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 Sketching Workshop in Vancouver!


Urban Sketching Intensive Weekend!

Join Oliver in Vancouver, Canada for a weekend that will push your sketching to the next level!

• 4 workshops (take all or pick and choose), packed with information about drawing, simple watercolor strategies and effects, design on the fly and capturing lively people.

• ~ 3 hours of instruction/workshop, demos, short exercises and one-on-one feedback as well as ~ 1 hour of free sketching time and more feedback to apply what you have learned in a larger piece.

• 1 detailed handout for each workshop ahead of time and for future reference (~ 60 pages of knowledge in total!).


1. SKETCHING 101: How to sketch anything fast, free, direct and with confidence

Fr, September 27; 4-7pm; 

2. PIMP YOUR WATERCOLORS: review the basics and add new tools to your repertoire

Sa, September 28; 9:30-1pm;

3. 10 TOOLS to design on the fly: turn weak elements into a strong sketch

Sa, September 28; 1:30-5pm;



So, September 29; 10-2pm;

This (and more!) is what you will learn:

Sketching 101
  • develop confidence through contour drawing
  • exploring the uses of line
  • experience the use of grey marker to add tone quickly

Pimp Your watercolors
  • use spot colors to add quick interest to a drawing
  • how to apply a big wash for atmosphere
  • explore additional media for visual punch

10 tools: Design on the fly
  • ability to edit reality by picking and choosing elements that speak to student
  • awareness of strategies to combine elements into a pleasing arrangement
  • learn to add interest where student wants it

How to draw Expressive People
  • increase understanding of different parts of the figure
  • become comfortable combining parts from disparate figures
  • form an opinion about a figure to tell its story

September 27-29, 2019

Workshop location: 

Granville Island, Vancouver, Canada. Right in the middle of it all! 

This is a rare opportunity for immersion in in-depth but light-hearted instruction that will expose you to new ideas, attitudes and skills to take your sketching to the next level. 

Space is limited, please register NOW: 
- find more information and registration HERE

Maximum number of participants: 18 (minimum: 8)

Skill level: The workshop works well for students at all levels. We start at the beginning and increase complexity over time. If you sign up for the full weekend, consider it a drawing workout that is likely to leave you exhausted and energized at the same time!


CA$130 for 1 workshop
CA$470 for all 4 workshops


- 60 page handout
- 4 workshops; 3-4 hours each
- Demonstrations and one-on-one feedback
- some workshop materials
(workshop material list will be sent to registered student)

The instructor:

Oliver is an illustrator focusing on sciency topics and an Urban Sketcher who loves storytelling. He tends to see the humorous and ironic and has taught sketching workshops for several years in the US and Europe. 

Find out more about Oliver here:

See you at the workshop! 



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