The Light of Tuscany

With Alex Hillkurtz

At Villa Selva, Lucca

18 August - 28 August, 2022

In this workshop I will teach you techniques to enhance the story you want to tell with your painting: composition, perspective, lighting, detail (or lack of detail). We will work in watercolour sketchbooks, and larger sheets, and the media will be pencil, pen and ink, and watercolour. I will show how I choose a composition designed to draw your eye into a piece. Using a quick pencil sketch to jot down spontaneous ideas, then moving to ink for rough details, and finally watercolour, I will show you how I “see” the subject on the page, and how to avoid common mistakes. I will share insights about the importance of light and shadow to define shapes, perspective to add depth, and colour to tell a story. Most of all we will have fun! You’ll come away with a sketchbook you can be proud of, full of your unique paintings and colorful memories of this beautiful part of the world.

Course Highlights

  1. Instructions and lesson by Alex
  2. Day trips to Lucca, Viareggio, Pietrasanta, Portovenere and San Gimignano
  3. Cooking Lesson with personal Chef
  4. Classical concert in a Romanesque church
  5. Artist guest spot with Dominika Allan - Aromatherapy and wellbeing in your garden: Cyanothype technique (sun print) and ritual bath salts
  6. Glamorous Tuscan farewell dinner, Pizza Party and best Italian Food and Wine during entire stay

Day by Day Workshop Schedule

  1. Day 1: 18th of August: The arrival day! Group will be picked up from Pisa airport or Lucca Station beetween 3:00- 5:00pm. Arrival, unpack, settle in Villa , time to rest. Around 6.00pm, Welcome gathering with Alex and Karolina on day-to-day schedule and workshop plan, goals, and challenges. Dinner – best of Italian cuisne made by our Chef.
  2. Day 2: 19th: Home day! Recovery Day…breakfast 9.00am time to relax and enjoy surrounds - first instructional session with Alex. Verbencello start, Lunch at 1.00pm under Pergola prepared by our chef. Post lunch it is time to relax, take a walk, paint or sketch. 5.00pm happy hour-gathering for cocktails. Dinner prepared by our villa Chef at 7.00pm
  3. Day 3: 20th: 08.30am: Breakfast, 09.30am: Introduction to Lucca, walking tour with the guide (2h)Starts at the Art store:)After Sketching session with Alex on Piazza Amfiteatro later time for lunch and shopping ,with a map in your hand. 4.30pm Departure to Villa 7.00pm. Dinner home.
  4. Day 4: 21st: Home day! Breakfast at 8:30am followed by session with Alex around the villa gardens. Lunch at 1.00pm .Time to relax , around 4.30pm, the group will enjoy cooking lesson and prepare dinner for everyone 7.00pm
  5. Day 5: 22nd: Breakfast at 8:30am , 9.30am Departure to Viareggio. The main city of the northern Tuscan Riviera area of Versilia, Viareggio began as a medieval fishing village, then later gained renown for its shipbuilding. Arrival painting time with Alex or time to take a walk and shop on own.1.00pm Meeting for Lunch on molo for fried sea food feast, picnic at the beach with Prosecco. 2.00pm Departure for the medieval town of Pietrasanta, known as the “City of Artists,” has deep roots in Italy’s legacy of art and sculpture. Time to enjoy on own for coffee, gelato or sketch. Return home 5.30pm. Dinner home 7.00pm-Pizza Party!
  6. Day 6: 23rd: Home day! Breakfast at 8:30am followed by session with Alex around villa. Lunch at 1.00pm. Post lunch time to relax. 3.30pm Back to Lucca for more exporing,shopping,sketching on own. Meeting 7.00pm for Puccini concert afterwards 8 course dinner in Our favourite restaurant with Chef Carlo. Back home 11.00pm
  7. Day 7: 24th; Breakfast en route! Italian style Coffee and pastries:)Pane e Marmellata. Departure to San Gimignano-world famous for its architecture characterized by numerous medieval towers, hence the nickname of the Manhattan of the Middle Ages. Today there are only 14 of the 72 towers belonging to the wealthy families, despite this the view of its skyline on the hill is a unique emotion. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Arrival,Session with Alex afterwards Time on own for lunch,exploring,shop. Departure 5.00pm Dinner home 7.00pm
  8. Day 8: 25th: Breakfast at 8:30am followed by painting instruction by Alex and capturing the countryside. Lunch at 1.00pm. Post lunch it is time to relax. Aromatherapy workshop with Dominika Allan. You learn a cyanotype technique and ways to dry and preserve herbs and flowers.Around 4.00pm, the group will depart for wine tasting in best Bio-Dynamic winery. At 7.00pm, back home for dinner.
  9. Day 9: 26th: Time to explore Tuscany! 09.00am: Breakfast en-route. A day trip to Portovenere – most beautiful coast town with spectacular views .Session with Alex, time to shop, explore and relax on own (with a map in hand). Lunch on own . Return home at 4.30pm. Dinner at 7.00pm
  10. Day 10: 27th: The last day of workshops! You’ll start the day with breakfast at 8:30am. The group will finish their art works. After lunch at 1.00pm, there’ll be time to pack, relax, and rest. Ritual bath salts and bath bomb making with Dominika- you learn what essential oils help to calm and relax or to energise your mood- all in the beautiful gardens of Villa Selva. Later in the afternoon, we’ll create a gallery with all of your works! You’ll enjoy this with a spritz and casual spuntini. At 7.00pm there’ll be a glamorous gala dinner offering the best Tuscan cuisine along with homemade verbencello.
  11. Day 11: 28th: Departure day☹ Breakfast at 8:30am. After breakfast, the group will be taken to Lucca train station or Pisa airport.

Course Cost: $3849

Everyone should visit Italy at least once in their life.
Make 2022 your year to follow your passion and discover the Tuscan countryside, stroll through historic villages, enjoy a cappuccino in Lucca, taste the best sea food in Portovenere , sip a glass of the best Sangiovese wine from the local producer. Wont you come along with us?
Tuscany is waiting...

Included in the cost of your workshop in Tuscany:

• Instructions and lesson by Alex • Accommodate

• All excursions • All tuition fees

• All activities • Airport transfers and local transportation including day trips to Lucca, Viareggio, Pietrasanta ,Portovenere, San Gimignano. • All breakfasts lunches and dinners (excluding 3 lunches) • The use of folding chairs

Exludes: • Flights to and from Pisa • 3 lunches (Lucca, Sangimignano, Portovenere) • Painting supplies


To sign up, a non-refundable deposit of $500 is required.

Reserve your place now, so you don't miss out! Contact Karolina to register: Karolina Lenart