colour pic of students painting Ithaca Painting Holidays

Course content: Ithaca Painting Holidays aims to provide a good quality painting holiday on the island of Ithaca. Alan & Adriana agree: the best way to make a painting of the landscape/seascape is to be there! Painting en plein air (as the French Impressionists and John Constable did) gives artists a reality beyond the photograph. Feeling and seeing happen together.

Students painting local topography and statuary on Ithaca painting holidays
Using statuary as subject matter

Alan Dedman wrote the Landscape Diploma course for the London Art College, with whom he has been a tutor for more than 20 years. The LAC course is successful, appealing to a wide range of learners.

Typical view on Ithaca
We show you how to make sense of this …..

You can learn about the practicalities of working at the scene, management of self and materials, selection of subject matter, perspective in the landscape, use of colour pertaining to choice of medium, atmospheric perspective, application of paint with and without brushes, format of painting, colour related to tone, drawing the landscape, drawing related to painting.

Colour pic of sketching easel and artwork Ithaca Painting Holidays course content
Stunning views from on high

You should arrive in Ithaca around 5pm, based in the main village of Vathi. We will meet for a drink, then attend our welcome dinner at a taverna by the waterside, which includes an ice-breaking exercise so we can get to know each other and discuss the week ahead. This will be an opportunity to make new friends and begin learning from each other. Creating a harmonious learning experience for all.

Taverna on Ithaca in evening
Course content for Ithaca Painting Holidays
Dining at a waterside taverna

9.30am to 2pm – Exploring Ithaca, guided walk and sketching. We will go up the hill to an old village where the views are breath-taking. Here you will have a huge airy panorama with different planes for your sketching & painting.

View of Vathi from high up Ithaca Painting Holidays
Vathi from high up

You can see the hills and village on the first plane and then the landscape opens to sea islands and mainland mountains in the background. We will work from a beautiful cafĂ©, so you can order drinks and snacks. When we finish our session, we will stay there and have a late lunch. It is possible to do a short optional hike down to Vathi.

Restaurateur serving food on Ithaca painting holidays
Late lunch being served at a local restaurant

9.30am to 2pm – Workshop, 3 different mediums.

We will go to the mountain village of Exogi. This is the highest village on the island and has several points which are excellent for sketching open views of mountains and sea, narrow streets, village houses or churches. The views from the village are very beautiful and at some points, they will remind you of Italian landscapes.

Painting students discussing their work Course content: Ithaca Painting Holidays
Students discussing their work

We will have lunch at the lovely Kanenas Restaurant in Stavros which has a green and shady patio and modern Greek dishes. After that, we will do a guided walk to Odysseus Palace where you will be able to do some further sketching.

Photo of Ithaca at dusk Ithaca painting holidays
Evening descends on Vathi

9.30am to 2pm – Painting ‘En plein air’. On this day we will stay in Vathi. The village offers several points where we can paint & sketch narrow streets opening to beautiful backdrops of houses and mountains, hilltop areas with old houses, churches and olive groves, as well as those areas where the village meets the sea. The cloudscapes from Vathi are usually very interesting and sometimes quite dramatic.

Sketching houses and mountains on Ithaca painting holidays
Houses and mountains – Ithaca Painting Holidays

9.30am to 2pm – Painting ‘En plein air’- We will be working from the beautiful and quaint seaside village of Kioni. It is the most characteristic village of the island and has several gorgeous spots to paint and sketch. It has many seaside restaurants, a village that climbs up the hills, all sorts of boats in its small harbour and a stunningly coloured sea.

Boats and sunshine Ithaca painting holidays
Boats and sunshine

9.30am to 2pm – Departure day. Most UK bound flights leave late morning, so it is advisable to take the 9am ferry to Kefalonia. In the meantime, we will advise you about transporting your artworks and begin posting highlights of the week and examples of work done on our website and social media.

Students by the water, pic of in colour
Students by the waterside

Please note: we may change the programme if weather conditions prevent us from working out and about. This will entail lecture presentations and indoor workshops. Alan Dedman has given lectures at the Royal Academy of Arts, the Microsoft Foundation, Barclays Bank PLC and the National Gallery in London; he has also worked with Durham University.

If the weather is inclement we will demonstrate and teach the principles of working from photo-reference in a studio setting.

Students painting by the waterside on Ithaca
Students learning to paint by the waterside on Ithaca

Course content: Ithaca Painting Holidays provides opportunity for peer reviews (critical feedback), which will take place as we work throughout the week. Our course refers to the London Art College’s Landscape Painting Diploma which Alan Dedman wrote and implemented.

Your holiday may culminate in a modest group exhibition which we hope to make live on social media. Works can be presented for sale at this point. We anticipate you will be proud of your progress with us at Ithaca Painting Holidays. If you would like to join us you can book your painting holiday here.

Photos by Alan, Henry and Adriana
Thanks to Melanie