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

Island Hopping at Krabi Thailand

Tup Island, Krabi

Tup Island, Krabi Thailand

While we were in Phuket, we booked 2 day tours that brought us to different islands around Phuket. Usually the bus journey would take about 40mins, and then it was another hour of speed boat rides to the islands. Lunch is usually provided for.

One of the day-tour on speed boats brought us to Tup Island at Krabi. According to the guide, the island would normally appear to be made up of 2 separate islands, but on low tide, a bridge would emerge to link the 2 small islands together. We were timely for it was low tide when we were there. Sun bathers took this opportunity to enjoy the thin stretch of sand bar and boats moored on both sides of the bridge. We walked from one end to the other just to satisfy our curiosity. I sketched under the shade of one of the island.

Hero pen and watercolor (Shinhan) wash, and white gouache paint.

Poda Beach

Poda Beach Phuket, Thailand

Another of the location we were brought to was Poda Bay. We sat to watch the tourists and the locals who were always busy selling something to the visitors. This is a make shift stall that sell grilled sweet corns, seafood and drinks. Everything is at 50B which is about 2 Singapore dollars. Of course they are earning 200% profit from us hungry tourists. Anyway they must be paying the syndicate a lot more to operate a stall here. The sellers came over to watch when they saw me sketching them. The lady on the right was laughing as she could recognize herself. The man in black was a poser! :D

It was great fun though the beach was so crowded. But that's how it should be!

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