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

My many Indias. Part 2: Mysore

My kids and I spent 3 days in Mysore. I sketched the famous Mysore palace, with it's over-the-top mix of architectural styles. I learnt that only the Taj Mahal gets more visitors than this Palace. It certainly felt like that: the Palace grounds were packed with tourists just lounging around, enjoying the palace, and going on elephant and camel rides. Like good tourists, we did all of that.

Mysore Palace on the weekend

Here is a gopuram or gateway to the palace grounds. The palace is surrounded by huge walled grounds, and each side of the wall has one of these large elaborately carved gateways. When I sketch in India, I often debate about whether to leave in or eliminate the multitude of powerlines, electricity poles and cellphone towers that "blight" the landscape. But almost everytime, I end up leaving them in because they are so integral to the urban landscape. Not beautiful, not well thought out, just always there, almost like a cliche.

Mysore Palace Gopuram

A quick sketch in the palace atrium, with it's turquoise and red pillars and stained glass skylight. This palace deserved long, deeply observed sketches. But every time I settled down to a sketch, my kids would disappear into the crowds, and I just had to resort to quick little captures.

Mysore Palace, another unfinished sketch

And what is a trip without a sketch involving food? The famous Mysore Bonda, that must be eaten hot. Dipped in coconut chutney and spicy lentil sambhar.

Mysore Meals

Many more sketches from Mysore, here on my blog.

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