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

Evoking a Sense of Place, Canterbury, UK - Friday June 30th - 2nd July 2017

Contact Simone at for a registration form

We have chosen the charming cathedral city of Canterbury as the location for our summer weekend workshop which will include part taught and part freestyle sketching within this most beautiful of locations. Both of us are teaching workshops at the USK Chicago symposium in July and feel our workshop approaches are complementary - and both integral to capturing and evoking a sense of place; myself (Simone) by my precise understanding of architectural drawing and perspective which generally underpins urban sketching, and Pat with her exquisite calligraphy and emotional response often through the use of colour, to what she sees. 

We believe that our 2 workshops combined with demonstrations, informal guidance from enthusiastic tutors, and time to explore Canterbury and the picturesque seaside town of Whitstable will be an inspiration to keen urban sketchers whether beginners or experienced; there should be plenty to inspire and delight everyone!

I spent five years studying architecture at Canterbury School of Art, now University of the Creative Arts, so have extensive local knowledge - and in preparing for this workshop I recently revisited a number of favourite locations where sketching sessions will be based. Because I have such fond memories of Canterbury and when I discovered urban sketching, I really wanted to return and immerse myself in a weekend of sketching there - needless to say I have been planning this workshop for quite some time! 

It developed as primarily an urban sketching art holiday combined with some taught sessions to enthusiastic and like-minded sketchers, but then when I discovered that Pat Southern-Pearce might be in Kent around the time that I was planning to do this weekend workshop, it all fell into place. Two very different workshop approaches but both of us practitioners dedicated to evoking a sense of place in our own special way. 

We are planning to use the first floor of the centrally located café /restaurant La Trappiste on Sun Street for our main base. We will start our day here and Pat’s lettering and layout sessions will be facilitated here. Hopefully if good weather, we’ll be able to take advantage of the first floor outside terrace!

Workshop Description: Pat Southern-Pearce

Workshop Description: Simone Ridyard


To truly evoke a sense of place, you have to understand the basic principles of setting out the view that’s there in front of you. This is an energetic and lively workshop focusing primarily on the basic principles of one and two-point perspective through demonstrations, tips, techniques and exercises that were covered in my book Archisketcher. Aimed primarily at beginners but structured in such a way to be a good refresher workshop for more experienced sketchers. As well as looking at perspective, we will also be looking at ways of ‘capturing the big picture’ – whether that's Canterbury cathedral remains to be seen!

Learning Goals 

  • An introduction (or reintroduction!) to the basic principles of perspective 
  • Understanding of one and two-point perspective; how they work in real life views, rather than just as a theoretical exercise; where to find eye level and the elusive vanishing point. 
  • A nod to bird’s eye and worm’s eye perspective 
  • Improved understanding of scale, massing and context 
  • Understanding when to add the detail and when to leave alone 
  • Working within an allotted timescale…no pressure then! 
  • Using colour and developing own personal technique 
  • Increased confidence when drawing architectural views 
  • Also tips about how to ‘capture the big picture’! 
Workshop Schedule

In brief, the first hour focuses on one-point perspective, then we’ll touch on two-point perspective and the last hour is your opportunity to focus on ‘capturing the big picture’ and using your understanding of perspective to help evoke a sense of place. 
  • Introductions, theory and discussion - tips and techniques about sketching architecture, a hand-out will be provided that gives information about each exercise (approx.15 minutes) 
  • One-point perspective; quick demo, exercise and review (45 minutes) 
  • Two-point perspective; quick demo, exercise and review (15 minutes) 
  • Quick context studies before the final drawing…capturing the view in thumbnails (15 minutes) 
  • Final ‘free-style’ drawing ‘capturing the big picture’- using perspective which brings it all together (45 minutes) 
  • Review, final feedback (approx. 15 minutes) 

Full Workshop Itinerary:

Friday 30th June
  • 9.30-10.30am: Meet at La Trappiste, 1-2 Sun Street, for coffee and introductions 
  • 10.30-1.00pm: Split into 2 groups for workshop (Pat will be based at La Trappiste) 
  • 1.00-2.00pm: Lunch 
  • 2.00-5.00pm: Afternoon sketch crawl around Canterbury and as a group we’ll explore and sketch the glorious Canterbury cathedral and its grounds (entrance fee included). This session to include a 30-minute perspective demonstration by Simone followed by early evening ‘drink and draw’ sketching in a pub garden (possibly The Dolphin,17 St. Radigund’s Street,) first drink included. 
  • Evening: Optional dinner at Posillipo, 16 The Borough, set menu limited choice 3 courses £24.95 - (not included in the workshop fee, but can be booked when registering for £20). 
Saturday 1st July 

  • 09.30 - 10.00am: meet at La Trappiste for tea and coffee 
  • 10.00 - 11.00am: coach to the picturesque fishing village of Whitstable to draw by the coast! 
  • 11.00 - 1.00pm: guided sketching session with us both, including a 30-minute demo by Pat 
  • 1.00 - 2.00pm: lunch - if enough interest we will book some tables at Samphire, 4 High Street (it's just won Kent's Best Bistro award...) 
  • 2.00 - 5.00pm: afternoon sketch crawl, no tuition although we will be available for informal guidance and there will be series of ‘show and tell’ sessions across the afternoon 
  • 5.00 - 6.00pm: leave for return coach trip back to Canterbury 
  • 6.00pm: early evening ‘drink and draw’, maybe at the Dolphin or location TBC 
Sunday 2nd July
  • 9.30 - 10.00: meet at La Trappiste for tea and coffee 
  • 10.00 - 12.30: split into 2 groups for workshop (Pat will be based at La Trappiste) 
  • 1.00 - 2.00pm: lunch 
  • 2.00 - 3.30pm: Lunch followed by final sketching session 2-3.30pm. 
  • 3.30 - 4.00pm: End of workshop 

Links to venues and tourist information:

Included in our workshop:

  • Tuition - 2 x 2.5 hour workshops with Pat and Simone 
  • Demonstrations - 2 x 30 minutes by Pat and Simone 
  • Informal and enthusiastic guidance throughout the weekend from both of us 
  • Customised hard-backed souvenir sketchbook 
  • Cathedral entrance (usually £12) 
  • Coach or mini bus (depending on numbers) to Whitstable 
  • Morning tea and coffee at La Trappiste before workshops start 
  • First drink Friday evening 
  • Optional dinner Friday evening 
  • Donation to USk 

Maximum number of participants (level of experience)

24 – all participants welcome regardless of level of experience

Minimum number of participants 

Supply list:
Bring what you normally draw with but for Simone’s workshop: no specific requirements but she suggests: 
  • Pens or pencils. Simone uses Unipen fine-liner pens 0.1-0.5mm (lots of them!) or pencils (B-2B). 
  • Suggest A4 or A3 sized good quality cartridge paper to get the best from the exercises, either in a pad or masking taped to a board. Sketchbooks are fine for the final drawing; Simone uses an A5 Moleskine watercolour sketchbook and likes to draw across a double page., probably best not to have a spiral bound book. 
  • Your favorite sketching materials for the final sketch; colour, mixed media; whatever you prefer welcomed...and encouraged! 
  • Sun hat and folding stool, if it’s hot weather we’ll try and draw in the shade – but we will be outdoors.

Pat has more detailed requirements!

Registration fee: 

  • £200 (£220 including optional £24.95 3-course dinner on Friday night). Please confirm when booking if you wish to join us for dinner. Non-sketching friends and partners are welcome to join us for a small fee, please enquire when booking. Email for a registration form or any queries. 

In progress – hoping to get sponsorship from local art suppliers, will update in due course. 

Workshop Instructors

We hope you find our workshop proposal of interest and please contact me if you have any questions. Accommodation in Canterbury is pretty expensive during the summer months, so if you want to join us I'd recommend booking as soon as possible. Canterbury is an hour from London St Pancras on the high-speed service so it's possible to travel down on Friday morning (so saving on a night's accommodation). If we have a few people planning to do this, we might move the start time - but this can be finalised nearer the time.

With all best wishes...we hope you are excited as we are about delivering this workshop!!





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