31st August -05th September 2024 Florence Watercolour Course

August 31, 2024 – September 5, 2024 all-day
31st August -05th September 2024 Florence Watercolour Course

Treat yourself to this fantastic opportunity to paint water colours in the beautiful Renaissance city of Florence. It doesn’t really get any better than this for artists. Soak up the ambience and culture of this famous historical city. Allow your experienced tutor to guide you around from one inspirational backdrop to another. Learn to paint quickly with impressionistic flair through expert tuition from your Academy trained tutor. Whether you’re into the illustrious facades of the ancient cathedrals and palazzos or the grand spaces of Florence’s many piazzas, you really couldn’t be in better hands.
With this tour, you will learn to compose interesting urban scenes with famous landmarks as your focal points which will wow your friends and family alike! Locations may include the Ponte Vecchio, Santa Croce, Il Duomo, The Boboli Gardens and views of the Arno.

Course Price:

Room Type6 Days
Twin/Double en-suite p.p.€ 1.950
Single Room en-suite p.p.€ 2.050

Deposit: non-refundable 

Full amount due: 21 days prior to course start date

For our full cancellation policy see our Terms & Conditions

Double/Twin Occupancy Deposit €500.00 p.p.

Single Occupancy Deposit €500.00 p.p.


Contact Us for more details.

This Retreat takes place in the magnificent historic monastery in the heart of Florence. A heaven for peace and tranquility with a typical walled inner court-yard and gardens, frescoed ceilings and walls and antique corridors.
The rooms in this B&B are simply furnished, and the focus is on providing tranquility and a place for reflection and relaxation in this busy city, yet you will find all the modern conveniences provided for a comfortable stay.


Breakfast is included at our accommodation at Borgo Pinti.Dinners will be taken at carefully chosen Trattorias to provide a varied and local Tuscan cuisine from local fresh ingredients. Salads and a vegetarian option are also on offer. All meals are set for the week and include water and a glass of wine. If you are vegetarian or have dietary issues please ensure that this is stated on the guest registration form at the time of booking.

Lunches are not included in this course and guests have the opportunity to eat at a location of their choice after the morning painting session or use the time to explore more of Florence on their own accord.

Water colour can be both a challenging medium and an exciting one that offers huge scope for experimentation and unusual effects. Many techniques have been around for centuries and still form the foundation of water colour work.

These need to be mastered first- without knowing how to lay a wash or work, wet-in-wet for example, little progress can be made. But it does not take long to become familiar with these processes and then the enjoyable part of experimentation can begin.

Day 1

15:00 onwards check in at Borgo Pinti

19:00 welcome dinner

Day 2

9:00-12:00 Drawing and Painting foundation in the peaceful setting of the monastery.

Lunch Break

15:00-17:00 Colour theory workshop.

After a brief introduction to our materials and equipment, we start by considering drawing. Using an aquarelle stick (a special pencil with water soluble graphite) we make sketches of an architectural detail or a building. We will consider tonal value, edge quality, and perspective. A demonstration of drawing strategies and how to create washed effects will be followed by approx. 2hrs of practical time.

In the Afternoon, Colour Theory will be introduced, students will make a model which instructs the student how to mix secondary colours from primary and tertiary colours from a primary and a secondary. The model expands into neutrals and tints and black. It is designed for more advanced students, but is recommended to beginners as it thoroughly explains how all pigment colours can in theory be mixed from yellow, cyan and magenta. Which will be very useful when we use our set of paints and how the colours are related or not.

Day 3
9:00-12:00 Putting things in perspective!

‘Street view’ water colour workshop with composition based around single point perspective principles. Now we understand colour and how to draw, we can begin to paint. We will find a not so busy street view which will be chosen because it is a one-point perspective view. A demonstration of how to draw a one-point perspective scene will be followed by a demonstration of how to prime the paper for washes. Instruction about how to proceed to lay in colours from the background to the mid- ground and then to the foreground, will be emphasized by the use of ‘Action Lines’ in our composition.
Techniques-wet on dry, dry brush.

Lunch Break

15:00-17:00 Water colour painting demonstration and practical.

The afternoon gives plenty of opportunity for the student to complete their study, or if complete, find another one-point perspective view and begin a new study.

Day 4

9:00-12:00 ‘Piazza view’ Two-point perspective and composition design.
We will walk to one of the famous squares in Florence. Two-point perspective will be introduced followed by a demonstration of how to draw out a simple two-point perspective view of part of the square.

Compositional concerns will be discussed and enlightened by the use of a viewfinder. There, we can create a Two-point perspective view and lay in watercolours. We will use flat wash to create a background sky. Techniques-Flat wash, lifting out, hard edges

Lunch Break

15:00-17:00 Water-colour demonstration and practical.
The afternoon will give an opportunity to complete any unfinished work, or begin a new study from a different viewpoint.

Day 5 

9:00-12:00 Guided tour and Gallery visit to the Bargello Gallery, home to the finest collection of Renaissance statues in Florence.
15:00-17:00 Vista-view with demonstrations and practical.

We will take a little tour over the other side of the river to the rose garden of the Rose Gardens. From here we will see an uninterrupted panorama of Florence. We will make a study using a toned ground, but before we paint we will then apply a mask to highlight areas to protect prominent building outlines and highlights. We will work quickly building up layers of colour as we come forward in the painting through the cityscape, trying to keep brushstrokes loose to convey an impressionist feel.

Techniques-Masking, reserving highlights, applying glazes, spattering, scumble glaze. Techniques: Graded washes, wet-in-wet, granulation, soft-edges, running in and scraping back. Afternoon gives more time to complete this complicated scene.

The course will be concluded with a critique of the work achieved during the course over aperitivi and a farewell dinner.

Day 6 Breakfast

Check-out by 11:00 am

Materials supplied: Winsor & Newton Watercolours, a selection of Kolinsky sable brushes, aprons, watercolour paper/sketchbook A4, carry caddy, etc. Some more experienced painters may wish to bring some of their own brushes and paints out of preference.

Gallery visit included to either the Pity Palace, Boboli Gardens, Uffizi or Bargello Museum.

Evening time leaves you free to relax and enjoy the city of Florence.

Non-painters: Non-painters are welcome on all our painting excursions and outings where there is plenty of opportunity for sight-seeing and exploring the beautiful city of Florence.


Breakfast 7:30am-9:00am
9:00 am: Instructor meets you at reception, then it will be a walk to the
painting location, all materials needed will be supplied, but you may need to
take spending money for coffee breaks etc, some sunscreen and appropriate clothing for the day.

12:00: end morning workshop. However you may wish to continue working or return to B+B or go for lunch at a location of your choice.

Lunch Break

15:00-17:00: Workshop continues at morning location. Those who have finished work can be given a new task by the instructor. Review of work .
19:30: Dinner at the restaurant.

The schedule may be subject to change due to weather, seasonal festivities and other reasons beyond our control.

There are 4 days of tuition included of which one morning or afternoon will be dedicated to a group gallery visit. Your instructor will provide the ticket (included) and guide you through the gallery. On the last evening before your departure, there will be a review of the group’s work and an aperitivi to celebrate before your leaving dinner!


  • 5 nights accommodation with breakfast and evening meals
  • 4 mornings tuition and afternoon program of study with critique of your work in the evening
  • all materials, Winsor and Newton watercolour paints, Kolinsky sable brushes, drawing equipment, incl. watercolour sketchbook
  • guided tour of Florence’s historic art museums


This course is based at a charming monastery in the heart of Florence, a short walk from all the main attractions of this grand city. With beautifully frescoed walls and ceilings, a beautifully landscaped inner court-yard garden and cloister walk-ways, it makes a perfect peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle. Thus, allowing you to re-charge your batteries after a day’s painting and exploring this magnificent city through the eye of an artist. The rooms are simply and comfortably furnished, many reflecting the monastery’s history. Yet all the mod-cons for the modern-day traveler are provided.

Nearest major airports:

  • Florence Amerigo Vespucci International
  • Rome Leonardo da Vinci - Fumicino
  • Rome Ciampino
  • Pisa international
  • Bologna Giuglielmo Marconi

Comfortable casual clothing and sensible shoes for walking, sandals, for the summer and comfortable shoes for when we are out and about all day. It rains even in Italy, and at times heavily. A rain coat, umbrella, layered clothing, a hat and long sleeves for sun-protection are recommended.Adequate clothing for painting, clothes may get stained. Aprons will be provided.

Spring/Autumn: Days are usually mild and sunny but it can be cooler in the mornings and evenings. We recommend layers and a raincoat as well as a jumper.

What are the requirements for attending this course?

No prior drawing or painting experience is required. The course instruction is in English, and no Italian skills are required, though a few words may make your holiday experience more authentic when exploring on your own accord.


Florence is a busy but level urban location and an average degree of mobility is required to access the piazzas and painting locations. some locations, like the Bobble Gardens require walking up to an elevated site. You need to be able to move around freely and carry a moderate amount of water-colour equipment.

For Groups: If you are wishing to book a tour with your painting group, we are happy to arrange a specific course of your choice for you. Group discounts apply. Simply contact us with your requirements.

Non-painting partners are welcome at 15% reduced rate and can join us on all excursions.

Deposit: 25% non-refundable

Full amount due: 21 days prior to course start date

For our full cancellation policy see our Terms & Conditions

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