The Painting Workshop 2024

art lesson tete-a-tete
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Art Courses in the South West of France, specializing in plein-air painting in the warm southern light.


becasue teh wrld is more beautiful when you paint

Plein-Air, Colour & Light

Our courses specialize in plein-air painting with a focus on colour & light. Or, if you want to paint in the studio, you can work with flowers, portraits or semi-abstracts.

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You’re in the South of France. Chances are it’s sunny. Want to get outside and paint? We’ll lend you a sun umbrella!

You will improve your use of colour as a painter if you tune your colours with precision to the unique quality of daylight. This painting course will show exactly how to mix your colours, make colors sing, as well as many other instructions about how to paint ‘en plein air’ on the spot. This art course is for you, if you’re hungry for colour & sunlight.

cartoon painter painting en plein-air
Painter Painting ‘en plein-air’

You can not fully develop your vision by painting in a studio all the time. You must get outside to learn to paint correctly. – Henry Hensche

Painting Mediums

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Come & paint in watercolour or oils & fast-drying alkyds.

We advise that you paint in alkyds rather than acrylics. Acrylics can dry too quickly in the sun, so think about painting in alkyds rather than acrylics. You can ‘rent’ a set of alkyds to give them a try. You will find that they are much better in sunny weather than acrylics. Acrylics dry within minutes & the palette stiffens up, whilst alkyds remain ‘open’ & useable on the palette & painting surface. However, alkyds dry quicker than oils, thus they are easier to pack & bring back home. We help you pack your paintings for your return home.

You’re welcome to try acrylics in the sunshine if you wish (good luck…).

The studio has easels, tables, boards, aprons, sun umbrellas, solvents, etc. You will be given a comprehensive materials list & advice as to how to pack. Adam’s teaching notes have evolved over the years into a ‘how to paint’ book, so you’ll get hand-outs.

Trouble-Free Travel

We offer the possibility of ‘renting’ a complete set of alkyd & oil paints. You can also preorder canvas boards in advance from us. Just bring your own brushes & sketchbook.

Typical Daily Time Table

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  • 8hr – 9hr : Breakfast
  • 9hr10 – 12hr30 : Art Lesson in Group or Demonstration (with a coffee break)
  • 13hr: Lunch
  • 14hr30 – 17hr30 : Tutored Individual Painting Time (with a tea break)
  • 19hr : Evening meal

N.B. May change with the needs of the group or the weather.

Art Lessons in Group

Structured lessons where you can learn the skills of painting. Together in group, in the mornings. Demonstrations, ‘See One, Do One’.

The tempo is adapted to your needs. Opt in or opt out as you wish.

‘How to Paint a Tree’ Demo 2012. Château de Beduer

Creativity is like crabgrass — it springs back with the simplest bit of care. I taught people how to bring their creative spirit the simple nutrients and nurturance they needed to keep it fed. ”

Julia Cameron

Quiet Time

Lots of quiet time for you to paint as you wish, free of distractions & worries, supported with one-to-one tuition with the teacher.

Learn from Other Students

You learn best in a friendly, stimulating atmosphere. Sometimes there’s laughter; sometimes there’s the silence of deep concentration. There’s a group energy that carries you forward & shows you different solutions. Meet people from all over the world. Painters have always sought friendly exchange with other painters. This gives you a golden opportunity to share this strange passion.

All Levels

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A warm welcome to all adults, all abilities and all levels. From absolute beginners to those looking for an advanced level painting course.

Easy to Understand Tuition That Ensures You Make Real Progress

I’ve never painted before. Is The Art Course Right for Me?

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The course is absolutely fine for absolute beginners. Just bring along your desire to learn, your paints & your holiday spirit, that’s all. It’s OK to drop your brush on the floor. We’ve all done it many times. Eventually, with practice, you stop dropping your brush & the paintings start to happen. You learn painting by actually painting. So go on, leap in the deep end. Make a fresh start. The act of beginning will open up doors for you. Intriguing paths open for you. Things will happen for you… You have begun.

Buy a paint-box, and have a try.”

Winston Churchill

winston churchil painting

Have a look at these two paintings by ‘absolute beginners’ after their first painting course:

‘Neil’s Absinthe’ – Acrylic
‘Lime Tree’ – Watercolour

The effort to see things without distortion demands a kind of courage; and this courage is essential to the artist, who has to look at everything as though he were seeing it for the first time.” Matisse on Beginner’s Mind.

“I so enjoyed your enthusiastic introduction to painting. I have since joined an art class & been painting on a holiday at my cousin’s holiday home. Really loving this new found pleasure – Thank you!

Helen, Scotland.

Learn the Basic Skills of Painting

In the structured lessons, you will learn or relearn the basic skills of painting. These are practical, hands-on and where you experiment with the core components of painting:

  • Learn how to look in a way that will help you paint
  • Drawing
  • Tonality
  • Colour
  • Composition
  • Materials & Basic Techniques
  • How to paint ‘en plein air’ & sketch on the spot

I’ve observed that I begin to truly understand when I learn it in more than one way. Go over it again with a new teacher.We are all just (re)learning the basics. Then occasionally, something new comes up. Don’t be in a rush. Deepen. Explore. Discover.

Example of a Demonstration of a Painting Technique
– Adam

Learn to Look

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Once we start to draw, all of a sudden we begin to see again. Were we so blind? How could we have ignored the beauty, the intricacies of these ‘simplest things,’ the convoluted network of veins in an oak leaf, the graceful curve of the clover’s stem, the starry splendor of humble dandelion, the voluptuous curves of a green pepper? . . . It is more than drawing pictures: it is a meditation-in-action on That Which Matters, a veritable breakthrough, an awakening from the years of non-seeing, from the coma of looking-at to firsthand seeing. It is as if the innocent eye of childhood is reawakened through the unjaded eye of the artist… The moment the eye opens up, all becomes equally fascinating, equally inspiring, equally pregnant with meaning.”

Frederick Franck. Zen Seeing, Zen Drawing: Meditation in Action

Artist’s hands sketching, exploring & carefully observing. Note the slow & precise care & sensitivity of this artist. Drawing whilst traveling is a wonderful voyage of discovery. After having spent even ten minutes drawing, you get to know the subject in a way that casually walking past in ‘tourist mode’ & snapping it with a camera can’t give.

Learning to draw is really a matter of learning to see – to see correctly – and that means a good deal more than merely looking with the eye.

– Kimon Nicolaides, The Natural Way to Draw
The more you look, the more you see. Translating eye-sight into painting is a complicated busin

When we see keenly enough, there is very little difficulty in drawing what we see; but, even supposing that this difficulty be still great, I believe that the sight is a more important thing than the drawing.

– Ruskin

A Painting Course for Advanced Level Painters

The line between intermediate & advanced is fairly subtle. But when a painter has crossed it & developed beyond, you can see it. It’s just a title, a name tag, a box… painting isn’t a competitive sport… and each painter must decide for herself if her painting is any good (that’s not the teacher’s job) … But why not go have a look at some of these examples of previous student’s work & decide for yourself.

Going to a new place & having some fresh input can recharge your creative batteries.This course is flexible to your personal style & learning needs. You will:

  • Have uncluttered time to focus on your own personal practice.
  • Be given help & suggestions with the practicalities & techniques.
  • Have all the practical stuff covered (atelier, materials, painting spots, etc)
  • Dialogue with a practicing mid-career painter, who will encourage the development of your personal style.
  • Make your next step. This can be difficult without support. This workshop hopes to give you that extra boost.
  • The energy of a group of other painters & responding to a new setting can inspire.