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

Costa Rica, Part 2 of 4

Part 2 of my Costa Rican adventure was a stay at the town of La Fortuna, near Arenal Volcano National Park. Arenal Volcano is a perfectly shaped cinder cone, but you have to be lucky to see it. Of the 4 days we spent staying right by the volcano, there was one day when the clouds disappeared for about 20 minutes and saw the whole volcano. This is a quick sketch at the end of a hike up a lava flow. Volcano Arenal is currently considered to be ‘resting’ between active phases. But in a land as young as Costa Rica, you never know when a volcano will get active again.

Everywhere in Costa Rica, the rain played a big part in my sketches. Mostly it poured so much, I just couldn't sketch. And even when I thought I could sneak in a quick little sketch, all it took was a quick cloudburst and a thundershower -seemingly out of nowhere- to shape my sketches in ways I didn't imagine.
Here are a few rain-shaped pieces.
A barnyard where we milked the cows one morning.

My rain-splattered capture of a fruit stand:


And best of all, my pretty ridiculous attempt at trying to sketch a waterfall, while standing under it, in the pouring rain. Yes, that's me on the left. The image in the center is as far as I ever got with my sketch. The one on the right? That's what remains of it in my sketchbook now.

I sketched these two guys at a coffee plantation. They were playing checkers using colored bottle caps.
And this is my favorite fruit from Costa Rica: The mamón chino. A threatening looking red, spiny fruit that is Asian in origin.

More sketches from Arenal on my blog here. And part 3, in the Cloud Forests of Monteverde, coming soon.



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