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12 - 22 Sept 2020

screenshot from 2019-08-15 10-58-28‘Making colour work’ is about learning be more aware of the power of colour in painting. It is all about choosing colour combinations that help your paintings ‘sing’ and communicate the mood and effect you want. It offers ways to explore colour relationships and get know different ways of applying paint, and how these can facilitate your art.

If you are a tonal painter you can learn how tone optimises colour, and about the options available which affect colour when the tonal key is adjusted. If you prefer to work with a bright palette, considerations of how deep or shallow you want your visual space to be are also related to colour choices.

In both approaches, the use of line and graphic elements as part of the visual language are often overlooked, and we will consider methods which utilise these, to add either energy and/or subtle modelling of form and space in your painting. The methods are many and varied, but whatever you choose, they should always complement, and not fight with, the way you like to use paint and colour.

teapotMany people work intuitively with colour and others learn about it through studying colour theory. Whichever kind of painter you are, perhaps you are a bit of both, then this course will help you know where to start and also how to develop your works past that ‘happy accident’.

You should bring the medium of your choice. Bella will demonstrate mainly acrylics, oils and mixed media with pastel and collage and other drawing materials. A full check list of suggested items will be sent to you on booking. Each day there will be a short talk, slide show, or demo on aspects of ‘making colour work’ followed by one to one tuition in the studio or out of doors wherever you are working.

There will be one staff day off in the middle of the course, when we eat out locally in the evening. On that day, optional trips to Siena or San Gimignano are offered if you would like to get away from the studio.

The course is suitable for all levels of experience. Beginners will find lots of information and choices to try out, and experienced artists will likely discover something new to add to their existing methods of ‘making colour work’.


Booking and Prices



"A masterclass of mixed media techniques explained and demonstrated."  DF (London)

library"A wonderful chance to learn the latest painting techniques and materials." SC (Yorkshire)

"Leave your comfort zone and home and be prepared to PLAY! This is a hugely informative course and will surprise yourself by what you create." LB (Essex)

"Bella is an absolutely first rate teacher and imparts a wealth of information.Something for everyone. Cannot believe Bella’s energy levels and commitment to her students - the best in every respect." MM (Aberdeenshire)

"An exciting course/ Demonstrated the alchemy of many painting techniques and effects." JS (Walton-on-Thames)

"Stimulating, amazing, fast paced course. Bella’s knowledge, guidance and enthusiasm is inspiring. I didn’t realise mixed media involved so much and have learned and practiced a huge number of different techniques which I will use in future paintings. A beautiful venue and delicious food too!"  FD (Midhurst)

"Bella wonderfully opens up all the endless opportunities for mixed media in painting. Brilliant if you want to loosen up or further your painting practice with Bella’s experienced eye to guide you through."  AW (London)

"Eye-opening! Exciting!"  MB (Winchester)

"A very well prepared and structured course, well presented.  Terrific introduction to modern mixed media." BM (Surrey)

"I have returned to Bella’s courses for the last five years. I am interested in making a level of artistic progress and I can rely on her total commitment as a teacher and an artist. She does not have a ‘holiday’ approach to the fortnight. I would say that the mixed media course was quite intense. Combine this however with that golden atmosphere of Casole at Verrocchio and it is enough to inspire both beginners and more experienced to achieve new goals."  ER (Cumbria)

"A very inspiring course which has given me lots of new ideas for future"  CM (Kent)

"Excellent demonstrations of multiple mixed media techniques and freedom to develop these materials in your own way with sympathetic support"  SH (Suffolk)

"Introduced a whole new world of acrylic techniques, using everyday household tools  to achieve spectacular colour effects. Bella is worth her weight in gold. She is extremely knowledgeable and generous, demonstrating technique and patient in answering questions. She is also enormously good fun with an infectious enthusiasm and humour."  (CK  Norfolk)


Graham Robinson, Reading,

"Bella's course  was the first painting course I have attended, and what an eye-opener. Others on the course had experienced tutors previously where basically the students had to copy their exercises to learn, emulating them. Bella is just the opposite - you learn to express your own feelings through Bella's encouragement and guidance, and explore art talents that you did not know you had! Bella's course about abstraction even helped experienced artists, who previously had only ever painted in a representational way, to 'break their own rules' and create their art in new more expressive ways.

Bella puts a lot of work and thought into her course agenda to make every day refreshing and entertaining, provides detailed course notes and personal tuition every day after the morning tutorial. I never realised how much I could learn in the two weeks, even learning the secret of what makes certain paintings stand out from the rest. "

David Donnison, Glasgow.

‘Bella’s a great teacher. I’ve been going to her courses for twenty years in Scotland and in Tuscany where she assembles a delightful, friendly group of students at the Centro d’Arte Verrocchio which is a lovely school in a lovely village.”

E. M. Paris

"Bella' skills as a tutor are really exceptional The group and personal tuition, the lectures, the choice of exercises, were so well thought out that they got you immediately into painting with none of the usual inhibitions in front of a white sheet of paper. Personal projects were developed, encouraged, and helped through useful advice. Bella created a studious but cheerful mood, and with enthusiasm I discovered new horizons. I look forward to other holidays with Bella, the two week painting course was an unforgettable delight."

C. Storr, Tunbridge Wells.

Verrocchio is a wonderful experience: the highest quality tuition, whatever your level; superb food; friendly co-students, all set in a vibrant small hill-top town. What more could anyone ask for?

W. D Bristol

It is a privilege to be taught by Bella. One rarely has the opportunity to be taught by someone with such knowledge and experience of colour. She gives so much and so tirelessly to the group.

D. R. Bath

"I have great pleasure in recommending Bella Green as a tutor.  Bella has given great thought to her courses and gives you a wealth of information, which you can take or not as you please. She started us off with exercises to loosen us up and get into creative mood. She deals with everybody and their particular problems and needs in a very intuitive way and manages to get the best out of them! She gives generously of her time and knowledge and energy. I came back to Verrochio to study with Bella for the next three years, progressing from colour to more abstract painting. Bella also gives a series of slide shows, showing both her own paintings and other painters, which are always extremely interesting and stimulating. She has an extensive knowledge of painting and artists, and I cannot praise enough her commitment to imparting this knowledge to her students."

Sheila Carey, Yorkshire, UK

I always enjoy and learn such a lot from Bella's courses, as is proved by the fact that I will be with her for the fourth time. She is a wonderful colourist painter and a caring teacher, able to provide whatever the individual student requires to progress their painting.

Marian Rochester, Gatehouse of Fleet, Scotland

The Centro is the most wonderful place, in which to indulge in painting the Tuscan countryside. The tuition is excellent and well organised whilst the building itself is full of character and ambience. Students seem to return year after year to experience the magic of Casole.

Joan Kinsey, Yorkshire, UK

I met Bella for the first time this year. Right from the first meeting she made me feel very welcome Bella is a very kind, thoughtful person with a lot of knowledge covering all aspects of art. She is also a very generous person imparting this knowledge to her students. What I found helpful was how she encouraged people to develop their own ideas. I am really looking forward to the next course.