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

One month has past since the 5th Urban Sketching Symposium

It has been a dreamy period. Before I go there I was kind of worried that I may experience some difficulties and challenges, for example just to find the way how to get certain places, or just to order certain plate, etc.. But how lovely to have friends ( new and old) near or kind people around me all the time during my stay in Brazil. I felt safe and joy as if I was with families. Here are series of sketches I did before, during and after the Symposium. Meeting and learning from fellow instructors in the workshops as well as just sketching with other sketchers sat side by side is really influential!

Narita airport-4
Time killing sketch done in Narita airport, Tokyo, Japan.

Atlantis Copacabana Hotel's lobby
Check out time sketch in the hotel. My only sketch done in Rio.

luncheon in the restaurant, Paraty
The first lunch time in Paraty.

1st night in Paraty
Dinner time gathering in Paraty.

Paraty boat ride
Before the symposium we had cruising and sketching.

on the boat in Paraty
When the ship anchored, people started to jump into the water to swim to get the small island so the person on the left was gone before I finish drawing her.

Late afternoon sketch in Paraty( one hour)
One hour sketch done by the river. This was to practice for my demo.

Workshop A-7
A work from Behzad Bagheri's workshop A: The joy of movement

It was such a new method and his drill to liberate our way of drawing from stereotypical drawing rules really took scales from my eyes. ( paint three colors on the paper without intention to capture any scene, then after making the paint, look around and find the object/scene that fits the mark you made.)

Lunch time in Paraty
Lunch time sketch.

Workshop O
A work from Suhita Shirodkar's workshop O: Never Fear The People

After practicing capturing moving/ walking people on the street with simple line drawing, we then tried to capture all the people on the street as much as possible in your drawing while time to time capturing the detail of the back ground such as buildings, pebbled road. People come and go, so get the movement in certain moment when same posture repeated, sometimes get the motion from other individual when the first one has gone.

dinner time in Paraty
Dinner time sketch.

Early morning sketch in Paraty-1( one hour)
Early morning one hour sketch. This one was also done to practice my demo.

A church, Paraty
This day in the morning I went to sketch walk. A riverside view.

sketching with KK
Kiah Kiean was also sketching near me by the river. I borrowed his ink and twig pen and sketched him.

Activity A6:Unfolding a sketching story-1
I took Richard Alomar's Activity A6: Unfolding a sketching story

I definitely practice this map making next time when I go on the trip. I'm such a direction deaf and this kind sketch memo will helps me a lot to understand the place.

in the restaurant at night, Paraty
Dinner time sketch.

Casa da Cultura de Paraty
Early morning sketch.

Workshop I (Line Flow:Live Spot)-4
A work from Norberto Dorantes's workshop I: Line Flow/Live Spot

Drawing objects with unbroken-line gives me new insight and new look on my drawings.

Workshop I (Line Flow:Live Spot)-5
Again, from Norberto Dorantes's workshop. This time put some limited colors on the unbroken-line drawing. I find myself observing things more carefully while practicing this method.

riverside view in Paraty
Open Sketchwalk time sketch.

a sketch on the fan
My last early morning sketch in Paraty.

A view seen from the hotel in Sao Paulo
A view from the hotel in Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo in the morning
Morning view in front of the park in Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo-2
This one I tried to mimic my fellow sketcher Nina's work. She made similar angled beautiful sketch.

inside GRU airport
Time killing sketch in the GRU airport in Sao Paulo ( I spent time there nearly 12 hours in total)

GRU ( Sao Paulo airport)-1
Airport sketch.

Emirates at Sao Paulo
Airport sketch.

boarding, and inside the emirates airplane
Boarding and inside the plane ( Sao Paulo to Dubai)

inside the emirates
Airplane sketch ( Dubai to Narita)

Again, many thanks to those organizers who made this wonderful time happened!





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