Plein Air Painting Workshops in Italy

      Plein Air Painting Workshop in Umbria, Italy
with Mitchell Albala
September 17–24, 2019

Venue:  Castello di Petroia

Dates:  September 17–24, 2019

Instructor:  Mitchell Albala

Cost:  $3100 for a standard room.  Upgrade to a suite for an additional $375.
 There are a limited number of standard rooms after they are full, additional signups will be automatically upgraded to a suite.  Register by March 12th and receive a $150 discount.  Non-painting guests are welcome to share a room with a painting participant and enjoy all the meals and activities without painting for an additional $2600 (space limited).

TO REGISTER: Contact your host Martha Jordan via or call (206) 715-6663


Join landscape painter and best-selling author Mitchell Albala, along with your host Martha Jordan, founder and owner of Winslow Art Center and Italy Art Experience for an unforgettable plein air painting adventure in Umbria, Italy. Martha Jordan has been organizing painting workshops in Italy for over six years and has established relationships with many of the best hotels and restaurants in Italy.Our 2019 painting adventure takes us to a restored hilltop castle near the town of Gubbio in the province of Perugia in Umbria (approximately 40 miles from Perugia, 130 miles from Rome, or 100 miles from Florence.)  Our home base, lodging, and locale for our painting excursions is the Castle of Petrolia, nestled atop a hill with majestic views in every direction.


Our home for six days and seven nights will be the Castello di Petroia, an authentic medieval fortress dating back to the 9th –10th centuries. Situated in Umbria, “the green heart of Italy,” and resting atop a hill between Perugia and Gubbio, the castle offers spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. The castle was restored between 1982 and 1990 with an eye toward preserving the authentic medieval structure. It offers beautifully appointed rooms in luxury accommodations, a warm friendly staff, and an acclaimed restaurant.

The covered terrace at the top of the castle with its magnificent views will act as our dedicated workshop studio for painting and as a meeting place for critiques. The castle is surrounded by 600 acres of farmland where you will find spectacular vistas for painting, over eight miles of walking and horse riding trails, meadows and woods, and a variety of animals. There are a large swimming pool and a horse stable with Friesian horses on the grounds (horseback riding may be arranged).

There are three buildings inside the fortress walls:

Medieval Tower: original with its amazing top terrace.

Castellare Maggiore: the main structure, where the Noble family apartments were.

Castellare Minore “the smaller building”: where the guardians of the Castle used to live.

Visit the Castello di Petroia website and check out the amazing photos of the accommodations and views.


Our group will rendezvous in Rome on Tuesday, Sept. 17 and shuttle from there to our location in Umbria. For those traveling from other locations, or not arriving in Rome, please make your own arrangements to arrive at Castello di Petroia at midday on the 17th.

  • 7 nights accommodation at Castello di Pertroia. Prices are based on single occupancy with ensuite bathroom.
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 6 lunches
  • 7 dinners, including wine
  • 6 days of art instruction with Mitchell Albala
  • Day excursion by private transportation to Gubbio
  • Wifi


  • Airfare
  • Travel insurance
  • Painting supplies
  • Hands-on cooking lessons (additional fee)
  • Independent meals, independent sight-seeing, personal expenses
  • Gratuities


Mitchell is a generous, playful, and informative instructor. His plein air workshops offer the painter a perfect balance of guided instruction and free painting. This workshop is ideally suited for those with previous painting experience who now want to hone their plein air painting skills, or for those who simply want the thrill of painting the Italian landscape with the added benefit of guidance from an accomplished workshop instructor. You’ll be part of a close-knit Italian “art colony” as you benefit from demonstrations and lectures, personal and group critiques, and frequent art chats. Mitchell will demonstrate in oil, but the lessons (e.g., color, composition, site selection) are applicable to all media.

Supplies: A supply list will be issued in April.

Level: This is not a class for first-time painters (those who have never painted or mixed color at all); however, it is ideally suited for those who want to break into plein air painting, or for those who want the thrill of painting the Italian landscape with an instructor’s guidance. Suitable for oilpastel and acrylic painters.

  • Site Selection – Landscape painting begins with site selection. What conditions do we look for in a subject? Which views are best?
  • Composition – Begin with a limited focus and compositional thumbnails. What information should be left out, and what should be kept in?
  • Visual hierarchy and simplification – Learn how to prioritize and simplify your masses and translate the vastness and detail of the landscape into simplified compositions.
  • Smart Starts – Learn how to begin a painting with a simplified and shape-oriented block-in.
  • Color – Explore color as it specifically relates to landscape painting. Learn how a limited palette simplifies color mixing and helps achieve a unified light.


On most days, we will paint in a morning session  (9 am-noon) and an afternoon session (approximately 3:00 – 6:00 pm). Sessions are timed for optimal lighting. On one day, our morning and afternoon will be taken up by an excursion to Gubbio (specific day to be determined).

Day 1 / Tuesday 9/17
10:30 AM shuttle from Rome to Umbria (2-½ hour trip).

Days 2 – 7
6 days of instruction

8 / Tuesday 9/24
11 AM departure to Rome

Testimonial from a Travel Workshop Participant

“I feel so fortunate to have attended one of the Winslow Art Center travel workshops in Italy.  Martha is so thoughtful in the way she plans these trips.  Careful attention is placed on the location, food, setting, instructor, and overall agenda.  There is a wonderful balance within the week—with time to enjoy the sites as well as quality painting time.  The instructors are all well qualified, talented, fun, and attentive. There is an overall feeling of comradery, professionalism, and family. Our group definitely formed a special bond that I will never forget.”


Mitchell Albala’s teaching résumé includes 20 years at Gage Academy of Art in Seattle, as well as Pacific NW Art School, Winslow Art Center, and Daniel Smith Artist’s Materials. He led painting adventures in Italy in 2015 with Arte Umbria, in 2017 with Winslow Art Center, and will do so again in 2019. Mitchell has lectured on landscape painting and Impressionism at the Seattle Art Museum and is the author of the best-selling book Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice. He also hosts a popular painting blog which was awarded the #12 spot on’s Top 75 Painting Blogs.

See more of Mitch’s work.

Contact your host Martha Jordan via or call (206) 715-6663