Plein Air Sketching and Painting in Andalucia and Extremadura, Spain with Noelle Griffiths

I have chosen three of the finest historic towns of Extremadura and one of the famous 'white villages' of Andulacia.

Medieval Cáceres and Roman Mérida are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The hilltop Conquistador town of Trujillo is considered to be one of Spain's hidden gems. All in Extremadura - one of Spain's least visited provinces.

Vejer de la Frontera in Andalucia is only 7km from the Costa de la Luz coast near Cadiz. A wonderful subject for urban sketching with its white washed Moorish architecture. In September 2020 we stay in Vejer

Noelle is keen to share her knowledge and enthusiasm for sketching and painting. Observational drawing is an important basis for making all types of art. We also explore different ways to look and make drawings and paintings - both inspirational and challenging. Noelle's approach is based on art school teaching and is tailored to each person's experience and aspiration.

The holidays include instruction and workshops, with people doing as much or as little sketching and painting as they wish. We start Days 2, 3 & 4 with an optional workshop - such as choosing a subject, markmaking, colour, tone, composition, ink and wash. 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. Small groups of up to six guests.

"I have learned that what I have not drawn I have not really seen, and that when I start drawing an ordinary thing - I realise how extraordinary it is" from The Zen of Seeing

10.00-14.00 and 18.00-19.30 : tutored sessions sketching and painting. After lunch afternoons are free to continue sketching and painting or relax See itinerary


Single, double or twin accommodation - most rooms are ensuite. All tuition. All meals (except 2 lunches). All transport in region. We meet you at Seville airport for Vejer de la Frontera. See Costs & Dates

Noelle will teach individually according to the level of experience - teaching basic observational skills for beginners, whilst helping to improve existing skills and developing subject matter and direction for the more experienced. Working in a small group, Noelle gives each participant individual attention.

Sketching easels, boards, stools, basic art materials including a sketchbook, poster paints, ink and A2 paper are provided for workshops. A materials list will be sent upon booking.

What guests say:

"The course more than lived up to expectations. It was clear that it would from the very first activity: an exercise that required us to look, and look and look again! And so it continued.
During the course of the week Noelle also encouraged us, in the quiet of the afternoon when working at our chosen spot,  to consciously connect with the environment by summoning all  our senses. " Catherine Castro, 2015

"We had a thoroughly enjoyable week with Noelle and Gisela. Even though it was their first time running a course in Vejer it was well organised, with plentiful good food and wine, interesting company, beautiful weather and excellent art tuition. It's rekindled my desire to draw and paint again. Thanks Noelle." Kate Esmarch, 2017

"I really enjoyed the Townscape course in Vejer de la Frontera. It's such a beautiful setting and a perfect way to really leave all your cares behind and just enjoy a stimulating but also relaxing week honing your skills, whether a beginner or more experienced. Noelle taught me some very useful tips at how to really see, which I will continue to use. Gisela is a font of local knowledge and history. The evenings were spent setting the world to rights over lovely home cooked food and a glass of wine or two. Only complaint is it all went by too fast!" Dana Walker, 2017

....and see testimonials with students' artwork.

TRUJILLO ~ the walled town of Trujillo is perched on a hill overlooking a vast plain. It is one of the best kept secrets of Spain and dates back to 600BC. Once home to the most powerful Conquistadors, its architecture combines Roman, Moorish (with a splendid castle) and the beautiful mansions and monuments built by the wealthy families of the Conquistadors in the sixteenth century. see Landscape itinerary

CÁCERES ~  Founded by the Romans, it retains widespread evidence of subsequent occupation by many different cultures.  The old town is well preserved and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  A mix of Gothic and Renaissance architecture, cobbled medieval streets, fortified houses and palaces.   Encircled by 12th-century Moorish walls, it also has around 30 towers built by the returning Conquistadors in the 16th Century.

MÉRIDA ~ Mérida was founded in 25 BC as the capital of the Roman province of Lusitania.  It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered to contain the finest Roman remains in Spain.  It has a Roman theatre which can seat 6000 people, an amphitheatre and temples as well as the National Museum of Roman Art. Mérida has lovely walks along the wide Guadiana river and the Puente Romano, a 792m bridge crosses the river to the Alcazaba and Roman walls. It later became an important religious centre during the first years of Christianity and Visigoth rule. 

VEJER DE LA FRONTERA ~ The town of Vejer de la Frontera is one of the finest white villages of Andulacia.  Perched high above the River Barbate and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, you feel you can almost touch the mountains of Morocco. It is surrounded by orchards, orange groves and expansive plains.  Vejer is steeped in history, having been used as a fortress town by the Phoenicians, later by the Romans and for five centuries the Moors.  After its re-conquest by the Christians in 1248 it became a border town against the Moors and hence 'de la Frontera' was added to it's name. The famous battle of Trafalgar took place just off the coast near the town in 1805. see September itinerary

VEJER strip 2