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 14: Sketch NOW, Think Later

Instructor: Mike Daikubara

Workshop Description

Have you ever given up a sketching situation since you felt you didn’t have enough time to even start? Have you ever given up since you were around family/friends that were non-sketchers and didn’t want to make them wait for you? Have you ever wanted to incorporate more sketching time into your daily life but couldn’t find the time to do so?

If you answered yes, this workshop is for you!

This workshop will cover the tools, techniques and tips that have worked for me over the years to be able to fully dive into any sketching situation with limited time and tools and still be able to produce memorable, great looking fun sketches.

Here’s a list of some highlighting Techniques we’ll be covering:

1. Pen to paper – no pencils, no underlay, no erasing for faster sketching.
Ink drawing will be contour and some details. Minimal to no shading (since it takes too much time and can be achieved much faster with watercolor)
Sketch the focal point in detail (what you wanted to sketch in the first place) and much less of other areas.
Start sketching from the closest subject to furthest (large to small) which achieves depth.
Understand Horizon line and basic perspective points, which is essentially: are you looking up at a subject? Looking down? Looking straight? Or looking away at the subject? – This is all you need to understand for this basic perspective.

2. Color straight to paper – no premixing on palette saves time and provides much more vibrancy from the pure color pigments.
Mix color on paper – wet on wet.
Clean brush on sponge – easy setup, less hassle than using a tissue/rag.
Minimal color painting layers (glazing) – for speed, less drying time, and being able to use a non-thick sketching paper.
Don’t color everything. Leave areas unpainted. Not only saves time but adds life, more interest and space for graphics/annotation later on.

3. Additional techniques and tips
Repetition and pattern: eliminate having to draw repeating elements over and over to save time. Draw a few and the human brain fills in the rest.
Symmetry: don’t completely draw both sides. The brain can fill in the missing elements.
(If possible) Sketch standing: great for finding the perfect angle since you can easily move around. It’s also uncomfortable and tiring – forcing you to concentrate better and sketch faster.
Completely finish sketch on location (ink, color, annotation) – or understand your personal time/energy level and finish later if needed. Do not force yourself. At minimal do most of the ink on location.
Tips on finishing coloring and annotation later on.

Learning Goals
Sketching with a limited amount of tools allows you to approach sketching situations faster.
Sketching with a limited amount of techniques allows you to capture the moment faster.
Sketching within a limited amount of time allows you to create better-looking work since it allows you to concentrate harder.


To fully dive into the core points of this workshop, I recommend the following items:
Medium sized Sketchbook Any sketchbook is fine but I personally prefer the Stillman and Birn Alpha Series in wire bound landscape format. Please pick a sketchbook size that you can comfortably carry around and use standing up (if possible)
Fountain Pen with Converter Strongly Recommended: A fude nib (bent tip) fountain pen. These pens can draw variable lines from thin to thick and thus gained the name of a Fude (brush) pen. My personal favorite is the Sailor Naginata Fude de Mannen, but Sailor also makes much more affordable fude pens which works nicely too. Other manufacturers that make Fude nib fountain pens are companies such as HERO and DUKE which can be found on Amazon, ebay. Take a look at Parka blogs great article on fude nib fountain pen comparisons.
Water color kit: Any portable watercolor kit you have is fine but for people looking into buying one, a nice intro kit is by Sakura Koi. The 18 or 24 color works well. It also carries a sponge inside which we will use frequently. I still use the Koi case with these colors removed with new colors added in from Holbein.
Water brush. Strongly recommended instead of a regular brush and small container of water. I use a medium sized Pentel water brush for 100% of my work.
Ink: I strongly recommend a non-water diluting ink for your fountain Pen. I personally use Noodlers Lexington gray and have used Noodlers black and platinum carbon ink for quick drying waterproof ink as well.
(Optional) Mini spray mister. This is great for rewetting color that has dried out.
(Optional) Folding chair. I have a tiny one that I always keep in my bag but for faster sketching situations, I prefer sketching standing up.

Workshop Schedule

Location is still TBD but whether we go to the Museum to sketch planes, dinosaurs or nice looking building out on the street corner, this sketching approach will apply and be fun. The following is a rough estimate on schedule timing.

1. First Part (90 min)
Travel to workshop location
Introduction/Tools/Technique/Tips overview
Demo. Overall approach/ Straight to ink
Sketch on own (I will work one on one with people)

2. Second Part (90 min)
Demo: Straight color to paper, adding annotation and graphics
Sketch on own (I will work one on one with people)

3. Third part (30 min)
Look at everyone’s results, critique and discussion
Cover tips of being able to finish sketches afterwards when time is extremely limiting
Take a group photo
Return from Work shop location




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