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

From simplicity to complexity December 23-24 / Dubai

Workshop: From simplicity to complexity
                              December 23-24 
                           Dubai (UAE) 
Instructor: Behzad Bagheri

I look for simple ways to observe and express my surroundings and encourage others to follow this method too. This requires being be aware of, and receptive to, everything that surrounds the artist. I believe my involvement in the program might provide a novel perspective given my background. I would also hope my involvement would enhance the cultural diversity of the program and facilitate meaningful dialogue and exchanges of ideas and perspectives.

Learning goals 
Through the process of simplification, we try to approach the subjects in a free and fresh way. We begin in our mind and then externalize what we are visually attracted to. It is a quest to eliminate all the things that cause us to depart from the creations of our mind.  
Here is a post in my weblog about "How we will achieve the learning goals".

Workshop description
This workshop begins with a demo by Behzad. First he works with charcoal and shows how he makes simple charcoal works and then shapes the forms. 

Afterwards he works on a watercolor piece with similar approach. He shows how he eliminates subjects and how he gets help from imagination and spontaneity. (this step lasts about 45 minutes)

Step 2:
We continue with an exercise with colors (mainly watercolors and ink). We learn to play with and combine colors. We start sketching and painting immediately without previously having drawn contours or imposed any structure. We try to not mix paints on our palettes. Instead, we mix them on paper as we go along. When we start work on a piece, the idea is not to have any pre-conceptions as to what the work will look like when completed nor to achieve a particular image that we have in our mind. We try to adopt a fresh approach and use new ideas based on our inspiration of the moment to see where this takes us. (this step lasts about 45 minutes)

Step 3: 
We take the three primary colors, apply them randomly on paper, and then looking around to see what subject could fit in. We try to develop the sketch accordingly. (this step lasts about 1 hour)

 Urban sketcher: Martine Kervagoret
Step 4:
The final step. We begin with choosing colors from our surroundings (We can use whatever colors we want). During this part, after making free forms with colors we look at perspectives, and like a play try to find a view which suits our shapes and forms. After that, we work on adapting our free forms to match with the chosen perspective but with minimal changes to the actual free forms. (this step is repeated two times or more and it takes about 2 hours in total)

(group 1)
Friday, December 23, 2016
Location: (Dubai) / Bastakia quarter
Workshop Duration
9h30 - 12h00: morning session
12h00 - 13h30: lunch
13h30 - 15h30: afternoon session

Maximum Number of Participants
15 registrants

Minimum Number of Participants
8 registrants
Status: OPEN for registration

(group 2)
Saturday, December 24, 2016
Location: (Dubai) / Creek Park (Al khor Park)
Workshop Duration
9h30 - 12h00: morning session
12h00 - 13h30: lunch
13h30 - 15h30: afternoon session

Maximum Number of Participants
15 registrants

Minimum Number of Participants
8 registrants
Status: OPEN for registration

Registration Fee
General registrations: $60
USk Dubai members: $50

To register
e-mail Behzad: for information and registration. (Title your email From simplicity to complexity workshop to make sure I receive it)

Any level welcome but some drawing experience is recommended.

Supply list
Watercolor  and ink are the main and the best choice. I also use a light haniwork easel.  At times I also use charcoal and conte pencil.

I often use only 2 or 3 of them (usually the bigger ones) due to their sizes, subjects and techniques.
These could be changeable according to individual facilities.





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