Artist Noëlle Griffiths will personally meet you at Seville Airport and drive you to your accommodation in the heart of the historic old town of Vejer de la Frontera. Unpack and make yourself at home in the traditional 17th century Moorish townhouse, then meet Noëlle and the other guests for drinks and dinner at 08:30 p.m.
10:00 a.m. - 02:00 p.m.: After breakfast, join painter Noëlle Griffiths and writer Gisela Radant Wood on a guided tour of Vejer. You will sketch on location before returning to the accommodation for lunch followed by free time.
06:00 p.m. - 07:30 p.m.: Take part in a tutored session of observational drawing. Noëlle has been teaching life drawing and observational drawing for more than twenty years and will help you look more closely, examine what you see more carefully, and draw more accurately.
10:00 a.m. - 02:00 p.m.: You will join Noëlle on tutored sketching and painting sessions in town. You will start both days with an optional exercise based on observational drawing (eg: finding interesting compositions, color and tone, ink and wash), then paint in the media of your choice.
After lunch you can continue sketching and painting on your own, or choose to rest, relax and explore Vejer de la Frontera.
06:00 p.m. - 07:30 p.m.: Take part in a tutored sketching and painting session with optional creative exercises.
You will spend the day visiting the historic port of Cádiz with Noëlle and Gisela as your knowledgeable guides and have lunch at a restaurant on the beach.
After lunch you will sketch in the botanical gardens and a beautiful Plaza. Transportation is provided and you will return to Vejer in time for dinner.
You will spend the day sketching and painting under pine trees overlooking the stunning Andalusian coast and serve a fish lunch in a port famed for catching red tuna.
After lunch you can either explore the coast and relax in the shade, or continue sketching and painting. Transportation is provided and you will return to Vejer in time for dinner.
10:00 a.m. - 02:00 p.m.: Enjoy your final day of sketching and painting in Vejer de la Frontera with your media of choice and guidance from Noëlle.
06:00 p.m. - 07:30 p.m.: Noëlle will review your week's work and offer tips and advice on developing your painting and sketching after the course.
08:00 p.m.: Join Noëlle and the other guests for drinks and a farewell dinner.
After breakfast, Noëlle will take you to the airport.
During your urban sketching and painting vacation in Vejer de la Frontera, Andalucia, Spain, you will stay at Casa al-Manzil, a traditional 17th century Moorish townhouse situated in the heart of the historic old town. A private house with beautifully preserved features, the casa has an open central patio and a roof terrace with fine views.
You will be served 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 7 dinners at Casa al-Manzil. All meals are home cooked using locally-sourced ingredients. Lunch on days 5 and 6 will be taken in restaurants overlooking the sea and are not included in the package.
The urban painting and sketching vacation with artist Noëlle Griffiths takes place in Vejer de la Frontera — one of the most beautiful white washed towns in Andulacia, Spain. Dramatically revealing itself atop a rocky hill overlooking River Barbate and Costa de la Luz facing the Atlantic, Vejer de la Frontera dazzles visitors with its Moorish architecture, ancient churches and abbeys, labyrinth of narrow alleys, and stunning panoramic views.
How to get there:
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.
When is the urban painting retreat available?
The urban painting and sketching retreat in Vejer de la Frontera, Andalucia takes place once a year, in September. The next available dates are:
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 urban painting retreat is very beginner-friendly.
Is the urban painting vacation 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.
Is any equipment provided?
Yes, it is. You will be provided with easels, art boards, sketching stools, water containers, water sprays, basic palettes, aprons, charcoal, A2 paper, sketchbook, poster paint, and ink (for workshops only). Guests are expected to bring their own materials for other sessions. Please bring your own drawing tools, brushes, paints and A3 pad of paper of your choice. Since you will be out sketching and painting, please bring a bag to carry your paints, brushes, and water container. A list of necessary art materials will be provided upon booking.
What else should I pack?
Please make sure you pack light clothes, a hat, comfortable shoes, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
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?
The painting retreat is available to guests aged 18 and above.
Can my non-painting partner join me?
Of course. Please get in touch for a special non-painting quote.
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 concerns and requirements.
Is the painting retreat available to people with limited mobility?
Unfortunately, the retreat is not well suited for people with limited mobility. The steps at the accommodation are steep and unsuitable for anyone with mobility issues.
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.
Where should I land?
Please book your flights to arrive at the Seville Airport (SVQ).
Are airport transfers included?
Airport transfers at specified times from Seville airport are included in the package. Guests are collected before 05:30 p.m. and should book their departure flights after 01:00 p.m. Please get in touch in advance to make all needed pick-up arrangements. If you prefer to make your own transfer arrangements, full travel information will be provided upon booking.
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.
"We were steeped in painting and history, a wonderful combination in such a beautiful and fascinating place. We started with morning painting exercises around the lovely white town of Vejer de la Frontera with it's narrow winding streets and interesting corners. Later with time to put into practice what we had learnt. Noelle's tuition was so constructive and I learnt a lot about ways of checking perspective and understanding tones in painting. She was such a patient tutor and we had lots of individual attention. Our two visits out to Cadiz and Barbate (with wonderful fish lunches) were extremely interesting with Gisela as an excellent and enthusiastic guide. It was a very special week, as was our stay in Trujillo 3 yrs ago. Noelle is an great tutor and I can thoroughly recommend this holiday!"
"I really enjoyed the Townscape course in Vejer de la Frontera. It's such a beautiful setting and a perfect way to really leave all your cares behind and just enjoy a stimulating but also relaxing week honing your skills, whether a beginner or more experienced. Noelle taught me some very useful tips at how to really see, which I will continue to use. Gisela is a font of local knowledge and history. The evenings were spent setting the world to rights over lovely home cooked food and a glass of wine or two. Only complaint is it all went by too fast!"
"We had a thoroughly enjoyable week with Noelle and Gisela. Even though it was their first time running a course in Vejer it was well organised, with plentiful good food and wine, interesting company, beautiful weather and excellent art tuition. It's rekindled my desire to draw and paint again. Thanks Noelle."
"I went on a lovely art holiday in late September in southern Spain. The artist is Noelle Griffiths, this was the second art holiday with Noelle in Spain. My art has so improved because of the work I did on the art course, everything about it was lovely. Our days out to sightsee were a delight as Noelle’s friend Gisela Radant-Wood, a travel writer and delightful woman, led the tour of Cadiz. Altogether a wonderful week which passed all to quickly. Thoroughly recommend Noelle’s art courses."