You can release the realism and make looser, more expressive, more abstract art

Does your art often get tighter and tighter until your paintings feel overworked?

Do you find it hard to stop yourself making realistic art, especially when you use reference images?

Do you want to loosen up your painting style so it's a bit {or a lot} more abstract?

You are not alone and you can change this! 

This is one of the most common frustrations among both beginner and more experienced artists. You want to shake ingrained habits of making detailed, representational art and make paintings that feel more reflective of your emotions, experiences, and inner world, but it's not always as easy as it seems. 

Many of us come from an educational system which prizes realism and accuracy over wild abandon, and it can feel hard to break out of that mindset that says 'good art = realistic art', even if logically you know it isn't necessarily true. 

Not to mention that taking off all the parameters and safety nets you're so used to, and stepping up to a blank canvas with no prior plan or starting point can feel completely overwhelming.

But you know there's more - inside you, within the process, and in terms of what you could create - and you want to find out how to access it. Enter Loosen Up!

"I feel I have finally loosened up with the brush and that I can honestly say that I'm not so worried or indeed stressed about having things 'looking right' all the time. "

CB, student

This course is for you if:


  • You're tired of getting stuck making tight, realistic art
  • You want to make art that feels as deliciously free to create as it looks when finished
  • You want to learn how to make your art more abstract, whether just a little or all the way
  • You're open to moving beyond your own boundaries, perceived limitations, and 'yes buts'
  • You love to explore and experiment and don't need {or no longer want} step by step instructions
  • You're not daunted by a challenge to your status quo

"What a liberating course - I learned so much about letting go!"

MB, student


About the teacher

I'm Tara, your friendly artist, teacher, and creative encourager. :)

I believe that deep down we all want our art to be a true expression of who we are and how we experience the world. My courses are about uncovering that part of us and allowing our art to reveal it. It takes time and perserverance, but it's possible.

I used to find myself continually frustrated by my apparent inability to make the kind of expressive, free art I knew was inside me. Like many, I was taught that realism was what proved you were 'good at art', and while that stood me in good stead in many ways, it wasn't where I wanted to stay.

Over the past decade I've been exploring, experimenting, and making a lot of mess in the name of freedom of artistic self expression. In this course I'm sharing some of my favourite ways to loosen up your art. I share different approaches, tips, advice, and little tricks I've learned along the way, so that you can broaden and deepen your repertoire and understanding, and explore a variety of 'ways in' to painting to find those that suit you best. 

Loosening up your art is, I've found, a process. But it's a fantastically fun process because of its inherent freedom. Realism can be a bit more like maths - being based on outside reference, you can 'get it wrong'.

Free, expressive art comes from inside you, so there IS no right and wrong beyond what you feel. It certainly helps to have some understanding of things like composition, values, and colour, but ultimately, this art comes from within. It's about the truth of you, and that will always be beautiful.

If the following sound like what you're looking for next in your art, I think you're going to love this course:

  • Greater artistic freedom
  • More 'you' in your art
  • A looser approach
  • A more naturally playful attitude
  • Greater confidence and joy in what you can create
  • Varying ways in to more abstract art


What's Included

Lesson 1: Warm Up & Setting the Scene

Something fun and easy to get you started, plus a little trick I like to use to keep me focused when making abstract work

Lesson 2: Make Your Own Brushes

A fun and creative way to make unique marks and explore notions of freedom in mark making

Lesson 3: Sketchbook Explorations

Using sketchbooks to experiment and inspire yourself without pressure and with a great deal of playing

Lesson 4: Making Multiples

Harnessing the power of many to keep your work loose and spontaneous

Lesson 5: Asemic Writing

Painting is about discovering your own personal language; now we're going to put it into 'words'!

Lesson 6: Monoprinting 3 Ways

Harness the inherent lack of control in this fun technique to explore further freedom in your art

Lesson 7: Wet on Wet Colour Portraits 

Forget about trying to 'get a likeness' - this exercise is going to open up the idea of what a portrait can be!

Lesson 8: Abstract Landscapes

Discover how to take a landscape you love and make it your own

Lesson 9: Discover the Painting

A fascinating, intuitive approach to avoiding realism and making true-to-you art

+ Bonus Lessons + resources

Articles and videos to support you in your loosening up practice

This course (plus lots more)
​​​​​​​is available inside the
Happy Artist Studio!
​​​​​​​Click here to learn more.

Valued at £197

  • 20+ video lessons designed to shake up your current practice {without replacing it unless you want to} and get you approaching your art in new and exciting ways
  • Extra resources and bonus lessons to enrich your learning
  • Instant access to the full course so you can start when you're ready and take it at your own pace

Visit the Happy Artist Studio

Questions & Answers

How much does the course cost?

The course is valued at £197. {Approx. $255 USD}

You can find out what that is in your currency HERE.

However, now that it's available inside the Happy Artist Studio, you can access it for just £49 per month or £539 per year. With the annual option you get one month free.

How does it work?

Once you register, you'll receive an email with all the details on how to access the Studio containing Loosen Up and all the other courses. It's all available to you with ongoing access for as long as you're a member, and is yours to start whenever you're ready, and to take at your own pace. 

What will I need to take the course?

If you're already making art you likely have a lot of the supplies already, and I encourage creative use of materials rather than rigidly sticking to 'the list', as this helps develop the loosened up mindset and the autonomous muscle. :) There's a downloadable PDF list of the main materials I use in the videos inside the classroom, and any extra materials with specific lessons, although this is by no means prescriptive.

Would this course be suitable for beginners?

Yes! While I do think a basic grounding in art principles such as composition and values are helpful in strengthening your work, I don't think they're necessary to make art with pleasure, satisfaction, and self expression. All the exercises in the course are easy, fun, and adaptable, and I make suggestions for taking them further with your own twist. There's lots of room for experimentation, as always, but with enough guidance to not feel overwhelmed with possibilities.

Can I see a sample lesson?

Yes you can! Click here.

More questions? Great! Click here to contact me.