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

Day 3 #USkSingapore2015 Time flies!

Day 3, for me,  started with a Sketchpedition with Sanjeev Roshi from India. He said sometimes in the interest of speed and traveling light, a fun way to record memories is to prepare random colorful washes on paper.  From those, work with the form and create calligraphic marks that could be pleasantly surprising.  Here we prepared some paint for laying out the washes. 

Jane was one of the participants. Here she was standing and really being so free putting splashes on paper that her trousers got torn! She pulled out her shawl and wore it on her waist for the rest of the day :) Shawne was also having a great time putting her random brush marks.

And so were Jessica and Khoo Cheang Jin who was fanning his works dry. 

Here are some sketches from Albert Street which were done on the prewashed sheets. The exercise was to weave some sketches into the forms and add calligraphic elements. Sanjeev said sometimes they work, sometimes they don't just like sketching in general. However the process of exploring the possibilities was definitely one happy trip!

Sanjeev signed one of my prewashed sheets on the left. Thank you!

Walking around the vicinity I caught Marina Grechanik and Ea Ejersbo's workshop (Portraits of the City through its Inhabitants) at Bugis Village. This whole stretch is a bustling, buzzing place  that's famous for  its shopping stalls, market, coffeeshops and a sea of people passing through. 

The workshop was about drawing people  and doing it blindly.  The speed helps to capture gestures, expressions and the stories.  Here's Lapin drawing some folks and  the crowd behind him kept changing from store sales ladies, uncles on a smoke break and of course the instructors.

At the same location was an activity conducted by Delphine Priollaud (Less is More). A big crowd was around her as she talked about her tools which were mainly brush pens and black and walnut ink. She said drawing is like a dance and she moved around freely to be able to define the spaces in it. Under the hot midday sun she demonstrated how she captured light. It was mainly working with the shapes around the light so everything around it became negative space.


The crowd sat through under umbrellas for a bit of shade.

Went back to National Design Centre to catch Luis Simoes from Portugal who has been traveling and sketching the world for 5 years! He shared a video about how he decided to embark on this adventure along with his parents who initially thought it was crazy but it became an adventure for his parents too who traveled with him for 9 months together in a camper. One of his best moments was traveling with them with a separate set of GPS beside each other!

He shared his sketches from the destinations that were life changing for him. Luis loves people and his sketching trip has opened him up to experiences he wouldnt have said yes to. Most people ask hm about the financial part to fund his trip. He said whatever he owned kept him away from his dream of where he wanted to go, so he let go of all that and became free! He hope to publish a book when he finally goes home which we don't know when that is! Safe and happy sketch travels, Luis.

Up next was Gabi Campanario who is a Seattle Times columnist and the founder of  Urban Sketchers.

He shared about his experiences in being a sketch journalist and what topics could be of interest and relevant to his readers.  As you can see form the sketch notes it spans from unsung heroes, personal experiences, the changing landscape, hidden places, artists, lifestyle, history and the topics keep growing. It's definitely a whole lot of adventure!

Khoo Chean Jin from Penang did a masterful demo on Atmospheric Expressions in Watercolor just outside Singapore Art Museum. The timing was the golden hour and the light  was perfect for this exercise. He did a quick sketch, laid out washes to capture the tones and then add the details at the end. 

Before Rob Sketcherman ever picked a stylus to draw on an iPad, his mantra was "More is more." Liek most of us, he had an insane pile of art materials too. But being someone from Hong Kong, space was an issue and he had to look for alternatives!

He shared his current set of tools  and his worksflow and why he picked them. He also gave tips on how to get an organic feel in his digital drawings by creating personal brushes in his app of choice. He said one will never know what may come up when you sketch so be open to the doors it will open for you. 

The last thing for the day was a lecture by Stephanie Bower called Good Bones. It was an interactive and a serious look into the world and magic of perspective. By sharing a solid process of laying down the structure before she does her line work and washes, she gave a powerful tool that every sketcher out in the streets can put in their arsenal.

Everyone got the hang of using pencils to get exact units of measure. 

Here's one last quick sketch after dinner drinks when we were rounding up to leave. With such a fun big group out for a drink and draw, it's a natural sketch high and there's a few minutes to pen some lines before we call it a day!
Can't believe tomorrow is the last day. Time flies when you're having fun! 

#usksingapore2015. Maria Regina Tuazon





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