Announcing “A Gateway to India 2024: Sketching Mumbai and Kochi”

We (Zainab Tambawalla and Suhita Shirodkar, see below) launched our first workshop in India in January 2023 and it was such a blast, that we’re doing it all over again, with a new location added to the itinerary.

This workshop only has a total of 14 sketcher spots and only 5 spots are left.

Below are the details, FAQs, and some testimonials. Feel free to reach out to us if you have more questions. But don’t wait too long: it’s a small workshop and it’s filling up quickly.

A Gateway to India 2024: Sketching Mumbai and Kochi
Come Sketch and Experience India with Suhita & Zainab

Jan 9- Jan 18th, 2024

Cost: $2100
• 3 zoom sessions before traveling to India
• 14-person workshop led by two instructors (great participant-to-instructor ratio)
• historical tours and cultural events
• welcome and farewell dinners
• airfare and transportation between two destinations (Mumbai and Kochi)
• transportation in a private bus during the workshop

Does NOT include:
• all other travel including airfare to and from India
• accommodation
• meals (We have hotel and restaurant suggestions at all locations and a great travel agent to help you with any bookings you need. Bringing along a non-sketcher on the trip? They’re most welcome to join us. See details about non-sketcher participants at the end of this post.

If you have always wanted to travel and sketch in India, this is your chance! Come sketch two cities with more in common than meets the eye: India’s largest metropolis, Mumbai, and laid-back Kochi, in Kerala. This richly curated trip with seasoned instructors, Suhita Shirodkar and Zainab Tambawalla features an itinerary that combines historical and cultural tours led by experts with daily demos, reviews, and on-location sketching sessions. 

But the adventure and learning start before you even land in India!
Our on-location adventures will be preceded by three online zoom-based sessions. In these sessions, we build a foundation of sketching concepts that can be put into practice on location and we share practical information like packing and supply tips for your trip. 

Why Mumbai and Kochi, you might wonder? Mumbai, a metropolis and a melting pot of cultures, is a great place to start your Indian adventure. Once a fort city, the many cities within this walled city still exist as distinct places we will explore. You will literally sketch the Mumbai of a thousand years ago, and move through the ages to capture the glory of the British Era, Mumbai’s Art Deco period, and monuments to the Industrial Revolution. Kochi and Mumbai share much in common: Both are coastal ports with a strong Portuguese connection and forts that no longer exist. The modern history of these cities dates back to the late 1400s and early 1500s. 

We will start our sketching adventure riding the wave of high-energy Mumbai and then travel together to Kochi, a town with a mellower pace, allowing for even more interaction with your instructors, and cementing the concepts you learned over the workshop. 

Wondering what you will experience and sketch?
On this adventure, you will not only sketch grand monuments in different architectural styles but will also sketch the heart of daily life in markets and little bylanes and will witness and sketch ancient traditions and ways of life through the people who are at the core of what India is about. It will be an enriching experience and your sketchbook will reflect just that. 

With tours led by historians and a low instructor-to-student ratio, you can expect lots of one-on-one attention, and a host of techniques and ideas shared daily. Each day will end with a review session that strengthens your understanding of concepts and techniques. You’ll see India beyond a tourist’s view, yet always feel safe and taken care of. Our workshop costs cover the flight between Mumbai and Kochi and all transportation to destinations beyond a short walk in both locations will be in an air-conditioned bus. Bottled water is always available and you will have a host of vetted places to eat at for every location we sketch at. 

Excited? Here’s what you do next: Spaces are limited and filling up quickly, so book your spot NOW. To do that, email us at and let us know you are joining us and your preferred payment method. 
A non-refundable deposit of USD 800 is required to hold your spot. Payment can be by bank transfer, check, Venmo, or Zelle. Paypal transfers require an additional fee. Full payment is required by November 15th, 2023.

Know Your Instructors

Suhita Shirodkar was born and brought up in Mumbai and now lives in San Jose, California. She has been an instructor at 6 USk International Symposiums and is a USk blog correspondent who teaches workshops worldwide. Telling visual stories, working in a mix of media that allows for exciting sketches, and capturing the energy of places and people is what she loves best. You can see more of Suhita’s work here.

Zainab Tambawalla has lived in Mumbai for 23 years and heads Urban Sketchers Mumbai. She is an animation designer, a children’s books illustrator, and has been an educator for 11 years. Her Mumbai-focussed reportage was part of a USk grant-winning project for outstanding visual reportage. She is on a constant quest to document stories within her city while exploring techniques for creating an evocative and emotive sketch. You can see more of Zainab’s work here.

A few testimonials from our 2023 workshop
“A rich experience to say the least! Suhita and Zainab intertwined history lessons, cultural training, and, of course, drawing skills into an unforgettable week. Not only did I come home with improved skills, but also a greater appreciation and understanding and love for all things Indian.” – Susan

“This was my first sketching trip and I enjoyed every minute. I felt supported because both instructors met me where I was. The welcoming and inclusive group, seeing different areas of Mumbai on our tours, and the zoom calls helped establish a feeling of community even before the trip.” – Elizabeth

“This workshop was a wonderful adventure! The experience included knowledgeable guided tours of the history and culture of Mumbai, as well as many and various sketching opportunities throughout the week. We were mentored at every step of the way by Zainab and Suhita. I highly recommend this sketching workshop for new and experienced sketchers.” – Lynn

This workshop far exceeded my expectations! I loved the organization of the workshop, the expert guides, and having two instructors and seeing different approaches and techniques.” – Maria

“This workshop pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I learned so much. Suhita’s sketches explode on the page while Zainab’s come to life gently, and I loved learning both approaches. Thank you!.” – Sujatha

“This workshop made me revive and fulfill a 50-year dream to go to India. Thank you!” – Liz

Still have questions? Here are some FAQs, but feel free to email us with your questions. 

FAQs and Other Helpful Information

• What will I learn?
This workshop is designed to meet you where you are in your sketching journey. With three zoom-based sessions before you even get to India, we will cover the basics of practical matters like packing an art kit and also the fundamentals of working on location in busy places, sketching from life, choosing a color palette, color mixing, and a working understanding of perspective and people sketching for on-location drawing.

This solid groundwork will set you up for a successful sketching trip in India: There will be demos on location by the instructors, who will be sketching alongside you every day so you can watch the concepts put into action, get feedback and ask questions anytime. There will also be a review session at the end of each day where we learn from each other’s work and get specific feedback and ideas. 

And if you are a seasoned sketcher who knows your basics already? Zainab and Suhita will demo different techniques for you to add to your sketching repertoire every day. And you will never be out of new, interesting, and challenging subjects to sketch in India!

• Safety, Food Concerns, and Accommodation
The beauty of doing this workshop with us is that you’ll see India beyond a tourist’s view, yet always feel safe and taken care of. All transportation to destinations beyond a short walk will be in an air-conditioned vehicle. At every location, you will have a list of vetted places to eat at a range of prices. We also have a list of vetted hotels in both cities and recommendations on places you stay in. 

• Is this trip suitable for me?
India is an exciting, welcoming country. To fully experience and enjoy it, bring a sense of adventure with you. While you will always be safe, this is not a cocooned experience removed from the real world: you will see everyday life and sketch it close-up and first-hand. If you can be adaptable and open to new ideas, you will experience the magic of India, that is a promise! If you have specific concerns, write to us and you’ll get an honest answer on whether we think this trip is right for you.

• India beyond Mumbai and Kochi
The themes, colors, and architectural styles you will sketch, and the sketching techniques you will learn will make a great set of tools to sketch anywhere on your further adventures. Note: Our workshop begins in Mumbai and ends in Kochi, Kerala. It is your responsibility to get to Mumbai and to plan your travels from Kochi at the end of the workshop.

So start your exploration of India with us and if you decide to stay on for longer, we can recommend a wonderful travel agent who can suggest and help you book hotels, flights as well as further adventures in India. We recommend coming to Mumbai at least a day or two in advance to get over jetlag and be ready for the workshop. We also recommend you stay on and explore India after the end of this workshop. Wherever you go, your sketching skills will serve you well in capturing many more memories of all your adventures!

• Insurance:
As with all travel, we recommend you get travel insurance. Here are some recommendations from

Ready to sign up and reserve your spot? Here, again, are the details.

Sketcher Spots (14 total, 2 spots still open)

To reserve your spot, email us at and let us know you are joining us and your preferred payment method. A non-refundable deposit of USD 800 is required to hold your spot. Payment can be by bank transfer, check, Venmo, or Zelle. Paypal transfers require an additional fee. Full payment is required by November 15th, 2023.

Non-Sketcher Spots (up to 7 spots available) Bringing along a non-sketcher? Non-sketcher costs are $800 per person ($300 non-refundable deposit) and include all tours and cultural events, transportation and welcome and farewell dinners. This ticket cannot be purchased by anyone who plans to sketch or paint.

Still got a question? Just email us and we will answer back asap.

– Suhita and Zainab

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in India, teaching, Travel, Uncategorized, Workshop and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Announcing “A Gateway to India 2024: Sketching Mumbai and Kochi”

  1. Y.B. De Ridder says:

    So said I cannot make it. 2025 for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting trip you have Sketching in India. You do a real amazing job sketching the Urban Landscape.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Robin Potash says:

    I am interested in going!!
    How do I sign up??

    Liked by 1 person

    • Robin, we have the last 4 spaces left. This post has all the details on dates, costs, and also deposit required to guarantee your spot.
      Read through it, then write in at and let me know how you want to send in a deposit, I’ll send you the details you need. It would be fantastic to have you join us!


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