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 16: Focus Your Sketching Stories

Instructors: Isabel Carmona Andreau & Len Grant

What makes one sketch stand out above another?
How can you really start to tell a story with your drawings?
This workshop is about finding a personal Sketch Focus that helps to push your sketching to the next level.It’s about considering the range of choices we make so our drawings truly tell a story.

We will borrow techniques from the worlds of photography and painting to give a sharper clarity to what we want to say in a very personal way.

We will explore how to translate our first impressions of a place into meaningful sketches that convey that initial thought. We will use quick thumbnail sketches to investigate a potentially overwhelming space. And finally create full size sketches that tell our stories of a place.

Workshop Schedule
The Royal Exchange Theatre is steeped in history as Len will explain and, at first glance, is a challenging subject for the urban sketcher. We’ll start by noting our first impressions of the space: what we see and how we feel.

The first section of the workshop – composition options – will then consider specific composition techniques from photography and see how they might translate into our sketching world. In particular Len will look at the rule of thirds (and when to break it); leading lines; as well as symmetry, pattern and using ‘natural’ frames.

You will explore these composition options in a series of thumbnail sketches, combining them with your first impressions. You may ask yourself, “What am I saying with the elements of this sketch? Am I talking about the space as a whole, or a specific action within it? What is the minimum I need to include in the drawing to tell the story clearly?”

 In the second section of the workshop Isabel demonstrates how our choices of applying colour affect the mood of the picture. Will our sketch focus on light and shade, charged hues or subdued colours? Will it be monochrome or a riot of colour? Through another series of thumbnails it will become clear how these colour options convey different atmospheres.

Isabel normally works by putting down colour first as it helps avoid the fear of spoiling a drawing when ‘colouring in’.


In the third section of the workshop you will choose one or two of your previous thumbnails to develop more fully. The final sketches will combine the composition and colour options with a focus on what you want to say about where you are, the storytelling.

These longer works will also allow reaction to what’s happening in front of you. The light and weather – even indoors – and the people surrounding us, can all affect our sketch.

By looking and adjusting to what we see, hear and feel we will continue to add layers of colour and other marks that will complete our sketch and push it to express what we want.  A final check against our initial compositional thumbnails can help us decide whether anything is missing.

The Royal Exchange Theatre and surrounding spaces are well used by the public so you will be encouraged to convey the ‘vibe’ on your visit and to say something about what you have learnt about one of Manchester’s most extraordinary venues.

During each section of the workshop there will be an introduction of the ideas and demonstrations by the instructors, personal tailored assistance and a review of the group’s work after each stage.

Learning Goals
      to develop your own way of representing what you see/hear/feel of a space with confidence.
      making compositional thumbnails
      learning about various composition options
      making colour study thumbnails
      learning about tone, contrast, hue, value, in reference to colour
      developing your studies into more intricate sketches in full colour
      control colour to your desired effect
      focusing/adjusting your storytelling to what you want to say
      making a large variety of colour marks that adapt to what you want to represent


Supply List
Please bring
1.     A medium sized or larger sketchbook - either watercolour paper or one that can take a few watercolour washes
2.     Pens: preferably not too thin, 0.5 minimum - brush pens (colour or black)
3.     Colour markers or other quick colour dry medium - pencils, crayons
4.     Watercolours, a small set with brushes (and water container) or water brush




USk News$type=blogging$ct=0$au=0$m=0$show=


[Workshops Blog]$type=two$c=12$ct=0$m=0$show=