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

Year of the Rooster dawns with color

[Guest post by sketchers in Lisbon, Yokohama, Seattle, Orlando, Melbourne, Los Angeles, Beijing, Dallas/Ft. Worth, O'ahu, and Canberra]

Sketchers worldwide celebrated Lunar New Year, which coincided with the 54th World Wide Sketchcrawl. Urban Sketchers Regional Chapters from around the globe were invited to submit their sketches and word narrative of the festivities and glimpses of Chinese culture in their communities. There was a huge response with many, many submissions from our prolific global community of urban sketchers. Here are a few colorful scenes from the dawning of the Year of the Rooster.


As part of the 54th World Wide Sketchcrawl, the Portuguese Urban Sketchers assembled in the most international square in Lisbon to join and sketch the Chinese New Year celebrations. There is no formal Chinatown in Lisboa, as opposed to many other cities in the western world where the Sketchcrawl took place. But the Martim Moniz square (above and below) is doubtlessly where the Chinese community is most present in the country. What stops it from becoming a proper Chinatown is that many more immigrant communities share the square as a hub, and they all add to the cultural mosaic that Martim Moniz is today.
--Pedro Loureiro
Pedro Loureiro
Pedro Loureiro
The public celebrations were held on the weekend before the actual New Year to allow some quiet family time for the Chinese community on the 28th of January. In the central stage, several Chinese school classes came to showcase their dancing and musical talents. One of the girls in full costume and make-up – Yanchi – even gave me her autograph on the sketchbook, beside her portrait, while all around, a marketplace spread across half the square, selling arts and crafts and representing Portuguese-Chinese businesses and commerce chambers.--Pedro Loureiro
Pedro Loureiro 


These images were done in Yokohama Chinatown in Japan's Kanagawa prefecture. Not only people from local community but also many visitors enjoyed Chinese New Year ambiance by going to restaurants, visiting Chinese temple, and having fortune telling in the palmistry places.
Kumi Matsukawa

Kanteibyo temple (below) was built in 1871, had been destroyed by Great Kanto earthquake in 1923, suffered damages by allies air attack in 1945, was stricken by lightning in 1981, had engulfed by fire in 1986, and the reconstruction was completed in 2000.--Kumi Matsukawa
Eriko Kawamura

Kazunori Hosouchi


Seattle's International District (below) is probably my favorite place to sketch. Somehow when I roam the streets and alleys I feel the history and get a sense of a thousand, thousand stories. When the lunar new year rolls around I love to take in the extra-colorful, extra-loud festivities. The noise and color is a stark contrast to some of the history that immigrants experience to get to this place physically and metaphorically. This year celebrating the strength and diversity of our communities seems more important than ever.--Jane Wingfield
Jane Wingfield

I picked the last place on King St. (below) where I could sit in the middle of the street and not worry about cars crossing the intersection. I wanted to get a long view of the crowds milling about and waiting to get into all the wonderful restaurants along the street, queuing up to the food vendors, and watching the festivities in the park. The best thing about sitting in the street is that I had lots of people to talk with as they came up to see what I was doing. The kids are always shy at first until you ask them if they like to draw too, then they like to tell you about their own drawings.--David Chamness

David Chamness

I had a great time smelling all of the great food and hearing the fire crackers (below).--David Hingtgen

David Hingtgen



This sketch was done at the China Pavilion at Epcot Walt Disney World. --Kim Minichiello

 Kim Minichiello

On this day we followed our Chinese friends from the Orlando community into their sacred place where they find peace praying and meditating. We were invited by the Abbot of the Wat Florida Dhammaram of Kissimmee Temple (below) to join them in sketching as they believe art is one of the components that connects ones emotions and soul into its being, reflecting it out in a creative art. 

Noga Grosman

We as a small group of urban sketchers felt truly connected with ourselves that day while capturing in line and color our observations on location. 

Mary Hense

Viviana Castro
The Chinese New Year celebrated around the globe opened a window to our sketchers into a magnificent culture that is peacefully preserved all around the world but also at our own city: Orlando, "The City Beautiful".--Noga Grosman



It was the Year of the Rooster Worldwide Sketch Crawl in Melbourne, Australia. This sketch was started in Chinatown before capturing the rooster at Queen Victoria Market. Great day was had with the local Urban Sketchers chapter and some very welcome visitors.--Alf Green

Alf Green

Los Angeles

Hsi Lai Temple is a spectacular Buddhist Temple on a hilltop in Hacienda Heights, California. This is a view from the courtyard during the Chinese New Year celebration. The weather was magnificent and the crowd joyful.--Debbie Thornhill

Debbie Thornhill

A giant rooster sculpture sat in front of the temple to mark the first day of the Year of the Rooster. --Shiho Nakaza

Shiho Nakaza

It was such an awesome experience to be amongst those celebrating. People were very welcoming to see us painting the festivities. The curiosity of the children and their families was heartwarming.
--JJ Jorgenson

JJ Jorgenson
Gail Buschman


Visiting Hangzhou


Playing mahjong

Xiao Zhi

Brick and concrete cooking area inside house in a rural area in the north. At same time, it is heating for the house. They burn corn stalks as the fuel.--Flora Wang


Dallas/Ft. Worth

Chinese New Year event was celebrated in Dallas Arts District organized by the Crow Collection of Asian Arts. The street festival included cultural performances, fireworks, martial arts demos, live music, specialty booths, food trucks, fortune telling. There were many opportunities to sketch.
--Sudeep Kumar

Herb Reed

Can I have a picture with Royal Family please?
Margöl SReinaldo

A wish for prosperity and blooming life
Sudeep Kumar
People people everywhere
Dalynn Montgomery


All sketches (digital and analog) are from Kekaulike Mall, a market in a pedestrian area of the historic Chinatown district of Honolulu.--AJ Tauber

Sebastian Sievert

AJ Tauber

Ivan Kaisan

Harald Ebeling



USk Canberra met on a hot Saturday afternoon, (it's summer in Australia) to sketch in the Canberra Beijing Garden located on the edge of Lake Burley-Griffin. The garden was a gift to the city of Canberra from its 'sister city' Beijing, in honour of Canberra's centenary in 2013. The park includes traditional Chinese elements such as a gate and pavilion and features copies of well know sculptures such as the Gansu Flying Horse and bronze Cranes. USk Canberra members were particularly interested to capture the sculptures but had to sketch around a number of wedding parties, as this is a popular spot for taking wedding photographs. After sketching we shared a picnic afternoon tea, along with several black Swans who walked up to see if they could join in the festivities.

The Canberra Beijing Garden was officially opened in 2015 by the Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon. Tony Abbot and the Chinese President Mr. Xi Jiping.--Leonie Andrews

Mandy Cox
Chris Slotemaker de Bruine

Leonie Andrews
Terry O'Brien





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