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

100 People in One Week 2020 - drawing people on-location

Day 1.

[By Don Low from Singapore] One of the most challenging exercise to do is drawing and sketching people as you see them. Unless a person sits at a table to eat or drink or surfing the social media on the laptop, no one stays in a fixed position for more than a minute. Most of the time, people fidget every 10s. I timed. But that's the fun of the challenge. How do you draw someone if he or she moves all the time. Long answers short; 1) practice drawing from memory, 2) draw fast and decisively - observe first then draw, 3) use logic while placing limbs, 4) use long lines to draw, 5) pay more attention to gestures than details, 6) adopting the same pose from another person, 7) draw a lot and 8) draw from life.

One great way is to participate in the #oneweek100people challenge along with many others and tag your results. But do your best to sketch from location and draw people from life. In this manner, you get to observe how people move and therefore develop a better understand of gestures. Different people stand differently, and that's because everyone has a different way to balance their weight. Some stand straight, while others like to lean their weights on one leg. Somer slouch and some extend their neck too much. I love to sit near a place where people stand in line for something and sketch everyone who stood in line. Choose an angle. I love sketching side views. The gestures are a lot more obvious with side profiles. 

Day 2

If you are conscious about sketching in public places, get a friend to accompany you. I would call up a friend to chill, chat and sketch at the same time. This way you could get a bit of rest. Have a cup of coffee or tea as you sketch. This is usually how I do it. I would spend about 1-2 hours at one location. For my friends overseas, Starbucks would be a great location to observe people. In my case, "kopitiam" which is the local version of coffeeshop where we get out Nanyang coffee. The results above were done in different locations. It was March 2020, when the lockdown from the pandemic was not in placed yet. At that time, we heard it from the news but little did we know that in a month's time, everything was going to change. Normalcy hasn't returned since and this was exactly about a year ago.

Day 3.
Sometime I would draw a person repetitively as he or she changes pose. On an A3 spread (above) I will try to fill in sketches of people in different scale depending on how far they were away from me. For people who are further away, I would pay more attention to shapes than to details, sometimes skipping facial features entirely. However I love to include folds and creases on clothes. In a way, folds are caused by gestures and movements. They are tell tale signs of a pose and the forms of the figure beneath the fabric. I use folds and drapery to accentuate the sense of movements in my drawings. Most of the times, they were abstracted and exaggerated and simplified or obsessed over just for the sake of composition.

Day 4.

Day 5.

If you are new to drawing people, start drawing small sketches just looking at shapes. Take some time to build up a visual library for yourself. It takes a bit of time so try not to lose heart. Learn proportion but I don't think this is important for now. It is perfectly alright to draw in a quirky style, unless going for realism and likeness is your objective. There is no right or wrong way to draw. Inma Serrano stylises her figures a lot. See her Instagram here: Sometimes I wish I could draw like her.  She is my sketch hero! :D By the way, here are the tips offered by SkewtchbookSkool:

By Inma Serrano (used here without asking for permission beforehand)

Just draw a lot and not be limited by how you have perceived a good figure drawing should be. No one is going to bring your drawing to the source and check if you have gotten the proportion right. There is a certain logic to adhere to but as long as your proportion makes sense, viewers would be able to see and understand what you are trying to say. The gesture is the story and we are more interested of the story than how much likeness you can capture of the person's face or the accuracy of the fingers. Feel free to experiment and try not to think of right and wrong.

At the food market, Telok Blangah Cresent.

Go further and beyond even when you have fulfilled the quota of 100 people in a week. Make sketching people a lifestyle. Sketch anytime and anywhere. Sketch every person in front of you. Sketch them in a scene, incorporating the background to complete the story of the place. Tell a story of what people do in that location. Sketch while commuting. Actually the pandemic has made sketching people easier since most people are wearing masks now. I hope you are wearing mask to protect yourself from the virus and also protecting others around you. In Singapore, mask wearing was made mandatory since last year April. Our community case has gone to zero - max 5 for a long while now, though we are still getting quite many imported ones. Anyway just stay vigilant and don't let down your guard in protecting yourself. 

Old sketch - neighborhood food center - people standing in line for their favourite food.

Customers in a good court - location unrecorded.

Towards the last weeks of the month March, 2020, our government has implemented social distancing and many areas would have chairs and tables marked with a red cross to discourage people from bunching up too close together. We were so used to rubbing shoulders with each other in public places sometimes we forgot to distance ourselves from one another. It felt strange to have a gap of 1-2m from the person in front of us while queuing up to buy something. We were reminded over and over again on TV and live broadcast to do so. We even have social distancing ambassadors (reinforcers) to give reminders. When the official lockdown was announced in April 2020, the reminders became a fine of $300 or jail term. Choose what you like. It wasn't until then we decided to pay attention to proper social distancing. 

When Phase 3 was implemented last year around the period of December, the red crosses were removed. But almost immediately when news of rising cases and recurrence of virus, the red crosses were place back again. There will be no normalcy. 

Anyway here are more tips to drawing people posted by Artists Network:

And pardon me, I have shared more than one drawing at a time.





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