With James Richards
At Lucca , Italy - Villa Vistosa
17 October - 27 October, 2025
Join me for an unforgettable 10 days in one of the worlds most inspirational places! I’ve been sketching and painting in Tuscany for years, and I can’t wait to share my favorite artistic and cultural immersion experience with you. Our workshops are a celebration of the transformational experience of travel, and the added richness, exuberance and creative rush that on-location sketching brings to it. You'll learn to use sketching as a tool for exploration and a doorway to discovery in some of Tuscany’s most beloved hill towns, landscapes, and coastal villages. Along the way, we’ll enjoy gourmet regional cuisine by our personal chef, the region’s finest wines, winery visits and tastings, a cooking class—even a Puccini opera performance! The goal of this workshop is not for you to draw like anyone else. My goal is to equip you with eye-opening lessons, techniques, shortcuts and inspiration from my own decades of experience and travel that can help you develop your own style, provide sketching breakthroughs and shave years off your learning curve. Our workshop guests often say we've "given them permission" to be themselves and to enjoy every day of the process. You’ll depart with a newfound sense of freedom and confidence that's the foundation for a lifetime of enjoyment and continued growth.
- Sketching instruction by James
- Lucca, San Gimignano, Lerici & San Terenzo, Viareggio, Pietrasanta tours
- Cooking Lesson with personal Chef
- Puccini Concert in a Romanesque church
- Glamorous Tuscan food & wine
- Pizza feast
Day by Day Workshop Schedule
- Day 1: 17th 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 6:00pm Welcome gathering with James and Karolina including day-to-day schedule and workshop plan, goals, and challenges. Dinner – Karolina’s favourite Tuscan delights.
- Day 2: 18th Home day! Morning recovery… Late breakfast at 9:00am. Time to relax and enjoy surrounds - first instructional session with James. Limoncello making lesson afterwards, Lunch under pergola at 1:00pm prepared by our Chef. Post lunch, it’s time to explore Lucca! First warm up sketching session with Jim at Piazza San Giovanni. After time on own for exploring, shopping (with a map in your hand) Dinner in Lucca at 7.00pm.Back home.
- Day 3: 19th Breakfast at 8:30am, 9:15am Color demo with James and 10.00am 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. 1.00pm Meeting for Lunch on promenade - picnic at the beach with Prosecco. 2:30pm 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 strool , enjoy coffee or gelato. Return home 5:30pm. Dinner prepared by our Chef.
- Day 4: 20th 8:30am breakfast, 10.00am sketching instruction with James. 1:00pm Lunch under Pergola. Post lunch, back to Lucca for more exploring, afternoon sketching session with James at beautiful square ,,Piazza Anfiteatro,,. 6:45pm meeting for Puccini Concer. Dinner in Karolina’s favourite restaurant.
- Day 5: 21th Home day! Breakfast at 8:30am followed by session with James around the villa’s gardens. Lunch at 1:00pm. After lunch, time to relax, around 4:30pm, the group will enjoy cooking lesson and prepare dinner for everyone 7:00pm. For non-cooks we offer optional massage by our specialized masseuse Charlotte.
- Day 6: 22th Breakfast at 8:30am followed by session with James around villa. Lunch at 1:00pm. Post lunch excursion to Fabbrica San Matino for bio dynamic wine tasting with Giuseppe. Back home for dinner.
- Day 7: 23th Breakfast at 7:30am, 8:30am 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 5:00pm for pizza party at villa.
- Day 8: 24th Breakfast at 8:30am followed by sketching demonstration by James and sketching around the villa. Lunch at 1:00pm. Post lunch it is time to relax. Around 4:00pm, the group will depart for a sketching session on the Lucca bridge, afterwards cocktail and apericena in town.Back home.
- Day 9: 25th 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 4.30pm. Dinner at 7:00 with Chef Ella
- Day 10: 26th 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. 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. You’ll have a five-course meal prepared by our Chef along with homemade verbencello.
- Day 11: 27th Departure day. ☹ Breakfast at 8:30am. After breakfast, the group will be taken to Lucca train station or Pisa airport.
Course Cost: 4499 Euro
ABOUT THE ARTIST :
James Richards’ career crosses many creative boundaries, and drawing has always been a cornerstone of his creative life and work. He is an award-winning artist, author, urban designer, and former university professor whose work explores real places and real stories around the globe. Jim is the author of the award-winning book Freehand Drawing and Discovery: Urban Sketching and Concept Drawing, a popular text at design schools across the U.S. and abroad.
Jim’s travels have taken him to 45 countries. He is an instructor, online contributor for Urban Sketchers, the international non-profit that promoting on-location sketching around the globe. His sketches have been published worldwide, appeared in solo and group exhibitions, seen in the National Geographic film Selah and on NBC Nightly News. His solo exhibition "Hemingway's Cuba" was shown in Hemingway’s estate outside Havana (now a national museum) during the 2015 Havana Art Biennial. Richards is the first American invited to have an exhibition in the Nobel Prize winning author's home. Jim is a popular online instructor on Skillshare.com, Craftsy and The Great Courses. He travels globally to teach urban sketching workshops for artists, designers and travelers.
Your Tuscan Experience
Our 10-day course isheld 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.
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 followtuscany.com 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.
Telephone: +39 3455809974
Included in the cost of your workshop in Tuscany:
- 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/Florence airport as our transportation for the workshop will be coordinated from there . We can also pick up participants from Lucca train station.
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 1000 Euro is required. Reserve your place now, so you don't miss out!
Contact Karolina to register: