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

My Summer Location Drawing Class at AAU, San Francisco (Pt 6: Hyde Street Pier)


My love of the sea and sea stories and ship lore brings me back every so often to the Hyde Street Pier, part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.  I've posted sketches from here before, often drawing the 1886 square-rigger Balclutha, with its tall masts and complex rigging, so I turned my attention this time to some of the other points of interest. Class met at 8:30, but the pier doesn't open until 10:00, so after a quick lesson on trees, I stood at the gate for a while and drew this 1914 paddlewheel and 20s donkey steam engine, with a view of the pier proper angling off in the distance. After morning notes, I generally set the students loose to go draw what they like, with a check-in around noon and a meetup and review at the end of the day, but some of the them have started to figure out the secret of the class, which is that as I sketch, I'm actually giving a demo of technique, process, materials and style for anybody who wants to watch, draw along side me, and ask questions - whether anyone does so or not. This time we had a special guest: my good friend Tammy Stellanova drew with us and shared her self-published sketch journals of her travels in Southeast Asia.

Five dollars gets you a pass to board the various historic vessels, which I think is a bargain. The 1890 steam paddlewheel ferryboat Eureka was closed for gangway repair, though, which is too bad because I was looking forward to sketching its "walking beam" steam engine and the antique car collection on its cargo deck. So instead I stood with Tammy at the pier rail, clutching my book against the wind, and drew the 1907 steam tug Hercules, which I first began in pencil and got a good deal underway before deciding that the composition was not working for me, erasing it down, sketching out a thumbnail, and starting again. Good times in the sun. Next: Chinatown.

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