Do you like to paint? Do you like to travel? Do you like to chat with like-minded people over dinner?

A great combination of all three is the painting workshop vacation.

These lie somewhere between the art group day trips, the art group tutored evenings and the touristic holiday travel experience.

They provide an art experience, which fall into two groups; painting with some holiday time or a holiday with some painting time. Depending on your desired learning expectation, you can have an intensive seven to ten days with one of the top art tutors, masters who concentrate on one particular media. Or a less intensive and much more relaxing time with a renowned fully experienced tutor who specialises in courses for beginners. Whichever is your preference, the one main connection will always be that you will be with like-minded people who are there, to some degree, to talk about art.

Whereas some tutors do not take beginners at all, others relish in teaching people from scratch. “Absolute beginners do not have bad habits to lose” as some tutors say. Some workshops will focus on a single media, such as watercolors, oils acrylics or pastels, while on others you can spend your time concentrating on landscapes, cityscapes, portraits or life studies.

These days of rush, rush, rush, not everyone can spare the time they would like to, to paint daily or even once per week but find painting a relaxing hobby that they would like to improve their skills on. Therefore a hands-on week with a tutor they admire, with little else to distract them is a great alternative for busy people.

There seem to be a vast number about these days, making the correct choice a difficult decision at times. The costs vary immensely depending on a multitude of facts, from a couple of hundred euros to a few thousand. Depending on the length of the workshop, the popularity and skill of the tutor and what else is included. If the accommodation is included what the standard is. The same applies of course to the meals are they sandwiches or five star. Are art materials and equipment supplied, or do you have to carry everything with you? Could be a problem if travelling abroad, navigating through airports is tough enough these days without the added burden of carrying easels, chairs plus paper etc.

So let’s try to sort through this sometimes confusing assortment of choices. What is the first step? Well, before you start, you need to know four things, your painting level, your preference of a painting holiday or holiday with painting, a relaxing time or someone to take you out of your comfort zone and of course the media you would like to partake in. Once these are decided you have to think about “where”. To stay at home, as it were, or to travel further afield. Europe is a popular destination, with residential workshop opportunities in many countries. Most use nearby hotels or guest houses but there are a few who offer accommodation within the art venue itself, just roll out of bed and into the studio, if you wish. The accommodation in these can vary immensely, from the rough and ready end of the market up to four or five star. Word of mouth is probably the safest way to find out which grade they are, as websites have been known to bend the truth. Do you wish to share or will you have to pay extra for that option, some places may not offer single accommodation at all or charge a supplement for the privilege. A few may offer all meals included and others just two meals a day, you having to find your own lunch. Are you travelling alone or with a painting friend or a non-painting partner? The cost for a non-painter is usually discounted if they share. Some places specialize in singles weeks or ladies only workshops.

At first glance the hundreds of workshop vacations advertised can appear quite daunting, just look through any of the art magazines around today. However you can use that volume to your advantage. Just looking through them can give you fresh ideas on locations, media and tutors. If one of the top tutors goes back to the same venue year after year, that can be a good sign that the venue organiser is one of the top ones with a good reputation.

As a prospective student, do not hold back in asking relevant questions of the organiser, you probably will not be asking anything which has not been asked before. Ask about the amount of individual attention you are likely to receive and how your work is assessed by the tutor, whether there are demonstrations, the recommended painting level of the workshop participants, the amount of studio space, the maximum number of students in the group, how many hours tuition is included and whether the week is more likely to feel like a vacation or an intense week of learning.

There was a time when it could be guaranteed that the participants on painting workshop vacations were mostly middle aged or older and female. This criteria seems to be changing these days with as many under 60’s as over, both male and female, although still more females.

So if you like to paint, like to travel, like to meet people from around the world and enjoy the company of like-minded people, begin packing your art gear and start looking for your ideal painting workshop vacation.

For more information:

Dalvaro Art Painting Holidays

0034 9622 172226

0034 61085 7136

Partida Ciperet 29

46830 Beniganim

Valencia (Spain)