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

A week in Melbourne

I am just back for a week's sketching in Melbourne.I had a really wonderful time and am very pleased with this sketchbook as in many ways it was a lot more experimental than normal.

I was certainly more focused on trying out a few new techniques than my typical approach which is to sketch as consistently as I can and create travel journal pages. I still managed to do the later (as I can't help myself) but I had a lot less homework! I was using the A4 Moleskine watercolour book and just love have the larger page size to spread out, add lots of notes and add collage. I have also been addicted to various water soluble line making tools- pens and pencils and found that I was able to quickly sketch scenes while waiting for public transport and then add water once on board. I am also enjoying mixing techniques up even on the one page- alternating between using my ink pen and using pencil lines.

As for Melbourne…
I spend lots of great time with special friends and also managed to meet a number of sketchers in the city. We are working together to establish Urban Sketchers events in Melbourne in the near future .... very exciting!

I have done lots of architectural work in Melbourne over the last decade but rarely see anything of it other than what I can see in the taxi (most of my time in Melbourne is spent in meetings or walking around construction sites!) So it was just so wonderful to be able to spend a week sketching in this city that I really really love. For me Melbourne is all about grand Victorian buildings, crazy contemporary architecture (stuff we could never get approval to do in Sydney) trams and amazing food places and coffee. I think that my sketchbook captures those elements.

I fell in love with Flinders St station - I have labelled it the "SOH of Melbourne for me" (SOH = Sydney Opera House) By that I mean the iconic building, one that is located in a position that you pass by often, one that always makes you notice it and something that is just SO much fun to sketch. Here are two of my 6 sketches

I know that somewhere other than home always looks more interesting and sketchable but I do think that Melbourne excites me more as a city. The buildings are grander and more interesting. I love the trams and their presence means that the streets are wider, giving more space in front of buildings. Also there are great views from many of the tram stops… I just couldn't stop sketching (hmm, not that unusual I know!) And did I mention the cafes were great???? Oh! and there are very cool lanes as well- something I left for sketching on my next visit.

And I was also drawn to Federation Square. I don't really like it architecturally but it is great to draw and the sloping ground level makes it fun(!?!) to apply simple rules of perspective. This one I did with watercolour pencil on a damp page(it was lightly raining at the time.)

Over the next week I am going to be doing a number of descriptive posts on my blog analyzing some of my sketches. Keep an eye on it if you are interested.



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