1 Portraits in Suffolk
The childhood home of landscape artist John Constable, Flatford Mill near Dedham is a study centre offering more than 120 natural history and arts courses. This autumn, tutor Janie Pirie unravels the art of drawing a portrait from a photograph using high-quality coloured pencils.
2 Sketching in Norway
Autumn landscapes and the chance to see the Northern Lights offer plenty of artistic inspiration on an itinerary with painting specialist Art Safari. Based on a waterfront farmstead on Kvaloya island, in northern Norway, guests are accompanied by tutor Karen Pearson, who supervises sketching walks and excursions, with a visit to the Arctic-Alpine Botanical Garden in Tromso, a 50-minute drive away, and a cable car ride up Mount Storsteinen for sweeping views of fjords, islands and mountain ranges.
3 Art excursions in Sicily
Composition and perspective are among the artistic techniques explored on a creative autumn week. Tuition is combined with relaxation by the pool and sociable meal times.
4 Pen and wash in Oxfordshire
Previous artistic experience isn’t necessary on a course offered by the Women’s Institute (WI) at Denman, a Grade II listed Georgian house near Abingdon. Autumnal art courses, including a pen and watercolour residential option specifically focus on trees, skies and landscape.
5 Art & language in Provence
Brushing up two skills simultaneously works well on a fortnight’s course combining half-day language lessons with afternoon art classes in the flower-filled town of Aix-en-Provence in southern France. Accommodation is arranged locally, usually with host families.
6 Botanical art in Snowdonia
Overlooking the Dwyryd river valley and surrounded by some of the UK’s most spectacular scenery, Plas Tan y Bwlch – the Snowdonia National Park Environmental Studies Centre – has no shortage of artistic subject matter to draw upon. This 27-bedroom mansion runs a wide-ranging series of art courses.
7 ART & walking in Crete
Four half days of painting are combined with daily morning walks of up to three hours’ duration on an autumn itinerary organised by Sunvil. Participants will be based in the hamlet of Nopigia on the northwest coast of Crete.
8 Watercolours in Tuscany
Individual tuition alongside group workshops feature on a week-long painting itinerary at The Watermill at Posara in the Tuscan region of Lunigiana. Food is also a focus, with particular emphasis on regional specialities.
9 Japanese art in West Sussex
Usually depicting flowers, plants or birds, the ancient art of Sumi-e (Japanese brush painting) is also a form of spiritual meditation conveying harmony and tranquillity. Tutor Takumasa Ono introduces the essential tools or “four treasures” (paper, brush, ink stick and ink stone) at West Dean College near Chichester, teaching the techniques through hands-on exercises.
10 Oils on the Isle of Wight
How about a short break focusing on the technique of layering wet oil on top of wet oil, without waiting for each layer to dry? The course runs at 48-room Freshwater Bay House, overlooking the sea on the island’s west coast, near the harbour town of Yarmouth and close to the Needles.