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

Rhythm, Light & Colour - PYSB in Cadiz 2018

To book contact:
Cadiz is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Spain and one of the oldest  in western Europe. Founded by the Phoenicians, it stands on a narrow slice of land surrounded by the sea.

We are going to explore the city and its people, during a time of the carnival festivities, Cadiz’s carnival is one of the best known in the world, famous for its satirical groups (chirigotas) who perform comical musical pieces. There are also choruses, ensembles (comparsas), quartets, storytellers; they all transform the city into a colourful open-air theatre during two weeks in February.

Our ‘base’ will be situated in the Old Town (Casco Antiguo), with its narrow winding alleys connecting large plazas. Also characteristic of this area are the watch towers (there were more than 160 in the 18th century!) from which local merchants could look out to sea.

From our base in Espacio Ecco we will be able to explore the city squares, markets and beaches, the city’s life, while the workshops take place.  During the evenings and nights, there will be opportunities to enjoy (and sketch) the carnival performances.

Amongst the locations we will visit, we have the Torre Tavira, Plaza de la Libertad, the Campo de Sur, Plaza de la Catedral, Playa la Caleta, Plaza de las Flores, and we will visit them all.

We will sketch the city and its people, locals and visitors, during this unique time of the year in Cadiz, not only we will need to capture the light and the colours of the city but also its rhythm. Each tutor will follow a different approach.

Light and Rhythm in Watercolour (Isabel)
We will explore Cadiz as a city in the sun, with special  light quality contrasts. The city looks to the sea from its ordered geometry of rooftops and watch towers.
Using watercolour as the main medium, we'll explore the idea of colour and contrast as the starting point of a sketch.  We will start by deciding where the lightest points of the sketch are, the paper, and where the deepest shadows will be, the strongest colours.

Seaview (Malaga) - Light and shadow with white paper indicating strongest light

We will learn to abstract what we see, using colour boldly and with strong contrast. Drawing can take place later either with more colour more linear marks or with pen if preferred.

In this workshop we will simplify the complex architecture and tackle painting views that in the first instance might appear too difficult. We will look for patterns of geometry and structure to help us organise the rhythm of the city below us.
Starting with only with watercolour drawing with light and colour we will look for those elements of the view that interest us.

We can then slowly build up the watercolour layers to add complexity and depth to our work, adding a variety of marks to the sketch to increase its richness.  We will practice and experiment mark making in watercolours and finally decide whether any additional marks are needed.
Newbury Roofscape - Abstracting building shapes and forms with colour, building up layers of color - sketching a complex view

Focusing on the coloured rhythm of the city (Celia)
Our sketchbook is a chance to discover a new place and also a way of capture the charm of the special things that catch our attention.

We usually find too much information around us and it’s difficult to draw everything. So, we have to select and focus. The rhythm of a city is created by little stories, that build the character of the place, as pieces of a puzzle. Moreover, when we focus on some detail, an object, a person, an action or situation, we are selecting what is important or curious for us, giving our point of view and, therefore, discovering the new city by telling little stories.

In the first part of this workshop we will be in the market place, heart of the city, where we will deal with people and actions. In the afternoon, we will admire a view of Cadiz from a watchtower, Tavira Tower, the highest point in the middle of the city, in order to feel the rhythm, light and colour of the place from different points of view.

We will practise with short activities drawing first a general view and then focus on some part or detail and, just the opposite, focusing first on a detail or area and then creating an atmosphere around it.
In order to obtain some points of attention,and intention, in our composition, we will use several strategies and resources, to guide us, for example:
  1. Using colour with different intentions:
- to highlight some areas to guide our attention
- to depict a visual walkthrough
- to express some simple ideas and sensations
- to create an atmosphere
     2. Defining some areas with  lines or contrast

Left: The saxophonist is given greater definition by using more color and contrast. Yellow creates an atmosphere and expresses a vital emotion.   Right: Only singers are in colour, to focus on them.

regata copia.jpg
Above: Our attention goes to the boat. We see the people as a continuous block of colour. Red expresses light and hot weather. cadiz azoteas.jpg
Above:The red colour creates a visual walkthrough.
azotea maru aves.jpg
Above: Colour has been used to create an atmosphere. The details in the tower tell a little history about bells and birds...

Media: Participants may use the tools, they are most comfortable with. I suggest colour pencils, brush pen and watercolour.

Let’s tell people’s stories. In “el barrio de la Viña”.  (Swasky)
Coming to Cádiz and not visiting the Barrio de la Viña is simply as if we had not come to the city. This very popular neighborhood, so well known to all, and the eternal essence and idiosyncrasy of street people from Cádiz, is located in the extreme west of downtown. La Viña is where the Carnaval de Cádiz starts. It has always been considered the birthplace and mecca of the biggest party in the town of Cadiz.

Focusing our attention to people moving, people going around, back and forth,... We do not have time, we need to capture them and we want to depict them in our sketchbook. Using a loose and unpredictable technique we are going to lower our likeness standards, details become less important and our goal is to capture gestures, expressions, moods and feelings. Line is going to be our friend and likeness less important than essence and the most important thing is going to be to tell a story.

Some themes we will explore:

  1. Expression. We are going to pay attention to people’s face features and we will try to communicate what they are expressing with them. Just using a pencil and a simple line as our drawing tool, we are going to draw people faces, paying attention to eyebrows, expression wrinkles, mouth, eyes,...

  1. Depicting interaction. What people do and how we interact with each other is the moment when we start telling a story. Now we are going to start drawing the way people interact with each other. Even not interacting is a way of interacting, we are sharing a same space and we are occupying it with our presence. After working faces we are going to draw hands, which are the second part more communicative part of our body.

  1. Context. Now we will observe also context as part of the human being as I have mentioned before here will notice the link between someone and his or her context. We will be among stalls, benches, customers,... people and space and we will tell their stories.

This session will help attendees to successfully deal the fear of drawing people. Because drawing people is less scary than drawing skyscrapers, too much windows.

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.
  • Experiment with different techniques and ways of approaching a live sketching people situation, helping you find your own self expression.
  • Using and trying different approaches to drawing people - line drawing with brushes,  marker pens and watercolour pencils, painting with watercolours, light and shade,
  • Develop your own way of representing what you see in colour with confidence
  • Experiment with different water mark and drawing techniques and ways of approaching a live sketch situation, helping you find your own self expression.
  • Expressing feeling with colour, learning to focus the story and details
  • Improving mark making ability - with pen, with brush,
  • Losing the fear to draw people
  • Sketching people and their stories as they move.

Workshop Schedule

Introduction on the evening of Wed 14th February 2018
Thursday 15th, Friday 16th and Saturday 17th February 2018 . There will be a sketchcrawl meet with local Urban Sketchers members on Sunday 18th February 2018

Wednesday 14th Feb

Welcome at our base at Ecco
Thursday 15th Feb

10am -11am
Welcome and get together at our base.
Morning workshops with Swasky, Celia and Isabel
2pm - 4pm
4 - 7pm    
Afternoon workshops with Swasky, Celia  and Isabel
Review and share work of the day online

Friday 16th Feb

10am -11am
Welcome and get together at our base.
Morning workshops with Swasky, Celia and Isabel
2pm - 4pm
4 - 7pm    
Afternoon workshops with Swasky, Celia  and Isabel
Review and share work of the day online

Saturday 17th Feb

10am -11am
Welcome and get together at our base.
Morning workshops with Swasky, Celia and Isabel
2pm - 4pm
4 - 7pm    
Afternoon workshops with Swasky, Celia  and Isabel
Review and share work of the day online

Sunday 18th Feb.

10.00am to 2pm
Meet at our base for coffee and start sketchcrawl at 11 am with the local group: Sketchers Bahía de Cádiz

30 attendees maximum, 18 minimum. Any level of drawing experience is welcome.

Travel and Accommodation
You need to arrange your own travel and accommodation.
Travel: the nearest airport is Jerez de la Frontera and then travel by bus or train to Cadiz. Another option is to fly to Sevilla or Madrid and then to Cadiz.
Check the map of the workshop here
Suggested websites to look up:
various types and prices can be found in, or

Supply list
A list will be provided for participants - generally bring what you normally draw with.

Registration fee
£ 250 - (£200 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 more than 6 weeks prior to commencement of course (up to 3rd January 2018). Bank charges will be deducted for the refund in the case of an attendee cancellation. If cancelled after the 3rd January up to to one week before the start of the course, a cancellation fee of £50 (60 Euros) will be retained.
No refund will be possible one week before the course.
In the event of too few registrants, all monies will be refunded.

Workshop Location

Cadiz workshop Map is here

About the instructors
Isabel 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.

Celia is a Fine Arts graduate from the University of Seville. She currently lives in Cadiz and teaches classes on Art and Drawing in a public secondary school.
In the past few years she has been very interested in sketching and attended many meetings, workshops, courses, sketchcrawl and symposiums, held in Spain. She is a correspondent in the blog Urban Sketchers Spain and co-founder of the group Sketchers Bahía de Cádiz. She has participated in some publications about sketching and exhibitions on Travel Sketchbooks.
In the past three years, she has held workshops on Urban Sketching in Barcelona, Seville,Cádiz (Spain),  in the International meeting in Torres Vedras and Lisbon (Portugal) and participated in the “carnet de voyage” festival in Brest (France).
She sees “drawing as a way to understand and savour life, and the graphic diary or the
travel sketchbook  as a constant opportunity of learning and as an inseparable

Swasky born and raised in Barcelona, Swasky has been drawing most of his lifetime, but when he finished his BFA he left drawing because he tried to start working. Then he decided to start again a degree in Audiovisual Communication. Once he fulfill his second degree he worked in an advertising production company, RCR, disappointed with a job so stressful and invidious he left his job and run a shop. With a new life he started drawing again.  





USk News$type=blogging$ct=0$au=0$m=0$show=


[Workshops Blog]$type=two$c=12$ct=0$m=0$show=