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

Drawing Attention – April 2016

Urban Sketchers News, Events and Workshops

Do you enjoy meeting new people from around the world? Urban Sketchers is looking for volunteers to help the Regional Chapter Coordinator support and communicate with Chapters around the world. Ability to speak another language, familiarity with social media or experience with a basic database would be helpful but not necessary. Commitment of 4-5 hours per month. Please contact

Workshop passes are still available for the 7th International Urban Sketchers Symposium in Manchester! Thank you to everyone who registered so far -- almost 500 sketchers from all over the world, including instructors, presenters, scholarship winners, volunteers and past hosts. Thanks to vetting by the Education Team, we are able to offer unique and exceptional educational opportunities in addition to a chance to meet people who love sketching as much as you do. We will be sending out the call for hosts for the 2017 Symposium soon. See you in Manchester!

Mike Kowalski is offering a new workshop in Melbourne called "Sketch in the City -- Station Series" April 2 and 9.

"Drawing People on Stage," a workshop by Isabel Carmona, Rolf Schroeter and Swasky, will be held May 27-29 in Brighton, UK.

Jessie Chapman is the new USk Volunteer Coordinator. Jessie will be recruiting potential volunteers throughout the Urban Sketchers community. "With a natural ability to connect people, Jessie will be greatly beneficial to USk," said USk President Elizabeth Alley.

Visit the western USA this summer at the 4th Annual West Coast Urban Sketchers Sketch Crawl in Tacoma, Washington.

Would you like to see your sketch on the masthead of the Urban Sketchers blog? The masthead (flag) features a new sketch every two weeks. See the submittal guidelines (scroll to the bottom of the page), and send your flag to

"If you have created a video that captures a USk event or workshop, we would love to include it on our USk Vimeo channel," said Communications Director Brenda Murray. Please send a note to describing the video details (subject matter, length, date created).

News from Urban Sketchers Communities

Amber Sausen and Daniel Green serve up USk cupcakes to the Twin Cities Urban Sketchers.

The Twin Cities (Minnesota) Urban Sketchers had a sketchcrawl in March at the St. Paul Union Depot to "reboot" interest in the group. Their blog reports that the reboot is off to a good start!

Sketch materials are displayed along with sketches in an exhibit by USk France.

Urban Sketchers France had an exhibition in February as part of the "Urban" festival in Rennes.

Chantal Vincent reports that sketchers in Sydney (Australia) and other sketchers they met at the USk Symposium in Singapore last year just completed a sketch swap. "As a relatively isolated region from other countries, we set out to find a way to grow our connections with overseas groups a little further, sharing our cultures, cityscapes and experiences with others, whilst we further develop our appreciation for theirs," Chantal said. The response was so enthusiastic that it took three posts on the USk Australia blog to show all the sketches from the exchange. Start here with part 1.

Urban Sketchers Évora

Luís Ançã reports that Urban Sketchers Évora (Portugal) organized their 34th meeting, "Drawing Évora," in March. The publication Diário do Sul featured an article about the gathering. They also organized an exhibition, "Évora Drawn by Évora Sketchers," that opened at the event. About 50 people participated.

Urban Sketchers Milan

Although meeting randomly for years, Urban Sketchers Milan has decided to meet monthly this year, according to Riccardo Lovatini. "We enjoy this new habit!" Riccardo said. "We have more and more people joining us and, most of all, the enthusiasm is growing each time we meet and sketch together." In April the group plans to meet twice, including once for the international World Wide Sketch Crawl Day.

Urban Sketchers Dubai is excited about the group's first exhibition, which is planned to be an annual event, said Manupriam Seth. The exhibition is in conjunction with Urban Sketch Fest April 8, which will also include workshops and other activities.

The American Society of Landscape Architects and Rutgers University will be sponsoring the second Sketch Out/Loud Event in April to celebrate World Landscape Architecture month through urban sketching. Richard Alomar invites all urban sketchers to participate in the event, which "creates awareness of open space through on-location sketching." Share sketches online with the hashtag #SKOL2016. For more information, check out the Sketch Out/Loud blog.

Sketchers in Action

USk instructor Suhita Shirodkar was featured in the March 9 San Jose (USA) Mercury News about her series of sketches of local vintage signs. Some of these old signs and landmarks have disappeared even since she has sketched them.

Melanie Reim has a solo show in Santa Domingo.

Melanie Reim (USA) has a solo show through June at Casa Quien in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Another Woman's Life is a collection of reportage drawings of working women from the Dominican Republic, South Africa, Morocco, Bali and Hong Kong. In addition, the publication Diario Libre featured a short film of Melanie on location documenting a family of Dominican weavers. This film is part of a year-long sabbatical project.

A short clip of a Stefan Marjoram sketching with an iPad will appear on "Digital Generation," a program about technology, digital culture and entertainment that will broadcast on April 12 on Televisió de Catalunya’s Channel 33 (Spain).

Shout it Out in Drawing Attention

Not seeing any news about you or your Urban Sketchers group in Drawing Attention? Then we want to hear from you! Please send your urban sketching news items with links and images to: Or tag me, Tina Koyama, on news you post on the Urban Sketchers Facebook page. Subscribe by e-mail. Happy sketching!




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