Watercolor Painting en Plein Air in Medieval Tuscany with artist/instructor Paul McMahan Cortona, Italy June 7-14, 2014
View Cortona videos
Cortona "Island in the Sky"
Picture yourself dropped into the city setting and surroundings that inspired the book, then film Under the Tuscan Sun with a paint brush in your hand.This idyllic Italian hill town will be the backdrop for plein air painting in watercolor that will explore the rich variety of the eclectic architecture, steep narrow streets and terraced landscape. The class locations will vary to help expose the students to the visual virtuosity that this town in the shadows of the Siena Mountains, overlooking the Chiana Valley and Lake Trasimeno has to offer.From Etruscan fragments, medieval architecture, Renaissance construction and Palazzos of Romanesque styling the students will tackle these tantalizing subjects to create engaging paintings.
Paul will bring his knowledge as an architectural illustrator with years of perspective drawing to the students through demonstration, lecture, discussion and much individual attention.The compositional considerations as well as the effects of lighting, shade and shadow will be introduced and explored to enhance the students’ skills.Critiques of the students’ work will talk about the interpretation of the subject matter, use of color and the principles of design that lead to arresting images.Understanding the media of watercolor and techniques for the various effects possible will be a point of departure to help elevate the repertoire of both the beginner and the more experienced painter
among the sights and sounds of beautiful and romantic Tuscany: olive groves, vineyards, centuries-old buildings, winding streets, texture and vibrant sunlight.
in the warm ambiance of Cortona, overlooking Lake Trasimeno and the Val di Chiana, originally fortified by the Umbrians, claimed by the Etruscans, touched by the Renaissance, almost unchanged for centuries, one of Tuscany's jewels.
the joy of painting en plein air in a relaxed and inspiring atmosphere with the expert instruction of a nationally know artist and instructor and the camaraderie of a small group of learners.
great Italian food, delightful wines, new friends, breath-taking vistas, history and the hospitality of the people of Cortona.
Saturday 6/7- Arrival in Cortona -Escorted Group Travel from Florence airport to Cortona (time to be announced)
-Arrival and Check-in in Cortona -6:30p Welcome to Cortona wine reception and meet and greet -7:30p Evening dinner in Cortona at La Loccanda nel Loggiatto Sunday 6/8- Cortona Street Scene -9:00a-1:00p Morning Painting Session with Perspective overview and Demonstration -1:00p Lunch -3:00-6:00p Afternoon Painting Session and Critique -7:30p Wine tasting -8:00p Evening dinner in Cortona
Monday 6/9- Lake Trasimeno -8:00a Depart for Lake Trasimeno -9:00-12:00p Morning Painting Session with Reflection in water discussion -12:00p Lunch -2:00-5:00p Afternoon Painting Session -Depart for Cortona -7:30p Wine tasting -8:00p Evening dinner in Cortona
Tuesday 6/10– Assisi -Morning Painting Session with Composition Overview -12:00p Lunch - Afternoon Painting Session and Critique -7:30p Wine tasting -8:00p Evening dinner in Cortona Wednesday 6/11- Cortona Cortona Piazza View -9:00-12:00p Morning Painting Session with Composition Overview -12:00p Lunch -2:00-5:00p Afternoon Painting Session and Critique -7:30p Wine tasting -8:00p Evening dinner in Cortona -8:00p Evening Tuscan cooking class & dinner Thursday 6/12 - Cortona Hillside Overlook -9:00-1:00p Morning Painting Session with Landscape talk and Demonstration -1:00p Lunch -3:00-6:00p Afternoon Painting Session and Critique -7:30p Wine tasting -8:00p Evening dinner in Cortona Friday 6/13 – Day Trip to Siena -7:30a Depart for Siena -Morning Sightseeing in Siena (painting optional) 1:00p Lunch in Sienna -Afternoon in Siena -3:00p Depart for Cortona -7:30p Farewell Wine Tasting Dinner in Cortona
Saturday 6/14 – Cortona-Morning Check-out and departure from Cortona
Note: Toscana Americana reserves the right to alter this itinerary.All times are approximate. Note: Transfers are provided only for programmed meals and activities away from the hotel. Note: All guests are responsible for handling their own luggage/baggage....we suggest to pack light. Note: No refunds are given for any unused aspects of the itinerary or for any activities outside the above itinerary.
All-inclusive*enrollment options include: Instruction on location Escorted group travel Florence to Cortona June 7, 2014**** Seven nightsaccommodations in historic Cortona** Local museums and events All meals***(Italian breakfast, lunch & dinner) Daily wine tasting opportunities Day trips to Assisi, Siena & Lake Trasimeno Tuscan Cooking class & dinner A farewell wine tasting dinner **Included with "Hotel" plans only, see details
***Included with "Group Meal Plans" only, see details
****Specific departure time from Florence airport only; time to be announced, return train ticket to Florence provided (not escorted) *All-inclusive plans are Hotel plans only. Air travel is the responsibility of each participant. Florence the suggested arrival and departure airport in Italy.
Casa Santa Margherita
Meet Paul McMahan
Paul McMahan is a professional architectural illustrator who has worked on projects all over the world.He has taught drawing, painting and illustration at the university level for over 25 years.He is an award-winning watercolor painter and a signature member of the venerable New England Watercolor Society.His work is in private collections throughout the United States.
Participant Supply List
These are the materials, supplies and colors that I use to paint watercolors. I do not require that each participant uses exactly the materials that I myself utilize. You should bring and use what you feel the most comfortable to both paint and/or travel with to Italy.
Full box French easel with a French companion piece that sits on the drawer.
John Pike plastic palette with 20 wells and cover
Kolinsky sable brushes-various rounds from a size 2-16
Flat wash brush-one and a half inches wide
Arches rough pressed watercolor blocks in various sizes from 9”x 12” to 14”x 20”
Tube paints in the following colors: Prussian Blue, Thalo Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Cerulean Blue, Manganese Blue, Turquoise, Alizarin Crimson, Rose Madder, Opera Rose, Cadmium Red, Scarlet Lake, Vermillion, Naples Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Aureolin Yellow, New Gamboge, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna and Hookers Green Dark
Container to hold water, container to transport water, paper towels, spray bottle for misting, blade or palette knife to remove paper from watercolor blocks, pencil for drawing outline onto watercolor block (I use a .5 mechanical pencil with an HB lead and eraser), I use Q-Tips for blotting paint
Cortona is one of the true jewels of the Tuscan “hill towns.” Cortona, which is often called the “City of Art,” has its origin as an Etruscan city that pre-dates Roman times with sections of its walls dating back some 2500 years. As is typical of Tuscan hill-towns, Cortona is a walled city that, for purposes of defense, was built atop a prominent geographical point. The stone buildings and streets not only have the romance, style, and charm that are particular to Tuscany, but also speak of the lives and times Cortona has witnessed. An encounter with Cortona is an encounter with music & art, with history and with spirituality. Getting to know this timeless city is a real rediscovery of our past. Cortona offers testimony to its history as well as an enchanting view of the landscape enclosed by Lake Trasimeno and the Apennine mountains.
Travel with fellow artists, family & friends! In addition to Non-participating guest options, did you know that other workshops are offered this same week! Enjoy the experience together while immersed in different topics! View calendar for details!