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 17: The Big Picture & the Tiny Details

Instructor: Paul Heaston

Workshop Description
The challenge of capturing the entirety of a space and the many visual elements within it is often how to depict the full scope of a space and still show enough information without getting stuck "in the weeds." In other words, how can a sketcher economize the information so he or she can actually finish a sketch on location while keeping a level of detail that the place being sketched feels real, and specific? A successful wide-angle sketch can feel both grand and intimate in scale at the same time.

This workshop will help sketchers work through this seemingly daunting challenge. We will cover several approaches to the compositional and perspective challenges that accompany “wide-angle” sketching. How can one render space convincingly with curved perspective and how important is “proper” perspective anyway? How does one catalog enormous amounts of visual information without getting lost? How can one approach the problem of sketching details more quickly and efficiently? Basically, where do you start, and where do you stop???

 Learning Goals
  • That it’s okay to be ambitious. Don’t be intimidated by scale or scope; try to find a way to capture it all.
  • Better understanding proportion and location. By accurately describing proportion and relative scale of subjects in your field of view, you’ll be able to make your spatial relationships feel convincing and rational.
  • Learning to economize. In a big, inclusive composition, it’s important to explore how much you can describe visually in fewer lines or marks.
  • Topsy-turvy and curvy perspective aren’t always bad things, and they can often lead to a great sketch.
Workshop Location Either an elaborate/expanse interior like John Rylands Library or Manchester Town Hall, or a dense urban area with narrow streets like Chinatown.


Workshop Schedule
Lesson 1: Establishing your composition and the basics of wide-angle perspective(1 hour) We will work on roughly framing one’s field of view on the page in pencil. We will allow time for a few attempts, including starting from the outside of the composition and working in, and starting from the sketcher’s point of view and working out, while addressing the strengths and weaknesses of both strategies. We will also discuss the advantages of curved perspective in describing a wide field of view

Lesson 2:
Refining and tightening (1 1/2 hours) In this part of the workshop we will work on approaches for establishing and correcting issues of proportion, relative scale and (rough) perspective. The challenge for many sketchers in “wide-angle” compositions is keeping distant subjects appropriately small and close subjects appropriately large. Imagining a grid over your field of view can help to correctly locate and scale information within the picture plane.

Lesson 3:
Dialing in the details (remainder of workshop) In this last lesson we will try to find a balance between how much detail is enough and how much is too much. We will go over strategies to economize mark-making, so we can cover as much ground as possible without getting hung up on sketching unnecessary visual information. How can you “suggest” textures like tiled roofs and vegetation without drawing every tile or leaf and branch?

Throughout each lesson we will also discuss how best to use value to describe volume and suggest space and depth, both through mark-making and in wet media.

Supply List
Light, hard pencils (HB-3H), a white vinyl eraser, and a comfortably large sketchbook (not a pocket Moleskine) are important for the first part of the workshop. All media are encouraged as we continue in the workshop. Waterproof ink pens are ideal for working with wet media, such as watercolors or water-soluble colored pencils.




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


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