Sketch Route 66 Online Workshops

Super talented and bubbly UK-based artist and author, Ian Fennelly will give students an over-the-shoulder view in real time as he takes you step-by-step through his process in this new Sketch Route 66 series.

Originally presented live, Ian Fennelly's Sketch Route 66 Workshop Tour is a series of four online workshops inspired by an imaginary trip down America's most famous highway. Travelling (virtually) from west to east we will stock up on general provisions in Hackberry, get distracted by a donkey in Oatman, rest for the night at the Palomino Motel, then fill up on gas before heading home. See map below for details.

"Sketching Route 66 is an online journey of discovery, and like any journey, you pass through places and notice things. A big part of what you discover are the places with their own unique story, and the signs help to tell that story: whether it's the name of the store, the price of the petrol or the coca cola that's for sale. What I think is fascinating from an artistic perspective, is how the visual language of these signs can be incorporated into the sketch so they are all part of the same story. The challenge will be to find a method or stylisation that fits in with the way buildings and street furniture are described. So the lettering will become important - some will be chunky, some coloured, some with patterns, some exaggerated, some made bigger, smaller, funkier and broken - but all will be part of the narrative and compatible with the feel and charm of the sketch."--Ian Fennelly

Each workshop is approximately 1.5 hours in length broken up into several stages.Students will sketch along with the reference photos provided. 

Reference Photos

The reference photos for each workshop can be downloaded from the workshop platform after enrollment.

Sketch Hackberry General Store

Travelling west to east, the first "stop" of our tour is Hackberry General Store in Arizona. Opened in 1943 the store is now a souvenir shop and gas station. In this workshop we will be looking at how to incorporate all those vintage signs into our sketch to try to capture the history and significance of this location.

$39.99USD $10

For more info click HERE.

Sketch the Oatman Theatre

Next "stop" is the Oatman Theatre in Arizona originally built in 1902. In this sketch we will capture one of the free-roaming burros that are the descendants of burros used during its mining heyday.

$39.99USD $10

For more info click HERE.

Sketch the Palomino Motel

In this workshop we will sketch the Palomino Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico built in 1953. This motel features a oversized illuminated sign added in the 1960s and lots of funky signage that's open for interpretation.

$39.99USD $10

For more info click HERE

Sketch the Old Gas Station

In our final workshop we will sketch the Gay Parita Service station built in 1930 in Paris Springs, Missouri. Replete with signage and memorabilia, this will be great fun to sketch and we can even fill up with gas at 15¢ a gallon!

$39.99USD $10

For more info click HERE.

Focusing on Signage

Ian loves signage! All those vintage roadside signs marking mileage or selling Pepsi or gas--so cool! In this workshop Ian will be having fun playing with the funky shapes and fonts of the historic signs in our reference photos. 





How to Enroll

This workshop is hosted on Ruzuku. After checkout you will receive an invitation to enroll in the course within 24 hours. If you already have a Ruzuku account, please leave at checkout the email you use to sign in to Ruzuku. 

Close Captioned

This workshop series is close captioned for the hearing impaired and for those for whom English is a second language.  

24/7 Lifetime Access

Subscribers to all Studio 56 online workshops have lifetime access to the workshop material and can study the material when and as often as they like.

Sketch Route 66 Supply List  

  1. Spiral Bound A3 Sketchbook 140lb HP or loose paper. I prefer Fabriano brand. Click HERE for a lnk to order online.
  2. Tombow Brush Pens – black and a range of greys, particularly the lighter greys – N15, N79, N89, N95 -- water soluble NOT alcohol-based. 
  3. Fine liner pens – from 0.1 – 0.8 Pilot, Staedtler, Faber Castell, Derwent – any of these brands are fine.
  4. Watercolour pan set– I use Winsor & Newton but any good brand will do.  
  5. Watercolour brushes – variety of sizes from flats to small round heads.


    Recommendations for previous workshops  

    "I've been a long time admirer of Ian's sketches. I was delighted to be able to take a class online with him. Ian's light-hearted, wonky, fun sketches capture street scenes with detail and unusual colors. His process of capturing a street scene was broken down into very specific manageable skills. I think my favorite part of this online class was that Ian's delight in being physically present and fun attitude about sketching manifests itself in his work. I can't wait to try these techniques over and over again."--Amy Bean 


    "I highly recommend Ian’s workshops. He’s a wonderful artist and if you love urban sketching you won’t find a better teacher. Plus you’ll see a huge improvement in your work."--Mary Riley 


    "Having attended live workshops with Ian, I had no hesitation in signing up for this online video workshop. Ian is a remarkable artist and urban sketcher. His teaching style is enthusiastic and methodical, and he will leave you feeling inspired."--Jon Moss 


    I just wanted to thank Ian for his kind teaching methods. I was blessed to experience an undivided hour of his time this morning, through the one-on-one critique. I came away with some great insights on how to improve my work, that will hopefully lift me up another rung on my art journey. I know this is not in reach for a lot of people right now, but I wanted to let people know. It was a great experience."--Monica Hoeffel Murphy 


    "I had already seen Ian's videos on YouTube and was very impressed with the way he drew. Since English is not my mother tongue, I was afraid that I would not understand what he said. But it all worked out quite well. The way he approaches a drawing is so logical that I just do it now and it helps me a lot. A very clear recommendation from me."--Martin Pesch


    "Ian Fennelly is excellent instructor who guides you through the stages of sketching a complicated scene. The transition between lessons is good. Each lesson builds to the final project, a charming building in New Orleans. If you enjoy working in a looser style and are not afraid to try different tools and techniques you will enjoy this workshop."--Carmel Campbell


    "Layers of looking is an amazing course and excellent value. Ian takes you step by step through a series of full length videos, showing his entire process of how to paint a fun urban sketch. You learn how to start with simple shapes and gradually build up to adding colour and detail. You also learn what to put in and more importantly what to leave out. It is delivered in a fun but detailed manner. There is also a Premium option which is excellent value and gives you the chance to video chat with Ian for an hour and ask questions, get tips and get feedback on your work. If you can't get to a workshop, this really is a great alternative. I really learnt so much from this course and cannot wait for the next one."--Patty Edge