The Watermill at Posara

Tuscany Painting Courses

Our Stories
Watermill Posaro - Tuscany painting

The Watermill at Posara in Tuscany unveils its 2017 courses

 Located between the Apuan Alps (where Michelangelo found his precious marble) and the majestic Apennines in Tuscany, The Watermill at Posara runs an expert-led painting programme, plus knitting, yoga and Italian language weeks.

Five new tutors will lead the 2017 painting programme, covering everything from watercolours and oils to acrylics and pastels.  Guests will benefit from eight newly-refurbished en-suite bedrooms and two new suites that have been named after famous Tuscan artists.

All meals are included: from delicious home-cooked Italian cuisine such as creamy risotto, torta dell’erbe – a tart made with dandelion, borage and nettle leaves – and tiramisu, to eating out at local restaurants, Italian wine with dinner and aperitivi.

The current 2017 programme includes 15 painting courses, three knitting courses and one Italian language course. Here is a summary of the courses taking place from spring 2017:



NEW: Maggie Renner Hellmann – Oils, acrylics, pastels and drawing mediums (17-24 June): With over 40 years’ experience, Californian artist and tutor Maggie Renner Hellmann is inspired by French Impressionists and plein-air painters such as Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh. Maggie’s week-long workshop will involve painting in a variety of Tuscan locations, whilst emphasising the importance of colour, composition, brushwork and perspective. Costs from £1,445 pp (two sharing)*.

NEW: Sue Bradley – Watercolours (and pencils, oils and acrylics) (8 – 15 July): Perfect for beginners and improvers, Sue’s course will help students to capture the beautiful Tuscan landscape as well as the beguiling Watermill itself. Sue is hooked on watercolour, particularly transparent colour, and loves experimenting with new techniques. Costs from £1,445 pp (two sharing)*.

NEW: Mark Warner – Acrylics/Watercolours incorporating conte/pastel (22 – 29 July): Mark is passionate about painting in the great outdoors, and has a relaxed and encouraging teaching style. His own paintings are full of colour and he draws much inspiration from the landscape around him. Sketching is at the heart of much of his work, forming an integral part of each painting. Costs from £1,445 pp (two sharing)*.

NEW: Varvara Neiman – Water-based oils, acrylics and watercolours (26 August – 2 September): Born into an artistic family from St Petersburg, Russia, where art and teaching spans several generations, Varvara became one of the youngest students to achieve a Master’s Degree from Russia’s Academy of Fine Arts. Varvara’s first course at The Watermill includes both group and one-to-one tuition with a focus on topics such as portraiture and life drawing. Costs from £1,445 pp (two sharing)*

NEW: Nel Whatmore and Rebecca de Mendonça – Pastels (23 – 30 September): Nel and Rebecca are two of the UK’s most experienced pastel artists, having been commissioned by organisations such as The Prince’s Trust and The English National Ballet. Their course will include demonstrations, tutorials and painting on location, with the view that any subject – be it flowers, landscapes or still life – can be captured with pastels. Costs from £1,445 pp (two sharing)*


Lisa Richardson – Knitting and la bella vita (6 – 13 May 2017): Lisa Richardson hails from knitting brand Rowan and is known as an enthusiastic, sympathetic and inspirational tutor.  Lisa’s biggest drive when teaching knitting is to help her students to create an item which they will cherish for years to come. Her course will focus on two specially-designed projects; an Italian lace scarf and a slip stitch bag. Costs from £1,445 pp (two sharing)*.

Marie Wallin – Knitting and la bella vita (20 – 27 May): Tutored by Rowan’s Head Designer, Marie Wallin, the emphasis of the week is all about learning new techniques and tips. With Marie’s guidance, you’ll work on a crosses cushion, using the 3D technique of partial knitting, and a traditional Fair Isle bag. Costs from £1,445 pp (two sharing)*.

Sarah Hatton – Knitting and la bella vita (16 – 23 September): Sarah’s knitting workshop will pass on essential tried-and-tested techniques. During the week, students will knit a chunky cable stich and an Italian-style lace scarf – both at the mill, and in pretty locations nearby, such as hilltop restaurants and at a former monastery. Costs from £1,445 pp (two sharing)*.


Language holidays Linigiana (29 April – 6 May): Suitable for all levels, this Italian course will be led by Langues Services, a prestigious language school based in Florence.  During the week, students will be fully immersed in all things Italian and can expect around 20 hours’ formal tuition under the Watermill’s vine verandah, interspersed with excursions to walled towns, vineyards and local markets. Costs from £1,445 pp (two sharing)*.


Doranne Alden – Watercolours (13 May – 20 May): Malta-based artist and teacher Doranne Alden likes to inject personality and philosophy into her work.  She has led many watercolour workshops and is as happy teaching beginners as she is more experienced painters. Costs from £1,445 pp (two sharing)*.

Sandra Strohschein – Watercolours (27 May – 3 June): Sandra is a self-taught watercolourist from Michigan who only began painting a few years ago.  Since then she has already clocked up more than 16,000 hours’ worth of painting and travelling the world, sharing her passion for painting to all. Costs from £1,445 pp (two sharing)*.

Sarah Spencer – Oils, acrylics and drawing mediums (3 – 10 June): Sarah studied at the Royal Academy and is known for her landscapes, portraits and still life paintings in oils and acrylics.  Her course will impart expert knowledge in a variety of mediums, with much painting taking place ‘en plein air’ under the Tuscan sun. Costs from £1,445 pp (two sharing)*.

Keiko Tanabe – Watercolours (10 – 17 June): Keiko’s course will include two demonstrations a day; one with individual guidance and another Q&A session.  Subjects covered include landscape, waterscape, cityscape, interior and painting outdoors.  Suitable for artists with a basic knowledge. Costs from £1,445 pp (two sharing)*.

Lea Nixon – Watercolours (24 June – 1 July): Lea is an exceptional watercolour tutor who puts great importance on the mood, character and atmosphere of his work and others.  He likes to spot the originality in his students and demonstrate techniques to make watercolour painting easier. Costs from £1,445 pp (two sharing)*.

Terry Jarvis – Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics) (1-8 July): Terry is one of Australia’s leading watercolour artists who likes to paint landscapes, people and animals. Terry has worked on artistic projects with Aborigines in Northern Australia and refugees from Kosovo who are now based in Tasmania. He is a fun tutor who will bring the best out in his students. Costs from £1,445 pp (two sharing)*.

Sue Ford – Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylic (15 – 22 July): Happy to work in any medium, Yorkshire-based Sue is a natural teacher who likes to build up each student’s confidence and artistic vision. Costs from £1,445 pp (two sharing)*.

Mike Willdridge – Watercolours and drawing (2-9 September): Mike is a popular tutor at The Watermill and aside from watercolours, sketching and drawing, he is happy to work with gouache and acrylics. Costs from £1,445 pp (two sharing)*. Costs from £1,445 pp (two sharing)*.

Janie Pirie – Painting plants with coloured pencils (9-16 September): Janie Pirie specialises in plant illustrations, botanical paintings and portraits and has two prestigious Royal Horticultural Society gold medals to her name.  Janie’s course will focus on the different stages of coloured pencil drawings, building up rich layers of colour in order to create the finished product. Costs from £1,445 pp (two sharing)*.

Charles Sluga – Watercolours (and acrylics and oils) (30 September – 7 October): Award-winning watercolourist Charles is one of Australia’s most prominent painters, having held numerous exhibitions of his work. He loves to push the boundaries with watercolours and always brings a sense of fun to his ever-popular classes at The Watermill. Costs from £1,445 pp (two sharing)*.

For more details, please call The Watermill at Posara on (UK number) 020 7193 6246;

*Price: Seven-night trips to The Watermill cost from £1,445 pp (two sharing) and include all tuition, full-board accommodation (including local restaurants), drinks and aperitivi, transfers (to/from Pisa), local transport, course materials and a mid-week excursion to either Luca or the Cinque Terre. Flights extra.

Non-painting partners are very welcome to attend and receive £250 off the cost of the course.  Bookings received before 31 December 2016 will qualify for the Early Bird Offer of £75 discount per person.


The Watermill at Posara reveals its creative holidays for 2020
The Watermill at Posara
The Watermill at Posara

The Watermill at Posara reveals its creative holidays for 2020

Learn more
Scriptwriting with two comedy legends in Tuscany
The Watermill at Posara

Scriptwriting with two comedy legends in Tuscany

Learn more
Release your inner creativity in Tuscany: The Watermill at Posara reveals its 2019 courses
The Watermill at Posara

Release your inner creativity in Tuscany: The Watermill at Posara reveals its 2019 courses

Learn more

I have worked with Travel PR for almost 20 years - during which time they have helped to facilitate access to a wide range of clients, tourist boards, destinations and tour operators. While the contours of travel have inevitably changed during that time, Travel PR have been a constant. I have always found them to be professional, helpful, and easy to deal with.

Chris Leadbeater, The Telegraph

Contact us

Travel PR, established 27 years ago, is a leading specialist PR and communications agency specialising in the travel, hotel and lifestyle markets. Want to create a PR strategy for your brand?