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 Amsterdam 2019

Quick links:

Symposium Closing Reception

Image may contain: sky, outdoor and text

Due to the overwhelming requests from our community, we have a new location in Amsterdam to celebrate the 10th Symposium’s Closing Reception on 27th July 2019, Saturday!

Justifiably calling itself Amsterdam’s Concert Hall of the 21st century, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ is a spectacular building which is a leading and extremely versatile international stage. As a home for contemporary classical and jazz music, linking together different functions, eras, genres and art forms, it aims to surprise and inspire a broad audience.

The Symposium Closing Reception celebrates the end of one symposium and welcomes the next, with the announcement of USk Symposium 2020's host city. Also included in the evening's program is the Silent Auction, where everyone can bid for a chance to bring an original piece of artwork home, and the Raffles Draw, where anyone can try their luck to bring home fabulous art materials, generously sponsored by event partners.
Of course, not forgetting, a wonderful evening of camaraderie amongst the urban sketchers family and their friends.

Each entry ticket is at €30 for Early Bird sale online (€35 at the door and subject to availability).
Tickets sold are non-refundable, but transferrable.

Attention : Entry to Closing Reception is included for Symposium Pass holders, Faculty, Staff and Volunteers with official Symposium name tags. Just present your Symposium tags at entrance.

Be part of the closing reception! Grab your tickets here:


Symposium Drink and Draw Location

Urban Sketchers Netherlands in front of Amstelhoeck
Photo Credit: Gail Howard 

Every year, the Symposium has a place where sketchers from all over the world can meet after a long day of sketching and exploring the host city. Whether you have a Symposium Pass or not, it is where you can meet sketching friends, whom you already know for a long time but only had chance to talk to on social media. get together with new friends, and reunite with those from previous symposiums.

We are happy to announce this year’s Drink and Draw location for the International Urban Sketchers Symposium in Amsterdam: Amstelhoeck.

Amstelhoeck is a unique Grand Cafe located on the Amstel, a stone’s throw from our main venue, Zuiderkerk. The Grand Cafe has a large terrace with perhaps the best view of Amsterdam on the Amstel river, Munt Tower and typical canal houses. You can see many boats passing by.

As a special welcome to participants with a Symposium Pass, Amstelhoeck offers 10% discount off your bill if you show your Symposium Pass on symposium days.

“Tot ziens bij Amstelhoeck!”


Accommodation Promo in Amsterdam

Whether you want to be at the heart of the capital city, at the middle of the most famous park in the Netherlands or at the centre of a truly Amsterdam experience, Stayokay Amsterdam has three unique hostels in beautiful locations! They’re all easily accessible, have friendly staff, have picture perfect views, and equipped to make your stay a pleasurable and memorable one!

Use the promo code to avail of their limited offer! 


Discount: 10% discount on regular overnight stay exl. breakfast and tourist tax
Hostels: Amsterdam Oost, Vondelpark & Stadsdoelen
Booking period: 1 April to 31 May 2019
Period of residence: 17 July to 4 August 2019
Terms & Conditions:
  • Based on availability
  • Not in combination with other discounts
  • Valid up to 12 people per booking
  • Based on a shared room/dorm
  • Non-refundable
Check out and check in at


Things to Know Before You Arrive in Amsterdam

Sketch: Cafe ‘t Molentje, Singel, by Christiaan Afman

Excitement builds up as we get closer to the Symposium dates! Urban Sketchers Netherlands has prepared a comprehensive article on must-haves, accommodation, travel, weather and helpful reminders that are essential to know before you start packing for the 10th International Urban Sketchers Symposium in Amsterdam. Check out the article here.

The Frequently Asked Questions article is also a good must-read if you haven’t yet. We update it often so be sure to check it in case you have some questions.


Registration for Symposium Pass - sold out

We are officially SOLD OUT of Symposium Pass.  Over 500 sketchers had successfully registered for a Symposium Pass!
If you are still keen on a Symposium Pass we advise you to check back at the Symposium registration site occasionally, in case a slot opens up, due to cancellations/refunds.  We had already processed some refunds and these freed up passes had also been snapped up, as soon as they popped up on the registration site.

Otherwise, please come and join us at all the free sketchwalks, the ticketed Lectures that will open up in May! and of course the Drink and Draw after the Symposium each day.

Watch this space for more information on the Lectures, Sketchwalks and others.


Get Set!

Ticket sales for Symposium Pass opens FEB 2nd, 3PM CET. (check your local time HERE)



pssst! Sign up for an Eventbrite account, it is free! To expedite the process, we recommend that you have all your information entered with your Eventbrite user account, including personal and payment information.  


New Year News

Let's start the year with fresh #uskamsterdam2019 updates so you can plan your Symposium adventure along with your New Year’s Resolutions. 

We have put together a comprehensive FAQ which covers an overview regarding the ins and outs and everything you need to know about the Symposium.

Mark your calendars! Registration starts on February 2nd, 2019 at 15:00hrs CET (check for your local time here).
To help you select in advance, take a look at the
Workshops and Instructors line-up 

Check out the Symposium Pass and General Access schedules for your reference on how the days will go for both. See what suits you best. 

Wishing everyone a wonderful year of urban sketching and discovering the world with each other one drawing at a time. Happy 2019!

Watch this space for more information.

Congratulations to the Symposium Scholarship Recipients!


Every year, Urban Sketchers awards 10 Symposium Workshop Passes to sketchers from the host city. In the spirit of sharing the joy and promoting urban sketching to the local community, Urban Sketchers congratulates this year’s grantees!

The lucky 10 scholarship recipients for the 10th Urban Sketchers International Symposium in Amsterdam, Netherlands are: Vaishali Rajurkar, Christiaan Afman, Richard Venema, Jan Baggen, Kitty van den Heuvel, Isis van der Knaap, Bern de Klerk, Rens de Kooker, Francesca Mazza, and Floor van Hoorn.

Vaishali Rajurkar is a young lady who joined the Urban Sketchers Den Haag recently. Having moved from India to The Netherlands, she joined the USk Den Haag to get to know people. She made a big impression within the local chapter by picking up urban sketching quickly, reaching out to other people and also offering to volunteer at the Symposium.

Christian Afman lives in Groningen and is one of the local chapter organisers. Furthermore he has given many and various workshops the past years at local and national events. He generously shares his experience and stimulates other urban sketchers. Everybody who has watched him rapidly blind contour sketching will remember him well.

Many people got to know Richard Venema through his help in orgranising the first national sketch day in the Netherlands and he continues to be an active organiser in the local Utrecht chapter. He is well-liked throughout the Dutch urban sketchers community because he is always friendly and willing to help people who are new to urban sketching.

Like more urban sketchers Jan Baggen is originally a painter and through the Urban Sketchers Gelderland he got into urban sketching. The local chapter organiser nominated Jan because he’s impressed by his capacity to make beautiful urban sketches by using just a twig.

Kitty van den Heuvel is a very active organiser for Utrecht Urban Sketchers. She organises monthly events and recently the exhibition “Utrecht gezien door Urban Sketchers”. She likes to socialise and makes people feel welcome. Art and creativity are important in her life, she always tries new ways in her urban sketching and is eager to learn more.

The next scholarship is for Isis van der Knaap. She is a student at AHK Breitner Academy, studying to become an art teacher. For Isis urban sketching is a means to get to know her environment better, exploring a closer, more intimate relationship with it.

Bern de Klerk lives in Opperdoes. In his application for a scholarship he stated wanting to return to traditional analog drawing from his current mainly digital painting and drawing. He has been focusing on the human figure as of late but is eager to broaden his horizon by learning about architecture. It is Bern’s ambition to enter the Amsterdam Academy of Arts after finishing his education as Game Artist at Mediacollege Amsterdam.

Rens de Kooker always carries a sketchbook to be ready to make small drawings. She’s been a keen sketcher all her life, but finds it does not come easy to her. She’s determined to develop her skills and benefits from the sketch lessons at her education in Built Environment at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.

Francesca Mazza would like to explore and understand the urban changes better. She thinks looking at details of windows, doors, lamps, etc. will help in that process. Francesca studies architecture at the Amsterdam Academy of Arts and she wishes the Symposium will allow her to look at Amsterdam from a different perspective.

Floor van Hoorn is studying Built Environment at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. She greatly enjoys sketching and being outdoors, and the combination of both. She is new to urban sketching but has some experience in plein air watercolour painting. In her education she has practiced perspective drawing and we all know this is of great benefit when starting out as an urban sketcher.

Congratulations to all of you! Enjoy sketching, learning, and meeting sketchers from all over world at the Symposium in Amsterdam!

 Thanks to USk NL Symposium Team for compiling and preparing a write-up of each of the candidates so we can get to know them a better.


Congratulations, Cara Christine Mitchel! You won a Workshop Pass for the 10th International Urban Sketchers Symposium 2019 in Amsterdam, Netherlands! Registration instructions will be shared by December 2018. The prize/registration is non-transferrable.

Thanks to you and everyone who participated in the Porto Accommodation Survey this year. You helped Urban Sketchers and USk Portugal to get a grant from the Tourism Bureau, which contributed to funding the Symposium's operational and volunteers' expenses. Your cooperation is highly appreciated!

Follow Symposium News at
FB: USk Amsterdam 2019 International Symposium
IG: usksymposium

Call for Programming is Officially Closed 

We would like to thank everyone for their enthusiasm and submissions. The Urban Sketchers International Symposium 2019 in Amsterdam, Netherlands, will definitely be a great experience!

The Education Committee will carefully go through the proposals and will announce the official programming lineup in January.

Follow Symposium News at
FB: USk Amsterdam 2019 International Symposium
IG: usksymposium

Get Your Tag On!  #uskamsterdam2019 

The official hashtag for next year’s International Symposium is #uskamsterdam2019.

Follow the hashtag to easily get updates and all the buzz for next year! If you have some inspiring information, sketches and related stuff about the Symposium, include the hashtag in your posts so others can easily find them and join the excitement!

Keep your eyes on Adam, the heron!...oops, the hashtag! #uskamsterdam2019

See you in Amsterdam :)

2019 Urban Sketchers International Symposium Host City

The 10th International Urban Sketchers Symposium will be hosted by Urban Sketchers Netherlands in Amsterdam.

The Dutch capital city has a history that dates back to the 13th century, and nowadays is a world city with historic as well as modern architecture. It has inspired artists for centuries with its idyllic bridges, canal houses and cobblestones.

Amsterdam hosts 180 nationalities so everyone will feel right at home. It has everything you need for spending a perfect day in the city. Hosting world-class museums, it’s not just decked with old canals, charming gabled facades, drawbridges, and windmills but also with cutting-edge modern design like the EYE Filmmuseum. Truly an urban sketchers paradise!

See you at the 10th International Urban Sketchers Symposium in Amsterdam, Netherlands!

Stay tuned for more information to come.  Subscribe to the Drawing Attention for USk news and Symposium updates.





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