Sketchbooking Your Environment

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Sat 13Apr

Experiment with materials and respond to space

Facilitator: Emma Leyfield

Many of us aspire to keep a regular sketchbook, journal or diary, but it’s deceptively hard to get started, let alone stick to it. This workshop is an opportunity to put you blank-page nerves aside and go out painting in the gardens at Hawkwood. You will spend the day drawing onsite, experimenting with materials and creating a response to the spring at Hawkwood.

Suitable for beginners who are open to the challenges involved with learning a new skill while inspired to draw and record the world around them, or advance students looking to draw from life.

Event time: Sat 13th Apr 2024 at 9:30am - Sat 13th Apr 2024 at 4:00pm

At a Glance

  • Start your journey with sketchbooking
  • Be inspired by your surroundings
  • Drawing and painting techniques with expert guidance
  • Suitable for beginners

Participants Will Gain

  • Skills, techniques and encouragement to continue your sketchbooking habit
  • Dedicated time and space to walk and paint your surroundings
  • A watercolour sketchbook to take home and fill the pages of

"Put your inhibitions, distractions and procrastination aside to start your sketchbook"

Guidance & Exploration


Guidance and tuition on drawing will be available for those who want it, while advanced students will have the opportunity to explore their own ideas. All will start their own sketchbook and come away with the confidence and inspiration needed to establish a lasting habit.

The Session: Your Sketchbooking Journey


In the morning, Emma will provide you with an introduction to sketchbooking with watercolours. You will then explore the grounds at Hawkwood, sketching outside and focusing on the walled gardens and spring bulbs in the orchard.

After lunch, we will finish the day by collecting found objects – egg shells and seasonal plants – to illustrate. This is also a great time to dip into garden journaling for those green fingered students, so there’s an alternative option to sketch seeds and seed packets for your spring sowings and record them in your pocket sketchbook.

"Drawing, like many other art forms, aids in relaxation and stress relief by forcing us to pay attention to details in the environment, which mimics the experience of mediation."


Hawkwood is a stunning Grade II listed 19th Century country house, surrounded by 42 acres of sustainably managed woodland, farmland, and gardens. Set in the heart of the Cotswolds – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – it is a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. With a diverse selection of nearly 150 courses, there’s plenty to choose from, including courses in transformative leadership, future thinking, inner life, music and the arts. Our programme of courses is led by experienced tutors and leaders in their fields.

What Is Included

During your healing day workshop, you will get to enjoy fresh, delicious home-cooked lunches and all refreshments!  Our food is prepared daily with love and care by our experienced in-house kitchen team here at Hawkwood.

Additional Activities

Mindful walking through our woodland trails
Meditate in our Woodland Sanctuary
Go on a hike and explore the Cotswolds AONB
Discover surrounding charming market towns


“Such a relaxing and enjoyable day. The course was informative and gave lots of constructive ideas about how to approach drawing and painting, whilst giving you the confidence to embrace your own style. Thank you so much.”
Previous Course Participant
“Great range of activities with the perfect balance of information giving and structured tasks and time to apply what we had learnt.”
Previous Course Participant

Price Options

£110 Day Course + Two-Course Lunch


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Practical Information

All materials are included in this class. Provided for use on the day are: Watercolours, Brushes, Pens, Pencils, and Charcoal. You're welcome to bring any other materials with you that you'd like to experiment with, provided that they're suitable for small scale sketchbook work (oil paints would not be suitable, for example). You'll each be provided with an A5 watercolour sketchbook to take home. Please note that as elements of this course will be taking place outside you may wish to bring warm, weather proof clothes and comfortable footwear.

Course begins at 9:30am, you're welcome to arrive from 9:15am. The course will finish with tea and cake at 4pm.

Emma Leyfield

Specialising in observational watercolours, Emma is passionate about traditional methods of drawing that are being lost as digital art takes the stage. This is visible in her work, which is inspired by the illustrators of the Golden age and is often referred to as nostalgic; reminding the viewer of their childhood. This impression is emphasised by the subjects she choses, which capture the wonder and curiosity of the world around her, with particular focus on British plants and wildlife.

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