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

Finding Perspectives in Tuscany

Finding Perspectives in Tuscany
June 28 - July 1, 2018 

Join urban sketchers Blasco Pisapia and Umberto Torricelli for this 3 days workshop in Sansepolcro, in Southern Tuscany. It will be fun but hard work, as you will be enjoying learning and experimenting all the time, trying out different ways of drawing, painting, and… seeing (with a little help by Piero della Francesca!) 

Sansepolcro is an ancient, beautiful village in the hearth of the Valtiberina, whose founding was due to Egidio and Arcadio, two pilgrims on their way back from Jerusalem in late X century. Although beholding some valuable architectures dating back to middle age, the town that will host our workshop is mostly renowned for being the birthplace of Piero della Francesca, outstanding renaissance painter, humanist, and one of the fathers of the modern science of perspective. Is there a better place to meet and draw architectural views? 

We will spend a whole day in Arezzo, whose medieval streets retain all the charm of his prominent past, and whose monuments are enriched by the masterpieces of such great artists as Piero della Francesca, Andrea Della Robbia, Giorgio Vasari. We will take some time to linger (and sketch, of course) by the colorful Arezzo Antiques Fair, which takes place in the old town’s lanes. We will also visit nearby Anghiari, an ancient borough perched on a rock outcrop dominating the valley. It is said to be the the most beautiful village in Italy and - believe us - it is true! 

Each of the two instructors will teach a different workshop. 
The workshops will be held both in Italian and in English. 

Workshop A: Bring some toons in your sketches (Blasco)

What do we keep a sketchbook for? Personally, I think that the gist of it is to record one’s experience, to take a quick note of the urban (and human) landscape during a trip or everyday life, to achieve a vivid representation not only of what one sees, but also of what one feels. I found a key to rapid, fluent, concise description by watching things as with the eyes of a caricaturist. 

Our workshop will focus on portraying the streets and buildings of the wonderful Sansepolcro, Arezzo and Anghiari, in Southern Tuscany. We will look at single buildings and urban landscapes, trying to pin down their most remarkable elements and we will draw them exaggerating their features, in order to point out their true ‘character’, just as if we were making a caricature. This exercise of evaluation will force us to penetrate more deeply in the objects that we wish to portray, and will help us to understand more about them. Sketchbooks are made not only to host drawings, but to tell stories, as well. Every lane here has one to tell. We will try and steal words, sounds, tales from the people passing by. 

Learning goals

  • Gain experience in breaking objects down into simple shapes, in order to simplify, clarify and speed the drawing process. 
  • Learn to figure out the volume and structure of buildings for a concise representation. 
  • Learn how to exaggerate proportions and deform masses for a more effective characterization. 
  • Learn to force perspective lines and to choose appropriate camera angles to get a ‘toon’ effect. 

Workshop B: Power Lines! (Umberto)

What happens before we start applying colours to our sketches?
This workshop will focus on line art.
Lines are our most basic tool, they have weight, length, width, tone, they describe contour, define forms, divide space. 
We can use lines to add shadows, shades and tone to our drawings.
Line drawing gives a solid structure to our sketches so, let’s try to improve it!
In this workshop we will work on line drawing, going directly on the page, without using pencil & rubber, just a pen and clean lines, trying to acquire confidence and control in our line drawing.
John Berger wrote that the power of colour is nothing compared to the power of the line, and – even if you do not agree with this statement – in this workshop we will explore this power and how to get over the fear of the white page.
We will play with the amazing perspectives of the old narrow streets of Anghiari and Arezzo full of details and contrasting shadows and lights.
The time dedicated to demo or explanations will be limited, in order to provide more time for sketching and the one-on-one work with the participants, giving individual feedback.
A foldable leaflet will be given to each participant with explanations on the main topics of the workshop. 

Learning goals

  • Learn to sketch using just a simple tool like a pen. 
  • Learn how to draw line art directly, without any preparation or pencil sketch and how to measure and fit on a page the scene you are drawing. 
  • Learn to use different line widths to suggest depth of field. 
  • Learn to use hatching and cross hatching to draw shadows, adding depth to your sketches. 
  • Learn not to be afraid when you only have one chance to get it right (and no possibility to erase) 

Event schedule (a few minor changes will be possible in case of bad weather or for organizational reason). A fully detailed schedule will be given by email to participants. 


30 attendees maximum, 12 minimum. Any level of drawing experience is welcome. 

Travel and Accommodation

You need to arrange your own travel, accommodation and meals, we will supply some suggestions and information for accommodation in local hotels or B&B. 

Supply list 
Blasco: I do not feel like recommending a specific technique. Participants are welcome to bring their favorite tools. I will work with graphite pencils, fine liners, watercolors, colored pencils. 

Umberto: Very essential gear: your sketchbook and your favourite pens. Fountain pens or fine liners, with waterproof ink if you wish to add watercolours to your sketch after the workshop. 

Anyway - for the free activities, out of the workshops - bring what you normally draw with. 
We suggest you to bring a small foldable stool. 

Registration fee
150€ (20% reduction for under 26). 

Bus tickets, museum fees, lunch, dinner and other expenses are not included. 

Registration and Cancellation policy: 

All fees are refundable if cancelled up to June 1st, 2018. Bank charges will be deducted for the refund in the case of an attendee cancellation. If cancelled after June, 2nd, 2018 up to June, 21st, 2018, a cancellation fee of 50 euros will be retained. 
No refund will be possible after June, 21st, 2018. 
In the event of too few registrants, all money will be refunded. 

Workshop location

The event will be based in Sansepolcro (AR) Tuscany, Italy. Workshops will take place in Anghiari and Arezzo, not far from Sansepolcro. 

Info and registration:

About the instructors 
Blasco Pisapia: 

Born in Ariano Irpino, in Southern Italy, he graduates in Architecture at ‘Federico II’ University in Naples. As he moves to Milan, he begins to work as an illustrator and cartoon artist. Among others, he draws many books of Geronimo Stilton and creates the character of Bat Pat. Since 1997, he has been both writing and drawing Disney comics, which appear regularly on Italian ‘Topolino’ magazine and worldwide. He also published the graphic novel “Il Pastore della Meraviglia” and the children’s guide to the Egyptian Collection of MANN, the National Archeological Museum of Naples. 

Umberto Torricelli:

Born in Milan, graduated in architecture at Politecnico of Milan, artist, illustrator, painter. He exhibited his works in several expositions in Italy and abroad. If you see somebody in Milan, sitting on a foldable stool, focused on drawing the city, it will very likely be him. He's a member of Urban Sketchers Milan chapter and Urban Sketcher Italy. In 2016 he published "Liberty. Taccuini Milanesi #1", a sketchbook about art nouveau architecture in his hometown. In his travel sketchbooks, he prefers architectural elements, or material objects of culture, because they have personality and a history behind them, and they’re able to communicate just as much as people. He mainly uses ink and watercolours in order to obtain an effect of immediacy, without any mediation.




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