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 4: Hunting & Gathering: Sketching Vignettes & Lists

Instructor: Fred Lynch

Workshop Description

We’re all familiar with drawing scenes, but that’s not all that a sketcher can do to capture perceptions, or to share observations. In this workshop, we consider two alternatives – which focus on the parts before us rather than the whole, and allow for us to talk about things differently. We explore two age-old vehicles of visual communication: the vignette, and the visual list.

A vignette is an irregularly shaped image on a page – one that doesn’t extend to the edge of the paper. Vignettes isolate and focus attention on a particular subject that’s before us. We see them in books in magazines all the time, but what are the design principles behind them? In this workshop, we’ll learn how vignettes, visually, are like letterforms - interacting with the white of the page (negative space) and responding to a viewers need for a sense of gravity. We learn too, to carve out vignettes before us, in order to focus interest and communicate clearly.
A visual list is a page that features an arrangement of a series of vignette sketches (also called “spot illustrations”) that make a singular statement. Imagine, for instance, a page filled with little sketches of taxicabs, pub signs, or public sculptures. A list can reveal more than a single scene. It’s an interesting alternative for describing a place or sharing an interest. In this workshop, we’ll build on our new knowledge of vignettes and learn to design and create visual lists that express our own enthusiasms.

  Workshop Schedule
First we’ll sart with introductions and a brief discussion about the topic at hand.
We’ll talk about the interesting observations made by participants thus far on their trip. (Best works are always made as an expression of enthusiasms and interests.) We’ll wonder, what are possible personal subjects worth exploring in this workshop? The group will then set out from our host institution to hunt and gather sketches that support our interests in two ways and in two sessions: vignettes and visual lists.

We’ll start by examining vignettes and seeing how they work. We’ll look at examples and the instructor will demonstrate some approaches. Sketching and applying our new knowledge will follow.

In our first, short session we’ll create studies, paying particular attention to blocking out simple silhouetted shapes in monotone.

Following our session, we’ll regroup and discuss results.

Then in longer session we’ll create a more refined, more finished drawing, perhaps from a previous sketch. We’ll use materials of our own choosing and focus on creating a “telling” image through our vignette.

Finally, we’ll gather to examine the participant’s works and talk about the results and lessons for the future (critique).

The second half of the workshop will build upon the first – using small, vignetted “spot” drawings to create visual lists. The instructor, again, will show examples of thoughtful and well-composed sketches that gather interesting observations to form a singular, interesting statement. In this session, participants will create a single, more substantial page of sketches. They’ll hunt for subject matter to investigate, and gather them onto the page in a systematic way.

Through it all, we’ll be focusing not just on the how of sketching, but also the what, and why. We’ll come to understand that drawing is a means of writing as well as showing.

Learning Goals

Picture design, drawing, communication, selection and visual authoring

Workshop Location
This workshop intends to use the symposium’s host institution as a base, and it is intended that participants will venture off into the immediate neighborhood for subject matter for hunting and gathering.




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