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 8: Cars in the City

Instructors: Lapin & Gérard Michel

Workshop Description
Drawing cars has become a very popular topic in the urban sketching activity. Many portraits of cars and vintage vehicles can be seen on different urban sketching blogs, pages and groups. Even in some recent publication as “Carnet de Bagnoles”, sketching cars became a real topic in the sketching on location field. Both of us have sketched hundreds of it, and we became specialists.

On the one hand, the workshop is about focusing on a car portrait from a very narrow point of view. It’s an intimidated subject, and we will explain how to approach it in both an intuitive and a rational way. On the other hand, the workshop is also about cars as a part of the city. We will use cars as a foreground of a street view, giving scale and deepness to the scene. An urban sketch of a lively road wouldn’t look complete without the presence of cars.

Learning Goals (What are a few of the most important skills and concepts you'd like your participants to learn from their experience?)

1.    Car portraits.
Within this chapter of the workshop, we will be teaching perspective techniques (measuring and comparing distances, wheels in perspective, begin with what’s close to the sketcher etc.) and drawing techniques (keeping in mind the visual focus, handling car proportions etc.).
We will show how important the distance is that you sketch the subject from, in terms of the workshop participants perception. Sketching from very close will turn your sketch into a fisheye drawing!

Additional relations of this workshop chapter:  
  • volumes (hatching and mass techniques)
  • colour (water colour, coloured pencils)
  • reflections, light and shadow. It’s fun to sketch your own reflection in the car, or some elements of your surrounding in a shiny chrome, or a clean door 
  • learning to see & perceive: the transformation of the correct car proportions 
2.    Cars in the city:
Within this chapter of the workshop, we will be teaching handling techniques of cars in the foreground, middle ground and background, cars as a decor and a layer of sight.

Additional relations of this workshop chapter:
  •  level of abstraction (comes with the car’s distance to the sketcher) 
  •  shifting the focus away from the car to the complete scene (simplification)
Workshop Location

No matters to go in a museum, cars are everywhere in town. Any quiet area near by the Manchester Urban Sketching Symposium host - except a pedestrian area - with some urban context, will be fine. The workshop can happen in any street with standing cars.
If some old timers could be organized, that would be guaranteed fun…

Workshop Schedule (How will the workshop be organized over the 3.5 hours?)
 Introduction (20 minutes)

Workshop chapter 1: Car portraits (90 minutes)
  • Every participant will choose one car to sketch from far (more than 5 meters) and from very close (less than one meter). 10 minutes each.
  •  The participants chose a car to draw and will realize a very detailed car portrait, starting by the closest part, till the complete subject. One-on-one consultations by the workshop teachers. (60 minutes)
  •   All the participants are invited to show their sketches and to talk about this experience. (10 minutes)
Workshop chapter 2: Cars in the city (90 minutes)
  • Demo of drawing cars in the foreground, middle ground, back ground of the two workshop teachers. (10 minutes)
  •  The participants draw a particular scene with cars in front of an urban context. One-on-one consultations by the workshop teachers (70 minutes)
 Get-together with a little exhibition of all drawings done in the workshop (10 minutes)

Supply List (Are there any supplies that you feel are important for participants to bring with them for the workshop?)
  • Any supplies participants normally use are fine, sketchbook and loose papers included.
  • We'll use inkpen, pencil, coloured pencils, brush pen, brushes and watercolors.
  • Folding chair highly recommended.
  • Paper size: at least A5




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