Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How to choose a painting holiday

This week I've got a short series of posts about painting holidays.
Monterchi Vines
8" x 10", coloured pencil on Arches HP

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Since my first painting holiday in Provence in 1989, I've been on a number of painting holidays in a wide variety of locations with various organisations and tutors. There's a vast number out there creating 'the best painting holiday ever' and there's an awful lot of options to choose from in terms of locations, organisations and tutors.

My experience over the years has taught me that there are a number of things to bear in mind when reviewing advertisements and literature. What I've tried to do is share an of outline some of the things to think about and mini checklists of questions to ask if you fancy the idea of booking a painting holiday.

In summary, good questions to to ask fall into three categories - as set out below.

Is this a business-like operation?
  • How long has the painting holiday business been operating?
  • How well qualified are they to deliver a painting holiday?
  • What does the documentation say?
Is the tutor competent and effective?
  • What sort of work does the tutor do?
  • What sort of approach is proposed?
  • How much time is given over to painting?
  • How much time is given to each student?
Do the logistics work for you?
  • Accommodation and meals: what's included?
  • Travel - what's included?
  • Insurance - how does this work?
  • Where are essential local facilities?
As this is a longer than normal(!) article I've decided to publish it as an article in pdf format on my website. It's available as a free download from A Making A Mark Guide - Painting Holidays.


  1. an excellent couple of articles

    I think the teacher must also be a good listener - picking up on the self doubts of students and original ideas, hesitantly put forward by others. They need to then develop both - boosting confidence in their ability and trying out things without worrying about failure - there isn't any failure, just learning.

  2. This all does make one want to go on a painting holiday, even those fortunately enough to live in a 'Painting Holiday Location' ;)

    I wish you'd been along yesterday when I was trying to capture a vineyard. Che bellezza is your play of light, shadow and form.

  3. I guess I'll just have to come and visit then! ;)

    The trick with vineyards is to get to them early morning or early evening when the shadows and colours are much more interesting. I find them very difficult to do around the middle of the day.

    I stared at this vineyard every day for days on end as I drove very slowly down a single track road. I spent ages working out options as to how to capture it so I had the small town of Monterchi in the background

    I can't leave this image alone either - it keeps coming back to be done again. You're even going to see another version with the next post!

  4. You probably guessed I was trying to paint my vineyard at high noon! No interesting shadows at all.

    Looking forward to your next version.

    Fancy you having painted this so close to where I live. Definitely time for a return visit!

  5. Robyn - if I come over for a visit we'll definitely go and paint at this spot.

    You can always have a go yourself before I get there! It's the tiny little side road from Citerna (the Via Madonna del Parto) which runs down to the main road into Monterchi. (see here) It has vineyards either side. The little chapel that used to house the Piero della Francesca Madonna del Parto - before it got 'preserved' and moved up to Monterchi proper - is just across the field to the right as you look at the drawing.

    And now I now have a new title for version #2.1 "The view from the Via Madonna del Parto" ! ;)


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