Sidebar Menu

  • Sculpture Studio
  • Sculpture Studio
  • Painting studio
  • Misty autumn
  • Casole d'Elsa
  • Photos by Andy Pankhurst from his course
  • Art and Yoga Course with  Andrea Borsuk, Jenni Fox and Paul Gould
  • Casole d'Elsa
  • Caro Seaward's studio at Verrocchio, photo by Tom Konstam
  • Aerial view of Casole d'Elsa
  • Huw Richard Evans painting - photo by Julia Adams
  • Nigel working on a sculpture - by Julia Adams
  • Art Studios, Rustic accommodation
  • 'Barrocchio' by Jack Cove
  • 'Barrocchio' by Jack Cove
  • Life Class - photo by Julia Adams
  • Photo by Maz Hawes - St Ives group with Liz Hough tutor
  • Photos by Maz Hawes
  • Photos by Maz Hawes
  • The Sculpture terrace, Casole's Palio celebrations, The Return of the Prodigal Son by Nigel Konstam
  • Evening lecture in the Konstam Museum and sculpture by Lucille
  • Photo by Liz Hough
  • Su Barclay Photography
  • Su Barclay Photography
  • Su Barclay Photography
  • Su Barclay Photography
  • Casole d'Elsa
  • Painting Studios - Art and Yoga Course
  • Photo by Liz Hough
  • The terrace - a wonderful place to paint and to have dinner together
  • Casole d'Elsa

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66

31 August - 10 Sept 2020

studioThis workshop is for both experienced and beginner artists who would enjoy both structured tuition and time to be self-directed. At Casole d' Elsa, with the beautiful landscape around the centre and the spacious studios and terrace at Verrocchio, there is never any shortage of inspiration and subject matter. If you prefer to be studio-based and work from windows, or set up a still life, or start from your imagination, that is fine too. Bella does not mind what your subject matter or medium is, and, if you need guidance choosing, she is happy to help you find what might suit you best.You should bring your favourite mediums. Bella is very experienced in oils, acrylics, mixed media and all kinds of drawing materials. She is also very familiar with using gouache and collage.

Every other day Bella will offer illustrated talks about the painting process - covering topics such as colour - how to observe and use it expressively; composition - different ways to approach the art of placement in a painting; and gathering visual information - the best ways to sketch and do studies in situ in the landscape to work from later. Bella always gives extensive notes to take away, so you can continue your explorations after the course.

There will be demonstrations of technique, on how build a painting in layers using acrylics, oils, and mixed media, as well as instruction in drawing media for those who would like it. Demos may also requested by the group. Slide talks about Bella's own work and process, and on artists relevant to what is going on in the studio, will be part of the course.

orangeOn the self-directed painting days Bella will be available for the whole day for one to one tuition to help you with whatever you are doing, or, just have a chat about going forward with works in progress. There will be one staff day off, where we eat out , with optional trips to Siena or San Gimignano.

So, if you are a relative beginner and would like help getting started to explore painting, as well as time to work at your own pace, then this workshop is for you. If you are an experienced artist, the optional talks and demonstrations could be just what you need to nourish your creativity, or spark a new direction, and the one-to-one tuition and critiques can help you go deeper into your own process and journey as an artist.



Optional Extra

Bella‘s partner Jack Cove, also an artist, accompanies her to Verrocchio. He often sets up informal portrait drawing sessions and has been requested to make these available to any student who would like to have a go. So this year, on 2 to 3 of the self-directed painting days, there will be the option of portrait and figure drawing classes, using charcoal and gouache. You can see examples of Jack’s work using this method below. You don’t need to decide now, but can take the opportunity to explore this approach if you feel like it while you are at Verrocchio with Bella.


Booking and Prices



Elizabeth Robson:

screenshot from 2019-08-15 10-58-28Course Content and Tuition:  This is not just any art course it is Bella's course at the Verrocchio Art School.  Bella is a wonderful teacher and tutor, ambitious for each student to succeed.  For the student this is not a holiday but a chance to really work on making progress in painting.

Centro In general - Food, accommodation, staff:  Verrocchio is one of the rare places with a unique golden atmosphere.  The food this year was even better, lots of vegetables and fruit and salad and lovely Italian cooking.  The rotating staff are friendly and the permanent staff are brilliant. 

Casole d'Elsa and environment:  Casole is authentic Italian.  It is a constant sources of life and music with markets, festivals, varied restaurants to fit all purses, bars to chat over coffee and the warmth of Italy and Italians.

Any other comments/feedback/suggestions:  The sheet on scumbling and glazing put me off the process last year!!  Bella needs a new projector or at least a new bulb - this is a colour course we need to see the genuine colours. 


Nigel Robson (non-participating)

Centro - general, food, accommodation and staff: Love the Centro It has a extraordinary quality and sense of individuality which is liberating.  Nigel, CAro and all the staff/helpers are just so friendly, supportive and hard-working.  the food has been very good, and plentiful.  I love just allowing the courses and conversation to unfold each evening.

Casole d'Elsa and environment:  Casole is my favourite place in Tuscany.  Spent 3 euros on a 'Sentiare' map, and have walked from and around the village during the day as my wife has worked on her painting.  The paths are well marked.  It has enabled me to unpack a little more of Casole and its surroundings. 


Barbara Mace

Course Content and tuition:  Exceptionally well prepared and generous teaching from Bella.  Personal attention at an appropriate and relevant level.  I learnt a lot. 

Centro - general, food, accommodation, staff:  Loredana provided excellent supper every day, delicious.  Staff not up to usual level of experience.  Centro facilities improved generally including more en suite bedrooms.  Unusual charm still present.

Casole d'Elsa and environment:  Charming village, friendly inhabitants, most requirements available.  Good baker,butcher etc.  Very good ice cream shop.  Unusual entertainment in the evenings from singing to "mini Miss Casole!"

Any other comments:  An excellent, good value holiday in charming village and environs, close to San Gimignano and Siena  - not too far for a day trip. 


Peter Clarkson

Course Content and Tuition:  Beyond reproach.  A lucid exposition of colour and how to use it.  Personal encouragement and exciting new development of my own painting.

Centro:  Simple locally sourced food brilliantly cooked with local wine as well.

Casole d'Elsa:  Lively village - in the summer markets, dances, concerts and sitting outside the bar in the sunshine.  Students return here year on year. 


Sheila Carey

Course content and tuition:  Bella is a wonderful teacher, she cares about her pupils and structures her courses to their needs.  her knowledge of colour, painting methods and materials is unrivalled. 

Centro:  Verrocchio is atmospheric, beautiful and friendly.  the food is excellent and the accommodation is good.  Particular thanks to Caro and Loredana the cook.

Casole d'Elsa:  I've been coming back for years.  I think that says it all. 


Margie Barton

Course content and tuition: Serious, wonderfully thouhgt out but accessible content with excercises and ideas to work on for months.  Not only does this course help in one's own work, it enhances one's enjoyment of art in general. 

Centro:  Really delicious food, kind staff and simple but adequate accommodation. 

Casole d'Elsa:  Once comes to love Casole for the people in the shops and bars as much as for its stunning views and great walks.

Other comments:  Every year something new, but without spoiling the essence and magic of Casole. 


Jackie Conradi-Robertson

Course Content and Tuition:  Well research and expertly presented teaching materials and concepts.  Every student is assisted individually by an excellent teacher - Bella.  The course content can be adapted to every level of ability.

Centro:  The accommodation is simple yet full of interesting books, artefacts and art throughout the centro.  The chef - Loredana - is excellent at preparing a great variety of superb meals for the vegetarian and the carnivore alike. 

Casole d'Elsa:  Casole provides an interesting small town environment with vistas for painting, and walks to get closer to nature.  The town has welcoming bars and restaurants with friendly staff. 

Other comments:  I would highly recommend Casole and Verrocchio for a safe and interesting learning art experience among friendly felllow students with an excellent teacher and welcoming environment.


Celia Talbot

Course Content and Tuition:  Course very full day.  Lots of classes, lectures, demonstrations slide shows and very useful IT information.  Terrific atmosphere between tutor and group and with in group members.  Tutor led the day well and set that good learning, sharing atmophere from day one.

Centro:  Food - to die for - loved it.  Enjoyed the simple arrangement for breakfast and lunch.  The evening meal  - 3 courses with wine - on the terrace was always full of flavour and wonderfully cooked.  The best Italian meals ever.  Freedom, trust, studios open 24 hours, library, building (tithe barns) create a very creative, gentle atmosphere - life slows down here.  I savour every minute.  Love the tango!

Casole d'Elsa:  Old buildings, warm stonework, friendly people.  Enjoyed the beauty of the old town - felt very safe day or nights, wandering on my own around the castle walls, and through alleys and narrow streets.  Local church had music evenings, good museum and of course all the wonderful sculptures everywhere to enjoy.  Shops, bars, - everything I need. 

Any other comments:  I like the way Bella dn Caro deal with difficult situations and resolves them asap.  Sometimes almost overload of information with no time to try out new methods - perhaps another workshop day during the week without classes - no criticism at all of the professionalism of Bella's course and the very hard work she puts in.