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

Puzzling Out Times Square!

[By Veronica Lawlor, NYC] Today is the official 10th Anniversary of Urban Sketchers - happy birthday! 
My Aunt Marianne is among the members of the New York Urban Sketchers chapter that are braving the cold in Times Square today to draw and post in celebration. I can't be out there with them, but to celebrate am posting some of the drawings made by my most recent Puzzling Out The Picture workshop participants in October. The drawing above was made by Jennifer Lawson. (Love her use of color.)

Times Square was the location of the second day of another workshop I had the pleasure of leading in late October. We got SUPER lucky with the weather - it was warm and sunny - and some wonderful artwork was made. I love giving these workshops because every time I teach them, the participants make it a totally unique experience. So I'll start with Day 2, thumbnails, picture design, and color at Times Square. And, of course, lots of people to draw:
Thumbnails in color, studying light, shadows, and design by Danna Feintuch.
 We started to approach all the activity of Times Square with thumbnails - such a great tool for Urban Sketchers! Danna Feintuch studies color, light, shadow, and design in the page above. I like how she moved around the pedestrian plaza to get a good overall feel.
Thumbnails of the bustling activity by Karen Derr.
 Karen Derr brings her unique sense of order and design to these thumbnails of the bustling activity, above. The three different viewpoints are exciting: from above, below, and straight on.
The character of the people with a lot of dimension by Renaud Mignot.
Renaud Mignot studies the character of people in his line drawing above, and plays with shape and color in the watercolor piece below. I like how the people are a part of the picture, very organic. We talked quite a bit in the workshop about how to create that totality in a picture.
A study in color and shape by Renaud Mignot.
 Jennifer Lawson playing in the picture below with colored pencil and ink. Both this picture and the one at the top of this post were made by Jen on the same day - you can see the strong design and her personality in both, but each has a different feel - varying your media creates different graphic feelings.
People, color, shape and design, by Jennifer Lawson.
 Danna goes for broke and draws a big group on the bleachers, below. I love how they overlap - really feels like a crowd!
A crowd at Times Square by Danna Feintuch. Love the transparencies - feels like the movement of the people.
And here are some more drawings from the participants, from Day 1 of our Puzzling workshop at Central Park's famous Bethesda Terrace. Again we had such wonderful weather, and there is so much to draw in the park - skaters, boaters, performers, tourists, artists, locals, vendors, musicians, etc. etc. etc.! Not to mention the beautiful trees and architecture. An urban sketching paradise:
Just some of the many wonderful thumbnails Karen Derr drew in the park.
 Day One, Lesson One - thumbnails. What better way to figure out what to draw on location? Karen Derr (art above) moved around the Bethesda Terrace all day, catching so many more pictures by thinking this way - really gives you an overall view of what's happening.
Karelei Tulenko brings a sense of playfulness and whimsy to her drawing, and catches a lot of the story of the terrace.
 The storytelling possibilities on a sunny day in Central Park are endless: Karelei Tulenko captures the myriad activities happening on a typical afternoon in the park, with her unique sense of playfulness.
Danna Feintuch goes high for the bird's eye view of the people, the fountain, the water, the trees - all of it - with dimension. And lots of marks to describe the textures, too!
 Danna Feintuch goes for the bird's eye view, and a ton of dimension, from her perch on the overpass.
Karen Derr goes for the story. I love this sweet scene of the Mom taking a photo of her daughter having a portrait drawn, with rowboats in the background. Typical sunny day in Central Park.
 Karen Derr draws a sweet moment of a mother photographing her daughter having a portrait drawn. There are so many little stories like this on location, that you can find by simply observing and making notes through drawing.
Renaud Mignot layers in many leaves and textures to liven up this quiet corner of the Bethesda Terrace. 
 A quiet moment, made rich and exciting by Renaud Mignot's use of layering and marks.
Julie Hachey found a perfect spot in the grass, and captured this amazing window into the dimensional view from up on the hill, with sensitive line and mark.
 Julie Hachey spent quite a while sitting on the grassy hill, drawing this scene as it unfolded in front of her.
Jennifer Lawson created this richly textured panoramic, complete with saxophone player and city poodle! Love the depth in this one too.
And Jennifer Lawson created this richly textured panoramic at the end of the day - beautiful! I especially love the saxophone player and the poodle.

I really enjoyed teaching the October version of my Puzzling Out The Picture workshop, and hope to offer a new workshop when the weather turns warm in New York again. Thanks to everyone who participated, it was so nice to meet you all. (And reunite with some of you!)

Congratulations again Urban Sketchers on 10 years of fun - here's looking forward to the next 10!





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