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

Road Trip

After our holiday at the coast, we drove back to Johannesburg, and on the stretch from Kidds Beach to Bloemfontein where we stopped for the night, I tried to sketch some of the scenes from little towns that we passed through. Very hard! Picking a subject from a distance away, staring at it with pencil hovering, no sooner did I look down to start drawing than it was gone and behind me. I quickly gave up trying to put colour on with Inktense crayons, except here and there where it made a strong impression - red, pink and orange seem to be popular choices in rural areas! There were a lot of old people walking, and when we got to the towns, standing in long queues. We eventually worked out it must have been pension payout day.
The last, slow sketch of the day at our B&B in Bloemfontein - living up to its names, Flower Fountain and 'the Rose City'. After that was highway all the way and I gave my eyes and nerves a rest!

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