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

Carnet de Vojage in Sardegna

Sardegna is an Italian island, located in the west-centre of the peninsula.

Everyone who visited Sardegna probably praise its beautiful and crystalline sea, its white beaches and its innumerable, charming gorges.

Traveling give you the opportunity to have fun sketching what you are see and what you've experienced.

So, let's see together some tips and tricks about "creating a Carnet de Voyage", a drawing reportage.


-Nature: Sardegna is characterized by red mountains, low forest vegetation and an amazing adamantine sea. Wind and water have carved through time the rocks, giving them a soft bizarre shape.

-Draw: A typical panorama who underline the history of that place (like a tower in the middle of the lowland or a sea view with strange rocks). Draw some characteristic elements that you can find everywhere, like prickly pears in Sardegna. Add notes if appropriate.

-Food: in Italy food is always good and in Sardegna's no exception! Think on which dishes are typical! In the island you must try Seadas and almond sweets, Porceddu (there is a long tradition behind this pork), and obviously fish.

-Draw: your dishes, writing what food it is, and adding notes (or add business card or bills) about where you buy it (market, a nice typical restaurant, a local shop, etc.) .

-Symbol: Flag, coat of arms, family crests, banners and other symbols tell the story of a place. Sardegna's flag, for example, represents four heads of Moorish princes defeated by the Aragonese.

-Draw: the symbols of the place you are visiting adding notes or sketch a little comics telling their history.


In Sardegna, I spent some time drawing people. Beaches are good places to sketch people because they wear only a swimsuit, so take chance to do some study focus on volume, structure and anatomy

-focus on a single position like people who are laying on the beach, sleeping or sunbathing. Draw them in different angles.
In this sketch below a girl stayed in this position for a long time, so I had the opportunity to study the basin and the shape of the bottom, so difficult matter!
(the secret is: don't' be embarrassed and to goes unnoticed!)

-think about masses and how masses reacts to gravity, better if the subject has a certain amount of fat.

An overweight person is ideal to analyze how fat parts react to movement and gravity.

-think about structure: skinny subjects works good if you want to study skeleton and how are connected all the parts.For example, if you are analyzing how arm is connected to the shoulder, a skinny subject reveals better where are the muscles and the skeleton.
When you understand how thinks works, add notes to focus better what you've learned. This will help you to fix the lesson.

-focus on dynamic:
old person move more quietly than children, are slowest and rigid like old oaks
Children are like grass shaking by the wind. Observe how children jump, run and move their body, specially arms and legs are always on the move. They don't preserve energy or value risks like adults; their movements are nearly extreme, they change quickly their mind and programs.
Children don't need too many lines, sketch them using fast, dynamic, broken lines. Avoid "heavy" chiaroscuro.
In the contrary, if you draw old people, you can use more lines and strong chiaroscuro to give a static impression.

The concept is: the more lines you use, the "heavier" and probably static, the sketch will be, fewer lines you use, more fresh and energetic the sketch will be.  

-remembering: it is always important add notes near the sketch, even just because help you to remember how you felt in that moment and to report some funny/important details. In Sardegna there was the Coconut seller who screamed hilarious rhymes like: "Se lo mangi a grandi fette, poi ti crescono le tette" (that literally means: "If you eat big slices of coconut, then your tits grow.").

Anyhow there were a lot of different sellers who carried their stuff upon the head, like the man with many hats!



Holiday means relaxing time too!

If you don't fall asleep or if you don't have to cook, take time to sketch who are sleeping and cooking! Draw every day action (sleep, cook, walk etc.) give you a good mental bible of positions, so helpful if you have to complete your drawings and you cannot sketch from reality.

Draw: draw everyday position, focus again on a single goal; for example, how is made the nose, how head turns, the position of the hands, etc. Think only to your goal and add notes about what you're discovering.
Then add notes to help memory. For example, I wrote some dessert names of Sardegna, always put on the fridge (and served after every meal).

In this sketch two of my friends were cleaning the mussels to cook an amazing "Pasta with cozze". So delicious!
I was lucky because they are two good cooks too, so this Italian holiday could not have been better than that!





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