How to find your scene in urban sketching

With Ian Fennelly

Ian Fennelly Sketching Conwy Castle

Discover some of Ian Fennelly’s best sketching advice.

Find out some useful advice and tips from Ian in our new ‘How to‘ guide.

Ian shares a few ways to find your scene, from choosing elements, features and getting to know the landscape.




It’s a good idea to think ahead to what elements and features you would like to sketch before arriving at the location.

“If I’m going somewhere specific, for example when we went to London, I knew I wanted to do various landmarks. But somewhere like Wales is not quite the same. Because you know you want the features, and you want all those elements but it’s not always as easy to find.”

Urban Sketch Course London Sketching constructive feedback

Spend time in the landscape

Try and spend some time in the location or landscape getting to know the area. Sometimes locations don’t want to be found so it’s important to wander round seeing things and soaking up the atmopshere. Locations can also look different in the car so try and do this by foot if you can. 

“There’s certain shapes, patterns, textures and stories I’m looking for, it takes time. You’ve got to spend some time in the landscape to really appreciate what’s going on.”


Keep going until you find what works

It’s important to take time so that you can get exactly the right image that works for you. 


Urban sketch sketching on location what to take

Watch the full video as Ian Fennelly explains how he finds his scenes


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Don’t forget to keep us up to date with your sketching journey by using the hashtag #UrbanSketchCourse. We look forward to seeing you all again very soon.

Urban Sketching for Beginners

Join Ian Fennelly as he guides you through 47 easy-to-follow lessons and practical exercises that transform you from complete beginner to skilled urban sketcher!