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

Space Oddities - Pushing Your Sketching Boundaries in Barcelona

Contact: for information and a registration form.

Poblenou is one of the most interesting areas in Barcelona city, it is an extensive neighborhood of Barcelona (Sant Martí district) that borders to the Mediterranean sea to the south and many others districts, like the Eixample, Horta-Guinardó and Sant Andreu. Its layout was designed by Ildefons Cerdà, following the same characteristics of the Eixample similar to the Paris remodelling. Nevertheless this area instead of becoming residential like the Eixample it was formerly an industrial area. Now it is a mix of both, you can find wonderful and modern buildings like Torre Agbar, designed by Jean Nouvel, and you can also found wonderful beauties like old fashion factories, earning it its sobriquet of the Catalonian Manchester.

From our centrally located base (the DHUB Museum) we will explore BCN’s Poblenou in detail with six different locations for the 3 day workshop and you would be experiencing them all, from 22@ area, la Rambla del Poblenou, the Mercat dels Encants, the AGBAR tower, Can Framis Museum and many more.

Join Urban Sketchers Isabel Carmona, Swasky and Lapin for 3 full days workshop that will get you to know Barcelona intimately and to develop your personal urban sketching techniques.

The workshop will be hosted at the DHUB Museum at the “El Clot-Josep Benet” Library where we will start and end each day and we will put up a developing exhibition of our the work created during each day in their gallery space.

Main Theme:

Architecture and space. How do we represent space? Drawing is a matter of believes, do you believe in perspective?
It will be fun but hard work, as you will be experimenting with perspective and spatial representation all the  time, learning about different ways of drawing what you see from different viewpoints, some more traditional than others. There are multiple viewpoints in urban sketching.
There will be multiple opportunities to try out various sketching techniques without fear, and we will share the work we do and discuss our findings intensely.  
Each of the instructors will explore different ways of representing space in urban sketching.

The wider view   (Isabel)

On choosing views and scenes to draw and paint we will look at wide panoramas inside and outside and explore various ways of tackling these views from focusing and noticing the space between objects to fish eyes views, “Escher” style, or simply taking a line for a walk.
Isabel’s theme is panoramic views and we will have fun testing various methods of representing space:  figure/ground, light/shade, layers/planes, noticing the space between objects.
We will use a mixture of quick sketches to represent what you see in different ways, synthesizing the view’s components and testing what works for you.   We will explore what happens when we want to represent a wide perspective, 180 degrees around us and notice how suddenly things “fit” in the drawn space.
Techniques used will include pen, colour line and colour washes, the order you use them on also changes how you focus your sketch. Be prepared to experiment and don’t worry if you have not worked with perspective before or you have been daunted by it - this is where you can play with it and lose your fears.

Bending the floor (Swasky)

Space has been one of the main topics in history of representation in arts. Human being has always tried to represent reality. Along the art history we can find multiple ways of this “space oddities”. What I want to try is make attendees aware that probably most of them are as effective as the common and accepted conic perspective. These are paths already opened but I have not revisited, and I want to go through them again, recovering memories that we have buried deep in our mind. As I have written before space is a huge worry but most of the twentieth art movements answered already with plenty of solutions. We are going to experiment with the idea of how our sight works. Keeping this idea of space recreation in mind we will start to experiment it.
After my experience in Manchester USk Symposium, I have made some little changes in some exercises splitting up the process  and I have emphasize the work we do with the idea of representing space through conventions.

All you can see! (Lapin)

Our way to represent the space since « Renacimiento » is conditioned to a maximum 30º viewing angle, which is very limited compared to what we are experiencing while sitting in a place, turning the head, and looking up and down. That's how I started sketching some curvilinear perspective in a very intuitive way, exploring how to represent a scene as in a sphere or as in a cylinder.
But I'm also used to fit the elements of a scene into the page, making some distortions, or adding the soundtracks of what I'm hearing while sketching, from the people that are talking to me, to the ringing bells from the church behind, or music of a car passing by…
I have lived in Poblenou for 9 years, and witnessed some big changes during that time.
That’s why I would like to focus my workshop on documenting the big evolution of the district during the past years. Poblenou was called the spanish Manchester, and was the industrial area of Barcelona. Nowaday, most of the factories are crushed down and a few renovated, to build some modern buildings, houses, schools or foundations instead.
During the past years, I dedicate my spare time to sketch this transition.

Learning goals

  • Pushing participants out of their comfort zone, at their own level. From beginners starting to sketch to more confident participants, we aim to teach you something new and push you outside your boundaries, helping you to experiment.
  • Experiment with different perspective  techniques within a live sketch situation, helping you find your own self expression.
  • Making you confident to represent the surrounding space, however complex.

  • Using and trying different approaches - line drawing with pens and pencils, colour in different media.
  • Making you think about how do you represent what you see and to develop your own way of representing it in colour (and line) with confidence.
  • Losing the fear to draw space and people and stories within it.

Workshop Schedule

Wednesday 12th April 2017
5 pm - 8 pm Welcome and introduction: “perspective games”

Thursday 13th April 2017
10am - 11am Welcome at the HUB cafeteria
11am - 2pm Isa,Lapin and Swasky group workshops
2 - 3:30pm Lunch
3:30 - 6:30pm Isa, Lapin and Swasky group workshops
6:30 - 7:30pm Day review

Friday 14th April 2017
10am - 11am Welcome at the HUB cafeteria
11am - 2pm Isa,Lapin and Swasky group workshops
2 - 3:30pm Lunch
3:30 - 6:30pm Isa, Lapin and Swasky group workshops
6:30 - 7:30pm Day review

Saturday 15th April 2017
10am - 11am Welcome at the HUB cafeteria
11am - 2pm Isa,Lapin and Swasky group workshops
2 - 3:30pm Lunch
3:30 - 6:30pm Isa, Lapin and Swasky group workshops
6:30 - 7:30pm Day review

Sunday 16th April 2017
10 am - Sharing of sketchbooks
11 am - Open Sketchcrawl in Barcelona - route to be confirmed


30 attendees maximum, 18 minimum. Any level of drawing experience is welcome


You need to arrange your own accommodation.
Check the map of the workshop here - there are a few hotels in walking distance

Supply list

A list will be provided for participants - generally bring what you normally draw with.

Registration fee

£ 225 - (£180 concessions - 20% discount for students or unwaged -with proof of concession status)or if paying in Euros 275 Euros (220 Euros concessions).
To book: e-mail: for a registration form

Cancellation policy: All fees are fully refundable if cancelled prior to 27th March 2017. If cancelled after 27 March, a £25 cancellation fee (30 Euros) will be retained. In the event of too few registrants, all monies will be refunded.

Workshop map

About the instructors

Isabel is Spanish but studied in UK where she practices as an architect and artist. Her passion is watercolour, easy to carry around and sketch on the go and likes experimenting and mixing media to get interesting effects. Isabel started sketching in 1993 as part of her architecture training and continues to this day. She joined Urban Sketchers Spain in 2011 and USk London in 2014. As an artist she is part of West Berkshire and North Hampshire Open Studios scheme and joined the Oxford Printmakers Cooperative in 2013.
Instagram: isacarand

Swasky was born and raised in Barcelona, Swasky has been drawing most of his lifetime, but when he finished his BFA he left drawing because he tried to start working. Then he decided to start again a degree in Audiovisual Communication. Once he fulfilled his second degree he worked in an advertising production company, RCR, disappointed with a job so stressful and invidious he left his job and run a shop. With a new life he started drawing again.

Instagram: swasky
Lapin is a French illustrator, an artist, an urban sketcher working for fashion, advertising and editorial and living in Barcelona. He is a “mobile illustrator” carrying with him his sketchbook and a compact sketching gear to the street, to a bar, to a metro, to Istanbul or Tokyo. Sketching is a way for him to record every second of his life and feel alive. He already filled around 170 sketchbooks during the last 14 years and he particularly appreciates sketching on vintage accounting books that he finds in flea markets.
Instagram: lapinbarcelona




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