Landscape painting in Watercolour-June

Our next painting session with Alan Lawson– this time in watercolour but still enjoying the glorious views of Florence from the  Hotel Villa le Rondini is on Saturday 25-26 June with another lesson to be agreed in September and during our week of Culture in the final week of October.

Alan has a lovely relaxed style of teaching – and also allows us to learn from his own example paintings throughout our lessons.  See more images in Blogs from 23rd-24th April and 22nd and 24th May

If you are reading this and are already in Italy without paints please contact me on my Italian mobile (0039)3273431681 or UK (0044)7979464640  as I do have spare materials – plus large T’shirts to use as overalls to protect your clothes!

Oil painting with Alan Lawson

Scott and Alan review their morning's work

Alan with his demonstration painting

Alan with his demonstration painting

Alan Lawson Biography

Alan painting en plein air at Al Sestri

Born in 1973,  Alan grew up in Edinburgh.

From an early age Alan was particularly interested in three things: the natural world, painting and philosophy.

Alan left school having won the Hutchinson art prize and a commission from Bowmore whisky distilleries. This allowed him a year traveling in Nepal and it cemented his love of wild places.

On return to Britain Alan decided not to study art but to study philosophy and to teach himself to paint. Alan also followed his love of wilderness and became an accomplished rock climber and a snowboard instructor.

For nine years Alan taught Philosophy in Switzerland and painted en plein air in all conditions.

Alan’s landscape paintings are always executed in the field and often in extreme conditions.

Venice lagoon

He believes that ‘To copy a photo is to disinherit yourself as perceiver.

A painting should capture the artists’ perceptions, feelings, thoughts and decisions but should use a language that others can understand.’

Influenced particularly by Sargent, Sorolla, and Seago, Alan sought an academic training and a desire to develop his figurative painting skills.

In 2009 Alan enrolled at the Florence Academy of Art, Italy.

After one term he was moved to the second year studio and by the end of the first year appointed Assistant Drawing Instructor.

Recently Alan has also been appointed as assistant landscape painting instructor to Daniella Astone and as assistant figure painting instructor to Hege Elizabeth Haugen.

Venice - another perfect place to paint!

Alan continues at the Academy and uses his free time to explore the landscape of Italy with his wife, infant son and dog.

Next landscape painting workshop with Alan will start with a welcome party and an introduction to grinding your own oil paints on either Friday 13 May or Friday 27 May.

Costs for initial classes which will be held 9-12.30 on Saturday and Sunday will be £85 or €99 – including lunch at the hotel.

The courses will be held at Hotel Villa le Rondini which has splendid views over the city of Florence and participants will be able to stay at this beautiful Hotel at special negotiated rates.

Materials list for landscape painting in oils

ghesso primed wood panel (no bigger than 25 x 35 cm)

easel – (NB wooden collapsible easels are available to borrow)


2 palette cups

brushes (bristles and sables, a selection of sizes 2 – 14 nothing too expensive as they’ll only get trashed)

and the following oil paints and brands:

Ultramarine dark Old Holland or hand made (Alan stresses this is imperative as other brands are not equal)

Roman Ochre Zecchi brand or Old Holland Golden Ochre (again this is imperative)

The following colours can be of any brand but the quality varies enormously and the effects with it.

Alan has put his personal favourite brands next to the colours but notes that they are expensive so not worth the outlay unless you intend to paint a lot more, and if you do then it’s also worth grinding your own.

This isn’t as scary as it sounds and Alan will offer a lesson on paint grinding on the first evening of the workshop.

Titanium white (Michael Harding)

Cadmium Yellow (Michael Harding)

Vermilion (Zecchi vero cinnabro)

Cadmium Red Medium (Michael Harding)

Cerulean Blue (Old Holland)

Alizarin (Michael Harding)

Cobalt Blue (Michael Harding)

Also important to remember under the Tuscan sun

  • hat
  • sunblock
  • mosquito repellent
  • water bottle

See you soon!