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 – November 2015

Urban Sketchers News, Events and Workshops

Jason Das
Orling Dominguez
After four years of working on Symposium planning, Orling Dominguez and Jason Das are both stepping down from the International Symposium Team. Orling worked to ensure that the Symposium workshops maintained Urban Sketchers' high educational standards and worked directly with instructors to ensure a quality event. Jason worked on the digital aspects, creating the Symposium websites and overseeing the registration site. "They both contributed greatly to the planning and overall success of the Symposiums, and we are so grateful for their time, effort and dedication," said President Elizabeth Alley. "Thank you, Orling and Jason – we hope to see you in Manchester!"

Maria Regina Tuazon
The Urban Sketchers Board is happy to welcome Maria Regina Tuazon to the International Symposium Team! Maria was a correspondent for the Singapore Symposium, sketching the daily activities and posting each night. She will be helping with communications and social media for Manchester 2016.

If you are interested in being part of the International Symposium Team, the Board is seeking someone to work on digital tasks, primarily creating a new Symposium website that will be updated for the new location each year. Send an email with a description of your qualifications to

Mark Leibowitz
(sketched by Murray Dewhurst)
The Urban Sketchers Board is pleased to announce that Mark Leibowitz has taken on the role of USk Regional Chapter Coordinator. Mark has a message for sketchers who are considering starting a new Urban Sketchers regional group or who have attempted to apply for USk regional status in the past: "As you might be aware, Urban Sketchers has been experiencing tremendous growth. Old processes that worked in the past are no longer effective. We are almost done with our reorganization. We're excited that you're interested in becoming part of Urban Sketchers. If you're new to this, we invite you to start the ball rolling by sending me a brief e-mail. If you applied in the past, we apologize for any delay you've experienced. Please write us again with basic details, and we will expedite the process to get you set up."

The Board also welcomes Kate Gorman from Washington, DC (USA), and Lauren McVittie from London, Ontario (Canada), to the Communications Team. Kate and Lauren will be helping with the USk Facebook page and other communications pieces.

Suhita Shirodkar has scheduled two more sessions of her popular Urban Sketchers workshop, "Capturing Chaos: Drawing a Crowd." The dates are Nov. 6 in Berkeley and Nov. 7 in Los Gatos.

News from Urban Sketchers Communities

Sketchers from Sao Paulo and other parts of Brazil sketched at
Sao Jose dos Campos city.
Urban sketchers from Sao Paulo and other parts of Brazil have an exhibition at the Literary, Music and Arts Festival of Sao Jose dos Campos city. In addition, "Sao Paulo Urban Sketchers celebrated Independence Day sketching at Independence Park, the site where our independence from Portugal was declared," said Ronaldo Kurita. He also reports that Brazil's First National Meeting of Urban Sketching will be held April 22-24, 2016, in Curitiba.

Sketchbooks of USk O'ahu
Urban Sketchers O‘ahu (USA) recently took inspiration from SF Bay Area Urban Sketchers' sketches at a Whole Foods store. O‘ahu sketchers went to a Safeway, where they sketched "each other, the gorgeous pendant lights on the patio and the sunset over Honolulu," said Sebastian Sievert. "It was a noticeable but very welcome departure from our previous gatherings, which were mainly held outdoors and emphasized the natural beauty that surrounds us in the islands."

USk Portugal has just launched a book of 120 sketches by 45 sketchers. Lisbon for/by Urban Sketchers was produced by USk Portugal and publisher Zestbooks.
USk Portugal has published a new book of Lisbon sketches.

The 49th quarterly World Wide SketchCrawl was Oct. 24, and regional Urban Sketchers blogs are starting to report on their participation. Check out the sketches made in Seoul, Strasbourg, Seattle and Tokyo.

Urban Sketchers Girona was featured in Diaria de Girona Oct. 4.

The Oct. 15 edition of the online culture magazine Stilbruch featured an article about USk Berlin on a sketchcrawl at Moab Market Hall.

An article in the Oct. 24 edition of O Popular newspaper featured many sketches by Urban Sketchers Brazil.

USk Hong Kong just sketched at Sheung Yiu Folk Museum, once a fortified Hakka village that dates back to the late 19th century, reports Alvin Wong. Check out their sketches from inside one of the most scenic country parks in Hong Kong, Sai Kung Country Park.
Sketch by Sandy Hau of USk Hong Kong

Sketchers in Action

Swansea (Wales) urban sketcher Bill Bytheway and writer Ken Blakemore have co-authored a book of Bill's sketches of the "ugly, lovely town" (quoting Welsh poet Dylan Thomas) of Swansea. To purchase copies of Ugly Lovely - Sketches of a Small City, write to

One of Richard Câmara's sketchbooks on exhibit in Lisbon.
Portugal urban sketcher Richard Câmara has a solo exhibition at Lisbon's Camões Library through Nov. 6. Including all of his sketchbooks from the past 10 years, the exhibit features a different page of each sketchbook displayed each day. At the Nov. 6 closing, Richard will open all the showcases so that visitors can handle the sketchbooks themselves. In addition, an original sketchbook of his drawings from Madrid will be raffled to one lucky winner. Send e-mail to Richard for raffle information.

Montreal (Canada) urban sketcher Marc Holmes has just released four sketching and watercolor demo videos on the Artists Network TV, a subscription service of art how-to programs. The 60- to 90-minute programs are also available on DVD or by download.

Ch'ng Kiah Kiean has a solo exhibition in Taiwan.
Penang (Malaysia) sketcher Ch'ng Kiah Kiean has a solo exhibition at National Taipei University, Taiwan, through Feb. 21, 2016. A total of 40 reproductions of his Penang sketches will be exhibited at Asia-Pacific Art Corridor at the Department of Chinese Literature.

Minneapolis (USA) sketcher and blogger extraordinaire Roz Stendahl was recently featured in Outdoor Painter, the online edition of Plein Air Magazine. The organizer for many years of USk Twin Cities' annual outing to the Minnesota State Fair, Roz talks about her penchant for sketching animals.

London (UK) sketcher and author James Hobbs was featured on the Jackson's art blog Oct. 1. James, author of Sketch Your World, has this to say about how the Internet benefits artists: "It’s what the internet was invented for. It’s so easy to share a drawing. It seems crazy to draw or paint and then not share at least some of it. And it is great to get an insight into what other people are doing and what they are using."

Seattle (USA) architect and urban sketcher Stephanie Bower has a brand-new Craftsy class called "Perspective for Sketchers." In the three-hour online course, "we start with perspective basics, then I show a simple three-step process for sketching accurate and quick perspective on location," Stephanie said. "There is even a lesson on watercolor! In the final lessons, we sketch and watercolor out and about in Denver, including the interior of a lovely Carnegie library." Urban sketchers who register through Stephanie's website will receive a 25 percent discount.

A new book in the Urban Sketching Handbook series will be released this month: Reportage and Documentary Drawing: Tips and Techniques for Drawing on Location, by Veronica Lawlor.

Sketch by Henry Anderson as part of a sociology presentation
with Mariposa Marangia.
Mariposa Marangia, sociology professor at the Metropolitan State University in Denver (USA), teaches Urban Sociology. She initiated a project to demonstrate how urban sketching can be used to explore perceptions and perspectives that can be communicated by a sketch, as opposed to a photograph or a media promotion. In a presentation that includes sketches and poetry, Mariposa and her team of sketchers tell a story "about Denver as an urban area with variety right off the light rail stops," Mariposa said. She just presented the project at the University of California Berkeley at a conference on The Image in Society. While other presentations focused on digital images, she demonstrated "the role of the hand, aided by tools such as the pencil, pen, and brush."

San Francisco (USA) urban sketcher Richard Sheppard has just published a new book, Impressions of Wine Country. It is both a story of how wine is grown and crafted from the vine to the glass and a sketchbook containing more than 170 watercolors (made mostly on location).

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-mail. Happy sketching!





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