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

Sketching the Wild Atlantic Way: Workshop in Kinvara & Galway, Ireland, 2-6 September 2015

Workshop in Kinvara and Galway City, Ireland
September 2nd - 6th 2015

with Róisín Curé

Kinvara, Co. Galway lies on the west coast of Ireland and is one of the area's prettiest villages. There's a quiet pace of life there, even though the hurly-burly of Galway City in summer is only half an hour away by car. A traditional fishing village, Kinvara is on the sea, and forms part of the famous Wild Atlantic Way, the coastline that snakes its way down the western seaboard from north to south. Perhaps the most prominent feature of Kinvara is the 16th-century castle of Dunguaire which stands alone on a little promontory, like a sentinel on the approach to the village.

Come and sketch the colour and tradition of Kinvara with Róisín Curé this September: there'll be three and a half days of intense sketching instruction, punctuated by evenings of music and dining in some of Galway's best pubs and restaurants. 

Accommodation for those who wish to avail of it is in the Kinvara Guesthouse, situated in the heart of the village, on a bed and breakfast basis. 

Every night we will dine somewhere different; all the restaurants are well-known in the area and offer the best in our fabulous local cuisine, with local seafood and seasonal produce on the menu. If there are any oyster lovers amongst you, the fact that native Irish oysters will have just come back into season will be the cause of excitement. 

The Workshop

The focus will be on using ink and watercolour on the move. The materials we will use will be brush pen and fountain pen with waterproof ink in black and grey and watercolour. Every day we'll have a chance to look at the work from the previous day and get everyone's personal approach and how they felt about it.

Wednesday 2nd September

Meet and greet in the Pier Head, a charming pub on the water's edge on Kinvara Quay. After we've all been introduced, we'll have dinner looking out over Galway Bay. You can see it at the back of the quay here - it's the yellow building facing the quay.

Thursday 3rd September

A bright an early start will see us doing a few warm-up sketches before tackling the exterior of Dunguaire Castle from a handy vantage point. We'll stick to a very limited palette: in this way not only do we keep things simple, but we can concentrate of form and value without the additional element of colour.

Lunch will be arranged on the day but Kinvara has lots of options.

The afternoon session will centre around sketching the main street of the village, which is lined with charming, brightly coloured shops and pubs on either side. We'll take a much looser approach, with strong colour being the focus of the afternoon session, working on the principle of building many layers of watercolour in order to achieve a strong result.

The evening will take us to Moran's on the Weir, a charming restaurant on the banks of the Dunkellin River. This river meets the esturay near here and teems with salmon and sea trout, which can be seen leaping on the tide. If the weather is fine we'll take a pre-dinner stroll along the green path to the seashore. This is a very picturesque spot and will be recognisable from Róisín's many sketches from the area. After dinner in Moran's we'll return by minibus transfer to Kinvara.

See if you can spot Moran's on the far side of the's pretty small!

Friday 4th September

We'll steal a march on the crowds and arrive in Kinvara Farmer's Market to watch the stallholders set up at 9.30am, for a 10.00am start. This market takes places every Friday on the Square in Kinvara, right on the doorstep of the Kinvara Guesthouse and is a very convivial, lively spot every week. We'll focus on sketching people: we'll learn the tricks the urban sketcher uses when drawing moving forms such as making composites of many people, repeating certain figures and choosing those making repetitive actions. There'll be musicians and colourful characters manning stalls from Ireland and abroad. 

Lunch will be fresh food from the stalls in the market.

The afternoon will be dedicated to Dunguaire Castle: all the participants will have a pass for the castle which will be valid for the whole day. There will be an opportunity to sketch inside the castle, and indeed on the parapets if the sketcher wishes. This will consist of two parts: a demonstration sketch of the dining room will be followed by each participant choosing their own spot, and Róisín will go to each student and offer one-on-one attention during this session.

The evening will be a time for relaxing: a special banquet will be offered in Dunguaire Castle, which aims to replicate in part a traditional medieval meal (i.e. you will be offered mead!) This is followed by an evening of entertainment provided by the actors and singers of the castle, who will treat us to stories and music of old Ireland.

We'll finish at the Castle at about 8.45 and there'll be time to stroll back into the village and get in a session of traditional Irish music in one of Kinvara's warm and friendly pubs. You'll be very welcome to sketch and Róisín will make suggestions in advance on some good ways to approach a sketch of musicians.

Saturday 5th September

Saturday in Galway is the liveliest day of the week in Galway City. We'll head into town in the morning and make ourselves comfortable on the banks of the Claddagh, looking across to the colourful traditional buildings of the Long Walk. 

There are usually boats and swans in the foreground as well as the odd squabbling seagull, which will offer us the perfect opportunity to use foreground and background subject matter in order to give depth to a sketch. The row of houses of the Long Walk will offer us the challenge of combining line with colour in order to capture the feeling of a complex scene. 

There is a very busy and lively outdoor market in the heart of Galway City and it is highly recommended for a visit, although it would be too crowded to sketch to all but the most patient! However there are some really excellent food stalls in the market and you won't do better for an al fresco lunch than one of these.

After lunch there will be a sketching session on the city side of the River Corrib, where there will be more challenges of capturing city life in watercolour. However there will also be time to stroll around the tiny city on your won if you wish. 

This is a view of the so-called "Latin Quarter" of Galway, with the River Corrib behind the viewer. The street to the left is the main street winding its way up through the city.

After a busy day of sketching we will reward ourselves with a special treat: dinner in Ard Bia, next to the Spanish Arch on the banks of the River Corrib: those with a window seat will see the river rushing past on its way to the Atlantic.
We'll return to Kinvara after dinner, and those who still have the energy can partake of some more local music!

Sunday 6th September

Our last morning will be a chance to enjoy sketching in Kinvara once more. We will head down to the quay and take on some linework in the form of traditional boats. We'll look at underdrawing in pencil followed by a rapid and almost continuous line as a way to tackle very complex structures.

After the session we'll have a look at the results from the workshop and hear everyone's contribution. Lunch will be from one of the venues in Kinvara and there ends the workshop, as we say farewell until the next time.

Non-sketching Partners

The Kinvara area is full of activities for the non-sketching travelling companions.

There is, first and foremost, the beautiful Burren, a wonderful wild landscape to walk and lose yourself in complete tranquility, on the famous karstic pavement which dates to the Carboniferous period, when Ireland was covered in a shallow, tropical sea. Today it is full of micro-climates and the botany lover will be enchanted by the flora to be found on the Burren. Maps will be provided for those who wish to explore the region.

Other than that activities include a visit to the Burren Perfumery, Ailwee Caves and the bird sanctuary which is part of that attraction. There is also the Burren Smokehouse in Lisdoonvarna a few miles down the road. If your partner wishes to travel a little further they can go into Galway City, an event in itself.

For the more adventurous there is golf, surfing, hill-walking and of course a visit to the nearby islands is an unforgettable experience if the sun is shining.


The cost for the workshop, including accommodation in the Kinvara Guesthouse, breakfast in the hotel, transfer to and from Moran's and Galway City, entry to the Castle and evening meals (set menu) in the restaurants we have arranged is €1035.

The cost for the workshop without accommodation or breakfast, but including transfer to and from Moran's and Galway City, entry to the Castle and evening meals (set menu) in the restuarants we have arranged is €762.

The cost for non-sketching companions including accommodation in the Kinvara Guesthouse, breakfast in the hotel, transfer to and from Moran's and Galway City and evening meals (set menu) in the restaurants we have arranged is €660.

The cost for a non-sketching companion without accommodation or breakfast, but including transfer to and from Moran's and Galway City and evening meals (set menu) in the restaurants we have arranged is €335.

There will be a discount of €100 on the above prices on all bookings paid in full before 15th June. Please see Róisín's website at ( for all details of what is required in the way of sketching equipment, and what is and is not included in the price.


Róisín speaks English, French and Spanish and will be very happy to help you with any questions you might have in any one of these languages. As the numbers will be small - the maximum number of participants will be just 13 - you will be assured of lots of personal attention.





USk News$type=blogging$ct=0$au=0$m=0$show=


[Workshops Blog]$type=two$c=12$ct=0$m=0$show=