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 – October 2015

Urban Sketchers Events and Workshops

Urban Sketchers founder Gabi Campanario has made the following announcement:
Gabi sketching last year in Paraty, Brazil, at the USk Symposium.

Dear fellow urban sketchers,

Since setting up the Urban Sketchers nonprofit in 2009, I've been quite involved with most operational aspects of the organization, from filing government forms and dealing with bank accounts to setting up blogs, organizing events and recruiting volunteers.

As Urban Sketchers has grown and thrived, many others have contributed their time and efforts, and we've built a solid and sustainable nonprofit. That level of shared commitment and belief in our mission is why I feel comfortable that we've reached the point in our natural evolution for the founder to take the back seat. After my term expires in December, I'll no longer be part of the Executive Board.

But I'm not wandering off too far. I have offered to serve on the Advisory Board and plan to continue contributing as a blog editor and correspondent.

I'm very proud of the work we do as a nonprofit, organizing an exhilarating international Symposium every year, promoting workshops and publishing blogs.

It makes a difference in the way people see the world and connect with each other.

I hear it all the time: "Urban Sketchers has changed my life!" people tell me. And I reply the same way: "It has changed mine, too!"

Gratefully and respectfully yours,


Thank you, Gabi, for everything you've done for sketchers around the globe!

YOUR sketch could appear here!
Want to see your sketch on the global Urban Sketchers blog flag? You can! All urban sketchers and correspondents (on either the global blog or regional blogs) may submit a sketch for consideration by sending the following to Shiho Nakaza at with the subject line: "Flag Material from (your name)":

  • A high-resolution photo of you sketching, or a photo of a sketchbook page shown next to the background where you're sketching (photos from smartphones are OK as long as they are at least 960 pixels wide)
  • A high-resolution scan of the sketch
  • Location of the sketch/photo (city, country)
  • Your website/blog/Flickr site with your location sketches

The dates for the Seventh International Urban Sketchers Symposium in Manchester have been set for July 27-30, 2016! To receive updates about the 2016 Symposium, subscribe to the Urban Sketchers Symposium mailing list.

Urban Sketchers is seeking a volunteer Fundraising Director. The Fundraising Director creates and implements a plan to solicit donors and identify funding sources, based on preliminary work already completed by the Executive Board. The Fundraising Director will be a part of the Executive Board, which is composed of officers and directors and oversees the day-to-day management of the non-profit organization, and will work closely with the Sponsorship Coordinator (Omar Jaramillo), who is already in place, to develop sponsorship opportunities. Please send a letter of interest and description of qualifications to Elizabeth Alley at

Three Urban Sketchers workshops are available in San Francisco (USA), Naples (Italy) and Chatham County (USA) this month!

News from Urban Sketchers Communities

Urban Sketchers Israel at Loveat coffee shop for Illustration Week in Tel Aviv.
Urban Sketchers Israel took part in Illustration Week Tel Aviv with a group exhibition. Called Sketch It @ Loveat, the expo told the story of the coffee shop Loveat through sketches made on location, according to Marina Grechanik. The expo took place in a central branch of the coffee shop, "so both the sketching team and customers could recognize themselves in the sketches," she said. The group also held three sketchcrawls during the event. At the opening event, visitors were invited to make spontaneous on-location sketches and to take part in the expo on a "live" wall.

Urban Sketchers North Portugal was featured in the newspaper when the group sketched in Gondifelos.

Don Gore, moderator of the #urbansketchers hashtag on Instagram, is pleased that the group has more than 20,000 followers! Meanwhile, back on Aug. 31, moderator Kip Bradley announced that the Urban Sketchers Flickr group has collected more than 200,000 images since November 2007 from more than 8,555 members on all continents. Thanks for sharing, sketchers, and keep on posting!

USk O'ahu at Winward Community College
USk O‘ahu (USA), a growing group, recently held an event at Windward Community College that exemplifies the group's attempts to sketch both urban environments and Hawaii's scenic backdrops. "We hope that more people will find us as we add special events to our schedule, such as the departure of Solar Impulse 2 from Hawaii next spring," said Sebastian Sievert.

Outdoor Painter, the online edition of Plein Air Magazine, has featured three US Urban Sketchers groups recently: O‘ahu, Texas and New York City.

Sketchers in Action

Ami Plasse has an exhibit of his "migratory path" from Brooklyn to Austin.

In his exhibition "Drawing TX: The First Four Years," urban sketcher Ami Plasse (USA) chronicles the people, places and events he has experienced since following the well-traversed migratory path from Brooklyn to Austin in 2011. The body of work, consisting of drawings, animations, paintings and prints, aims to document both the rapidly changing character of his new home and his own personal trials and tribulations over four transformative years. The exhibition at Wonderwall Studio runs through Oct. 4.

Kate Buike with one of 25 astronaut sculptures she sketched last summer.
Urban sketcher Kate Buike is a volunteer for the Museum of Flight in Seattle (USA). To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the museum installed 25 artist-embellished, life-size astronaut statues in local businesses this summer. Kate made it a personal project to sketch all 25 Astronauts on the Town in their locations. At its culminating celebration party Sept. 19, the museum used Kate's sketches on promotional posters

Mike Daikubara chronicles his trip to Machu Picchu
Boston (USA) sketcher Mike Daikubara has just published his fifth book of sketches, this time covering his adventures in Machu Picchu earlier this year. The 74-page book "captures the exact route we took, what transportation methods we used, what hotels we stayed in, what altitudes were in each location and how we avoided getting altitude sickness," Mike said. "All this information along with all the on-location sketches I did (along with some photos) are bundled into this one book." 

Three sketches of the Banks Peninsula area by Aukland (New Zealand) sketcher Murray Dewhurst have been published in the Indonesian travel magazine DestinAsian. "Sketching these in Akaroa and Okains Bay, I would never had expected they would end up with such an international audience!" Murray said.

Juliana Russo's new book
São Paulo (Brazil) sketcher Juliana Russo has published a new book of urban sketches. Called São Paulo Infinita, the 104-page publication was edited by G GILI of Barcelona.

Stephanie Bower, Seattle architect and urban sketcher, will have a class on Craftsy called “Perspective for Sketchers” beginning Oct. 12. Visit Stephanie’s website for a link when the class goes live. See the next Drawing Attention for a discount coupon code for Urban Sketchers!

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-mailHappy sketching!





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