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

Santo Domingo Symposium website and press release

Our Symposium website is up and running at! Stay tuned for full list of instructors, workshops descriptions and registration information coming in March. Below is also our press release. Help us spread the word and hope to see you in Santo Domingo in July! To receive updates, sign up to the Symposium mailing list using the gadget at the top of the right sidebar. -->


Santo Domingo to host 3rd International Urban Sketching Symposium

(By URBAN SKETCHERS. Feb. 20, 2012) — The Dominican capital of Santo Domingo is the host city of the 3rd International Urban Sketching Symposium July 12-14, 2012. This three-day event is organized by Urban Sketchers, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering the art of on-location drawing.

More than 100 local and international sketching enthusiasts will gather in Santo Domingo to capture the city's people and architecture with their drawings.

At the heart of the three-day conference are 40 hands-on sketching workshops around Santo Domingo’s Colonial Zone, panels and lectures that will take place at Centro Cultural de España (CCE), and a closing reception at Museo de las Casas Reales. The Center and the Museum are centrally located in Santo Domingo’s Colonial District, within walking distance of scenic city landmarks such as Santa María Cathedral, the first in América; Alcazar de Colón (Columbus Palace); the National Pantheon; the Fortress of Santo Domingo, known as Ozama Fortress; ruins of the Monastery of San Francisco; and many more monuments from the 1500's.

The sketching workshops will be led by an influential team of local and international artists, including Frank Ching, renowned author of architectural drawing and design bestsellers and professor emeritus at the University of Washington; Melanie Reim, chair of the MFA in illustration program at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City; Eduardo Bajzek, architect and illustrator from São Paulo, Brazil; Inma Serrano, an art educator from Sevilla, Spain; Thomas Thorspecken, an Orlando based artist, teacher and former Walt Disney art director; Lynne Chapman, a children’s books illustrator based in Sheffield, England; and Santo Domingo artist and educator, Orling Domínguez, also a Symposium organizer. (The full list of instructors and workshops will be announced in March.)

Domínguez attended the previous Symposiums in 2010 (Portland, OR) and 2011 (Lisbon, Portugal) and said the experience was so amazing she wanted her hometown to play host to a future Symposium. “In three days you get to meet amazing artists from all over the world, see them ‘in action’ and take a first look at great sketchbooks while sharing a meal and drinks. The intensity of the three days is so inspiring that you go back home totally energized and making plans for the next gathering! It's the perfect summer break for any urban sketcher!”

About Santo Domingo, Domínguez says the city is perfect for this type of event. “In the Colonial Zone, participants will have the opportunity to sketch the welcoming locals playing dominoes or dancing Merengue, plus some of the oldest historic landmarks in the Americas since the arrival of Columbus,” said Domínguez.

For Marie Christine Compane, a French sketcher who participated in the Lisbon Symposium, the event was a great occasion to meet other people fond of drawing, while learning from the sketching workshops. “In the ‘Contrast’ workshop we learned to sketch with strong colors and values in Lisbon's colorful little streets: pink, yellow, green, purple were really there. The atmosphere was really motivating, fun and full of gentle smiles,” said Compane.

“Our mission is to show the world, one drawing at a time,” said Urban Sketchers founder Gabriel Campanario, a Spanish journalist and illustrator based in Seattle, WA. “With the Symposiums we want to bring our passion for drawing our communities to a different part of the world every year. The Santo Domingo Symposium is sure to inspire local and visiting participants to see their cities with new eyes.”

Urban Sketchers is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to raising the artistic, storytelling and educational value of location drawing, promoting its practice and connecting people around the world who draw on location where they live and travel.

Symposium website:

International media requests and sponsorship opportunities
Elizabeth Alley

Local media requests and sponsorship opportunities
Orling Dominguez

General questions

Urban Sketchers website





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


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