Landscape Painting and Sketching courses in Extremadura, Spain

The beautiful Sierra de Montánchez provides the setting for this art course. Noelle is a professional painter and experienced tutor. She is keen to share her knowledge and experience helping guests to look and interpret the landscape in a deeper more meaningful way.

We spend each day sketching and painting in landscape. On Day 5 we sketch in the hilltop town of Trujillo, home of the conquistadors.

Observational drawing is an important part of all the courses. I also teach a number of creative exercises which are based on art school teaching and aim to be inspirational and challenging.

The holiday includes instruction and workshops, with people doing as much or as little painting and drawing as they wish. On Days 2, 3 and 4 I start the day with optional workshops - such as choosing a subject, ways of seeing, markmaking, colour and tone, composition. The workshops are adapted to the needs of the group or individual requests. This holiday is suitable for all levels of experience. All drawing and painting media taught.

10.00-14.00 : tutored session sketching and painting. Lunch. Afternoons are free to continue painting or relax in the shaded gardens. 18.00-19.30 : sketching with creative exercises before dinner....see itinerary below.....all meals (except lunch on day 5) included.

Our holidays are perfect for solo travel as well as for couples or friends. Discount for non-painting partners sharing a room.

"If you could see the olive groves right now! The foliage old silver and greenish silver against the blue sky...In fact, the rustling of an olive grove has something very intimate about it, something immensely old" Vincent Van Gogh

4 nights ~ £500 per person double occupancy. SINGLE occupancy : £700

7 nights ~ £800 per person double occupancy. SINGLE occupancy : £975

Single or twin accommodation with ensuite bathrooms. All meals (except one light lunch on trip to Trujillo). All transport in region. We meet you at Madrid or Seville airport and return guests staying 7 nights to the airport - see Costs & Dates.

We spend time in the landscape drawing and painting at Finca Acehuche. We also walk along ancient paths and caminos sketching and painting the natural beauty of the area, guests can decide how far to walk.

For beginners: Noëlle will teach the basics of observational drawing and painting. For more experienced painters: she will teach how to improve existing skills and discuss how to develop your strengths and direction of your painting. Working in a small group, Noelle gives each participant individual attention.

Art boards, easels, sketching stools, tables, basic art materials including a sketchbook, poster and acrylic paints and A1 paper are provided. I will send you a materials list when you book.

What guests say:

“Did I die and go to heaven?  A week at the Finca with Noelle and Richard is pretty close.  It nestles amongst stone walls, boulders, wonderful, wonderful wild flowers, exotic birds and olive trees.  Endless subject matter for sketching and painting.  There is no village so you are out in the wild, a mile down a track from the main road.  Richard and Noelle produce fantastic food which we ate on the terrace by moonlight, candlelight or in glorious sunshine.  However the central part of the week was Noelle’s tuition and how she guided us through skills and techniques to enrich our painting.  She is very good at teaching a group who have varying levels of expertise and meeting those different needs.  Each day is structured and planned so we get the most out of painting the surrounding area.  There is always a sense of fun in her workshops and we laughed a lot!  This is my second time on this course – I loved it just as much as the first – if not more.  This is a perfect week to share with other artistic friends.”  Sal Goldsmith, 2016

"The tranquility and solitude experienced at Finca Acehuche provided the inspiration for sketching and painting under Noelle’s excellent tutorage.  The sentinel-like granite boulders that littered the landscape in such a reverent way were very inspiring with their imposing presence on the hills, and among the olive trees, fig trees and cork oaks in the valley.  A perfect setting for painterly art!" Fred Alcock, Canada, 2015

...and see testimonials and students' artwork.

EXTREMADURA with its fine historic towns offers an enticing slice of unspoiled Spain. It is known for its wildlife and birds come from all over Europe and Africa to breed. The intense clear sunshine and evocative birdsong mark the changing seasons. Exhuberant wild flowers with the sound of cuckoos and hoopoes in the spring and early summer. Changing colours lead to the harvesting of figs and grapes in late summer and the departure of the bee eaters and golden orioles.

The Sierra de Montánchez is an imposing granite sierra, geographically almost exactly in the middle of Extremadura. The landscape is a mixture of drystone walled fincas of olives, figs, vines, almonds, oranges and wilder, untended areas. The slopes are extensively wooded with chestnut and deciduous oaks. The lower slopes have gentle pastures for contented grazing animals. There are many interlinking paths that criss-cross over the sierra and between small, pretty villages. There are intimate and grand views to sketch and paint, it is a landscape perfect for artists, photographers, birdwatchers, lovers of botany and those who simply want to commune with Nature.

The Sierra de Gata Art courses in this region are not available during 2019.

Painting and Sketching in the Sierra de Montanchez

DATES: Sunday 12 - 19 May, Friday 6 - 13 September and Saturday 5 - 12 October 2019

DAY 1 : TRAVEL DAY : We personally meet you from Madrid or Seville airport (see costs & dates) and drive you to the beautiful Sierra de Montanchez. Time to relax before drinks and dinner at 20.30. Or choose to travel independently, full directions are provided.

DAY 2: DRAWING : 10.00 - 14.00 - We start the course with a session of observational drawing on the studio terrace and later in the landscape. I have taught life drawing and observational drawing for more than twenty years and developed a way to help you to look more carefully and draw what you see more accurately. This is a good basis for the week, however you choose to paint. After lunch there is time to relax, walk and sketch or paint. 18.00-19.30 : tutored session drawing. 20.00 : drinks and dinner.

DAY 3 & 4 : PAINTING AND SKETCHING : 10.00-14.00 - We start each day with an optional workshop exploring different approaches and media followed by painting or drawing directly from the landscape with your media of choice - either painting en plein air or sketching and later working from your sketches on the studio terrace. After lunch there is time to relax, walk and sketch or paint. 18.00-19.30 : optional tutored sessions with creative exercises. 20.00 : drinks and dinner.

~~~DAY 5 : Guests staying 4 nights : farewell and departure after breakfast (return to Madrid by bus). We take you to Trujillo bus station. You can join the tour and sketching in Trujillo before travelling by bus to Madrid if you wish.~~~

DAY 5 : SKETCHING in TRUJILLO with Noelle : 10.00-16.00 - We visit Conquistador Trujillo to sketch and a leisurely tapas lunch on the Plaza Mayor. We return to the Finca with plenty of time to relax before dinner at 20.00. (transport is provided).

DAY 6 : PAINTING AND SKETCHING : 10.00-14.00 - We can choose to remain at the finca painting or sketch and walk locally. After lunch there is time to relax, walk and sketch or paint. 18.00-19.30 : you can choose to explore Montanchez and have a drink on the Plaza instead of the pre-dinner tutored session. 20.00 : drinks and dinner.

DAY 7 : PAINTING AND DRAWING : 10.00 - 14.00 - Painting with your media of choice with guidance from Noelle. After lunch there is time to relax, walk and sketch or paint on the studio terrace. 18.00-19.30 - review of all your work with advice on how to progress. 20.00 : drinks and FAREWELL dinner.

DAY 8 : FAREWELL AND DEPARTURE after breakfast. We take you to the airport.

08.30: Breakfast. 14.00: Lunches are simple but plentiful salads, cheeses and cold meats. 20.00: Delicious dinners with local wine. All served on the terrace with fine views of the Sierra de Montanchez.

Please note: Lunch on Day 5, drinks and refreshments at cafes and bars are not included in the price.

VENUE : The art course is based at Finca Acehuche. This is a delightful country finca set in a walled 3 acre olive grove, tucked away in a varied landscape of olives, figs, grapes and pasture. We start the day with a leisurely breakfast, lunches and dinners are served on the large terrace with fine views. The large garden provides space with hammocks and loungers to relax, read or sunbathe.

Some guests stay at one of the country fincas or in a hotel we have chosen in the area, all rooms are ensuite. We try to book the same accommodation and collect guests after breakfast and return after dinner. All transport is provided in the Sierra.

Finca Acehuche is a simple and contemporary house with two large covered terraces each with fine views of the Sierra de Montanchez. There are two twin or double bedrooms and two ensuite bathrooms. Both terraces provide studio space with easels, tables and boards. The surrounding land ensures a peaceful, rural atmosphere. For more photographs and information see

SINGLE DAY ART TUTORIALS see prices and dates ~ you can stay independently and join the course on certain days.