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

"Expressing The West": Workshop in Galway, Ireland, 17th-19th August 2018

"Expressing the West"

with Pat Southern-Pearce and Róisín Curé

Galway City, Western Ireland

17th-19th August 2018

The West of Ireland, where everyone's idea of Ireland comes to life - dancers, musicians and poets in the streets; traditional pubs where you're bound to hear a story or two; the Atlantic Ocean on your doorstep and the friendliest people you could hope to meet. Then there's the bounty of the sea, the freshest of seafood a specialty, with the local stout, Guinness, to wash it down.

In our workshop entitled "Expressing the West", we will help you capture some of the many scenes that make up a town on the western edge of Ireland. Pat will show you how to capture a fleeting moment, the wild skies and colourful buildings, and Róisín will show you how to tie down a sense of place through its signs and their settings.

Thursday 16th August: Meet and Greet, followed by dinner, in the King's Head pub and bistro.

Friday 17th August and Saturday 18th August:
The entire group will be divided into two. The maximum group size per instructor is 14.

Róisín's Workshop - 
"Signs And Their Settings"
In the morning, Róisín's group will draw the pub and shop signs and their settings all over the city. She will share with you her techniques for bringing fun details into a sketch, to bring every drawing to life.
In the afternoon, she will guide you in the use of light and shade to bring drama to your sketches.

Focus media will be watercolour, fountain pen with waterproof ink and watercolour paper. Róisín will provide a Leporello sketchbook (concertina) for each participant, handmade by Laloran of Portugal epecially for the workshop, to use and take away.

Pat's Workshop:
"Capturing The Moment"
Pat's group for the morning will be indoors, and will contain demos, drawing through windows, lots of hands-on practical, structured and sequential teaching.
She will cover quality of line, capturing the moment with skies and sunlight - treating sketches like paintings.

In the afternoon she will take her group to the streets and show how to fit in what drew the idea initially, unifying colour and leaving white spaces. Lettering will be incorporated to add balance and interest.

Focus media are fountain pen for drawing and all colours are dry - colouring pencils and crayons, on tinted paper: Pat will be providing a Seawhite of Brighton Kraft Paper Starter Sketchbook for everyone to use and take away.

Sunday 19th August:  The two groups will be together all day on Sunday 19th August. Pat and Róisín will each take a session before and after lunch: this will start off with a demo, putting the techniques we will have taught into practice. After each demo, the students will get plenty of one-to-one attention to help them with any issues.

Each day will consist of sketching from 9.00am-12.30 and 2.00-5.30pm, with an option to get together for music after dinner in the evenings.

A meet-and-greet in The Kings Head pub (where King Charles I's executioner lived in Medieval Galway!) followed by dinner in the bistro, and we aim to meet up for music in the evenings in some of the music pubs.

Travel and Accommodation
Galway is easily accessible from Dublin Airport as there are two buses that leave the airport direct to Galway every half hour. This is a walking workshop, with everything within easy reach of the city centre. It is advisable to book a hotel or Air BnB near the centre but Róisín will advise if you have any questions. A hire car is no way necessary unless you want to do some touring before or after the workshop.

Accommodation and meals are at participants' own expense.

Registration costs €260. Info from




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