Book Review: Layers of Looking by Ian Fennelly

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Layers of Looking is the sketchbook of Ian Fennelly, an artist, teacher, urban sketcher based in UK. This book has more than 100 sketches accompanied by stories and tips on sketching, making art.

The book’s a print-on-demand paperback with almost 100 sketches on 110 pages. The book is available, at time of this review, only through publisher Studio 56 Boutique which is mentioned several times in the book. Price of the book is US $29.90 with shipping calculated separately.

Ian Fennelly’s sketches are quite recognisable. His style is loose with vibrant colours, splatters and colour blends, extra fine lines, hatching and the occasional use of spot blacks. His sketches are typically drawn and painted on A3 size watercolour paper and each piece takes around 2 to 3 hours to complete. His sketches are detailed and invites you to spend time to study them.

You can really tell he enjoys sketching outdoors through the many stories told in this book.

This book talks about urban sketching, which is basically drawing on location. The stories in this book really highlights the fun and challenge of making out outdoors, an experience that I can relate to 100%.

One thing I only found in this book is Ian actually paints the watercolour first before drawing the lines, which is quite uncommon since most people will draw lines first. This is not a standalone instructional book on sketching, but there are sketching tips scattered throughout. If you want to learn more about urban sketching, you can check out his many online urban sketching courses from which are mentioned several times in this book.

This is a wonderful book. If you enjoy urban sketching, you will like this book. If you don’t know what urban sketching is, you’ll find out why this is such a popular activity with this book.

You can see more of Ian Fennelly’s art at https://www.instagram.com/ianfennelly

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Source: parkablogs.com

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