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Expressive Watercolour Landscapes


28 October 2022 - 30 October 2022

3 day course 10am - 4pm

During this 3-day Advanced “Expressive Watercolour Landscapes” course with Somerset-based artist Lisa Takahashi, you will explore a variety of approaches and techniques possible in watercolour that can be used to evoke the drama and spirit of the surrounding landscape.

This course will allow you to use drawing techniques, to slow down the art of looking and develop ideas for your paintings.

Throughout the 3-days with Lisa, you will…

  •  Develop colour harmonies whilst exploring colour mixing and practical frameworks, to develop your watercolour practice.
  • Work with colours that will sing and express what you want within your work. 
  • Seek inspiration from the work of other watercolour artists and analyse their approaches to painting as well as explore the social/political contexts within which they made their work.

At the end of the course, you will…

  • Have a deeper understanding of how watercolours behave and how their properties can be utilised to create a strong and expressive painting.
  • Have developed drawing skills as well as had time to consider why we, and others from the past, feel compelled to paint the landscape which surrounds us.

Lisa Takahashi

Lisa Takahashi is a Somerset-based artist, writer and teacher who works in watercolour, linocut and oil painting. She has taught painting and printmaking workshops for over 15 years and was an expert judge on Season 1 of Channel 5’s Watercolour Challenge in 2022.

Lisa's own practice is primarily concerned with responding to everyday observations; finding ways of interpreting movement and mood using colour and experimental mark-making as well as printmaking, painting and drawing techniques.

She is best known for her bold, geometric linocut prints of cyclists. Her figurative paintings are colourful and expressive and have the influence of British Modernism and French Impressionism in equal measure.

She has taught painting and printmaking workshops for over 15 years. She has exhibited her work across the UK, including with the New English Art Club, The RBA, The Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, the Royal Watercolour Society and the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. In 2018 she reached the semi-finals of Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year.

Lisa is also a regular writer for the Jackson’s Art Blog where she shares her expertise in drawing, painting and printmaking techniques. She visited the Jackson's studio to talk about watercolour painting and answer your questions.

Watch here!

Follow Lisa Takahashi on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

The course will begin with introductions and going through the learning objectives. There will be a 2 part workshop on the first day - part one will be painting exercises based in the Clayhill Arts Studio space and Part 2 will be Studio and Field based exercises, allowing participants to explore and be inspired by the Clayhill and Somerset landscapes. The afternoon will involve self-reflective work and 1-1 sessions with Lisa.

Day 2 of the course will consist of 5 sessions. The start of the second day will include an optional walk around Clayhill’s grounds in the morning, followed by Session 1: A Presentation and a look at Composition. Session 2: Compositional sketching in the grounds. Session 3: Looking at Colour, Palette selection and colour mixing. Session 4: Small sketches outside using a limited palette + rule of thirds. Session 5: Freestyle - painting indoors or outdoors with 1-1 informal talks throughout with each participant. Day 2 will end with a Group discussion and conclusion.

Day 3 of the course will consist of 5 sessions. The start of the third day will include an optional walk around Clayhill’s grounds in the morning, followed by Session 1: Ways of translating small studies to large scale. Session 2: Compositional sketching in the grounds. Session 3: Scaling up work and palette selection. Session 4: Laying In initial layer. Session 5: Finishing work. The final day will end with a Group discussion and conclusion.

We have a fantastic accommodation offer onsite, and would recommend staying here for the fully immersive Clayhill experience. All our accommodation is reserved for the students for the duration of the course and you will have a bedroom of your own. Our rooms have been converted from a series of old cattle sheds and from an old milking parlour and retain characterful features such as exposed wooden roof timbers and stone walls. Each bedroom has its own tea and coffee making facilities and outdoor seating area.

We also have an onsite laundry should you need to use these facilities during your stay with us. WIFI is available throughout the complex, heating and hot water is supplied by biomass technology, electricity by solar technology and all of the water around the site is fed by a natural spring.

Accommodation is offered at £80/night. If you would like to make your stay here more comfortable, you can also buy single additional nights before or after the course. (Please note any additional nights will not be catered, we are happy to recommend some local places to eat).

All courses at Clayhill Arts are fully catered, and our locally-sourced food is included in the price of your course ticket. If you do choose to stay with us a bespoke evening meal as well as breakfast and lunch will also be provided. To read more about our food offering, follow this link. About our catering

This course requires an intermediate-advanced skill level in watercolour painting. Suitable for artists looking to fine-tune their skills and practice under Lisa’s expert tuition. Some level of fitness may be required as you may need to be able to do some walking with an easel (although you don’t have to walk far if you don’t want to as there are views on Clayhill’s doorstep).

Please bring your own watercolour paints, paper, field easel and drawing materials. Some paper and paints will be available to buy on-site, which the tutor will provide. Weatherproof clothing is required as we will spend a lot of time working out of doors. Walking boots and sun cream are recommended.

Yes! We provide refreshments throughout the day and a home-cooked lunch which is freshly prepared in our Granary kitchen. Lunch is served around our communal dining table, offering you a great chance to get to know everyone on the course and share in the making processes you have been developing throughout the day. Please advise us of any dietary requirements before arrival.

Yes! All of our bedrooms here at Clayhill are en-suite so you will have your own private space to retreat to and relax in after spending your day in the meditative space of the Studio. We provide you with your own towels and bathroom products for use throughout your stay and you can enjoy the extensive grounds well into the evening. If you do choose to stay with us a bespoke evening meal as well as breakfast and lunch will also be provided.

Buy Tickets


The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Course Ticket - Expressive Watercolour Landscapes
Course Ticket - Expressive Watercolour Landscapes with Lisa Takahashi. Day-time access, 10am - 4pm for each of the 3 days (28th - 30th October). Lunch included.
£ 510.00
10 available
Extra night - before
An extra night before the start of the course. (27th October) Includes breakfast on the day the course begins.
£ 80.00
7 available
Extra night - after
Check out is at 10:30am on the 31st October An extra night after the course has ended. (30th October)
£ 80.00
7 available
Course Accommodation - Expressive Watercolour Landscapes
£80/night x 2
£ 160.00
6 available

We have also set up a payment plan so that you can spread the cost of the sessions over the next 4 months. You will find the option for doing this as you enter the checkout page.

Find out more about our Partial.ly Payment Plan here

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Working with Deborah and Michael was such a pleasure. They understood the project from the beginning, what the needs of the makers and our audiences would be, and acted as thoughtful ambassadors for the project when we were not able to be there. Every aspect of the exhibition and events was facilitated in such a calm and confident manner, which made my job of coordinating a group of artists so much easier! The whole event became a pivotal moment for the project, bringing people together in a way I could never have anticipated, and which has altered my thinking about the future of the project. Thank you for making us feel so welcome.


The weekend I spent at Clayhill Arts was a very welcome change of scenery to my otherwise urban setting. I felt calmed yet invigorated by the surroundings, and the accommodation was beautifully tasteful and very homely. The main space is wonderfully considered and very versatile - an ideal space for creativity and dynamic discussion. I left on the Sunday feeling energised and inspired by the experience of staying at Clayhill.


As a singer it has been one of the best spaces to sing in with generous reverberation and acoustics.  It is a space which complemented the type of instruments I was working with and the songs.


I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed being at your venue. It is a lovely and inspiring artistic space. The food was fantastic, homely yet unusual. I really enjoyed the day.


As an artist retreat, the venue at Clayhill Arts provided a warm and welcoming environment, allowing a safe and constructive space where individuals creative needs can be met. 


We were lucky enough to be able to take over the whole venue for a weekend, using the Granary as our base for experimentation, discussion and shared learning. The informality of the accommodation, and the relaxed surroundings, put everyone at ease and offered a space where cooperation and encouragement evolved naturally.


Everything was wonderful! This is a beautiful place. Thank you, we really enjoyed our stay.


Clayhill feels remote which is great but it also is close to Cannington which has everything, so supplies can be bought without travelling a great distance...I also really enjoyed that it is still a working farm, because it feels productive and there is such a lot of life around us which is very inspiring


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