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

Urban(E)Scapes PYSB Rotterdam 2017

Contact: to get a registration form

Rotterdam, in the South of Holland, is a city full of history and Europe’s largest port - it is known for its culture and university, its riverside setting and maritime heritage. The city was almost completely destroyed during WWII and its architectural regeneration and progress shines in Europe; it was named 2015 European City of the Year by the Academy of Urbanism.
In this workshop, we want to explore the city’s vibrancy and cultural richness and diversity, we will look into its past to understand its present. To do so we consider the moving environment, as much of people in the city daily life as of buildings in the changing fabric of the architectural and urban environment. We aim to introduce time into our sketches and stories.
We will be based at Cretopia an art cultural centre near Rotterdam Centraal and each day will explore the city’s urbanscapes and tell the story of the people who move through it.
From our base we will explore the centre of Rotterdam in detail with six different locations for the 3 day workshop and you would be experiencing them all, from Wijkpark, Laurenskerk, Markthal, Centrale Bibliotheek to the many riverside terraces and views.
Workshop map here.

Time travel in architecture (Isabel)
Change is real and difficult to record.
We will choose views and scenes to draw and paint with history in mind and explore various ways of recording what has changed, the present is easy - we draw what we see, we will take a line for a walk to start with.  However, we will try to find out traces of stories, remains, remnants that give us clues of the past and how the spaces have changed. This part of the workshop will be based around Laurenskerk one of the few surviving buildings from the Rotterdam Blitz.
The idea is to overlay the past over the present (drawn on location) and see what has changed, discover the history layers of the urban environment.
Roma_TimeTravel _small.jpg
As the destruction of the city was almost complete, new forms of architecture have been able to develop. We will sketch forms that defy our traditional orthogonal views of the city like the Cubes Houses or the Markthal. 
We will sketch these new forms of architecture and discover how they fit in the wider city context, looking for views where the contrast is evident and the various stages of city reconstruction can be seen - views from the Centrale Bibliotheek.
For this exercise, will work boldly with colour first to establish the setting out of the view and then work over them in penwork to highlight differently timed interventions.


“Watch what happens” (Miguel)
The main topic of this workshop is to tell the stories that take place before our eyes, real, imagined or invented. First, we will work on the idea of “pregnant moment” trying to recognize it as the lapse of time when  the scene takes some special significance; it could be funny, serious, surprising, typical, emotional....  Next, we will experiment how to record it on our sketchbook, using some of  the drawing techniques at hand (perspective, anatomy, color, hatching, etc) in order to catch the moment as a scene and the environment as a stage in order to transform that moment into a short play.
Then we will work on live composition as the opposite of still composition. This means not only paying attention to color weights and line balance, but also to what the actors (either people and environment as we saw on the first part) do or see or pretend to. We will learn how this interpretation can be underlined with the way we display them in our drawing. We also experiment on how framing or cutting parts of the drawing can be a very strong tool to add interest and drama, to our story. Our tool for this part will be vignettes as in a comic strip, so composition is important to tell our story.
Finally, we will work with sequence, and how to tell a little story/reportage of what happens around us, trying to capture some of the everyday stories that happen before our eyes on a tale using some of the cinema and comic techniques for this aim.  We will look at the activities taking place in front of us and see how we can break them into small actions and sequences that can tell the story effectively. Our sequences will focus a part of the story or another and can change the meaning of what we tell significantly. Loads to think about
Making the city dance (Inma)
In this workshop we will try to approach the motion that life gives to the city, capturing the sensation of frenetic rhythm in our sketches.
Cruz VerdeF.jpg
The city has lot of elements that are constantly moving and changing: cars, lights, people…
Capturing this rhythm will give our drawings a much more dynamic and urban character.
Dancing city.jpg Plaza España Madrid002F.jpg
Urban sketching, as jazz music, starts with a fixed music score but then, it goes on changing gradually, introducing new notes, letting ourselves be led by improvisation, to discover new sketching ways. This is the most powerful tool in sketching: Everything can change in a second.
We are going to play with different quick_draw techniques such as bamboo pen, ink or big crayons to achieve uncontrolled and surprising results.
This workshop aims to be a fun game in which we are going to feel like a child trying to forget the need to look for the resemblance and looking for our own drawing language and style.
dancing city 2F.jpg
We will alternate controlled and uncontrolled exercises in the same sketches (to draw with our brain or with our guts) with the intention of discovering new shapes, unreal colors and improvised lines, getting shocking results.
ARMA PLAZA 35 baja copia 2.jpg
We will investigate new ways of expression of the movement:
  1. Unfinished drawings,
  2. Color bursts and blasts,
  3. Deformation, exaggeration, gesture …
  4. Dynamic lines.
  5. Empty areas.
Finally, we will try to combine both ways of drawing (controlled and uncontrolled) in a scene mixing static elements and others in motion.
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 experiment.
  • Losing the fear to draw people
  • Focus on people, context, movement and the story underneath.
  • Reportage and collecting in drawn form what you want to express
  • Finding ways to record time and movement in sketching
  • Experiment with different techniques and ways of approaching a live sketch situation, helping you find your own self expression.
  • Using and trying different approaches - line drawing with pens and pencils,watercolours and colour in different media.
  • Using more colour and texture and making you think about how do you represent what you see and to develop your own way of representing what you see in colour with confidence
Workshop Schedule

Wednesday 23rd August
Welcome at Cretopia  in our meeting space , from 5 to 7pm
Thursday 24 August
9:00 to 10:00 Welcome at Cretopia  at our base
10am - 1pm Isa, Miguel and Inma workshops
1pm - 3.00pm Lunch
3.00pm - 6.00pm Isa, Miguel and Inma workshops
6.00pm 6.30pm Review and meet up for a drink with the other groups
Friday 25 August
9:00 to 10:00 Meet at Cretopia  at our base - pin up photos of previous day
10am - 1pm Isa, Miguel and Inma workshops
1pm - 3.00pm Lunch
3.00pm - 6.00pm Isa, Miguel and Inma workshops
6.00pm 6.30pm Review and meet up for a drink with the other groups
Saturday 26 August
9:00 to 10:00 Meet at Cretopia  at our base - pin up photos of previous day
10am - 1pm Isa, Miguel and Inma workshops
1pm - 3.00pm Lunch
3.00pm - 6.00pm Isa, Miguel and Inma workshops
6.00pm 6.30pm Review and meet up for a drink with the other groups
Sunday 27 August
9:00 to 10:00 Meet at Cretopia at our base - pin up photos of previous day
10:00 Go to sketch meet with Rotterdam USK group in Erasmusburg
30 attendees maximum, 18 minimum.
Any level of experience is welcome
You need to arrange your own accommodation.
Check the workshop map here to see the area we will be moving around.
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 (220 Euros concessions)
To book, email Isabel - for registration form
Cancellation policy: All fees are refundable if cancelled prior to 1st August 2017. Bank charges will be deducted from the refund in the case of an attendee cancellation. If cancelled after 1st August, a £25 cancellation fee (30 Euros) will be retained. In the event of too few registrants, all monies will be refunded.
Workshop map
Rotterdam PYSB Workshop map

About the instructors
Isabel Carmona is Spanish but studied in UK where she practices as an architect and artist in Newbury, Berkshire. 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 where she runs the Facebook group and organises some of their Let's Draw events.
As an artist she is part of West Berkshire and North Hampshire Open Studios scheme and joined the Oxford Printmakers Cooperative in 2013.
Miguel. After a long career as advertising creative in Spain and Italy, Miguel becomes a freelance illustrator a few years ago. Working all day with digital media drove him back towards the live touch of the sketchbook that had finally grown to become his main medium of expression.
Inma Serrano
Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Seville, specializing in Painting (1996) and Design and Engraving (2000). For the past fifteen years she has been involved in the area of art education and has taught courses in Applied Creative Photography, Painting and Drawing. She has made presentations and workshops related to “travel diary” and “drawing in location” for the University and for other organisations and groups in and out of Spain. As a teacher, she has led sketching workshops for Urban Sketchers Symposium in Santo Domingo (2011), Barcelona (2012) and Singapore (2015).  She currently works at a Secondary School in Sevilla in which she teaches Visual Arts and Drawing. She has also worked as an assiduous illustrator in some journals. Inma’s artistic interest  focuses  mainly  in  the  field  of  illustration  and  graphic diaries. She has been involved in some national  and international exhibitions too.  
Sketching in the streets is essential in her life because it allows she to zoom, in an ingenuous and almost childish way, the people and the things around.




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