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 people On Stage, Brighton, UK, May 27-29

Pushing Your Sketching Boundaries in Brighton

Contact: e-mail Isabel: for information and a registration form

Brighton developed as a fashionable seaside resort in the 18th century and has been popular ever since;  recently, it has been said to be the “happiest place to live in the UK”. It has a great diverse community, a great music and arts culture scene, and great quirky shopping areas.  

The big highlight of Brighton’s cultural scene is its Arts Festival each year in May and The Brighton Fringe the open access mixed arts event that runs annually alongside it. We are very pleased to be taking part of the Fringe with this workshop drawing People in Brighton.
The workshop will be hosted at The Marwood Cafe in The Lanes, near many of the venues where will be out sketching at. During both morning and afternoon workshop sessions we will be out sketching in various locations nearby, the North Laines, the Pavilion Gardens, The Lanes, the beach, the open market, seeking out events and activities that take place during the Fringe as well,  where people is out and about, to record and lose the fear of drawing people once and for all.

It will be fun but hard work, as you will be enjoying learning and experimenting all the  time, trying out different ways of drawing and mark making, sketching in various media and using line and colour in all forms without fear, sharing the work we do and discussing our findings intensely.  

Each of the instructors will explore different themes of Drawing People

People in Context (Isabel)
When drawing and sketching people to me there are two things - one the person in its own right - the character and personality, what they do/what they are… and then the context - the room/street/square, the action they are doing - selling/playing/talking.
In drawing people we get to know them - and we think about who they are - so we will exercise talking to each other and to others and try to find out more about them whilst we draw them and letting that influence the drawing.
FB_IMG_1445176462963.jpg  FB_IMG_1445176472169.jpg
When drawing larger groups of people - the bar/ the market/the beach/people around a table, the context brings them together creating the scene. It is this setting the scene that tells us the story of what is going on, we need to decide how and how much we will include or if an element will stand out in colour.
Copy of Scan_000621_2.jpg  Copy of Scan_000621_3.jpg


We will experiment with diverse treatments for the scene (setting) and the action (people) - watercolour wash and line and diversifying the marks for foreground and background, trying out what happens when you draw the background first or the people first or together.  
2016-01-11 20.41.21.jpg

Rhythm (Rolf)
Especially when drawing a scene with people involved, one has to deal with a constantly changing 'set of objects'. This is on the one hand a benefit - by choosing from different points in time the sketcher can compose an image, that tells the story of that place in the lapse of time he spends on location in just one image. On the other hand it is a challenge, that can be hard to master, as the view changes too fast to be drawn and plans date out quickly.

We want to deal with this challenge by trying and exercising different strategies:
- drawing immediately from moving objects with blind contours (draw while observing)
- drawing from 'flash-observations' by memorizing and 'reconstructing' them (observe and then draw)
- experiment with degrees of abstraction - what does it need, to make a shape on paper a living thing?
- identifying looping actions and drawing multiple of those with changing focus.

The aim is to find an own work rhythm, suitable to a location and our own attitude, a ‘groove’ that links us to the environment, so that we can at the same time enjoy and sketch a concert, a theatre play, or just the mundane actions on a street.

caras_blindcontour_191215 copy.jpg   U9_191215 copy.jpg
left: drawing people without looking on the paper (blind contour) right: incomplete, but finished (for good or for bad, musician has left the train)
left: stage scene, done with changing focus, drawing the musician that plays in a typical pose or mode, while the others might pause, trying to keep a ‘calligraphic’ rhythm of lines, in ‘groove’ with the music. right:  bus stop scene, layering figures in different states of completeness, composing a group from asynchronously appearing travellers.
layering looping poses
media: though the exercises might work with a paint-attempt, I myself will focus on lines. Every participant may use the tools, he is most comfortable with (since they are quick at hand), I suggest soft pencil, all kind of markers, fountain - and brush pen. ‘Casual’ sketchbook or loose papers - there will be a lot of quick and scrawly results ...

Brushing people, marking people (Swasky)
People moving, people going around, back and forth,... We do not have time, we need to capture them we want to depict them in our sketchbook. Using a loose and unpredictable technique like watercolour instead of a fountain pen or a ballpoint pen lowers our likeness standards, details become less important and our goal is to capture gestures, expressions, moods and feelings. Brush and watercolour markers (or watercolour pencils) will be our drawing tools.
Some themes we will explore:
  1. Capturing people's feelings. We are going to pay attention to people’s faces and we will try to communicate what they are expressing with their face features. Just using brush as our drawing tool we are going to draw people faces, paying attention to eyebrows, expression wrinkles, mouth, eyes,...
  1. Depicting movement. Action and movement is people´s nature. Nevertheless, we are scared of this, what’s more we tend to avoid them as much as we can. In a city, architecture is important but people are  equally important . Thanks to them we know the city better, human beings give the scale to cities.

  1. Telling people stories. Now we will observe also context as part of the human being as I have mentioned before here will notice the link between someone and his or her context. We will be among stages, people acting, singing,... and we will tell their stories.

This session will help attendees to successfully deal the fear of drawing people. Because drawing people is less scary than drawing skyscrapers, too much windows.

Learning goals

  • Pushing participants out of their comfort zone, at their own level. From beginners starting to sketch to more confident participants, we aim to teach you something new and push you outside your boundaries, helping you experiment.
  • Experiment with different techniques and ways of approaching a live sketching people situation, helping you find your own self expression.
  • Using and trying different approaches to drawing people - line drawing with brushes,  marker pens and watercolour pencils, painting with watercolours, light and shade,
  • Develop your own way of representing what you see in colour with confidence
  • Improving mark making ability - with pen, with brush,
  • Losing the fear to draw people
  • Sketching people and their stories in the stage of a big festival
Workshop Schedule

Thursday 26th May 2016

5pm  Welcome at our base Marwood café
Friday 27th May 2016
9am -10am    Welcome and get together at our base Marwood café
10am-1pm     Morning worskhops with Swasky, Rolf and Isabel
1pm - 2.30pm  Lunch
2.30 - 5.30pm   Afternoon workshops with Swasky, Rolf  and Isabel
5.45pm  Return to Marwood - review and share work of the day on line
Saturday 28th May 2016
9am -10am    Welcome and get together at our base Marwood café
10am-1pm     Morning worskhops with Swasky, Rolf and Isabel
1pm - 2.30pm  Lunch
2.30 - 5.30pm   Afternoon workshops with Swasky, Rolf  and Isabel

5.45pm  Return to Marwood - review and share work of the day on line
Sunday 29th May 2016
9am -10am    Welcome and get together at our base Marwood café
10am-1pm     Morning worskhops with Swasky, Rolf and Isabel
1pm - 2.30pm  Lunch
2.30 - 5.30pm   Afternoon workshops with Swasky, Rolf  and Isabel
5.45pm  Return to Marwood - review and share work of the day on line
Monday 30th May 2016
Meet at Marwood Cafe at 11am for coffee and start sketchcrawl  11am to 3pm - open to all
Workshop map
Brighton workshop map here
30 attendees maximum, 18 minimum. Any level of experience is welcome.
We recommend the Tourist information as a first point of call
Supply list
A list will be provided for participants - we will be working with various drawing media, pencils, pens, 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 25 April 2016. If cancelled after 25 April a £25 cancellation fee will be retained. In the event of too few registrants, all monies will be refunded.
About the instructors
Isabel 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.
Rolf lives in Berlin and is sketching from observation as a passion since his youth, while currently drawing for stone-design, architecture and occasional bits of illustration for the living. After an apprenticeship as stonemason he achieved an architecture degree at the RWTH Aachen. While studying there he was teaching observational drawing as a student assistant at the architecture department. He joined USk in 2009 and co-founded the berlin.USk-blog in 2011. Since this time sketching more and more became the grout, that fills most gaps in his everyday live.
Swasky born and raised in Barcelona, Swasky has been drawing most of his lifetime, but when he finished his BFA he left drawing because he tried to start working. Then he decided to start again a degree in Audiovisual Communication. Once he fulfill his second degree he worked in an advertising production company, RCR, disappointed with a job so stressful and invidious he left his job and run a shop. With a new life he started drawing again.  
Addendum - About the Brighton Fringe

Brighton Fringe is England’s largest arts festival and one of the largest fringe festivals in the world. We set out to stimulate, educate and entertain a diverse range of people through a diverse range of art forms. And all this in an iconic city with unique cultural heritage.
Their Website shows the exhilaration of all the art and performances that took place last year during May in Brighton and are very excited to have the opportunity of joining them in 2016 and to offer our on urban sketching workshop “Drawing People on Stage”.




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