Urban Sketching Retreat

Hey Sketcher, imagine a week in Valladolid, Mexico exploring the haciendas, historic town, swimming in the exotic cenotes and of course sketching the entire time!  I went on a voyage to the Yucatan to discover a place to host a seethelines retreat. A wonderful family with an estate has welcomed to host us with home cooked meals and an authentic Mexico experience. Carlitos is a builder and Teresita is an artist. And the little furr ball of fun is Chiquita. I can hardly wait, are you ready for an urban sketching travel adventure?

About This Workshop


Day 01: Sketching Valladolid –
A Charming Colonial Town

“Valladolid’s historic town has pops of color, a lively environment, a massive cenote (plus more) and serendipitous discoveries behind doors you haven’t opened yet.”

We will have a day in town sketching about various areas. Find our way into a local restaurant to eat lunch and visit some friends who own a coffee/ boutique art shop and the best pizza joint in town.

Day 02: Hacienda Hopping

Scattered throughout Mexico, there is a high concentration of ‘haciendas’ in the Yucatan state. They were created during the Spanish conquests of the Americas and used as large business enterpresis. Many are found near the cenotes. Today they are largely dedicated as museums, restaurants, cenote destinations, popular attractions, and a beautiful place for us to sketch.


Day 03: Chichen Itza Expedition

“At the brim of the well where the Wise Men of the Water Live. This is what Chichen Itza means in Maya. Chichen Itza was one of the most important city-states in pre-Hispanic America and is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico today.”

This is an all day adventure with cenote hopping sprinkled throughout. We will find a nice shaded area under a tree and you will see a demo and be guided as you sketch this world wonder.

Day 04: Cenotes

The story goes that a meteor hit this Yucatan region of Mexico thousands of years ago and opened up caves to an underground river system all throughout the lands. The waters are rich in blue turquoise and invite a magical essence to swim in. Ancient Maya commonly accessed the cenotes for their water supply. 

Haciendas are often found near a cenote. So we will have the opportunity to also sketch architecture on the exotic site.


Day 05: The local iconic buildings. The Convent of San Bernardino of Siena 

This big open grass plaza in front of the Convent invites the town to relax, read, play, and at night project visuals or movies onto the castle walls. This area will likely be where we eat for an afternoon and find a spot to sketch. 

Lodging at La Dichosa

Video provided by La Dichosa to capture a glimpse of the Valladolid experience while staying at their lovely home and garden.

Book now, only 4 open spots

Deposit for seethelines Valladolid Art Vacation

Frequently Asked Questions

How is this different from other programs out there?

This is a small group experience of 5 people including your instructor, Alán. This means you will get as much time and attention you’d like to explore your discoveries and questions. The workshop itself is particular to Alán’s nomadic travel sketching experiences combined with his professional years working in architecture.  You’ll get aspects of the technical side from architecture, but more importantly you’ll get the intuitive framework that has been developing over last 10 years. 

What supplies should I bring?

Please see the recommended supplies list PDF download with your welcome email to your participation.

How many and how long are the workshops?

Each day will have one 4-5 hour workshop where you will complete a drawing. This means you will leave the experience with five refined sketches in addition to all the practice work and exercises we do. 

If I am completely new to urban/ architecture sketching, Is this course appropriate for me?

Yes absolutely and it is encouraged. We will work through foundation building for the complete beginner in a fun hit-the-ground-running way.

If I am more advanced will I still find value in this course?

The exciting thing about this course is that it will equip you with new ways to SEE. You will get unique professional architectural trained methodologies while discovering Alán’s particular technique and approach. But more than that you will return home with a boost of inspiration and vision to continue in your journey.

What if I cancel at the last minute?

Because we are a small group, last minute cancellations are nonrefundable.

Alán Ramiro Manning



Alán Ramiro Manning is on a passionate mission to create, connect, and serve through drawing and teaching on-location all around the world. He is a graduate from Woodbury University in Los Angeles, California with 10 years experience working in the field of architecture. Alán provides a strategic combination of creative and technical skills in the arts, design, and video story telling. Boots on the ground, he is tangibly making an impact country to country by inspiring a movement to live in the moment, be yourself, create fearlessly, and to take action on your dreams

Here's what students experience learning The SeeTheLines Method™

I really enjoyed this course by Seethelines! I would highly recommend anyone seeking to start or improve their travel/urban sketching, to take part in the course. Alán is not only shares expert knowledge of sketching and watercolour but also inspires to enjoy the whole process from start to finish. It was a great experience following and trying out the process for myself. I’m already a fan of his work but looking out for any more courses by Alán!

Joshua Takaoaka

Architect | @sketchjt

Great course breaking up the sketching process in proper phases. I am partial to organized approaches 😀 Main necessary knowledge for a great start imparted & good practical examples demonstrated. There’s everything here for a beginner & some good ideas for a more seasoned sketcher. 

Adina Schisler

Engineer | @adinaschisler

Wow, I really enjoyed this class! Alan breaks the material down into steps simple enough for a beginner, but there is plenty of content for an intermediate watercolorist as well. His tips on perspective were especially useful. The scene we painted was quite complex. It included plants and trees, buildings, water and boats. It was fun to paint and very informative. Thanks, Alan! I look forward to enrolling in more of your classes!

Shannon Silver

Mom & Aspiring Watercolorist | @dorkemomsart

What's it like working with me?

Hello, we are the New York City chapter of the international group called Urban Sketchers. We had the pleasure of collaborating with Alán Ramiro Manning in November  2022 and presented our members with the opportunity to take his workshop “See the Lines-Shape and Sharpen the World Around You.”

Alán was very enthusiastic about these workshops and willing to collaborate with us. We met a few weeks before to talk about his ideas for the workshop, review his portfolio, pick a location, scout out sketching spots and discuss how to facilitate his workshop for our membership. I know he also went back multiple times on his own to the location to sketch and scout out the venue.

Alán gave two sessions, three hours each; both sessions sold out and were given in an indoor space in downtown Manhattan. The response from attendees was enthusiastic, and we look forward to working with Alán again on his next visit to New York.

Frida Christofides

NYC Urban Sketchers

Work with Alan is a pleasure, very simple comunication and at the same time a smart speaker ready to understand different situations. The artistic sensibility brought us together, his professionalism ensures that we are still connected. Last but not least…a very funny person to join together the beauty of life. Bravo


Lead Tour Guide, Rome Tour 24

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