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

Pushing How to Look in Newbury, UK, March 21-25 (Sold Out)

Newbury Workshop. A fresh look to the day to day.

Newbury is a market town with loads of history, formed after the Norman conquest as a new borough, with its economic foundation on the 16th century cloth trade, which declined after English Civil war (late 16 century) and the two battles of Newbury. The town partially recovered in the 18th century as stop on the route to Bath but declined again when the railway made journeys quicker. The 20th century brought some interesting protest stories, such as the Women’s peace camp story against nuclear weapons been sited at the nearby Greenham Common american air base or the Newbury bypass opposition where protesters occupied trees on the route of the bypass. And technology has also brought modern industry to Newbury, which is the home of the global headquarters of Vodafone.

Isabel has lived in Newbury for over 10 years now and settled here in the local artists and creative community where she takes part of the annual Open Studios scheme. In the last two years she has been part of the City Arts Newbury project that aims to convert an old methodist chapel into a community art hub. This is where we will be based.

The excitement of this workshop for her is to share the everyday beauty of the place where she lives, there are opportunities for sketching everywhere, if you look for them, in the market place, in the renovated museum area, in the shopping streets, by the canal, in the old “city” of Newbury, there are stories happening now and we will search them and draw them, finding a fresh look out of ordinary.


Urban sketching is about telling stories. We will work in colour to draw both setting and story, drawing out what interests us. We will work in watercolour and other colour media to show the story in full colour.

We will start with quick watercolour washes setting the overall picture and then we will add more paused drawing on top, to firm up what is it what we want to say.

The difficulty of sketching is to know where to start and deciding how much to fit in.

We will start with some quick colour sketches of people on the street, setting the scene of what they do. We can then progress to more complex scenes of activity or busy architecture.

Colour blocks will help us break the scene into manageable areas and to avoid worrying later on about spoiling a neatly drawn picture.

The colour will serve as the background to the drawing scene. Line work and detail can then be selective to help us focus where we want the sketch attention to go.


Look around. There is a big square full of buildings, cars, people moving…

I'm looking forward to start sketching everything to tell where I am, wishing to explain in my sketchbook the life that is around me.

I sit and analyse the place.

I want to start just now but it´s difficult… There are too many elements…Which one do I choose to start? What to draw? What not to ? How can I compose the page? How to structure space?

How to perform this synthesis to capture the essence of what I want to say?

If I fill the page with many elements I can loose all the information and interest. If I process all in the same way, it can get boring and monotonous.

When I think of my own sketchbook, the sketches I do like the most, I always find three essential things in them to be able to say: “This is a bold piece of work”:

- The sketch describes the place where it was made
- I managed to convey my own personal look of this place
- The people who see it can understand my way of looking and give their own opinion.

I prefer to "half-finish" my sketches. This is: to elaborate in detail some parts and to “spoil” others with lines and scribbles . I like it when chance changes the drawing process and chaos is present.

However, as the basis of any improvisation, the sketch must have a solid compositional structure which helps to work in this way, allowing us to express what we mean, then to synthesize and draw madly.

This base is acquired through experience but can be thought of in advance.

This workshop is an invitation to work from that structure located at the base of any design and to make your sketchbook pages really be simple but bold.

In my sessions, the focus will be on

Understanding force and dominant lines in the composition

Studying open and closed structures (circle, triangle, in L, in Z, horizontal…) and how can each one contribute to our sketch.

Practicing with colour and lines as elements that can set the view

Analyzing some compositional laws (symmetry, mass compensation) and apply them to our drawing.

Experiencing the use of colour from a dark background (color balance).

Use all these tools to develop our own style of drawing and expression


Thinking about drawing and telling stories always come to mind those old storytellers who went from one village to another with big sign full with little illustrations. I consider ourselves as storytellers in someway, we tell stories which are around us, from our daily life and from the places we visit.

My approach to a place that I want to draw and I want to capture is always the same but also with little subtleties which make the difference. First of all I try to feel which the common thread that links to my own experience to my daily life.

From the common to the difference (in the shopping centre)

Our main focus will be to use the universal plot: visitor who arrives to a new place, a place which has changed or is quite different to a familiar place. Nowadays this character in society is known as tourists, but there are plenty of examples in literature or cinema which depict them, stranger who arrive to place unknown, for instance: Ulysses, Rambo,...

We will face reality of a new place with eyes wide open, paying attention to those details, buildings, people,... which capture our attention and we will give to them over our sketchbooks, using lettering, text, layout, composition,... the right importance.

From the microscopic to the macroscopic (the bell tower)

In the second session is devoted to details, because they can link to a huge and enormous reality, we will go from the top to the bottom and will fly away with our sight.

Overall Learning goals

Looking and finding stories of everyday life
Looking at various ways of composing the sketch
Improving watercolour and drawing technique from basic principles.
Trying out different watercolour based techniques : wet on wet, dry layers, big washes
Experiment with colour backgrounds and different drawing surfaces
Developing your own style of drawing and expression
Drawing people on the go

Workshop Schedule

Monday 21 March

Welcome at our base City Arts
Tuesday 22 March

9am -10am
Welcome and get together at our base City Arts

Morning worskhops with Swasky, Inma and Isabel

1pm - 2.30pm

2.30 - 5.30pm
Afternoon workshops with Swasky, Inma and Isabel

Return to City Arts Newbury - review and choose work for exhibition

Wednesday 23 March

9am -10am
Morning get together at our base City Arts. Pin up exhibition from previous day’s work

Morning worskhops with Swasky, Inma and Isabel

1pm - 2.30pm

2.30 - 5.30pm
Afternoon workshops with Swasky, Inma and Isabel

Return to City Arts Newbury - review and choose work for exhibition

Thursday 24 March
9am -10am

Morning get together at our base City Arts. Pin up exhibition from previous day’s work

Morning worskhops with Swasky, Inma and Isabel

1pm - 2.30pm

2.30 - 5.30pm

Afternoon workshops with Swasky, Inma and Isabel


Return to City Arts Newbury - review and choose work for exhibition


Pin up exhibition work


Opening of exhibition to the public

Friday 25 March

11 to 3pm
Meet at City Arts from 9:30 for coffee and open exhibition

Good Friday sketchcrawl - open to all

Workshop map:
Newbury workshop map here.

30 attendees maximum, 18 minimum. Any level of drawing experience is welcome

We recommend the Tourist information as a first point of call.

Tourist information Newbury
Travelodge Newbury
The Hatchet Inn
The Elephant at the Market
Hilton Newbury Centre

A list will be provided for participants - we will be working with water soluble media, watercolours and marker pens.

Registration fee
£ 225 - (£180 concessions - 20% discount for students or unwaged -with proof of concession status)

To book - e-mail Isabel: for a registration form.
(Payment can be via cheque, internet bank transfer or paypal)

Cancellation policy: All fees are fully refundable if cancelled prior to 29 February 2016. If cancelled after 29 February a £25 cancellation fee will be retained. In the event of too few registrants, all monies will be refunded.

About the instructors
Isabel Carmona is Spanish but studied in UK where she practices as an architect and artist in Newbury, Berkshire. Her passion is watercolour, easy to carry around and sketch on the go and likes experimenting and mixing media to get interesting effects. Isabel started sketching in 1993 as part of her architecture training and continues to this day. She joined Urban Sketchers Spain in 2011 and USK London in 2014 where she runs the Facebook group and organises some of their Let's Draw events.

As an artist she is part of West Berkshire and North Hampshire Open Studios scheme and joined the Oxford Printmakers Cooperative in 2013.

Inma Serrano
Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Seville, specializing in Painting (1996) and Design and Engraving (2000). For the past fifteen years she has been involved in the area of art education and has taught courses in Applied Creative Photography, Painting and Drawing. She has made presentations and workshops related to “travel diary” and “drawing in location” for the University and for other organisations and groups in and out of Spain. As a teacher, she has led sketching workshops for Urban Sketchers Symposium in Santo Domingo (2011), Barcelona (2012) and Singapore (2015). She currently works at a Secondary School in Sevilla in which she teaches Visual Arts and Drawing. She has also worked as an assiduous illustrator in some journals. Inma’s artistic interest focuses mainly in the field of illustration and graphic diaries. She has been involved in some national and international exhibitions too.

Sketching in the streets is essential in her life because it allows she to zoom, in an ingenuous and almost childish way, the people and the things around.

Swasky is a Catalan-Spanish artist and art teacher from Barcelona. He holds degrees in Fine Arts and Audiovisual Communication from Barcelona universities and also attended Nottingham Trent University in England. A trained photographer and videographer, Swasky shifted his interest to drawing as a way to show the world after joining the Urban Sketchers online community. Swasky’s first book, “Voltant per Sants" ("Going around Sants"), was just published in January of 2012.

Facebook event - Pushing your Sketching Boundaries in Newbury
Pushing How to Look





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