt application to obtain 501(c)(3) status: $850
  • Miscellaneous expenses (Flickr pro account, domain renewal and P.O. Box): $110.05
  • Shipping of Moleskine sketchbooks: $677.71
  • Total expenses: $9,589.15
Balance: $6,996.81

We’re really excited to have raised enough funds to achieve our nonprofit status and pull off our first educational initiative (the Symposium). Our goal for 2011 is to offer at least one scholarship to the 2nd Annual Symposium and to develop other programs/grants for urban sketchers. By making a donation, participating in our events or visiting this blog, you are helping us fulfill our mission of showing the world, one drawing at a time! Thank you for supporting Urban Sketchers!


Today we are announcing two open positions on the Board of Directors and four focused positions. As with all roles in our organization, including the board, these are volunteer positions. We’d also appreciate any help we can get! If you would like to volunteer your time and/or skills on a less formal basis, please e-mail urbansketchers at gmail dot com to get more involved.

Here’s a brief summary of the positions and job descriptions:

Member of the Board of Directors: A board member is an enthusiastic sketcher or urban sketching advocate who actively participates in online board member meetings, promotes the organization’s mission and volunteers their time to help develop nonprofit activities and fundraising programs.
Executive Director: The Executive Director is a passionate sketcher or urban sketching advocate who works closely with the Board of Directors to implement our mission, coordinating all the nonprofit’s activities and programs.
Development Director: The Development Director is a passionate sketcher or urban sketching advocate who comes up with fundraising initiatives and works closely with the board to find ways to put them in practice.
Communications Director: The Communications Director is a passionate sketcher or urban sketching advocate who handles our social media outlets (Facebook and Twitter), relations with the media, “Drawing Attention” newsletter and any other communication needs.
Web Master/Information Technology Director: The IT Director is a passionate sketcher or urban sketching advocate who manages our network of blogs and helps us develop a strong online presence.

Happy holidays and happy sketching for the New Year!





USk News$type=blogging$ct=0$au=0$m=0$show=


[Workshops Blog]$type=two$c=12$ct=0$m=0$show=