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Plein Air Painting Workshops in Italy

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Plein Air Painting Adventure in Umbria, Italy

with Mitchell Albala

September 15–22, 2017

Cost: $2975
Non-painting guest in room with painting participant: $2200 (space limited)

Register and pay full amount by January 31, 2017 and receive $200 off the workshop tuition!

TO REGISTER: Contact Martha Jordan at Winslow Art Center: or call (206) 715-6663

›› Location / Overview
›› Workshop Description
›› Schedule

Join landscape painter and best-selling author Mitchell Albala, along with Winslow Art Center, for an unforgettable plein air painting adventure in Umbria, Italy. Winslow Art Center and director Martha Jordan, have been organizing painting adventures in Italy for over five years.


Our six days and seven nights in Umbria will be at a traditional, hilltop manor farm in the Provence of Terni, near historic Orvieto (mIdway between Florence and Rome). The farm, which has been owned and operated by the same family for three centuries, is comprised of 300 acres of vineyards, olive groves, and pastures. While the owners continue to grow and press olives and grapes and raise sheep, a number of the stone buildings have been tastefully converted to guest accommodations and a dining hall. Views in every direction are stunning, not the least of which is the medieval town of Orvieto with its world famous Duomo Cathedral, dominating the skyline a few kilometers to the north.

There is a large swimming pool on the grounds and horseback riding is available, with horses stabled on the estate. The surrounding countryside offers numerous hiking opportunities to nearby towns, castles, villas and Etruscan ruins. And finally, there is the food. Simonetta, the chef for over 20 years, prepares wonderful traditional Umbrian dishes accompanied by wine, olive oil, honey, and jam produced on the farm.

In addition to the many vistas on the grounds, we also paint at three other beautiful locations:

  • Bagnoregio, the hill town Rick Steves calls “the jewel on the hill”
  • Orvieto, one of the most dramatic hill towns in Europe, sitting atop the flat summit of a large outcropping of volcanic rock.
  • Barberani Vineyard, located just outside Orvieto

Our group will rendezvous in Rome on Sept. 15 and shuttle from there to our location in Umbria.

  • 7 nights accommodation in an historic, family-owned country manor farm. Prices are based on single occupancy with ensuite bathroom.
  • All breakfasts
  • 6 lunches
  • Evening “aperitivo” happy hour
  • All dinners, prepared by our personal chef
  • Hands-on cooking lessons
  • 5 days of art instruction with Mitchell Albala
  • Local wine tastings
  • Day excursions by private transportation to Orvieto, Civita di Bagnoregio, and the Barberini Winery
  • Wifi available in common areas


  • Airfare
  • Travel insurance
  • Painting supplies
  • Independent meals, independent sight-seeing, personal expenses
  • Gratuities

Artist and Workshop Description

Mitchell Albala has a reputation as a generous, friendly, and informative instructor. His “essentials” workshops offer the plein air adventurer a perfect balance of guided instruction and free painting. This workshop is ideally suited for those who have some painting experience and now want to break into plein air painting, or for those who simply want the thrill of painting the Italian landscape, with the added benefit of guidance from an 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. Participants may paint in oil or acrylic. Demonstrations and instruction will focus on the essentials steps of plein air painting. Recommended and lightweight supply list will be issued by instructor in March.

  • Site Selection – Landscape painting begins with site selection. What conditions do we look for in a subject? Which views are best?
  • Composition – Learn about landscape composition. Begin with a limited focus and compositional thumbnails. What information should be left out, and what should be kept in?
  • Simplification and Massing – Learn the essential skill of simplification and massing for translating 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.
  • Paint handling – Learn how to control oil paint without muddying the surface.


On most days, we will paint in a morning session  (9 am – noon) and an afternoon session (approximately 3:30 – 6:30 pm). Sessions are timed for optimal lighting.

Day 1 / Friday 9/15
Shuttle from Rome to our manor farm and accommodations in Umbria (1.5 hrs travel). Welcome dinner.

Day 2 / Saturday 9/16
1st day of instruction
AM @ hilltop manor farm | PM @ hilltop manor farm

Day 3 / Sunday 9/17
2nd day of instruction
AM @ hilltop manor farm | hilltop manor farm

Day 4 / Monday 9/18
3rd day of instruction
AM – after lunch (on your own) in Orvieto, sketching session with instructor
PM @ hilltop manor farm; 3:00 for afternoon painting session

Day 5 / Tuesday 9/19
4th day of instruction
AM – PM @ Civita DI Bagnoregio. Walking tour in morning, painting after lunch in afternoon

Day 6 / Wednesday 9/20
5th day of instruction
AM @ Barberani  Vineyard, followed by wine tasting and light lunch | PM back hilltop manor farm

Day 7 / Thursday 9/21
6th day of instruction
AM @ hilltop manor farm | PM @ hilltop manor farm

Day 8 / Friday 9/22
11 AM departure to Rome

Mitchell Albala is the author of Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practi(Watson-Guptill, 2009). A best-seller with over 35,000 copies in print, it has been called the "new classic of landscape." A respected teaching artist for more than 25 years, Mitchell currently teaches at Gage Academy of Art, Pacific Northwest Art School, artEAST, Winslow Art Center, and Arte Umbria in Italy. He has also lectured at the Seattle Art Museum and written for International Artist and Artists & Illustratorsmagazines.

For more information or to register for Mitchell Albala's workshop call Martha Jordan, 206-715-6663 or email,

All photos (below) are from the grounds of our “home base” — a traditional, hilltop manor farm in Terni. Also included are photos of the dining room, suites, and Bagnoregio and Orvieto, two of the places we will visit.

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