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

USk Workshop: Night Sketching and Watercolor Storytelling

Night Sketching and Watercolor Storytelling dual workshop, by the Pedros.

Most sketchers enjoy their cities during the daylight, when views are crisp, shadows are sharp, and colors are vivid. But when the night comes, a different challenge begins. 

Sketching the cityscape at night is both easy and challenging! The easy aspect of it, is that your palette gets reduced to a couple – three at most – colors. Simplification of what you see – that includes lines, shapes and colors – is key. One dark, cool color for the shadows and sky, one light warm color for the illuminated parts, and a third one for special details and highlights. 

The challenge is to be precise in saving the whites in your paper. With watercolor, there’s no going back – at most, you can wash off the amount of pigment in a lighted area. And the light parts, the glare of public lamps, the shiny surfaces, are scarce and vital for the success of your sketch. In the Night Sketching workshop, sketchers learn-by-doing a myriad of concepts and techniques that make their lives much easier, while producing results that will make them proud. 

After an evening out sketching, daylight comes, and out come the morning city dwellers, going about their business – working, relaxing, loitering, running late. It’s time for a sketcher to shift focus from the city to the stories of the citizens, the storymakers of a city. Moving people are tricky to capture, but by focusing on their actions and with the help of a few techniques, any sketcher can quickly lay out a crowd in a sketchbook. 

As we warm up, we also get closer to the people and want to better convey their movements, their expressions, their poses. That’s what the Watercolor Storytelling workshop is all about! In it, sketchers get a grasp on people and their day-to-day stories, resorting to a few quick lines and a limited palette. The more comfortable sketchers get with people, the more they want to represent the spaces around their subjects, which is the final challenge of the workshop. 

The dual workshop Night Sketching and Watercolor storytelling, by the Pedros – Pedro Alves and Pedro Loureiro – has toured around their home region in and around Lisbon, Portugal, and also around Europe, in Barcelona, Spain and Riga, Latvia – always with the help of the amazing local Urban Sketchers chapters. Now, the Pedros are inviting the Urban Sketching global community to Oslo, Norway, for a Scandinavian night sketching and storytelling experience! Together, we’ll share experiences, techniques and tricks of the trade, and we’ll capture the late dusk of the beautiful Nordic capital, and the stories of its citizens in our sketchbooks. 

Participants will learn how to: 
· Quickly establish a viewpoint that will make for a dynamic and focused sketch;
· Effectively balance the linework and the color phases of a sketch;
· Use a limited palette to create rich and intense night scenes.
· Get familiar with sketching a crowd of passing people, quickly and effectively;
· Incorporate a facial and bodily structure that will ease the portrayal of any person;
· Use a limited palette to create rich and intense street scenes.

Workshop dates 
May 25th 2019, from 10AM to 2PM and from 8PM to 12PM

Oslo, Norway (specific location to be determined)

Maximum number or participants 
30 people (all levels)

Supply list 
Sketchbook with 180 gsm + ;
watercolor kit;
water recipient;
cloth or paper towel;
white Posca pen or white gouache.

Registration fee 
150€ per participant

To register, please contact




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