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 - November 2013

Urban Sketchers in Action

Cathy McAuliffe sketching at Disney World while attending an Urban
Sketching workshop.
Zurich sketcher Andre Sandmann was featured in an article in, a leading news portal in Germany, while he was sketching in the Zurich Red Light District last summer. Andre talked about gentrification of the area and about urban sketching in general. The article (in German) is available online.

Seattle Urban Sketcher Carleen Zimmerman has had her sketch of the Montlake fill or Union Bay Natural Area published in Connie Sidle’s recent book, Fill of Joy. The author was so inspired by the Urban Sketchers manifesto that Carleen had included when she submitted the sketch that she included the USK mission statement in the book. Carleen’s sketch was also shown in Gallery North’s recent urban sketching exhibition in Edmonds, Washington.

Sketcher Cathy McAuliffe reports that she spent nine hot days in Disney World last August at a Dalvero Academy workshop taught by Veronica Lawlor and Margaret Hurst. “Such a good group of people, great instruction and unlimited number of people to draw. And always the chance that you will meet someone famous!”

Check out illustrator Josh Owen’s new website.

James Hobbs will have a new book including works by 60
international artists.
Here’s a new blog to bookmark: A new Urban Sketchers group has formed in San Diego, California.

Bill Bytheway is excited about a new sketching group starting up in Swansea, Wales. Their first sketchcrawl was in July at the Civic Centre, railway station and waterfront museum.

Hot Off the Press

James Hobbs, a London Urban Sketchers correspondent, will have a new book, Sketch Your World, released in January. According to his blog, the book “contains the work of about 60 international artists, including mine, and is due to be published in the UK and US in January. It focuses on the way a variety of artists go about drawing on location and what they do with those drawings: urban, rural, night-time, digital, people, architecture, in cafes, sketchcrawls, blogging...”

Lapin's book, now being crowdfunded on Verkami, will be a collection
 of sketches of great old cars like this.
Barcelona-based Lapin is crowdfunding publication of a collection of his sketches of vintage cars. From the Verkami site: “Oldies But Goldies is a book of beautiful drawings of old, vintage cars by French artist Lapin. He archives the drawings of the cars that have marked its time in his sketchbooks since years. An incredible compilation of old but golden cars found on the streets to celebrate and remind their beauty!” Go to Verkami to support Lapin’s book.

Thomas Thorspecken, known for his popular blog Analog Artist Digital World, has just published a new book, Urban Sketching: The Complete Guide to Techniques. It’s available now for pre-order on and will begin shipping March 1.

Speaking of books. . . did you know that if you register through AmazonSmile and designate Urban Sketchers as your nonprofit organization of choice, Amazon will donate a percentage of the price of certain books (such as Thomas Thorspecken’s new book) to Urban Sketchers? Yes, it’s true! Buy books by your favorite urban sketchers, and you’ll be helping USK, too!

On Exhibit

Penang sketcher Kiah Kiean's exhibit of twig and ink drawings at

Penang sketcher Kiah Kiean, who dazzled Barcelona Urban Sketching Symposium participants in July with his demo of dry twig painting, has an exhibit at ChinaHouse, Art Space I and II. “Together with his travel sketches of Bangkok, Taiwan and Guangzhou, this exhibition is a showcase of eastern and western architecture or landscapes through Kiah Kiean’s ink lines.” The exhibit runs through Dec. 1.

Urban Sketchers founder Gabriel Campanario will have an exhibit at the Museum of History and Industry Dec. 21, 2013, through May 26, 2014, in Seattle. Called “Drawn to Seattle,” the retrospective show will focus on nearly five years of work from his Seattle Sketcher column in The Seattle Times, including original and enlarged reproductions of sketches and his sketchbooks. To further spread the urban sketching love, Gabi and the museum have invited other urban sketchers to display their sketchbooks and lead weekly mini-sketchcrawls to involve the general public and introduce them to the wonderful world of urban sketching.

Share Your Urban Sketching News in Drawing Attention

Hello, sketchers! Our apologies for the infrequent publication of Drawing Attention in recent months while the newsletter was in transition. A huge thank you to Lisbeth Cort, member of the Whidbey Island Sketchers, who has edited this newsletter for the past several years. The torch has been passed to Tina Koyama, a Seattle Urban Sketcher, and more regular publication will resume with this edition. Please send news items with links and images to: drawingattention at urbansketchers dot org. Happy sketching!





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