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

Park Life - London 2019 - PYSB Workshop

In this workshop we will first look at the city from the distance, from a vantage point, looking at panoramic views and how to focus the view on what interests us, bringing it closer to us while highlighting key landmarks. We will work with watercolours which is well suited to give us layers that dissolve in the distance.

The sky is an important part of our views, creating the mood of every scene, and we will seek to find elements close to us to give it scale and proximity.

We will continue exploring this sky/ground relationship at various locations on the park, playing with transparencies, to see through trees and feel the air and space in our sketches.
In the second part of the workshop, the trees and woods will create the frame and direct focus our views.
We will practice mixing greens and enjoying the diversity marks that suit each of the park spaces, sometimes looking for masses of green, sometimes for layered textures, looking for a personal expression on our work.


In my sessions will seek:
  • To enjoy nature’s organic forms/ shapes and rhythms and draw them with different materials and resources.
  • To create atmosphere and contrast while using textured lines and watercolour.
  • To create a dialogue between the foreground and the background.
  • To create a visual path with some elements.
  • To create a composition focusing on rhythm
  • To practice a focus on some areas of the drawing.
  • To create composition and rhythm while playing with lights and shadows.
  • To build space and depth with colour and textures thinking about the atmosphere.

The main goal of this workshop is to be able to feel the strength and vitality of nature and to make the most of the richness of its shapes, rhythms, textures and atmosphere.

The amazing locations will allow us to enjoy a big open space and to work from different points of view, from a panoramic view to medium or close-up shots. It will also allow us to deal with contrasting proposals, from general shapes to intimate details.

We are going to try and capture the landscape´s temperature and atmosphere, to build the space while playing with lights and shadows. We will be able to practise with colour and texture to acquire depth and play with the contrasted but balanced relationship between the foreground and the background.

We are going to use all these resources to create different compositions attending to several rhythms, therefore we will work with different structures to focus our attention in order to create some visual paths through movement and emotions.

Furthermore, one of our goals is to establish a dialogue between nature and architecture using watercolour and coloured pencils and so as to create different textures, shapes (geometric versus organic) and details while at the same time trying to find things in common so as to unify them in terms of light and shadows.

Ultimately, we will be able to breathe nature in our drawings.

Overall Learning goals

  • 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.
  • Experiment with different techniques and ways of approaching a live sketching urban nature situation, helping you find your own self expression.
  • Using and trying different approaches to drawing trees and nature as well as horizons and people – line drawing with brushes, marker pens and watercolour pencils, painting with watercolours, light and shade,
  • Develop your own way of representing what you see in colour with confidence
  • Improving mark making ability – with pen, with brush,
  • Losing the fear to draw big views or intimate ones


Participants will be divided into two groups and each group will have one morning and one afternoon with each of the tutors. Locations will vary for each session.

Friday 09/08/19

17:00 to 17:30 Meet up at Hampstead Heath Railway Station

17:30 – 20:30 Drawing from the top of Hampstead Heath, long views

21:00 Gather at local pub if desired.

Saturday 10/8/19

9 to 9:30 Meet up by Hill Garden/Pergola (Hampstead Heath)

9:30 to 12:30 Morning session (in two groups) with Isa and Celia

12:30 to 2:30 Picnic lunch (bring your own) all together

2:30 to 5:30 Afternoon sessions (in two groups) with Isa and Celia

6 pm Groups meet for sharing sketchbooks (location tbc)

Sunday 11/8/19

9 to 9:30 Meet up at Highgate station (for Highgate Woods)

9:30 to 12:30 Morning session (in two groups) with Isa and Celia

12:30 to 2:30 Lunch and sharing of sketchbooks (location tbc)

2:30 Group photo and departure


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

Travel and accommodation

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 Suggested areas Hampstead Heath, Highgate

Travel: in London you may need an oyster card to go around (or a credit card with contactless payment which works the same in the underground and buses). We will walk a lot but meet at various public transport nodes.

Registration fee

£180 (fees are in GBP)

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

Cancellation policy: All fees are refundable if cancelled more than 6 weeks prior to commencement of course (up to 21 June 2019). Bank charges will be deducted for the refund in the case of an attendee cancellation. If cancelled after the 21 June 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.

Workshop map

You can find the workshop map here

About the instructors

This workshop combines the abilities of :




USk News$type=blogging$ct=0$au=0$m=0$show=


[Workshops Blog]$type=two$c=12$ct=0$m=0$show=