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 Porto 2018

Connect the Dots All the Way to Porto! 
Map out where all our attendees are coming from this year.

The International Urban Sketching Symposium is very unique as it travels to a different breathtaking corner of the world every year. What is equally unique is the mix of people who make it to these different locations. 

Our global community is wide and we share the world one sketch at a time. Every year, we have this beautiful experience of meeting the people we follow from the world wide web and be able to sit, drink, learn, and draw together.

Some make it to the Symposium and share the experience. Some tag along online and share the experience wherever they are. However which way you join in, it’s great to see how wonderfully big and varied our sketching community is!  Remember our hashtag: #USkPorto2018


If your chapter is curious about hosting the symposium at some point in the future, we’re here to answer your questions and to guide you through the process of becoming a host chapter. You'll receive the support and advice you need to bring the symposium to your city.

To apply, it’s important to read the Symposium Host Selection Handbook . Get a walk-through with this comprehensive guide that has all the information you need regarding the International Symposium, pitching, timelines, requirements and the selection process. Then, fill out this form and submit.

Send your questions to

A Lucky Draw to Draw! 
10 Symposium Scholarship Winners 

Sketch by 18-year-old Joao Mota, Scholarship Pass holder from Porto

In its commitment to promote urban sketching to the local drawing community, Urban Sketchers gives 10 Symposium Workshop Passes every year to sketchers from the host city. Now on its 9th year, Urban Sketchers is delighted to announce the 10 lucky winners from Porto! This year’s recipients of the International Symposium scholarships are: Fernanda Fernandes, Bruno Viera, Teresa Mendes, António Procópio, António Freire, Maria Leonor Janeiro, João Mota, Pedro Alves, Paula Cabral and Ana Pato. Congratulations to all of you and see you in Porto!

Catch the lucky draw at

9th USk Symposium Porto Schedule & Programme

Evaluating and selecting 36 out of 158 workshop proposals received wasn't an easy task for the Education Committee. 37% is represented by regional instructors and 63% is coming from the global community. We are also introducing all-new instructors to join our respected pool of faculty this year which makes up 25% of our offerings. Have a look at the amazing line-up and pick something new, something old or just an exciting spin to inspire your sketching from the diverse selections!

Click on this link for a closer look at the Event Schedule & Programme

Workshop selection starts on March 3.  Here's another look at the Workshop and Instructor line-up for your reference! See you in Porto!


Don’t miss out! Follow the Symposium Instagram and subscribe to Drawing Attention for the latest news.

Workshop selection starts March 3rd, 2018 at 3pm GMT  onwards.  Here is a step-by-step guide to helping you with your workshop selection process:
Guide to Workshop Selection on your Eventbrite account

For other questions, check out
2018 USk Porto Symposium FAQ

Table of Contents

Urban Sketchers International Symposium 2018 

Announcing the world-class line-up for the Urban Sketchers International Symposium Porto 2018! Registration starts 17th February, Saturday, 15:00hrs GMT on the Eventbrite USk Symposium 2018 Porto event page here .
To make sure you got the right time for your time zone, check here to convert to your local time zone. 
  1. SIMONE RIDYARD, UK: Archisketcher’s guide to sketching the Big Picture using the ‘Rule of Thirds’
  2. CHARLINE MOREAU, France: BEYOND THE TREES – How to Include a Wooded Foreground in Order to Enrich a Panoramic View
  3. EDOUARDO BAJZEK, Brazil: Graphite is the Matter
  4. FRED LYNCH, USA: See What I Mean - Sketching Like an Illustrator
  5. GABI CAMPANARIO, USA: Pocket Urban Sketching
  6. IAN FENNELLY, UK: Watercolor and Pen in a Busy Space
  7. INMA SERRANO, Spain: Porto:​ ​Calma​ ​e​ ​fúria​ (Porto: Calm & Wild)
  8. JANE BLUNDELL, Australia: Watercolour 101
  9. JIM RICHARDS, USA: DRAWING AS DISCOVERY - Revealing Porto’s Rich Sense of Place
  10. JOAO CATARINO, Portugal: Water Sounds - Shapes, Rhythms and Patterns by the River
  11. JOHANNA KRIMMEL. Germany: TRUE GRIT - Painting Confidently with Chinese Ink
  12. JOSE LOURO, Portugal: Draw Less Show More (Reloaded)
  13. KIAH KIEAN CH’NG, Malaysia - Sketching with Dry Twig & Chinese Ink
  14. LAPIN, Spain: Urban Archaeology - A documentary Approach of the City
  15. LIZ STEEL, Australia - It’s All in the Details
  16. LK BING, Indonesia: Dramatic Atmosphere in Black and White - How to Apply Lighting Concept and Create Depth with Rich Values
  17. LYNDA JANE GRAY, UK: Searching for Focus and Flow - Seeing / Sketching / Colour
  18. MARC HOLMES, Canada: Tea Milk and Honey - Seven Years Later
  19. MARION RIVOLIER, France: Capturing People and Space in the Same Gesture
  20. MARU GODAS, Spain: Gouache Like a Child
  21. MATTHEW BREHM, USA: The Fundamentals of Sketching: Process and Practice
  22. MIKE DAIKUBARA, USA: Sketch NOW, Think Later
  23. PAUL HEASTON, USA: Perspectiva de Guarda-chuva: Umbrella Perspective
  24. PAUL WANG, Singapore: BEAUTIFUL EYES – Let’s go Window Shopping & Peek into Beautiful Porto!
  25. PEDRO LOUREIRO, Portugal: The Stories of Public Realm Objects
  26. REHAM ALI, Egypt: Urban Tales… Building Can Talk Too!! Architectural Scenes without Actors
  27. RENATO PALMUTI, Brazil: Playful Composition Exercises with Notan Sketches.
  28. ROB SKETCHERMAN, Hong Kong: People Party in Porto!
  29. ROISIN CURE, Ireland: A Page of Porto Petiscos! Signs And Their Setting for A Sense of Place
  30. SHARI BLAUKOPF, Canada: Right Up Your Alley - Light, Colour and Shadow in Porto’s Narrow Spaces
  31. SIMO CAPECCHI, Italy: One Page Says it All. A Reportage on Porto Wine
  32. SUHITA SHIRODKAR, USA: People at Work - Quick-Capture Vignettes
  33. UMA KELKAR, USA: Gray Matter: Using Gray to Tie Two Contrasting Colors in Two Washes for Lively and Quick Sketching
  34. VERONICA LAWLOR, USA: Reportage - Memory of a City
  35. VIRGINIA HEIN, USA: Minimal Color, Maximum Punch! Saying More with Less
  36. WILLIAM CORDERO, Costa Rica: Pastel Sketches, a Controlled Mess
Due to overwhelming response from previous symposium registration regarding the default time limit to complete selection of workshops, filling out personal information, and processing payment, we have decided to lessen the stress of our participants by just offering the passes first, and then workshop selections later on 3rd March 2018.  Here is a schedule of dates leading up to selection of workshops.  You may log in again anytime from 3rd March onwards to pick your workshop choices.

Don’t miss out! Follow the Symposium Instagram and subscribe to Urban Sketchers for the latest news.

Get your pens all inked up for the upcoming Symposium adventure in Porto! The main venue will be Alfândega do Porto. Click HERE to watch a short video of beautiful Porto. Click HERE to see a helpful map of the area.

For Workshop Pass Holders, learning on location will be intense in a good way. Whether it’s learning new techniques, a dive into media you aren’t familiar with or discovering alternative ways to tell your stories, it’s immediate and inspiring with in-person teaching and a tribe that loves sketching the way you do.

Explore, trade tools, and share stories with instructors at our featured demos. Join Skit Sketches and celebrate how sketching impacts individuals and bigger communities.

Of course, we will drink and draw with old and new-found friends at our opening and closing parties. Get swag from our sponsors and check out the array of fine art supplies at rare deals from our vendors. Take home some goodies from our lucky draw and silent auction. It will be days of show and tell for everyone at this grand coastal city!

Registration starts 17th February, Saturday, 15:00hrs GMT.
Full Symposium programming will be out this February.

Don’t miss out! Subscribe to Drawing Attention and follow us on social media for the latest symposium news: the Symposium Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Watch the video below for highlights from the 2017 USk Chicago Symposium.

Porto Symposium 2018 - Call for Correspondents

If you have a flair for sketching reportage-style, you’re a team player, you have extremely high sketching stamina and are technically savvy to blog about the daily events at the Symposium, here’s your chance to be a correspondent for the 9th International Urban Sketchers Symposium in Porto, Portugal on July 18-21, 2018.

A total of three correspondents will be selected. We’re looking for a Porto or nearby resident, who knows about the ins and outs of the city, and two international correspondents selected from outside of Portugal.

Here are some tips to prepare you for the pitch. Get your urban sketches ready featuring people doing activities and include sample blog entries. Think about why you’re interested and why you would be the best candidate. What are your innovative ideas in covering the event? In this role, writing is as important as sketching. Provide some links to your blog or platforms that show examples of your writing. Please see the requirements and other details.

Application ends on Feb. 21, 2018, 23:59 GMT.
The Editorial Team and Executive Board will evaluate applications based on how well the requirements are met. Because Urban Sketchers is a worldwide organization, global diversity will be considered. Selected candidates will be announced by mid-March 2018.


We're proud to announce the winners of the Porto Urban Sketchers 9th International Symposium logo design competition. From 24 proposals from around the world, the jury of the competition voted first place to Isa Silva's proposal. The idea behind the logo design shows the the Clerigos Tower, an icon of the city of Porto, and its curiosity over what Urban Sketchers are drawing.

Second and third places were awarded to the proposals presented by Anabela Ferreira and Pedro Loureiro, respectively. Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all who participated!

December 15, 2017 was the deadline for the Call for Programming proposal submissions. Thanks to all who took part and submitted. On average we receive 50-80 proposals. In last year’s Symposium in Chicago, we hosted 36 Workshops. This year, we had the honour of receiving over 150 workshop proposals.

The Education Committee has been tasked to review all the proposals. They look for a balance of diversity in workshop themes, to select at least 20% new instructors, and set aside standby workshops to be included depending on the number of registrations.

Full Symposium programming & schedule will be announced on early February 2018.


Thank you everyone for your interest and the awesome number of submissions for the 9th Urban Sketchers International Symposium happening in Porto on July 18-21, 2018.

Stay tuned! Selected proposals will be announced in early February. 

Still have questions? Email

Follow the Symposium Instagram and sign up for Drawing Attention to know the latest news.

For those who haven't sent their proposals for Workshops, Demonstrations and Skit Sketches for the 9th Urban Sketchers International Symposium in Porto, here's a big shout out to you! We hope that you've had some lead time to prepare yours in the last three weeks. Don't worry, there are a few more days to go.

To all who have submitted, thank you! We have received a lot of proposals and looking forward to even more by the approaching closing date this Friday, December 15, 2017 (11:59 p.m. GMT)

Here's a link to some details on how to draft your proposals in case you need a refresh.

Wishing everyone the best and to not forget to send before it's too late!
Selected proposals will be announced in January.

Still have questions? Email


The 9th Urban Sketchers Symposium will be held in Porto, Portugal on July 18-21, 2018. We are seeking proposals for Workshops, Demonstrations, and Skit Sketches by Friday, December 15, 2017 (11:59 p.m. GMT). Selected proposals will be announced in early February. 

(You can see past symposium programming for 2017 here, 2016 here and 2015 here).

WORKSHOPS are presented as a more formal educational experience with a smaller group (a maximum of 15 participants), allowing for personal interaction with students. Instructors are expected to do a short demonstration, have one-on-one interaction with participants, and check on them during their exercises.

  • Duration and Frequency: All workshops will be 3 hours and taught up to three times over the course of the Symposium.
  • Capacity: Focused instruction for up to 15 participants in each session.
  • Demonstration : Instructor is requested to present a 30 minutes demonstration, in line with their workshop, during the symposium (venue can be their workshop location).
  • Compensation: If your proposal is selected, you receive free registration for the Symposium, travel and accommodation. Host city instructors who will not need to travel will receive an honorarium.
We are aiming to increase the number of new and local instructors. If you have not previously taught at the Symposium, and you have teaching experience, we want to hear from you! For the previous years, we have already gotten a good mix of new and of local Demo and Lecture leaders, and aim to continue.

We are also seeking sketchers to share urban sketcher stories, sketching technique, sketching materials and present a talk related to sketching.

SKIT SKETCH is a ‘lightning talk’ presentation which allows you to share your own work, urban sketching stories, the work of other sketchers, sketching history, or another topic of interest or concern to fellow sketchers. A projector will be provided. Your consent will be asked when you submit proposals regarding the filming of lecture sessions and that they may be shared online on USk platforms.
  • Duration and Frequency: a presentation with 20 auto-advance slides at 20 seconds each (6 minutes and 40 seconds in total) and will only be conducted once. (similar to the format of Pecha Kucha or Ignite). 
  • Capacity: All interested participants are welcome. 
  • Compensation: If your proposal is selected, you will receive a discount of $100 off any choice of Registration Pass for the Symposium.


  • You can propose a Workshop or Demo for a specific spot or a general location. We recommend you to get to know the possible locations before you create your proposal, in order to match your idea with the city’s environment.
  • Photos & description of suggested locations (Low res and High res).
  • All participants will be advised to gather with their Instructors at the Meeting place, before setting out to Workshop locations. 
  • Workshop locations are subject to change and the organizers reserve the right to make the best arrangements and combinations of Workshops/Demos and locations.
  • Keep in mind the weather: The average temperature in July is 25°C/79°F, with higher afternoon temperatures (up to 33°C/91ºF), and lower evening temperatures (20°C/65°F). July is warmer than usual and has low risk for rain.
  • You may propose multiple Workshops and Skit Sketch presentations. However, subject to evaluation of the Education Committee, only one of your proposals may be picked.
  • All successful proposals will be notified by January 2018, for coordination of more information in preparation for the Symposium.
  • All instructors and leaders will receive a list of participants, closer to the time of the Symposium.
  • The official language of the Symposium is English.


All proposals must be emailed to

If you are proposing a Workshop, you must use this form and include sample sketches inside the proposal document (not as separate attachments).

If you are proposing a Skit Sketch presentation, you must use this form and include 20 images intended for the slide presentation, inside the proposal document (not as separate attachments).


All proposals are due by Friday December 15, 2017 (11:59 p.m. GMT).

Still have questions? Email

Follow the Symposium Instagram and sign up for Drawing Attention to know the latest news. 




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