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  • Sculpture Studio
  • Sculpture Studio
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  • 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

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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 9:30 am-12:30 pm, with breaks for lunch and a siesta. Teaching will start again at 3:30 pm 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.


wrapped indian ink on paper 86 x 60 cm

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 email 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

About Deb Pearson - Life model

deb headshot

 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 modelled 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 modelled 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...