3/2020: IN-PERSON KYOTO CLASSES TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED
Please check out the online options for this course.
Celebrating 2+ years of sketchbook watercolor classes in Kyoto, Japan!
Cost is 8,300 yen per person (approximately $75 US )
I can also offer private, custom-tailored half or full day classes: please email me for more information!
The Art of Travel Sketchbooking in Kyoto
Does your camera remember your trips better than you do? Slow down and go analogue with travel sketchbooking. We’ll spend a relaxing afternoon learning how to capture Kyoto’s charm and beauty with a sketchbook and compact watercolor kit.
Not only will I show you how to paint what we see during the experience, I’ll give you tips, tricks, and ideas for continuing to use your new compact watercolor sketching kit for the rest of your stay in Japan, and for your next adventures as well.
I’ll guide you through neighborhoods, temples, shrines, and riverside parks in search of inspiration, and of course: relaxation.
Small, Private Classes
Standard classes are 3.5 hours in length and include professional artist instruction by me personally as well as all supplies, including an ultra-compact watercolor sketchbook kit (paints, waterbrush, and sketchbook) that’s yours to keep.
These classes are available in many different areas of Kyoto and can be customized to your interests. These are my recommended areas, but feel free to contact me for other itineraries.
NOTE: Classes booked through AirBnB are NOT private, however they are small (5 people maximum.)
Canals, sake breweries, and sacred shrines
We’ll get our start in the southern Fushimi area. Peppered with sake breweries and laced with old canals that used to be the arteries of commerce in days gone by, it’s the perfect setting to try out your new watercolor kit and learn some basics.
After that, we’ll stroll through a retro shopping arcade and hop a train to the nearby Fushimi Inari shrine, famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates that wind up a forested mountain slope.
Bamboo forests, scenic bridges, and monkeys
Beginning in a park at the river’s edge, we’ll hone our skills by capturing the famous Togetsu-kyo bridge that has inspired countless artists over the centuries. Then, we’ll make our way up to the Arashiyama Monkey Park, where we’ll watch Japanese monkeys frolic and get a crash-course in sketching our lively subjects. We’ll be treated to a fantastic view of the city from our high vantage point.
After our fun, we’ll pass though the bustling shopping streets to the bamboo forest, where tunnels of bamboo create endless painting possibilities.
Gion and Higashiyama
Narrow streets, grand riverside views, and classic Kyoto sophistication
This area of Kyoto is packed with travelers from all over the world, and for good reason: it’s stunning! But fear not: there are countless escapes from the busy main attractions to be found, such as the serene willow-lined Shiragawa river and tiny alleyways.
Locals relax on the banks of the Kamogawa river, where one can see the not-so-distant mountains and enjoy scenic seasonal views (cherry blossoms in the spring, lush green leaves in the summer, autumn leaves, and the occasional dusting of snow in the winter.)
The Philosopher’s Path
Temples, teahouses, and history
Lined with trees and teahouses catering to weary travelers, this pleasant walk through Kyoto’s eastern side is brimming with opportunities to capture its beauty with your sketchbook.
See famous temples, an old city aqueduct, and charming views of everyday life in Kyoto.
Shrines, gardens, and peace where two rivers meet
Fewer tourists choose to go to this area just a few train stations away from the busy heart of the city. Those who go are rewarded with the best views of Kyoto’s famous river, the Kamogawa, as well as the opportunity to take in Kyoto’s Botanical Gardens and two of its oldest shrines.