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

Kids Draw Montreal: Sunday August 13, 2017

Kids Draw Montreal is an exciting workshop designed for kids to explore their world through line and wash.

Date: Sunday, August 13, 2017 9am-12 noon
Cost: $55 CAD
Location: Atwater Market, Montreal
Min participants: 8
Max participants: 15
Age Range: 9-14 (parents welcome, please inquire)
Minimum adult to child ratio: 1:8

Participants will learn simple but powerful drawing techniques, including practice with perspective, wash and ink, in a way that connects them with the world on their own terms. Emphasis will be placed on observation, and freedom of expression over perfection. Techniques to overcome fear of the blank page will be explored and practiced.

Sketching is a powerful tool to help us tune in to the beauty around us … the building on the corner with the cracked and missing bricks, the lone person sitting in the bus shelter, the fallen leaf in the park. When we take the time to observe these things with a sketcher’s eye, we find ourselves more connected to them; to the place where we are. With the world whizzing past us at a hundred miles an hour, how valuable it is to take the time to slow down and actually see and interpret the place in which we find ourselves.

Learning goals 

First, confidence to just go for it. The only wrong way is to not do it at all. Be patient with yourself, your skill will catch up with your good taste (a very important and freeing first step). Follow through, even when you think it’s ugly. Ugly can become beautiful.
Second, 30-45min, practical steps in using perspective and composition. Worksheets will be given, and thumbnail exercises will be done, keeping in mind perspective and tonal values. On site, students will be given 30 minutes to work up at least three different thumbnails of which we will discuss the strengths before embarking on a final piece.
Third, how to ditch the pencil and use ink line and wash to quick sketch. Ditch the fear. This becomes easier as one gets better acquainted with perspective techniques and thumbnail sketching. Encouragement and feedback will be offered throughout, as well as exploring techniques to make the task seem less daunting.
Fourth, we’ll talk about collaboration as a way to overcome apprehension. After the first hour, there will be a stretched 11x14 paper on board and participants will be encouraged to approach it throughout the session and add something to it based on the environment around us (optional).

Workshop location

Montreal - Atwater Market. Situated along the historic Lachine canal in Little Burgundy, the art deco building encompasses a farmer’s market that first opened in 1933.

Workshop Schedule - 3hrs

9-9:45am - Meet on the boardwalk near the canal - greetings, attendance and intro to perspective techniques and thumbnails sketching demonstration and worksheets.
9:45-11:45am - venturing to location near/at market and sketching together, with personalized feedback and tips - more focus on perspective and creating depth/composition. Changing location around the market every 30 min. Collaborative piece happening at the pace of the participants.
11:45-noon - return to starting location. Share our work (optional), encouragements, final Q&A and feedback.

Supply list, please bring:

-drinking water
-watercolour or multimedia sketchbook, any portable size.
-paper towel (small amount for dabbing)
-something to carry it all in (backpack or shoulder bag)


-watercolours (I will send a simple tutorial for an easy, inexpensive DIY watercolour kit to all registered to prepare ahead of time. Not required, but adding colour is an added layer of fun.)

Bonus (gifts provided by instructor):

-waterbrush. Great to use with watercolours or a water soluble fine tip marker (pilot pen)
-fine tip black pilot pen (water soluble)

Workshop Registration:

Contact for registration forms and space availability.

Participants can pay via bank e-transfer to the above email address. Please also email registration forms. Receipts will be issued.

Maximum number of Participants 15 (minimum 8)
All levels welcome

Registration Deadlines:

Registration and payment due by Date August 6, 2017.

Cancellation Policy:

In the event of too few registrations, all monies will be refunded less bank transfer fees. We are only able to provide refunds for participant cancellations up to midnight, Saturday, August 5, 2017 with a cancellation fee of $20. No refunds for cancellations after that date.

About the Instructor:
Julie Prescesky has taught various art classes over the years, mainly to children. Ranging from drawing, to printmaking, to urban sketching, she has seen children (and adults) brighten and gain confidence.

Julie is a multidisciplinary artist, designer, urban sketcher, illustrator, and storyteller working alternately in watercolour, ink, textiles and digital environments. She loves to explore how art and design intersect with human nature – in how we find ourselves in the places that we are. She’s invested in helping people, children particularly, discover the profound benefits of adopting creative practices in daily life. She is currently writing a series of novels for young adults and is part of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Find out more at and  Find her on Instagram: @julieprescesky and twitter: @designink.

Area of specialty in sketching:
The urban quick sketch - capturing an idea or the essence of a place in a short amount of time. This is something that needs continuous self-reminders to just “let it happen”, coupled with a huge heaping measure of self-grace. She is nearly never without her sketchbook.




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