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

Workshop 21: On Location with an iPad & Procreate

Instructor: Rob Sketcherman

Workshop Description

Sketching digitally is on the rise for many reasons - tablets and apps are becoming more powerful, making all sorts of truly mixed media options possible - watercolors on pastel, oil and ink washes - go beyond the limits of normal chemistry! The era of too-smooth, crude, synthetic-looking work is ending, making way for effects that can look wonderfully organic without the mess. This is an incredibly versatile medium that makes your bag lighter and is lightning fast to set up. Like learning any medium or tool however, it takes a little getting used to.

As digital sketching is still relatively new, we will begin with getting to know Procreate, the best art app in the iOS store. We’ll look at gear options including styli, cases and stands. Whether you use the latest iPad Pro or earlier iPads, I’ll show you how to set up your digital toolkit and customize the interface to your liking.

Digital workflows differ somewhat from traditional ones, and we will next go through some quick exercises that help you get to know Procreate and what it can do. Learn about working in layers, tweaking brushes and various process options for planning and executing your sketches.

With your new-found understanding of Procreate and its possibilities, we’ll then go on location and apply what you’ve learned. I’ll also show you what to do to prepare your files for print and show examples of printed work so you can see how digital work translates to paper.


Learning Goals
You’ll walk away knowing how to
  • use the best art app for iOS: Procreate
  • customize digital tools and brushes to suit your sketching style
  • use layers to plan and execute your sketches
  • learn specific digital workflows and processes for faster sketching
  • export your artwork for sharing and printing
  • and discover supplementary gear you can purchase to take digital sketching to the next level. 
Workshop Location
We’ll begin the workshop indoors at The Manchester School of Art, as we explore the possibilities of Procreate on your iPads, then head up to the lovely rooftop terrace and get to the main event -sketching! Whether you’re into drawing people, plants or places, there are subjects up there for everyone. 

Workshop Schedule
Introduction and Gear (10min)

We will begin with an introduction to the possibilities of digital sketching, and the best equipment to use, including stylus options and additional helpful equipment.

Getting to know Procreate (30min)
A series of demonstrations and quick exercises will familiarize you with Procreate and its interface. You will then learn how to customize important settings, set up favorite tools for optimal use, see what effects are digitally possible, and learn to create a digital toolkit to suit your analog style.
The Digital Workflow (20min)

You’ll do a quick sketch while exploring your digital tools to ensure you’re familiar enough with Procreate to sketch on location anywhere.

Sketching on Location (2.5 hours on Rooftop Terrace/Garden)
Apply what you’ve learned and sketch. I will go among participants to help and guide you, and we will end the session with a review of work, sharing and Q&A.

Supply List
  • An iPad (iPad 3, iPad Mini or newer. Older versions are too slow and probably incompatible with equipment discussed.)
  •  Preinstalled Procreate app (USD5.99 or equivalent in the App Store)
  • A stylus for the iPad (You may use any stylus, although I highly recommend one that supports pressure-sensitivity. If in doubt, you can email me at for recommendations that will suit the iPad you use.)




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