Category Archives: course

The Art of Looking

I have designed a series of lessons specifically aimed at encouraging people to look at the world around them. There are many people who teach or take courses about painting, drawing and photography but what is rarely touched upon is the skill of observing our surroundings.

Artist’s view

ColourSplodgeWhether you are an artist, a photographer or a regular visitor to art galleries, this series of lectures will be useful. It doesn’t matter what material you choose, watercolours, pencils or charcoal, it will give you an insight into how artists view the world.

You will be inspired to create magnificent compositions, use fabulous colour combinations and demystify the art of looking. This is one of the often overlooked skills that people should definitely acquire and develop

The art of looking

neal-winfield-archesThe “Art of Looking” is a course that will show how the world is put together and break down colours, lines and shapes into a series of captivating talks. This will enable you to clearly plan paintings and get more out of visits to art galleries. The course will show you how to compose pictures, make the most out of scenes and understand the importance of colour.

Courses will be run over four mornings during June to September in the gorgeous Niccone Valley on the Tuscan Umbria border. Lessons will typically be between 9.30 and 13.00, leaving your afternoons free to paint, tour and explore the surrounding countryside.

Art course content

Fig6During the sessions you will hear about the elements that make up a picture, practice simple exercises to commit your observations to paper and look at examples from throughout art history. By the end of your time you will have practical knowledge of colour theory, perspective and depth, as well as the mathematics of paintings.


For full details of the course itinerary, dates and prices please drop me a line at

Painting Course in Umbria

Recently, I had the joy of running a painting course in Umbria for a group of visiting artists whose tutor had been injured days prior to leaving. It was a great opportunity to meet new people, get outside and paint and impart some of my own particular thoughts on painting.

IMG_20190322_100413[1]Painting outdoors

The event was organised by the Civitella Ranieri Foundation and was based in the fabulous, 15th century castle near Umbertide.   This location is perfect for artists, perched high above the old town with expansive views of the Umbrian countryside.

This time of year the weather is somewhat unpredictable so we had studio based exercises on the cloudy, windy days and trips out, painting au plein air on the sunnier days.  Here, high above the Asino Valley, we spent our time capturing the hills, woods and fields before us. A couple of days later we followed this with a drive into the beautiful hill town of Montone, where the students painted the buildings of the town.

Art in Umbria

IMG_20190326_151042[1]The highlight of the week, for me, was visiting the Archeologia Arborea just outside of Citta di Castello. This is a tree museum, where they care for over 400 native fruit trees, grape vines and wild flowers. It’s a lovely peaceful place to sit and paint but sadly the weather was against us on the day we were there. Despite this, it was a thoroughly enjoyable trip with Isabella, the owner, explaining the history and importance of the orchard.

All in all the week proved to be an inspirational success for everyone, with students picking up new skills and experiences along with unforgettable memories of the Umbrian countryside.

If you are interested in a painting course or guided au plein air trip to study the landscape of central Italy, please drop me a line at  🙂

Stained Glass Course in Italy

How would you like to spend a wonderful week in the beautiful Umbrian hills, south of Lake Trasimeno learning the ancient art of stained glass production?

DSCN7188Well! In August, 2018, I’ll be running an introductory stained glass course at the lovely Arte Umbria venue. This will be a great opportunity for you to visit Italy, experience its unique atmosphere and learn a new skill.

Beginners stained glass course

The course is aimed at beginners and will give you a taste of the 1,000 year old practice that has left us with some of the world’s most colourful and distinct artworks. By the end of the week, you will be able to design patterns for glass, cut glass and lead and solder a panel together.

DSCN7199You will have all the necessary equipment and materials supplied and there is a kit with the most essential tools to take home so that you can practice on your return.

There will also be a series of informative talks about the history of leaded lights, style and design, and a fascinating guided trip to the nearby Piegaro Glass Museum where, for centuries, they manufactured handmade, Chianti wine bottles.

Accommodation and food

Arte Umbria is set in 225 acres of verdant, hilly countryside, teeming with wild flowers, woodlands and all manner of animals. The landscape, as far as the eye can see, is studded with hill top towns, old castles and Medieval watchtowers. IMG_20170616_0001

The course is full board and along with the well appointed rooms, in a traditional Umbrian style, with a swimming pool, library and peaceful walks around the grounds to be enjoyed. There is a daily feast prepared by the on-site chef with ingredients grown or bought locally, giving you a real taste of Italy, there’s also plenty of wine from around the area.

For full details, dates and prices, or check out Arte Umbria‘s site for more information on the venue. Hope to see you in the summer.  Neal 🙂