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: Orange County, California May 1st - 3rd, 2015

This workshop just sold out.  If you are interested in upcoming Line to Color Workshops or being on a wait list Contact Gail Wong via the following email address gail(at)glwarc(dot)com.

Join Frank Ching and Gail Wong for a weekend workshop in Southern California to sketch  Mission San Juan Capistrano and the Beach towns along the Pacific Coast Highway of California.

In this intensive workshop, we 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. Meeting at various locations in Orange County, California the workshop will consist of a 2- hour keynote pizza dinner, three 3.5-hour work sessions, and a 2- hour sketch crawl conducted over a 3-day period starting Friday evening and ending Sunday afternoon. 

We will start with a Friday evening keynote presentation at the AIA Orange County office with pizza, beer, and wine. Keynote topics will cover perspective, composition, the process of developing a sketch, and approaches to adding 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.

Sketching sessions will start on Saturday morning, at a Mission San Juan Capistrano, with two small groups working simultaneously. Each group will have the opportunity to work with both Frank and Gail. Frank will focus on line drawing as the basis for a sketch, considering the selection of a point of view, and establishing the basic perspective structure for a drawing. Gail will focus on the application of color to the sketch, introducing watercolor and brush techniques and adding value and color to capture the quality of light, enhance the sense of spatial depth, and accent the focal point of your sketch.

  On Sunday, we will apply the approaches you learned on Saturday, with Frank and Gail being available for more one-on-one consultations with workshop participants.  We will first start at Lumberyard Mall or Crystal Cove Cottages at Laguna Beach and then move to the Fun Zone at Balboa Beach.

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 and far

Moving to Color:

4. Watercolor and brush techniques
5. Values: Seeing and using tonal values to create depth and capture the quality of light

6. Strategies for applying color and limiting your palette

Workshop Schedule:

Friday May 1, 2015

Location:  AIA Orange County office
                 4100 Birch, Suite 300
                 Newport Beach, CA 92660

6:00–-8:00 pm Dinner, Meet and Greet, Keynote Presentations

Saturday May 2, 2015

Location: Mission San Juan Capistrano 

9:00 am–12:00 pm:
Group A, demo composition and perspective structure, followed by directed exercises;
Group B, demo watercolor values, colors, and approaches followed by directed exercises

12:00–12:30 pm: Review

12:30–1:30 pm: Lunch Break on your own

1:30–4:30 pm: Group A, demo watercolor values, colors, and approaches followed by directed exercises;
Group B, demo composition and perspective structure, followed by directed exercises

4:30–5:00 pm: Review


Sunday May 3rd, 2015

Morning Session: Lumberyard Mall or Crystal Cove Historic Beach Cottages
8:30 am–11:30 am: Sketch time applying what you have learned, (one on one help from Frank and Gail)

11:30 am–12:00 pm: Review
12:00–1:00 pm: Brown Bag Picnic Lunch Break
Afternoon Sketch Crawl: Balboa Fun Zone

1:00–3:00 pm: Sketch Crawl Balboa Fun Zone

3:00–3:30 pm: Gallery, group photo and final remarks

Workshop Registration and Cost:
Price for workshop $220.00.
Cost includes entrance fee to San Juan Capistrano Mission and Friday Keynote Pizza party.
Orange County AIA will be sponsoring  Pizza and beer at Friday Keynote presentation.

Contact  for registration forms and space availability.
Send check and registration forms to
Gail Wong, 2609 East Garfield St., Seattle, WA 98112

Contact Gail for Paypal link.

Out-of-country Participants can pay via Pay Pal in US Dollars and email registration forms.

Maximum number of Participants 26 (minimum 18)
All levels welcome

Registration Deadlines:

Registration and payment due by April 3, 2015.

Cancellation Policy:

In the event of too few registrations, all monies will be refunded less Pay Pal Fees (If paying by Paypal)
. We are only able to provide refunds for participant cancellations up to April 17, 2015 with a cancellation fee of $35.00.  No refunds for cancellations after that date.

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; 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 one of the blog administrators/coordinators for the Seattle Urban Sketchers and a blog correspondent on the Urban Sketchers Blog.  She is also on the Urban Sketchers Workshop Committee. Her work is posted on the Urban Sketchers Blog
Seattle Urban Sketchers Blog




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