Meet the artist: Ian Fennelly

In the section “Meet the artist” we portrait a talented artist who uses Old Holland colours.

Ian Fennelly is a British artist and more specifically an urban sketcher; or to be even more precise – Ian makes art in a busy location while looking at buildings and street furniture. Ian studied painting at Wimbledon School of Art and gained a 1st Class Honours degree. After graduating he worked as a drawing office manager for several years which gave him the opportunity to develop his drawing skills.

He’s always been attracted to the urban environment where people interact with the busy spaces that surround them.  And he loves the feel of a busy city. Ian paints very quickly and loosely, but it must happen within the context of an accurate drawing, which holds the paint in. Inspiration for Ian’s paintings comes from visiting places, spending time there, meeting people and getting honked at by buses. But when he paints, the subject is just the starting point; it’s the battle on the paper that’s really exciting. Colours, shapes, lines and patterns are all jockeying for position, while the water flows within the textured grooves of the heavy paper. This is what’s really exciting. The image will inevitably come through, sometimes in spite of his efforts, because it’s painting itself that really inspires Ian.

In 2019 Old Holland introduced a special watercolour set developed in collaboration with Ian Fennelly.

Check out Ian’s website at and Instagram page at to see more of his work.