Artist Noëlle Griffiths and her husband personally meet you at the Madrid or Seville airport (see Location section) and drive you to their charming country finca in Sierra de Montánchez.
Start your first sketching course at 10:00 a.m. with a session of observational drawing on the studio terrace and later in the landscape. A second tutored drawing session is scheduled at 06:00 p.m.
Explore different approaches and techniques and paint or draw directly in the landscape — either painting in the open air or sketching and later working from your sketches on the studio terrace. Tutored sessions with creative exercises are scheduled between 06:00-07:30 p.m.
Join Noëlle on a guided tour of Trujillo, a historic town rich with medieval and renaissance buildings, many built by the conquistadors. You will take part in a tutored sketching and painting session in Trujillo and have a leisurely tapas lunch on the Plaza Mayor. Based on weather conditions and group preference, this tour can take place on days 6 or 7 and include another preferred historical town.
You can choose to remain at the country house to continue working on your paintings or go for walks and sketch from the landscape. Before your farewell dinner, Noëlle will review your work and give you advice on how to proceed.
After breakfast, Noëlle and her husband will take you to the airport.
The landscape painting and sketching retreat is run by widely exhibited painter and expert tutor Noëlle Griffiths and her husband, Richard, from their country finca in the scenic Sierra de Montánchez, Extremadura, far from Spain's busy resorts.
Available to solo travelers, couples, friends, and non-painting partners alike, the landscape painting and sketching retreat includes up to 30 hours of instruction and workshops, with people doing as much or as little painting as they wish.
You will learn: choosing a subject, ways of seeing, observational drawing, mark-making, color, tone, and composition fundamentals. You will take part in a series of inspirational creative exercises based on art school teaching.
Workshops are adapted to suit guests' needs, with people doing as much or as little painting as they wish. Working in a small group of up to six people, Noëlle gives each guest plenty of individual attention.
Accommodation is provided at Finca Acehuche, a charming country house set in a private three-acre olive grove. Finca Acehuche offers clean, spacious, and elegant rooms, equipped with ensuite bathrooms, comfortable beds, toiletries, towels, and bed linen.
For the duration of your stay at Finca Acehuche, you will be served delicious meals, home-cooked using locally sourced quality ingredients.
How to get there:
For the May and October dates, please book your flights to arrive at the Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport Terminal 1 (MAD, commonly known as the Madrid-Barajas Airport). For the September dates, please book your flights to arrive at the Seville Airport (SVQ).
Noëlle Griffiths studied Fine Art at St Martin's School of Art, London, 1978-1982. She paints in oil, acrylic, and watercolor. From London, Edinburgh, and Barcelona to Ontario, Moscow, Cairo, and Seoul, her paintings and artist's books have been widely exhibited since 1983. Noëlle's works are held in public and private collections in UK, Spain, and US.
Her artist's books are collected and archived by the National Library of Wales, the British Library, V&A Museum, Tate, MMU Manchester, Leeds University, and the University of Creative Arts, among others. An art tutor with over 30 years of experience, Noëlle taught part-time for art gallery education programs throughout North and mid-Wales and for the Open College of Arts between 1989 and 1998. Since 1998, she has been course leader and tutor on the part-time Fine Art Degree Programme at Bangor University.
What language is used during the painting and sketching classes and activities?
The entire experience is available in English.
Are beginners welcome?
They are. The landscape painting retreat is very beginner-friendly.
Is the landscape painting retreat available to all experience levels?
It is. From beginners to experienced painters, all levels are more than welcome. The tutor will teach beginners the basics of observational drawing and painting and help more experienced painters improve their skills and develop a direction of their paintings. Working in a small group, the tutor gives each participant individual attention.
How many people are to be expected in a group painting session?
No more than six people.
When is the landscape painting retreat available?
Landscape painting retreats in Sierra de Montánchez are available three times a year, in May, September, and October. The next available dates are:
Please get in touch to check availability.
Are airport transfers included?
They are. Airport transfers are included in the package. For the May and October dates, please book your flights to arrive at the Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport Terminal 1 (MAD, commonly known as the Madrid-Barajas Airport). For the September dates, please book your flights to arrive at the Seville Airport (SVQ). Guests are collected before 18.30 and should book their departure flights after 03:00 p.m. from Madrid or after 01:00 p.m. from Seville. Please get in touch in advance to make all needed arrangements.
Is any equipment provided?
Yes, it is. You will be provided with easels, art boards, and sketching stools, water containers, water sprays, basic palettes, aprons, bulldog clips, charcoal, A1 and A2 paper, A5 drawing sketchbook, poster paint, bristle brushes, colored pencils, and ink — provided for workshops only. Guests are expected to bring their own materials for other sessions. Please bring your own drawing tools, brushes, paints, and an A3 pad of paper of your choice. Since you will be out in the landscape painting, please bring a bag to carry your paints, brushes, and water container. Please get in touch for a detailed list of necessary materials.
What else should I pack?
Please make sure you pack light clothes, a hat, comfortable shoes, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
How far in advance should I book this painting retreat?
As far in advance as possible — spots get occupied fast. Please contact us for further guidance.
I am a vegetarian / vegan. Can I book this painting retreat?
Yes. Please get in touch to discuss your dietary requirements.
Are there any age restrictions?
Absolutely not. However, please keep in mind that you must be 18 years of age to travel independently.
Can my non-painting partner join me?
Of course. Please get in touch for a special non-painting quote.
Do I need a visa?
Guests traveling from EU and/or Schengen member states may enter Spain for up to 90 days for tourist purposes without a visa. Please contact us for further guidance.
I have allergies. Can I still book this experience?
Participants who suffer from severe, life-threatening allergies are strongly encouraged to come prepared with all the necessary medication and be capable of self-administering it. Please get in touch to discuss your specific requirements.
Is WiFi available?
WiFi is only available at nearby local bars. However, there is good mobile phone signal at the accommodation.
"It was a glorious week filled with sunshine, wild flowers and painting, and I should also mention the excellent food and wine which was accompanied by much chatter and laughter. As a complete beginner with acrylic paint I knew I was going to be challenged - and I was! - but with Noelle's patient and professional instruction I felt well supported and encouraged all the time. We were a small group of people of varying ability but the cleverly structured tasks Noelle set us were stimulating and most enjoyable. As well having had a relaxing holiday in an idyllic place, I have come away feeling that I have learnt a lot that, with practice, should help my painting develop."
"I loved my time with you on a number of levels. I valued the art making and the eye changing. Your way of working with me was perfect. I felt totally comfortable to be me and to explore what I could with your help. I learnt a lot and positively learnt. I could feel my sensitivities working, and they’ve not stopped. Your style of teaching worked perfectly. With your guidance I felt I was changing my way of seeing. I look forward to more opportunities."
"The tranquility and solitude experienced at Finca Acehuche provided the inspiration for sketching and painting under Noelle’s excellent tutorage. The sentinel-like granite boulders that littered the landscape in such a reverent way were very inspiring with their imposing presence on the hills, and among the olive trees, fig trees and cork oaks in the valley. A perfect setting for painterly art!"
"The olive trees were straight out of Van Gogh; the weather was gorgeous; the instruction was knowledgeable and sympathetic; the company was good and the food and wine at the end of the day delicious. What more can you want?"
"Noelle is a very good teacher, the course was well thought out and we were given a new and interesting task each day, I learnt a lot - even that acrylics aren’t as terrifying as I thought! The Finca and surrounding landscape is beautiful, we went in May and the wild flowers were fantastic, also the birds. Wonderful food, the wine flowed, great conversation with a lot of laughing!"