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

Preparing for the USK Symposium 2016 in Manchester

[By Don Low]  I'm excited to be part of the 2016 USK Symposium, and even more so because this is going to be my first overseas symposium.  And for this reason, I am also printing some publicity materials as an urban sketcher for the first time to be given out free to all my cool sketcher friends whom I am going to meet during the event, especially for the participants who are coming for my workshop. I think I have enough to go around.

In anticipation of a colder climate, my wife and myself will be arriving in UK about 3 weeks earlier to get use to the weather, but I think I would love the cold.

My Tools:

I would also like to take this opportunity to introduce myself by introducing some of the tools and materials I use more regularly when I go our sketching and painting.

The Hero fountain pen 9018 is my work horse. I use it all the time. Recently I have been using other fountain pens like the Sailor Fude nib, and Pelikan M200. Every pen yields very different line characteristics and quality. I fill my fountain pens with Atramentis Archive Ink (Germany) which has good flow and easy on the nib. One thing I am not sure is how my pen would perform in the colder climate.

The above shows a sketch done with the Pentel Pocket brush pen. It comes with its own cartridge of permanent black ink which does not smudge if you paint over with watercolour. I love it because it gives me very fine lines (for details) as well as thick fat lines for filling in the dark areas. Ink flow is pretty good on my sketchbook (Clairefontaine Goldline) but it depends on how fast you draw. Sometimes I like to make fast strokes on paper to make dry brushing effects and add textural elements to a sketch.

The other Pentel brush pen I use for sketching is show above. Comparing to the pocket sized brush pen, it comes larger with more bristles. The grey portion is the ink cartridge. If you have the black coloured cartridge, the ink is not waterproof. I use the latter for adding ink washes by working with water. Similarly, the brush pen gives quite fine lines while it is really convenient to fill in the dark areas.

Coloured pencils allow for quick drawing too. My favourite brand is Blicks coloured pencils. They are brilliant, transparent and very saturated with pigment. I ordered these online through their website.

I carry a Rembrandt metal box with customised hue choices for my watercolours. If I am not painting anything larger than A4, I would use a Holbein water brush pen to apply my paint. Make sure you carry an extra water bottle to refill the brush pen whenever the water runs out. At this moment the hues in the mobile box are: Azo Yellow or Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red, Alizarin Crimson, Mauve, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, and Lamp Black. I switch around quite often between M. Graham, Winsor Newton, and Danial Smith watercolours.

Feel free to do me a comment if you have any question regarding sketching people and the tools I use here or tools that are not shown in this post. :D





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