The one or two week painting drawing and mixed media courses are suitable for all levels of experience and ability, from absolute beginners to professional artists.

The tutors are highly experienced artists and teachers who will support you at a level appropriate to your needs, both within a group setting and individually. You will be able to extend your knowledge and understanding of art in a creative and relaxed atmosphere. Methods and techniques will be demonstrated in watercolour, oil, acrylic and mixed media.

There will be opportunities to use digital photography as a resource for realising your objectives. Sketchbook work will be a focus for investigation, but there will also be opportunities for more informed creations on a larger scale.

painting in Tuscany
Painting vacations in Tuscany

By working directly in the environment you will further your understanding of perception, analysis of perspective, composition, texture, form and colour. Life drawing will be available should the weather interrupt working outdoors.

The structure of our days remains flexible but specific activities take place in the morning and afternoon sessions. During your stay with us there will be three visits away from Val di Pozza for drawing and painting.These will be selected from the following; the vista of the lake and chapel at Pontecosi, the Duomo and its magnificent setting in Barga, the atmospheric hill top village of Sommocolonia, the historic mountain village at Fornovolasco, the classical views of Barga set below the Apennines, the medieval village of Cascio, the exquisite gardens at Palazza Salvi in Barga and the artists studio with its frescos in the splendid Cordatti studio. Images made during visits can be developed further in the studio

painting lessons in Italy
painting in Tuscany

Before dinner we will gather as a group to discuss our achievements of the day and to enjoy one of Mari’s cocktails! 

The studio is fully equipped with all materials and equipment that you are likely to need. 

Sculpture equipment and materials are available should you wish to work on ideas that require a three dimensional approach or to have fun with something new

Painting in Italy

Course Structure

Investigating materials and ideas

Developing creative thinking.

Preparation studies using timed activities

Sketching and notations

Confidence-building and risk-taking

Realism and abstraction

Plein air painting in oil/watercolour

Tone and colour mixing

Mark making and gesture



Sketchbook work as a ‘resource centre’

Selecting and framing

Acrylic painting

Canvas demonstration

Washes and glazes

Composition and layers

Painting without the brush

Changing the scale


Observation Drawing


Expressive and analytical drawing methods

Developing a visual language

Investigation of media

Style and representation


Mood and Atmosphere

Order and chance

Sketchbook review and enhancement

To celebrate the end of the course there will be an exhibition of guests’ work, an in depth discussion and critique, and a digital film show of your holiday. 

“The teaching and innovative ideas and help from Chris were inspirational.” Hillary Mitchel

“Thank you so much for re-awakening the creative passion which was beginning to become locked off inside of me.”Sarah Blanckenberg aged 20

“Dear Chris, I have met many tutors and you are absolutely one of the “best.” Thank you for your encouragement and kind words of inspiration. Grazie tanti” Maritza from Australia

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