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

What becomes of all those sketches?

Slussen Stockholm 
I sketch a lot, as often as I can find time for it, which means I have a lot of sketches and filled sketchbooks lying about. Mostly, that´s enough for me. The experience of making those sketches, and knowing that I have them in my sketchbooks generally makes my life a lot richer.

But sometimes I do use the sketches for continued work, and I thought I´d show an example. This above page, made with a carpenter´s pencil on very cheap paper at Slussen in Stockholm, was the start of my 2012 Christmas cards (top sketch) and a watercolour painting I finished today (bottom sketch).

Slussen Christmas card 2012 
I made the Christmas card by scanning the sketch, changing the pencil greyscale into three levels of grey in Photoshop, printed them out and cut stencils from them. Then I sprayed through the stencils with Copic airbrush, scanned the image, and sent it to a photo print shop to make cards.  (For you Photoshop afficionados out there, there are many ways to do this, and I know some people like Posterize – I don´t. I like the control that Threshold gives for this, making four different copies with different amounts of black, then put them all into layers in one image. I change the black of each layer into the shade of grey I want, then set the layer blending mode to multiply to see the result. I might tweak each layer a little, before printing them out on paper.)

Norra Järngraven, Slussen, Stockholm 
The bottom sketch caught my attention yesterday when I flipped through some sketchbooks to find material for watercolour paintings. I put the sketch in front of me on the table where I paint, made a light pencil sketch before wetting the paper, and then started painting. I´m trying to flex my watercolour muscles to get in shape for an exhibition this summer, and since I have been sketching a lot around Slussen lately, I thought I´d use those sketches for some of the paintings. Don´t know if I have found my peak yet, but I´ll keep at it for a while and see where it all lands.



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