Discover TUSCANY

With James Richards

At Lucca, Italy

13 October - 23 October, 2023

2 Last spots available due to cancellation!!! Discover the authentic essence of the towns, villages and countryside of Tuscany, one of the world’s great cultural destinations, through the joy of on location sketching. Few regions in the world offer such a rich travel experience, and capturing your journey in sketchbooks through pencil, ink and watercolor takes that experience to new heights. Through sketching, we will go beyond simply capturing a likeness of a place, to capturing your personal interpretation of its life, energy and authenticity. Through sketching, we see more clearly and connect more deeply; you will make the lessons of Tuscany’s history, culture, architecture and landscape your own. You will also experience the best of Tuscany’s food, wine, and cultural riches. Don’t miss this opportunity to immerse yourself in one of the world’s great places. Join artist, world traveler and urban design professor James Richards for a fun and enlightening 10 days that will enhance both your on location sketching skills and your appreciation for this remarkable region that holds such a very special place in the hearts of the world.

Course Highlights

  1. Sketching instruction by James
  2. Lucca, San Gimignano, Lerici, Viareggio, Pietrasanta tours
  3. Cooking Lesson with personal Chef
  4. Puccini Concert in a Romanesque church
  5. Glamorous Tuscan 5 course dinner

Day by Day Workshop Schedule

  1. Day 1: The arrival day! Group will be picked up from Pisa airport or Lucca Station at 4:00pm. Arrival, unpack, settle in the Villa, time to rest. Around 17:30, Welcome gathering with James and Karolina including day-to-day schedule and workshop plan, goals, and challenges. Dinner – Karolina’s favourite Tuscan delights.
  2. Day 2: Home day! Morning recovery… Late breakfast at 9.00. Time to relax and enjoy surrounds - first instructional session with James. Limoncello making lesson. Lunch under Pergola at 13:00 prepared by our chef. Post lunch, it’s time to explore Lucca! First warm up sketching session with Jim at Piazza San Frediano. After time on own for exploring, shopping (with a map in your hand) Dinner in Lucca at 19.00, afterwards back home.
  3. Day 3: Breakfast at 8:30am, 9.15 Color demo with James and 10.00 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, and is now a popular resort town. Arrival - sketching session with James, time to take a walk and shop on own. 13.00 Meeting for Lunch on promenade - picnic at the beach with Prosecco. 14.00 Departure for the medieval town of Pietrasanta, known as the “City of Artists,” this lovely town have a deep roots in Italy’s legacy of art and sculpture. Time on own to enjoy coffee or Gelato. Return home 17.30. Dinner prepared by our Chef.
  4. Day 4: Home day! Breakfast at 8:30am followed by session with James around the villa’s gardens. Lunch at 13:00. After lunch, time to relax, around 16:30, the group will enjoy cooking lesson and prepare dinner for everyone 19.00. For non-cooks we offer optional massage (on own cost) by our specialized masseuse Charlotte!
  5. Day 5: 8:30am breakfast, 10.00 sketching instruction with James. 13:00 Lunch under Pergola. Post lunch, back to Lucca for more exploring, afternoon sketching session with James in beautiful Piazza Amfiteatro. 18:45 meeting for Puccini Concert. Afterwards, dinner in Karolina’s favourite restaurant.
  6. Day 6: Breakfast at 8:30am followed by session with James around villa. Lunch at 13:00. Post lunch excursion to Fabbrica San Matino for bio dynamic wine tasting with Giuseppe. Back home for dinner.
  7. Day 7: Breakfast at 7:30am, 8:30 day trip to San Gimignano with a sketching lesson by James. 1h stop in Pisa to sketch the leaning tower. San Gimignano its a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena. Known as the Town of Fine Towers. After arrival, time to explore on own with a map in hand. Lunch on own. Return home 17:00 for pizza party at villa.
  8. Day 8: Breakfast at 8:30am followed by sketching demonstration by James and sketching around the villa. Lunch at 13:00. Post lunch it is time to relax. Around 16:00, the group will depart for a sketching session on the Lucca bridge, afterwards cocktail and apericena at Pane e Marmellata.
  9. Day 9: Time to explore Liguria! A day trip to Lerici – beautiful coast town with spectacular views. There will be a sketch session with James, time to shop, explore and relax on own (with a map in hand). Lunch on own. Return home at 16:30. Dinner at 19:00.
  10. Day 10: You’ll start the day with breakfast at 8:30am. The group will finish their art works. After lunch at 13.00pm, there’ll be time to pack, relax, and rest. 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 19.00pm there’ll be a glamorous gala dinner offering the best Tuscan cuisine. You’ll have a five-course meal prepared by our chef along with homemade verbencello.
  11. Day 11: Departure day. ☹ Breakfast at 8:30am. After breakfast, the group will be taken to Lucca train station or Pisa airport.

Course Cost: 3849Euro


James Richards is an award-winning artist, urban designer, author and former professor whose work explores great places and cultures around the globe. He is an instructor, blog correspondent and Advisory Board member for the international non-profit Urban Sketchers. His award-winning book, Freehand Drawing and Discovery, has been translated into Chinese, Korean and Russian, and is a required text in university art and design programs around the world. His work is widely published in books and magazines, and has been seen on NBC Nightly News. He is also a popular online instructor for Skillshare , Craftsy and The Great Courses.

Jim’s travels have taken him to over 45 countries. His travel art and on location sketches have appeared in numerous books, magazines and blogs as well as solo and group exhibitions. His solo exhibition "Hemingway's Cuba" was shown in Ernest Hemingway's home outside Havana (now a national museum) during the 2015 Havana Art Biennial. Richards is the first American to show an exhibition at the Nobel Prize-winning author's home. He is a frequent keynote speaker for conferences and symposia, and travels globally to teach design drawing and urban sketching workshops.

Your Tuscan Experience

Our 10-day courses are held at the beautiful farmhouse , on the idyllic hill overlooking the city of Lucca.

Tuscany is one of Italy’s best-loved regions. It’s beautiful countryside is reminiscent of the landscapes of Renaissance masterpieces. Along with rolling hills and vineyards, it also offers a rich artistic heritage including exquisite art and architecture – not forgetting premium wines and delicious cuisine.

Set between the blue-green Apennine Mountains and the turquoise Tyrrhenian Sea- Tuscany is the heart and soul of Italy. Known and loved for amazing light, splendid landscapes, charming low hills, olive groves, vineyards, and beautiful old farmhouses, Tuscany is the ideal location for any artist.

As an immersive cultural experience, we also offer activities including a classical Puccini concert, cooking class with our Chef who specializes in Tuscan cuisine, wine tasting in our favourite local vineyards- These are only a few of our many close-by attractions.

Workshop Information

Each day will include an instructional session, with the topic of the day related to that day’s destination or activity. These sessions will include a 20 to 30 minute talk, followed by a 30-minute demonstration. Participants will then sketch at various locations throughout the day, with one-on-one suggestions from James. Sketching sessions will usually conclude with an informal showing of all the sketchbooks, with James and participants offering constructive suggestions. The goal is to have each person more knowledgeable, inspired and excited for the next day.

Instructional themes for each day will include:

Day 1: Introduction to workshop, teaching methods, challenges and goals.

Day 2: Getting started: James’ step-by-step approach to on-location sketching and a color demonstration.

Day 3: Speed sketching techniques

Day 4: Achieving a sense of depth:town and countryside

Day 5: Using color strategically

Day 6: Designing with darks

Day 7: Capturing the crowd

Day 8: Demonstration of combination of techniques

Day 9: Pulling it together to capture sense of place

Day 10: Review and questions as group, then work on your own finishing sketchbooks


This workshop is being arranged through Karolina will follow up on all questions about the workshop, accommodations, activities, coordinate arrivals and departures, food issues and all other details.She will handle all booking arrangements, all enquiries, and receive the payments of deposit and balance from the students directly.


Karolina Lenart

Telephone: +39 3455809974

Included in the cost of your workshop in Tuscany:

  • Accommodations
  • All tuition fees
  • All excursions
  • 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 stools


  • Flights to and from Pisa
  • 3 lunches (Lucca,Portovenere,San Gimignano)
  • Painting supplies

It is suggested that you fly into Pisa airport as our transportation for the workshop will be coordinated from there around 16.00pm. We can also pick up participants from Lucca train station at 16.45pm -17.00pm.

Departure is scheduled for 10.00am Please make sure your flight back is coordinated with departure from Villa.

Register: To sign up, a non-refundable deposit of Euro -500 is required. Reserve your place now, so you don't miss out!

Contact Karolina to register:

Karolina Lenart