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

Sketching at a Wedding

[By Erika Brandner, in Calera de Tango, Chile]

 I made these sketches in a recent marriage I attended. Due to commitments of my husband he couldn´t go so I was a bit annoyed of going alone. But this forced situation might give  me the opportunity to sketch a marriage again (if you haven´t seen it before, I sketched a full day in a marriage and you can see it in this post - although it is in spanish, you can see the pictures ). It was something I wanted since a long time because there´s plenty of subjects to draw and a marriage is full of beautiful things to draw. No doubt everybody would realice what I was doing but I didn’t care…I wanted to enjoy the experience, nothing more. So, I dressed as usual for a wedding: a party dress and high heels but instead of the elegant small and fancy bag  I carried a large handbag which had good space for my sketchbook and the pens and watercolors. I took my car and headed to a neighborhoud outside Santiago thats called Calera de Tango, around 30 km away. 

The first sketch I did was from the ceremony itself. The marriage location was an event house with a lot of grass and trees and the place chosen for the ceremony was in a natural elevation of the ground whits a wonderful frame made by the dark trees and an arch decorated with flowers. I sat in the first row of seats and this allowed me a quiet time to make the sketches, given that the bride and groom would be more or less static a long time. When I draw people I always try to capture their posture, their body shape and the difference angles their bodies acquire in the different poses. I was proud to hear that the people that looked at this first drawings could identify the real persons in the drawing, although only the backs were shown. Drawing this was very funny because the attendance was quite participatory, given that it was a civil ceremony and also because the groom itself had broken the solemnity of the moment by putting the music of StarWars during his entry. 

The dance was an extremely difficult sketch for me because it lasted too little and quickly began the exchange of couples, with parents, siblings, etc. That is why so many lines hesitant, but in general it gives the feeling of the moment. I was pretty uncomfortable, standing in a corner trying to hold the pencil and the Sketchbook in addition to the watercolors in high heels…  
The following sketch was funny to do. Red is my favorite color and I had this woman (I know the girl since she was a baby and I wonder how she´s an attractive woman right now). Sheis the grooms sister and she was stealing glances with her red dress during the hole event. Last year was her marriage but I couldn´t draw because I attended the wedding with my husband and it would be no kind from me to let him alone while I sketched so I did none. She wear a  very tight red dress. I couldn't do too much detail because at that time, while they danced, I sat on a pouf at the dancing hall and it was beginning to get dark and with the artificial colored lights I couldn´t see very much. 

I did this sketch as it went almost dark. I drew the grooms grandmother while she was sitting enjoying the party.  Outside the dancing room I sat alone at one of the tables and while I sipped a coffee, drew the group of friends groom by reviewing the photos because I found that this was a good reflection of what was going on around the party as part of the background.

In this sketch I only include to the bride with their champagne but she wasn’t alone, she was having sorrounded by her friends.

Drawing at weddings of events is very much exciting for me. I don´t know why but it is always easier for me to concentrate in working while a lot of people surround me….far more than when I am alone. It shines it gives me the energy to focus and produce. Drawing people in motion is funny and it should be done relaxed and enjoying the moment. Also, it is so refreshing in comparison to drawing buildings, where the attention is so focused on details and perfection….with moving people the action and the general feeling is what is important, not the details. And this is so relieving.





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