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: URBAN SKETCHERS BOOTCAMP: PRAGUE with Veronica Lawlor and Melanie Reim JULY 19 - 21

Two images of New York City by Melanie Reim (l) and Veronica Lawlor (r)

Urban Sketchers Bootcamp: Prague

July 19 – 21, 2019
Prague, Czech Republic

Are you ready? Pack your gear, your energy and your passion to embark on a three-day workshop of no-nonsense, informative urban sketching, in and around Prague.

Join Veronica Lawlor and Melanie Reim, globally recognized illustrators, educators and drawing soldiers, as we navigate the people, places and things of this ornate and intriguing city. Leading the troops, Veronica and Melanie will talk about the hows and the whys of drawing on location, with demonstrations and hands-on instruction on site.

Be in your best shape to draw though the day, through a series exercises carefully designed to build your drawing acumen, facility and ease of capturing the essence of where you are, who you see and how you feel about it.

The workshop will kick off on the evening of July 19 with an image rich, illustrated conversation with Veronica and Melanie, showcasing their work and personal influences.

Learning Outcomes:
At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:
• select and refine elements while on location to include into a composition
• identify foreground, middle ground and background elements to create and direct the story of an image
• follow the form of a person and/or people on location to capture gesture and motion
• identify and describe texture and pattern on location
• create a fully realized drawing that encapsulates the elements of strong picture making
Workshop Location:
The workshop will take place in and around the historic Old Town area of Prague- exact locations will be announced.

Cafe Cluny by Melanie Reim
Friday evening - Presenter Lectures
Veronica and Melanie will present their urban sketching work, with some personal influences, together in an informal panel setting. Questions and participation encouraged!

Saturday and Sunday – Series of drawing exercises and demos
Saturday 10 am – 1 pm
Successful foundation premises for urban sketching
Picture making and Composition

Saturday 1 pm – 2 pm
Lunch on your own

Saturday 2 pm – 5 pm
Mark Making
Pattern, texture and the combination and contrast of it all. It’s more than cross-hatching!

Sunday 10 am – 1 pm
Tips on how to capture gesture and movement; telling a story with your people.

Sunday 1 pm – 2 pm
Lunch on your own

Sunday 2 pm – 4 pm
Putting it all together
A panoramic drawing

Sunday 4 pm – 5 pm
Critique and discussion
Final group critique and discussion of lessons learned. What you can use for your own urban sketching practice, moving forward.

Singapore's "little India" neighborhood by Veronica Lawlor
Supply List
• 8” x 10” or 11” x 14” mixed media sketchbook
• A fountain or razor point pen
• A brush pen or marker
• Soft (3B or higher) graphite pencils and/or charcoal pencil
• A few colored pencils or box of pastels (optional)
• A small stool for location, if you prefer.

Workshop Registration and Cost:
Registration Fee: $375 USD*

Contact Raj Dhawan at for registration information, space availability, and payment details.

Maximum Number of Participants: 
30 (minimum 20) All levels welcome.

*Please note: cancellations up to May 1, 2019 will be refunded the full amount minus a cancellation fee of $35.00; 50% will be refunded if the cancellation occurs from May 2 - June 1, 2019; and no refunds will be granted after that date. Thank you for your understanding.

We look forward to working with you! – Veronica and Melanie



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