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 in Seattle April 22-25, 2016 (Sold Out)

Like any building, a sketch needs a good foundation. In this intensive workshop, architectural drawing instructors Frank Ching and Gail Wong 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 Seattle, the workshop will consist of a 2- hour keynote pizza dinner, 2 full days of sketch education and a 3.0 hour final sketch crawl with input from your instructors. This event will be conducted over a 4-day period starting Friday evening and ending Monday mid day. 

We will start with a Friday afternoon meeting at Daniel Smith’s Store where we will have a manufacturing tour of Daniel Smith’s Watercolor operations led by the owner John Cogley. Find out how the exquisite Daniel Smith Colors are created and made. Katherine Taylor will talk about their Primatek Colors and you will be able to practice mixing and using colors at their mixing table. From 5-7 pm we will have our Meet and Greet evening presentation/ pizza dinner with Frank and Gail.

Have fun learning in the industrial environment of Gas Works Park and the quirky artist neighborhood of Fremont. Sketching sessions will start on Saturday morning, at a either Gas Works Park or Fremont, with two small groups working simultaneously. Each group will have the opportunity to work with both Frank and Gail for one full day. 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 and use of color in a sketch. She will introduce watercolor and brush techniques, how to add value and color to capture the quality of light, sense of spatial depth and accent the focal point of your sketch.

On Sunday groups will switch instructors and locations.

Monday, will be the first opportunity to meet as a whole group and work to put everything to together. Test out what you have learned, get help and feed back from the instructors. We will select a site from various iconic Seattle locations. Either Pike Place Market, Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle Center and the Space Needle or South Lake Union Park and Museum of History and Industry.

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

4. Learning the basics of perspective

Using Color:

5. Familiarity with the use of watercolor and brush techniques

6. Seeing and using tonal values to create depth and capture the quality of light

7. Strategies for applying color and limiting your palette

8. Learning how to mix colors

Workshop Schedule:

Friday April 22, 2016

Location: Daniel Smith Store
4150 1st Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98134

2:30–-3:30 pm Manufacturing Tour of Daniel Smith Watercolor operations

3:30-4:00 pm Learn about Primatek Colors Katherine Taylor

4:00-5:00 pm Play at the Mixing Table

5:00-7:00 pm Keynote Presentation / Meet and Greet Pizza dinner

Saturday April 23, 2015

Location: Fremont/Gasworks Park
Group 1 Line with Frank - Fremont
Group 2 Color with Gail - Gasworks Park

9:00 am–12:00 pm Guided instructions, short demos and Exercises

12:30–1:30 pm Lunch Break on your own

1:30–2:30 pm Instructor Demo

2:30-4:30 pm Sketch time with instructor help

4:30–5:00 pm Review

6:00-7:30 Drink and Draw (Location to be determined. This is optional but always fun…food and drink on your own)

Sunday April 24, 2015

Group 2 Line with Frank - Fremont

Group 1 Color with Gail - Gasworks Park

9:00 am–12:00 pm Guided instructions, short demos and exercises

12:30–1:30 pm Lunch Break on your own

1:30–2:30 pm Instructor Demo

2:30-4:30 pm Sketch time with instructor help

4:30–5:00 pm Review

6:00-7:30 Drink and Draw (Location to be determined. This is optional but always fun…food and drink on your own)

Monday April 25, 2015

Location TBD: Pike Place Market, Mohai, Seattle Center, Olympic Sculpture Park

9:00-12:00 pm Sketch crawl with guiding input from Frank and Gail

12:00pm-12:30 pm Final group gallery and pictures

Workshop Registration and Cost:

Price for workshop $285.00 via paypal

Contact Gail Wong for registration forms, space availability and paypal link.

Maximum number of Participants 30 (minimum 18)
 All levels welcome

Registration Deadlines:

Registration and payment due by March 1, 2016.

Cancellation Policy:

In the event of too few registrations, all monies will be refunded less Pay Pal Fees (If paying by Paypal). 
 Cancellations up to March 22, 2016 will be refunded the full amount minus a cancellation fee of $35.00. 50% will be refunded if cancellations occurs after the 22nd to April 8, 2016 and no refunds 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 at:

Gail Wong is currently a part-time Lecturer at University of Washington and has taught design drawing and sketching for over 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 was a blog administrator/coordinator for the Seattle Urban Sketchers and is currently Workshop Coordinator of the Urban Sketchers Workshop Committee and an Urbansketcher's correspondent.

You can see Gail's work at:




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