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

Pushing How to Look - A weekend in Bonn

In this workshop, we find out how to discover a city through Urban Sketching, exploring Bonn in particular, with its cultural heritage and geography and use sketching to collect stories and memories about the place.

Bonn, on the banks of the river Rhine, is one of Germany’s oldest cities and from 1949 to 1990 was the capital of West Germany, it has been retained as the second, unofficial, capital of Germany after unification. A University City and the hometown of Ludwig van Beethoven, it has numerous cultural and administrative buildings and a clear urban presence by the Rhine.

We will use Bonn Lab on the East side of the river as a base and meeting point and explore the links between the modern and older city across the river.


Swasky: We will work in storytelling, and find ways of approaching coming to a new city and discovering our story our experience to a new place and see it with a different eyes, a different sight.

“It is not the destination where you end up but the mishaps (anecdotes) and memories (drawings) you create along the way.”

Storytelling when we draw and when travel is an opportunity to keep track of our experience.

What captures your attention

Always, when we arrive to a place we first filter all the information through ourselves. Visual information is right in front of us: colours and shapes. Nevertheless a place is not only this it is also felt through sounds, smells and sensations that we perceive a place.
All along the first session we are going to experiment the place taking our feelings as a starting point and also being conscious of the whole experience from us.

What we know

Second session is devoted to the ideas, to the information, that part which gives an extra point of view to he places, then we qualify and make a combination with feelings and information, always through our “eyes”.

In my sessions, the focus will be on:
  • Working on the idea of storytelling following the classic rules as a starting point.
  • Training on developing threadlines, paying attention to details and those insignificant matters.
  • Bringing together our look and others.
  • Gaining knowledge from the experience on site and with later information.
  • Sorting out the whole information changes our approach and viewer’s/reader’s.
  • Storytelling and development of ideas.

Isabel: We will work in watercolour primarily, and find ways of approaching coming to a new city and discovering its history. We will choose locations for each session to paint in watercolours, first fast to get some impressions down quickly and then more calmly to focus in what interests each of you.

Two successive sketches above in the same place first breaking the ice and second, focused more on the atmosphere of the place and the main building.

We will practice watercolour mark making and layering to develop our sketches into more finished paintings. If needed further drawing marks can be added with pen or pencil afterwards.

Watercolour was the starting point of all the sketches above, focusing on light, movement, and atmosphere. Pencil and other marks were added afterwards, only if needed to sharpen the sketch and give additional information.


  • 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.
  • Looking and finding stories in a new city
  • Losing the fear to draw people, drawing people on the go
  • Gain confidence drawing buildings, feeling the space in the city
  • Understanding what is essential for you when starting to draw a new place
  • Improving watercolour and drawing technique from basic principles.
  • Using and trying different approaches – line drawing with pens and pencils,watercolours and colour in different media.
  • Experiment with different techniques and ways of approaching a live sketch situation, helping you find your own self expression.


The course runs from Fri 12 evening to the Sunday 14 April 2019 afternoon. After a short welcome introduction, we start working straight away in two groups as follows:

Friday 12/4/19

4:30 – 5 Welcome at Bonn Lab

5 – 8 First evening session with Swasky and Isa

Saturday 13/4/19

9 to 9:30 Meet up at Bonn Lab

9:30 to 12:30 Morning session with Swasky and Isa

12:30 to 2:30 Lunch

2:30 to 5:30 Afternoon session with Swasky and Isa

6 pm Groups meet for sharing sketchbooks

Sunday 14/4/19

9 to 9:30 Meet up at Bonn Lab

9:30 to 12:30 Morning session with Swasky and Isa

12:30 to 2:30 Lunch and sharing of sketchbooks

2:30 Group photo


20 attendees maximum, 15 minimum, any level of experience is welcome


You will need to arrange your own accommodation and travel. To help you decide the area see the map of the workshop below. Suggested sites to look for a good range of accommodation: or

Travel: Cologne Bonn airport is the nearest airport, a 25 min bus ride from Bonn main station


£180 (fees are in GBP)

To book: e-mail Isabel: for a registration form. (Payment can be via internet bank transfer or paypal – link here).

Cancellation policy: All fees are refundable if cancelled more than 6 weeks prior to commencement of course (up to 1 March 2019). Bank charges will be deducted for the refund in the case of an attendee cancellation. If cancelled after the 1 March 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.


You can find the workshop map here


This workshop combines the abilities of:




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