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

Confesions of a Wedding Sketcher

[By Omar Jaramillo in Berlin] For people that have all,  having somebody sketch their wedding is the new trend. It is a well paid job for an urban sketcher. I have done a few and I will share some secrets, how to do your best.

The bride and groom took their shoes to do the photo shooting at the beach.
  1. Low down expectations: The first e-mail exchanges or conversation are very important. Here is where you would tell your future clients how many drawings are getting. I tell them that I do approximately a drawing every twenty minutes. So in an hour they will no have  more than 3 drawings. Communicate clearly what you will deliver.
  2. Size does matters: Small is better.They will probably ask to work in a bigger format. Keep it small and simple. Work in your usual sketch format, approximately A5 size. If you work in a bigger format you would have less time to do more drawings.
    An oriental wedding on my neighborhood. People dancing around the musicians
  3. Don't go down on the price: Drawing a wedding is a hard work, and something I would don't do unless is properly paid. You are into a lot of pressure to full fill expectations. Drawing a wedding will cost not less than 1000 Euros for an 8 hours event. Add transport and accommodation if you don't live in that city. I usually ask the clients to provide accommodation since they might have some good deals. Hiring a wedding sketcher could also be a great wedding present if a group of friends decide to share the cost.

    A Jewish wedding in Berlin
  4. Prepare and practice:Ask your client for the wedding plan, the address of the venue (google it and get use to the locations), many recent pictures of the groom and bride: remember that they might loose some weight until the wedding day. Draw them many times to get confident. Ask for an image of the wedding invitation. If you work on a sketchbook, you could add some drawings in advance like maps, or the temple, or the wedding invitation to fill some space. 
  5. Be there an hour before: that will help you to relax and get to know to the people and location. 
    The dance
  6. Work with materials you know: It is not time for experiments, keep it simple and use materials you know, but good quality. I usually use an Stillman & Birn sketchbook, and tell the client that the paper is archival quality. They appreciate that you care about such details.
  7. Tell a story: Try to follow the schedule of the wedding: the ceremony, the photo session, the greetings to the groom and bride (people in line are great to draw),  the weeding banquet, the dance, the toasts, the children, some guests and locations. Add some small and fast  images of flowers, bottles and presents to fill some pages.
    The band is a also a good motive to draw.
  8. Follow the photographer: If it is your first time,  look what the photographer does. It is also very good idea to join the groom and bride during the photo session. 
    Remember during the photo session that they are not posing for you but for the photographer.  However they would stay for a long time in the same place trying  similar poses.

  9. Plan your food: It is always good to bring some energy bars with you. If there is a buffet you might eat there but if the food is served on the table, it takes ages and it is better to take your food separated. Talk with your clients about it. Ask them what the photograph will do.
  10. Create some documentation: I usually give the original book 15 days after the wedding. That gives me some time, to add some text, color, details and scan the sketchbook, Later I send the client the sketchbook via certificate mail with a CD with all single images and  a pdf of  the sketchbook. The pdf is also good way for to promote my work. Ask your client for some images of you drawing during the wedding.
Drawing a wedding is not easy. Try first it first at some friends wedding,without the pressure to deliver anything,  to get use to it. They will love it. If you have any questions, please write in the comments, I will be happy to answer them.





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


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