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

Line to Color Workshop in Tacoma

We are currently Sold Out for this workshop.  If you would like to be put on a wait list for cancellations and for notifications on future workshops please contact Gail.  Email glwarc(at)gmail(dot)com.

Join us for our  “Line to Color Workshop” in beautiful Tacoma, Washington.  We are always amazed
at how sketchable this town is, that is why we are taking our workshop to Tacoma.  Have fun sketching and eating dinner at the historic Swiss Pub Friday night.  See Dale Chihuly’s Glass Art and Accordion collection which decorate the oldest watering hole in Tacoma. 

On Saturday sketching workshops will be held in the Museum District on Pacific Avenue.  We want to thank  Tacoma Art Museum who is opening a workshop room for us. Meet up Saturday morning at the Tacoma Art Museum, pass by Union Station and Washington State History Museum to the Museum of Glass and Chihuly Bridge of Glass.  With sweeping views of the Commencement Bay and Mt. Rainier, this is an inspirational location for sketching.

Sunday morning we will meet up in the Theatre District and Antique Mall District to sketch in this historic neighborhood.  Afternoon sketch crawl location to be determined.  

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 3 day period meeting at various historic locations in Tacoma and will consist of  dinner with a 1-hour keynote presentation on Friday,  two 4-hour sessions on Saturday, two 2-hour sessions on Sunday and a final 1.5-hour  sketch crawl Sunday afternoon with instructors available for help.

Topics will cover, perspective, composition, process in developing the sketch, approaches to watercolor and value. Ideas introduced in this session will be demonstrated on site and practiced in the following sessions with one on one help from Frank and Gail.

Learning Goals:
The Line:
    1. Selecting a point of view: Detail, Fragment, Building, Setting
    2. Composing the page: Where to start, how to proceed
    3. Establishing spatial depth: Near, middle and far
Moving to Color:
    4. Values the key to spatial depth:  Seeing  and using tonal values to create depth and capture the quality of light.
    5. Strategies to applying color and limiting your palette. 

Workshop Schedule:
Friday September 12, 2014
Tacoma University of Washington - Meet in front of The Swiss Pub
1904 Jefferson Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402
5:00 - 5:15 pm Sign in
5:15 - 6:15 pm Keynote Presentation
6:15 - 8:00 pm Meet and Greet Dinner and Draw

Saturday September 13, 2014
Location: Tacoma Art Museum and Museum District
1701 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402
9:30 am - 1:00 pm:
Grp 1: Demo composition, perspective approach, and directed sketching exercises.
Grp 2: Watercolor values, color and watercolor approaches directed exercises
1:00 - 1:30 pm: Review
1:00 - 2:30 pm:  Lunch Break  on your own in Museum District
2:30 - 6:00 pm: Groups switch
6:00 - 6:30 pm: Review

Sunday September 14, 2014
Location:  Theatre District  Meet up at Tully’s Coffee shop
764 Broadway Tacoma, WA
9:00 am -11:00 pm: Line with Frank, Color with Gail
11:00 am - 1:00 pm:  Groups switch
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm:  Lunch
2:00 - 3:30 pm:  Free sketch time with input from Frank and Gail  (Location TBD)
3:30 - 4:00 pm:  Sharing sketchbooks and closing remarks

Maximum number of Participants 24 (minimum 18)
All levels welcome. Please note walking to various sketching sites will be involved and some areas may have a climb.

Workshop Registration and Cost:
Please check with Gail Wong first prior to sending check or paying with Paypal
$225.00 USD via Check  mailed to Gail Wong 2609 East Garfield St. Seattle, WA 98112
or Paypal. Cost includes dinner at The Swiss Pub Co.  (Drinks on your own)   

Contact gail(at)glwarc(dot)com for registration form and supply list.

Cancellation Policy:
In the event of too few registrations, all monies will be refunded less PayPal Fees.
We are only able to provide refunds for cancellations up to September 1, 2014
with a cancellation fee of $35.00.

Registration Workshop Deadline:  August 15, 2014
Accomodations and More about Tacoma
Airbnb Tacoma 
It is easy to get around Tacoma using the Link light rail.  Starting in September $1.00 a ride Tacoma Link Light Rail .

About the Instructors:

Frank Ching
is Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington, having recently retired after over 35 years of teaching. He is the author of numerous     books on architecture and design, all published by John Wiley & Sons. His works have been translated into over sixteen languages and are regarded as classics for their renowned graphic presentations. Awards that Professor Ching has received include the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Design from The Nottingham Trent University; a Citation for Excellence in International Architecture Book     Publishing; an AIA Institute Honor for Collaborative Achievement; and a National Design Award from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.  You can see Frank’s work on the Seattle Urban Sketchers blog at and on his blog at

Gail Wong is currently a part-time Lecturer at University of Washington and has     taught design drawing and sketching for 20 years. She was teaching under the     leadership of Frank Ching for 16 years prior to his retirement. She is also a licensed and practicing architect in the State Washington focusing on residential design as well as architectural illustration. She is the blog administrator/coordinator for the Seattle Urban Sketchers and on the Urban Sketchers Workshop Committee. Her work is posted on Seattle Urban     Sketchers at and on her own blog




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