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

Snake Charmers at Boat Quay

Snake Charmers

Snake charmers pretend to hypnotise the snake by playing a musical instrument usually a flute, but it is in fact their movements of the hands or the waving of the flute that attracts the snake's attention. The snake charmers here in Singapore are just providing the tourists an opportunity to take a snapshot with the snakes for SGD5. Very affordable and it is a pretty rare chance you get an albino python to be placed around your shoulder and to have your picture taken. When I chanced on the snake charmers while walking towards Boat Quay, I decided to sketch them in action. However the picture taking process only takes less than 5 mins so sketching the tourist with the snake is pretty hard. I ended up sketching the snake charmers resting or playing the flutes to themselves instead.

Sketching the Singapore Python

When one of them came over to watch me sketch, I seized the chance to ask for his permission to sketch the pythons up close. They were kind enough to allow me to sketch the brown python, which remained motionless throughout. When I was about to finish the line sketch, it slid away out of the basket. The snake charmer decided to close the lid so I have to paint it by memory. I was so tempted to have one of them placed on my shoulder and have my picture taken. But.... anyway can you spot where the eye is?

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