Meet the Correspondent: Marina Grechanik > Tel-Aviv, Israel$show=/search/label/Marina%20Grechanik

"Sketching is one of my passions. I don't feel comfortable when I leave home without a sketchbook and some pens in my bag. I think that my way to put things in my memory is to draw them. And taking pictures isn't the same thing.

I live in a very dynamic surrounding — Israel is a warm country with warm weather and warm people. Of course, we have seashores, which calm us a little bit. I love to sit in a corner of some Tel-Aviv coffee shop and explore relationships: between people, their environment, between myself. All this unique local mix of cultures, languages and styles is always a great source for inspiration. You need to be fast, because, as I said, everything is very dynamic. But that's why I love it so much.

Sometimes, I look around, and I find some usual items like sugar bags or napkins. I use them in my drawings to show the atmosphere. Sometimes I draw directly on placemats."

• Marina's art on Flickr.
• Marina's website.

Meet the Correspondent: Tina Koyama > Seattle$show=/search/label/tina%20koyama

"The dictionary says that a hobby is “an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation.” Although urban sketching certainly provides both pleasure and relaxation, I don’t think of it as my hobby. I think of it more as a way of life – something that has become such a normal part of my everydayness that it shapes how I view the world.

For most of my life I had both the fear of drawing as well as the desire to draw. In 2011, inspired by Gabi Campanario’s Seattle Sketcher column, I finally decided to overcome the fear. His drawings of Seattle – my birthplace and lifelong home – were of sights that I had seen many times, yet had never truly seen. I wanted to learn to see, and therefore experience, those locations (and any new ones that I travel to) more completely. Part 8 of the Urban Sketchers Manifesto, to “show the world, one drawing at a time,” has a flip side: Sketching enables me to see my own world, one drawing at a time.

In the last four years, it is not an exaggeration to say that Urban Sketchers has changed my life. I have met and sketched with many wonderful people around the globe, either at symposiums or during other travel, because the USk network brought us together. I sketch almost weekly with my local group, sharing sketches, art supplies and friendship. Even when I stay home and enjoy sketches online, I am still a part of that rich network, learning with every sketch about other people’s lives.

In May, my husband Greg and I went to France for the first time, and I sketched the Eiffel Tower. Sketching one of the world’s most famous icons felt like a dream come true – the ultimate in urban sketching. But although I can’t resist sketching world-famous icons whenever I’m fortunate enough to see them, for me, urban sketching is much more than that.

Urban sketching is a tree with its middle chopped away to accommodate Seattle’s ubiquitous power lines. It’s about a couple of women chatting over coffee, or about workers roofing the house next door. It’s about an excavator filling a hole where a cherry tree once stood. Or the Tibetan monastery I drive by frequently that I couldn’t resist because it’s bright orange. Urban sketching is a string band performing at a local farmers’ market – or perhaps in Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Celebrating the mundane as well as the famous is what urban sketching is all about. My sketches are not necessarily about “special” moments; they are moments made special because I sketched them."

Tina has been editor of Drawing Attention since 2013 and now serves on the Urban Sketchers editorial board. See more of her sketches on her blog, on Flickr and on Instagram.

Meet the Correspondent: Pete Scully > Davis, Calif.$show=/search/label/Pete%20Scully

"I am from urban north London, but now live in urbane Davis California. I sketch, I write, sometimes do things and go places and my name is Pete.

When not Davis, I sketch Sacramento, San Francisco, London, or anywhere else I happen to be. I tend to erase people and cars from my cities, but I'm starting to get over this.

Davis: calm, old-fashioned, progressive, quirky, very very hot in the summer. I use micron and copic pens, with watercolour."

• Pete's blog.
• Pete's art on Flickr.

Meet the Correspondent: Suhita Shirodkar > San Jose, Calif.$show=/search/label/Suhita%20Shirodkar

"I was born in Mumbai (Bombay) and lived in different parts of India until I moved to San Jose, California, where I now live.

Travel inspires my art, but, traveling or not, I try to view the world around me as a traveller would; so whether I’m capturing a moment of calm on the banks of the Ganges in India, or sketching over coffee at my local coffee shop, I aim to look deeply, and with wonder, at both the everyday and the exotic, the old and the new.

I love color. My sketch kit consists of Extra Fine Sharpies (the fact that they bleed into the paper as soon as they touch it works really well for me—it forces me to work super-quick), a small set of Prismacolor pencils and a little watercolor travel set".

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

Drawing Attention: Workshops, Exhibits and More

Upcoming Workshops

Watercolor Sketching in Historic Montreal

Urban Sketchers is pleased to announce an urban sketching workshop open to sketchers of all levels that will take place in Montreal, Canada, August 2-4. The three-day workshop will be an introduction to capturing the extraordinary environment of historic Montreal by drawing and painting in watercolor en plein air. It is taught by local urban sketchers and USK Correspondents Shari Blaukopf and Marc Holmes. For workshop details and registration information, click here.

Line to Color Workshop in Seattle With Frank Ching and Gail Wong

Like any building, a sketch needs a good foundation. In this intensive workshop, architectural drawing instructors Frank Ching and Gail Wong will walk you through clear steps covering the complete process of making a sketch on location, from the time you draw the first line until you apply the last touch of color. This workshop will occur over a three-day period, meeting at various historic locations in Seattle, WA USA and will consist of four 3.5-hour sessions starting Friday evening and ending Sunday early afternoon. Contact for information. Registration deadline is May 7.

Hidden Naples. Drawing and Discovering in the South of Italy

For the second year in a row, Italian architect and USK Correspondent Simo Capecchi is hosting an Urban Sketchers workshop in her city of Naples. The dates are coming up soon: May 30 - June 2. The three and a half day workshop will offer a deep immersion in Naples to all the sketchers who have always dreamed of visiting the South of Italy. Participants will have a rare opportunity to sketch inside private homes and gardens that normally aren't open to the public. In addition to Simo, three other artists will take turns leading field sketching sessions: Laura Scarpa, a comic artist who has always kept a graphic diary; Caroline Peyron, an art teacher and artist; and Lapin, a French illustrator and indefatigable urban sketcher. For details about the workshop and registration information, click here.

Weekend Sketching Workshop in Phlegrean Fields
Campi Flegrei, Napoli by Simo Capecchi
Campi Flegrei (Phlegrean Fields) near Napoli, Italy is an interesting volcanic area and natural park, one of the favorite destination of past centuries Grand Tour, painted by many artists like Thomas Jones, Hackert, Pitloo or Turner. On April 6-7, Simo Capecchi, along with her friend and wildlife artist Federico Gemma (both part of Urban Sketcher Italy), will lead a weekend sketching workshop. Please email Simonetta if you'd like to join the workshop simo.capecchi (at)  Workshop information in English and in Italian.

In the News

Barcelona-based urban sketcher and illustrator Swasky, winner of the Rendez-Vous Carnet de Voyage International award, talked about travel sketchbooks on Catalan television recently (at left.)

USK Correspondent Marc Holmes was recently interviewed by freelance radio producer and reporter Sarah Deshaies, about his project Innocence Lost sketching project at the Cantaur Theatre in Montreal. The interview included lots of information about USK.

A January 30 article in the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph (at right) featured Drawn to Quebec’s January SketchCrawl and included several sketches by the group’s members.

André Sandmann was interviewed by journalist Peter Aeschlimann for a February 2 article in Zurich’s Tagesanzeiger newspaper about André’s urban sketches of Zurich the growing international community of urban sketchers, including Urban Sketchers Switzerland.


Alex Raventós’ life sketches of people reading, sleeping or just doing nothing in the library’s magazine room, were drawn with and iPad, printed on large paper and exhibited throughout the Jaume Fuster public library in Barcelona recently.

Bill Sharp, a member of Urban Sketchers Portland, exhibited sketchbooks and oil paintings as part of a three person show at the AIA Center for Architecture in Portland, OR USA last month. The show is titled "Oil, Ink and Water: Artistic Interpretations of the Built Environment".

After the article in Zurich’s Tagesanzeiger newspaper (see above) André Sandmann was asked show his urban sketching drawings at "Grafik13", an art/design exhibition this month at Maag Halle in Zurich. He was also commissioned to document the 4 days of the exhibition as a sketcher. Others from Urban Sketchers Switzerland joined him in sketching during exhibition.

Call for Artists

London-based Quarto Publishing is in the process of putting together a new book called Urban Sketching: The Complete Guide to Techniques, by Thomas Thorspecken. Quarto Publishing is currently looking for new artists to submit their work for possible inclusion in the book. A full credit will be given to each featured artist and a complimentary copy on publication. Interested artists should contact Sarah Bell

Do you have urban sketching news to share in Drawing Attention?  Please send fully written items with links (and graphics, if possible) to: drawingattention at urbansketchers dot org

Until next month...happy sketching,
Lisbeth Cort, member of Whidbey Island Sketchers
drawingattention at urbansketchers dot org





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