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 – September 2014

Urban Sketchers Events and Workshops

Sketch of Santa Rita by Lynne Chapman
The Urban Sketchers Executive Board would like to extend a huge thank you to Fernanda Vaz de Campos, Eduardo Bajzek and Orling Dominguez for all of their hard work planning the 2014 Urban Sketching Symposium in Paraty, Brazil. The event, held in Paraty August 27 – 30, was a huge success, with 234 attendees from 21 countries! We would also like to thank all the participants, instructors and volunteers who work together to make the event fun and successful every year.

Speaking of Paraty, check out the highlights from the symposium on the official blog and lots of sketches and photos in the Flickr group. A few symposium participants have begun posting their sketches and impressions of Paraty on their personal and local USk blogs, including Nelson Paciencia (Portugal); Joel Winstead (Washington, D.C., USA); Nina Johansson (Stockholm, Sweden); Kiah Kiean (Penang, Malaysia); Lynne Chapman (UK); and Tina Koyama (Seattle, USA).
Sketch of Capela Nossa Senhora Das Dores by Joel Winstead.

Fort Worth-based urban sketcher, urban designer, writer and educator Jim Richards will teach a workshop in Savannah, USA, at the Telfair Museum in conjunction with its Port City exhibit. The Oct. 4 workshop, sponsored by Canson, will focus on creating energetic yet visually coherent sketches of "life between buildings," using a combination of strategies. The workshop will be followed by the Telfair's Family Day materials demo and giveaway and rounded out with a free sketchcrawl through Savannah's gorgeous town squares.

Sketch of Engenho do Ouro distillery by Nelson Paciencia.
Look for the release of the Call for Host City for the next International Urban Sketching Symposium this week! People interested in hosting the 2015 Symposium in their city may respond with proposals by early October.

You shop, Amazon gives — to our nonprofit! Have you heard of AmazonSmile? Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to charitable organizations. That means if you shop at and set up Urban Sketchers as your nonprofit of choice, Amazon will send us funds to support our mission! All you have to do is go to and choose Urban Sketchers as your nonprofit. Do it now before you start your Christmas shopping! (Editor’s comment: I shop frequently at, and Urban Sketchers has been my AmazonSmile nonprofit recipient for nearly a year. Every time I hit the “submit order” button, I get a warm feeling knowing that Urban Sketchers will receive a small share of just about every dollar I spend there! Do it now!)

Swasky, Isabel Carmona and Miguel Herranz gave a report of their successful Urban Sketching workshop in Oxford, England, in July, “Pushing Your Sketching Boundaries.”

Frank Ching and Gail Wong’s Urban Sketchers September workshop in Tacoma, USA, “Line to Color,” is now full, but you can still get on a waiting list in case of cancellations or to receive notification of future workshops.

News from Urban Sketchers Communities

Sketch of Denny Triangle construction by David Chamness.
Seattle Architecture Foundation invited Seattle Urban Sketchers to participate in “In Process,” the foundation’s 2014 Architectural Model Exhibit, by contributing sketches of buildings under construction. Those urban sketches will be exhibited along with architectural renderings, models, animations and other design process documents. The exhibit opens Sept. 11. Several Seattle sketchers also donated original sketches for the foundation’s fundraising auction.

Urban Sketchers Málaga sketched last month at the Museum Jorge Rando, a museum dedicated to the local expressionist painter of that name. Museum staff made a great video showing the sketchers in action.
Urban Sketchers Malaga

Carnet de BRU reports that USk France will be sketching at two major events: Sept. 20 – 21 in Marseilles at the MUCEM meeting, a national cultural and natural heritage event, and Sept. 27 – 28 in Montelimar to “sketch in the city, visit the Museum of Nougat (a local famous sweet) and aircraft museum.”

KW Urban Sketchers, in Ontario, Canada, has a month-long exhibition at Kitchener City Hall beginning Sept. 4. The panoramic sketches of 15 members are featured. During the month of September the sketches are also scrolling across “The Cube,” an immense, two-sided, projected surface over city hall.
KW Urban Sketchers has an exhibition at Kitchener City Hall. 

Sketchers in Action

Urban Sketchers partnered with sketchbook manufacturer Moleskine again for a second round of "Moleskine City Stories," a live sketching event that took place in London, England, Sept. 6. Sketchers Adebanji Alade and Olha Pryymak sketched at Moleskine's Covent Garden location, and James Hobbs and Andrea Joseph sketched at London Graphic Centre. Each conducted a brief learning session or two and helped participants become more comfortable with sketching their world. Adebanji, James, Andrea and Olha shared their sketches throughout the day on social media. You can take a look by searching for #moleskinestories on Twitter and Instagram.
Sketch by James Hobbs

Gerard Michel, Antoine Michel and Fabien Denoël of Urban Sketchers Liège (Belgium) are hosting an urban sketchers summit Sept. 10 – 13. Coming from all over Europe, invited sketchers Inma Serrano, Simonetta Capecchi, Corinne Raes, Lapin, Miguel Herranz, David Magli, Rolf Schröter, Rene Fijten, Luis Ruiz and Florian Afflerbach will exhibit their sketches at the Théâtre de Liège later in September.

Three sketches of Dylan Thomas’ Swansea by Bill Bytheway will be shown in “From Here and There: Drawings from Colorado and Wales,” an exhibition in Fort Collins and Swansea Sept. 26 – Oct. 26.

Ami Plasse, a sketcher in Austin, has an interesting blog of urban sketches and other drawings, many of which are animated.

Urban sketcher and instructor Jacek Krenz led the Gdynia (Poland) Modernist Architecture Sketching Workshop III - Market (Hale Targowe) on Aug. 29. The event was sponsored by Gdynia Architecture Weekend.

On Oct. 1, USk President Jason Das will lead a workshop at the Future of Storytelling Summit at Snug Harbor in New York City, USA.

Last April Natalia Litvinenko wrote a guest post on the international Urban Sketchers blog about her experiences sketching in Kyiv, Ukraine, during the deadly events that occurred in Maidan. French journalists from Strasburg recently interviewed Natalia about her experience. “Unfortunately, the part of the interview where I talked about Urban Sketchers, didn't make it to the final video,” Natalia said. “But there's a video of me sketching, showing my sketches, and talking about the events while being on that very Maidan square.”

Barcelona urban sketcher Lapin has just begun selling prints of his sketches and illustrations for home or office décor. With Lapin in da House, “the feeling of the empty walls are gone forever.”

A sketch by one of our newest blog correspondents, Mario Luz.
A big welcome to all the new correspondents who have begun posting to the international Urban Sketchers blog lately, including Mario Luz (New Zealand); Bernard “Buzz” Walker (Malaysia); Gail Wong (USA); Teoh Yi Chie (Singapore); Bruno Agnes (France); Marcia Milner-Brage (USA); Lis Watkins (England) and Róisín Curé (Ireland).

Shout it Out in Drawing Attention

Not seeing anything about you or your Urban Sketchers group in Drawing Attention? Then we want to hear from you! Please send your urban sketching news items with links and images to: Or tag me, Tina Koyama, on news you post on the Urban Sketchers Facebook page. Subscribe by e-mail. Happy sketching!




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