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

Sketchcrawl by bus

Those for whom taking a bus is an everyday, common event may not understand our excitement at a new sightseeing bus service that started in Johannesburg on the 15th January 2013. Buses here are generally unreliable, irregular and mysterious as to where they go and at what time, so when I found out about this new open-top tourist bus around the city, that was 'it' for the 38th Worldwide Sketchcrawl.

After a week of hot sunshine, the weather forecast for Saturday was 80 - 100% chance of rain, and sadly, two of our sketchers got lost in a confusing and nerve-wracking search for the bus stop - but four found our way there and got on the lovely new red bus.

Trying to sketch was a novel and bumpily fruitless exercise, but it was wonderful to see the city from this different viewpoint. I wish we could have got the driver to stop here and there for 15 minutes or so - so many interesting, sketchable sights. The weather held out and we got to Gold Reef City, where we got off to do some more stable sketching. A happy hour at a café drawing the mine headworks, the tame peacocks and some replicas of old corrugated iron Johannesburg mine buildings, then we went off to find some action around the rides.

A few minutes after I'd got the main shapes down of the scary Giant Anaconda - John managed a lot more, complete with brave people flying round the big loop (left) - drops of rain started plopping down onto our paper, then we had to run for cover as it seriously pelted down for the rest of the afternoon. So not very much sketching, but a great new experience, thanks to the quest for urban sketching - we will be back!



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