Landscape and Life with Julia Adams or Life and Sculpture with Nigel 15 - 23 June 2020


Mon 15 -  Tues 23 June 2020 (8 nights)



This interesting course is aimed at students of all levels, from the absolute beginner to the more experienced artist. It takes place during early summer when the days are long and warm, an ideal time to draw and paint outside and also to enjoy everything this lively medieval hilltop village of Casole d’Elsa has to offer. Within two minutes’ walk from the Art Centre there are stunning landscape views and bustling street scenes.

There will be an optional day trip to Siena, one of the most beautiful of Italian cities. The evening before this visit, Nigel will give an after-dinner talk about the art works and places to visit in the historic centre of Siena, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The fees for this course (£335) include five days’ tuition, Life Drawing sessions from the model (including materials) and a concertina sketchbook to use when drawing and painting from the local environment.


Reviews from students

"Tranquil, energizing, creative.  I hope to come back.  You offer a wonderful retreat". (Life and Landscape) A.H (USA)

"Imaginative tuition, excellent model. Inspiring, educational, challenging". (Life and Landscape)  Z.O. (UK)

"I benefited from the expert teaching. Challenging, inspiring, life-affirming."  (Life and Sculpture) J.C. (Canada)

"Julia really knew her stuff and was able to help me. This is a safe and beautiful place where I feel taken care of and in addition learning about art." (Life and Landscape)  P.P. (USA)

The chance to work from our life model makes this a very special opportunity, and half the tutoring time will be spent working in the studio from her. Julia will encourage you to draw freely with a sense of fun and confidence, developing hand-eye co-ordination through short poses and more considered responses to the longer ones. You will have the opportunity to draw using  a range of materials and techniques .We are fortunate to have a very experienced life model, Deb Pearson,from The Royal West of England Academy Drawing School, Bristol. She will be an inspiration to the sculptors as well who will continue working with Nigel in his sculpture studio.

landscapeJulia has been visiting Verrocchio annually since 2007 and although her work is deeply rooted in the human form, she has found the Verrocchio environment to be a visually exciting place that gives her the opportunity to develop her feel for light and colour.

You will be encouraged to use the drawing and painting media you are familiar with, as well as explore new ones. When working from the life model, a wide range of materials will be provided for your use during the sessions, which usually take place in the mornings. A1 sheets of good quality cartridge paper will be included to enable you to work large in the studio.

When you are not working from Deb, there will be time in which to continue exploring the materials and techniques used in the life sessions in your concertina sketch books, enabling you to respond creatively to your chosen subject, whether found in the old Verrocchio House, the terrace, village or the stunning surrounding Tuscan Landscape. There will be the opportunity to develop sketch book studies into paintings on primed canvas, which is available at The Centre.

Although the course is focused on using water-based media, those wishing to work with oil paints are very welcome.

Taught days will usually run from 9.30am-12.30pm, with breaks for lunch and a siesta. Teaching will start again at until 5.30 pm. The studios will be open for you to use throughout the day and evening. Lunch can be bought in one of the local bars just a couple of minutes’ walk from the Centre, or prepared in the Martini kitchen at the Centre with food bought from the local shops. Non-participating partners are welcome, as this is an ideal time for walking and cycling. See Activities page for suggestions of things for them to do.

There will be an optional trip to Siena.


Julia studied Fine Art at Dartington College of Arts and at The Bristol School of Art. She is a qualified Art teacher with over 20 years’ experience in Art Education, gaining an ‘Outstanding’ rating from Ofsted for classroom teaching. In 2007 she started to live a creative life away from the art room: combining her love of art and travel, she became part of Adventure Cruising, teaching watercolour painting on the ships Spirit of Adventure and The Quest for Adventure. It was here that Julia discovered her enjoyment in teaching adults. Her life paintings have been exhibited in galleries in the South West of England, London, The RWA, Bristol, and nationally at the Affordable Art Fairs.

Julia is an Artist Network member of The Royal West of England Academy and this year has started to teach Life Drawing workshops in the Drawing School at the RWA. At present her Drawings from Life are on show at the ‘Hidden Gallery’, Clifton, Bristol.     This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

a moment accent   indian ink on paper  60cmx42cm julia adams bodyscape indian ink on paper 86cmx60cm julia adams












deb headshotAbout Deb Pearson - Life model

I walked in to my first life room in Feb 1996 in Kent and immediately knew “I’m home!” I have lost none of my passion or fascination for it and continue to model, primarily in Bristol and Bath, 20+ years later. For many years I modeled regularly at West Dean College and Edinburgh School of Art. I was the model in the Royal Academy life room featured in the BBC Omnibus programme about the controversial YBA’s “Sensation” exhibition in 1997. In 2002 I modeled for “Life Class”, a HTV production with Roger Conlon and Toyah Wilcox. I was inaugural in the first ventures of the Bristol Drawing School, originally set up at Paintworks by the sculptor Carol Peace in 2007, and still run my own untutored life classes for it's second home at the RWA. With 2 other local art enthusiasts, I set up the West Bristol Arts Trail in 2008 which is still thriving. I am a passionate and prolific art collector! More...


A wonderful chance for sculptors of all abilities to draw from the life model with Nigel and Julia and then translate it into sculpture with Nigel.  Use clay, papier mache, wax or stone carving.  Nigel has been sculpting for over 50 years and has a wealth of practical experience and understanding and appreciation of art.  More info on Nigel Konstam


 Options and prices



Tranquil, energizing, creative.  I hope to come back.  You offer a wonderful retreat. (Life and Landscape) A.H (USA)

Imaginative tuition, excellent model. Inspiring, educational, challenging. (Life and Landscape)  Z.O. (UK)

I benefited from the expert teaching. Challenging, inspiring, life-affirming.  (Life and Sculpture) J.C. (Canada)

Julia really knew her stuff and was able to help me. This is a safe and beautiful place where I feel taken care of and in addition learning about art. (Life and Landscape)  P.P. (USA)





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