COURSES - Art & Painting

Renaissance Art & Painting Courses

For details of 2012 art classes and workshops in the UK please visit our other website :


22nd – 29th September 2012   France

“Colouring the Spirit”

Anne Bennison

 Anne Bennison

More than just a painting holiday, this practical one-week course retreat will give you an complete experience of the various styles and methods of painting and drawing. You will study several different genres, including still life, portraiture, landscape and imaginative art as well using various mediums, such as oils, acrylics, pastels, pencil, charcoal, pen & inks. Towards the end of the week you feel confident to choose a medium that you feel comfortable with and a subject that will inspire you.

Each morning we will start with a pre-breakfast meditation, which will help prepare and relax you for the day. Meditation helps to develop confidence, creativity and imagination.

Throughout the day we will also practice some simple and gentle energy bodywork, relaxation, breathing and Dreaming exercises. These exercises help deepen the connection between Spirit and Self. A good relationship with Mind, Body and Spirit can bring vigour, freshness and depth to your creativity.

As daily warm-ups I would like to start each day with preliminary sketches, so that students can become familiar with their subject first. We will also be re-learning how to ‘see’, in order to discover the many creative and artistic possibilities, as well as the truth, of each subject. Then I would like to introduce different painting mediums. Towards the end of the week I expect you will be confident enough to choose a medium that you are comfortable with and a subject which will inspire you.

At the end of the course you will have created several pictures using a variety of mediums. You will have studied a wide and extensive array of techniques and subjects, and have developed your confidence and imagination. Students will also be able to take their work home.

A typical daily schedule might look like this:

Day 1

Still Life

After Breakfast
10 – 11.30am
Welcome and general introduction. Discussion about relevant Art experience and goals amongst students. Propose sketch /tonal drawing of still life already set up outdoors. Talk about composition, light and art materials. This will be a preliminary to painting the subject in oils.

After break
12 –1.30pm
Introduce the subject of oil painting – its properties, advantages and disadvantages. Begin painting still life in oils.

After lunch
2.30 – 4.00pm Continue painting.

After break
4.30 – 6.30/7.00pm Painting, discussion about still life artists, students own evaluation of materials.

Dinner 7.30pm/8pm onwards

Day 2


10 – 11.30am Choose a landscape from the garden as a subject. Discuss composition, perspective. Preliminary drawing and sketching.

12 – 1.30pm Introduce acrylics as a painting medium. Discuss relevant merits.

2.30 – 4.00pm Continue painting.

4.30 – 6.30/7.00pm Painting, discussion about landscape artists, possibly watch DVD about portrait painting, which would link in with next day’s subject – self portraiture.

Dinner 7.30pm/8pm onwards

Day 3


10.00 – 11.30am Preliminary self-portrait sketch/drawing.

12.00 –1.30pm Introduce dry pastels and oil pastels. Finish self-portrait using these materials.

Afternoon, possible visit to local art gallery/town of Aubeterre Sur Dronne, voted most beautiful village in France. Inspired by this magical town, we will gather information and make sketches in preparation for day four. As our ’half-day’, students will have the opportunity to either continue with their work or to socialise and relax. We suggest that this is a good time if you want to going sightseeing or visit some of the many fine local restaurants, cafes and tourist spots. If you desire an evening out or wish to explore the area, our house manager can give you more information. Please ask us for more details when you arrive.

Imaginative Painting and Drawing

10 – 11.30am Painting from the imagination. Discuss subject matter, composition. Preliminary sketching/drawing.

12.00 – 1.30pm Introduce watercolour, pen and ink / washes as painting medium. Start painting using either/or these mediums

2.30 – 4.00pm painting,

4.30 – 6.30/7.00pm Painting, discuss relevant artists, personal relevance of subject if applicable.

Dinner 7.30pm/8pm onwards

Day 5 & 6

Daily format the same as rest of week but you’ll capitalize on what has been learnt. Students now have the freedom to choose their preferred subject and medium. Building on what has already been learnt in the week, students work on their finished pieces, with a view to taking them home after the course. Final evening discussion and/or lecture of the relevant artists and subjects. Finally we help you create your own unique “Dreams & Actions” plan, specially designed for you to take home and continue with your newfound confidence and creativity.

This course retreat is suitable for complete beginners to intermediate level.