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: Global Sketching News

Urban Sketchers Keeps Expanding

We have a new USK group on Facebook – Urban Sketchers Taipei, led by USK Taiwan Correspondent Liu Wen Xiang. Welcome to this new sketching community in Taipei.

Urban Sketchers London was born this month. One of the USK London correspondents, Barry Jackson (shown at left drawing at Alexandra Palace) says: “Drawing places that mean something to me is what I most enjoy, and much of my work therefore is focused on London, where I was born and brought up. Hence I was delighted to be invited to be a correspondent for the new London-based blog.”

The Art of Urban Sketching

Some of you may have noticed that it's already difficult to get copies of The Art of Urban Sketching! Fortunately, a new printing is underway and copies should hit bookstores and online retailers by mid-April. By the way, the book now has its own website. Check it out.

For those of you in the Seattle area, author and USK Seattle Correspondent Gabi Campanario, will be doing a book talk at the Seattle Central Library on April 29, 1:00 – 3:00 following the Seattle Urban Sketchers' monthly sketchcrawl. Everyone is invited to join in the sketchcrawl before going to Gabi’s talk.

Urban Sketchers Training Opportunities

We have the 3rd International Sketching Symposium coming up the Dominican Republic in July. Registration is now open and workshops are already filling fast so we recommend that if you plan to attend, that you register early to secure a spot in your preferred workshops (photo on left is El Conde Street where one of the workshops will be centered. Workshop descriptions are posted here. We are looking forward to seeing you in Santo Domingo!

We are pleased to announce a new Urban Sketchers Workshop in Naples, Italy, May 24-27. For full details and registration information, visit our Workshops site. This is a great opportunity for European-based sketchers to attend one of our workshops. It will be taught by Naples USK Correspondent Simo Capecchi, Laura Scarpa and Caroline Peyron.

Sketching Events, Exhibits and Media Coverage
New York fashion photographer & artist Peter Koval’s watercolor sketches were recently featured in the local newspaper The Tribeca Citizen as well as the Brooklyn Heights Blog. Speaking about his sketch at right, Peter said: “My old cast-iron loft apartment I shared with a fantastic artist/painter, Adam Smith. They were days I truly consider timeless, even as the neighborhood changed. We had the top floor loft on the fifth floor with roof access. A rarity nowadays."

Vivre Paris, a French quarterly dedicated to "discoveries, lifestyle, outings and decor", featured USK Paris in their Spring 2012.

And speaking of Paris, a USK member Juliette Plisson’s urban sketches are part of an exhibition in Paris at la passarelle des beaux arts through April 7.

USK Correspondents Rob Carey (Germany) and Nina Johansson (Stockholm) are part of a 10-page article in the French watercolour magazine l`Art de l´Aquarelle (number 12), as well as their English version, The Art of Watercolour (issue 6). It's quite an interesting article with sketching artists from several countries, and it's nice to see that sketching has been given this kind of attention in the magazine.

USK Midwest sketcher Marcia Milner-Brage recently spent time with the Animo Urban Sketchers, students of USK member Stephanie Lowe in Venice, CA. Speaking about the exchange, Marcia said: “It was great fun for me to be with the kids and share my love of drawing with them. Stephanie and her classroom were abuzz with excitement about art making. This is yet another example of how USK leads to very vital sharing beyond the online forums, symposiums, and books that sustain and fuel this movement.”

Do you know about Etsy Labs? Earlier this month, New York USK Correspondent Veronica Lawlor, along with the other members of Studio 1482, did an EtsyHands-On: Drawing event at Etsy Labs in Brooklyn New York using exercises form Veronica’s book One Drawing A Day. She was also featured on Etsy’s “How-Tuesdays” blog this month.

Have urban sketching news to share in Drawing Attention?
Please send fully written items with links (and graphics, if possible) to: drawingattention at

Until next month... happy sketching.

Lisbeth Cort, member of Whidbey Island Sketchers
drawingattention at




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