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

Urbansketchers | Sketching & Drawing People at Cafes & on public transport

[By Don Low from Singapore] I have not posted here for so long. The last post was dated 4 Dec 2017. Anyway it's good to be back, and henceforth, here are some recent sketches I made at different locations, mostly cafes, and food places. Due to a busy schedule for the first quarter of the year, it was hard for me to sketch on a regular basis. I am aiming to do more come the school holiday in about a month's time. When I have not sketch for a while, I usually feel lost, or something missing in my life. Sketching has become a lifestyle, not just to sharpen any technical skill, but it has been a way to find meaning and direction in life. I don't know how to explain it, but doing something I enjoy provides a means of finding security with myself and other things.

sketching people at McDonalds in Great World City
The above sketch of uncle reading newspaper was done at Great World City, when missus went shopping at Marks & Spencer, while I stayed in McDonalds which is just a stone's throw away from the store. Uncle was having his wonderful time of solitude and me time at the cafe. He may have a cup of coffee from McCafe, but everything else was his personal stuff, down to the hot water flask. When he got tired of reading he would take a quick shuteye and then continued with his reading again. Good thing Great World City wasn't very crowded even on a weekend. There is always plenty of standing and sitting spaces in the mall and in cafe like McDonalds.

Dining at Holland Village food center

I seldom come to Holland Village unless I am visiting friends. This round I was with some friends for an art show titled "Interlace" that brought 20 artists from all over the world who supported and painted on "The Perfect Sketchbook". After the private launch party, we came to the food center for dinner. On our walk there, I noticed that Holland Village has changed quite a bit. Some roads were closed off for human traffic only and this move has added some vibrancy to the place. Restaurants have placed additional chairs and tables on the added open spaces, while the area was teeming with people from all walks of life. One sad thing was, the iconic wind mill structure was taken down and now it just looks like anything other estate in Singapore.

starbucks at vivocity

Before the lunch crowds, Starbucks at Vivocity was haven to anyone who wanted a quiet ambience to sip their coffee and reading from their laptops or smart devices, a very common sight in a/c cafes these days. I only have my sketchbook and pens. Some students were with me and our mission for that day was to sketch people standing or sitting or engaging in their activities or conversation. After about 2 hours, I finished about 4 pages on my sketchbook with a single brush pen. I don't usually add tones or colours to my drawings on location because I have been keeping my tools simple and my bag as light weight as possible. I enjoyed putting lines on paper with a fountain pen or brush pen, which are my favourite tools for sketching. I used to have my watercolor palette in the past but now, I am getting lazy.

starbucks at vivocity

Sketching people at Starbucks cafe.

Sketching people at Starbucks cafe

sketching commuters on the bus

Sketching commuters on the bus is not as difficult as you think. The bumping around makes good lines sometimes. Losing control over the lines you draw can be a good thing. On the bus, you tend to draw simply, lose some details, and draw looser lines. The final drawing looks more gestural and the moving lines add a sense of movement to the sketch.

sketching commuters on the train
I have more control when I sketch on the train. The train cabin is more stable and it provides a good opportunity to draw someone sitting opposite me, like a life drawing or portrait drawing session, provided the train was not crowded. In case of a crowded train, drawing standing up is easier.





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