Painting Classes

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Oil and Acrylic Painting Workshops and

On-Site Workshops with John Presseault


Workshops with John Presseault at Il Pornelleto, Italy which is near Cetona (on the border of Umbria and Tuscany) September 2019.

Painting in Tuscany
Come with us to the beautiful Italian countryside to paint and learn and enjoy ourselves. One week courses.

(Optional two weeks available.)
See website for pricing


Price Includes:

airport transfers
course fees
seven nights accommodation
daily breakfast, lunch
and three-course dinners (free wine at dinner)

plus a few side trips

Note: Airfare not included.

Workshop Schedule

No dates as of yet

This fabulous art retreat is set in the picturesque Italian country-side, along the border of Tuscany and Umbria, in the province of Siena, 3 km from the medieval village of Cetona, and near the Chiusi Therme train station. Nestled among olive groves and vineyards our antique-filled villa has individual bedrooms (each with their own bathrooms), lounging areas, kitchens and a pool.




·         Foldable EASEL if possible and some sort of paint box would be an asset

·        Any size of canvas or boards or canvass paper if using acrylic is good (if using paper, ensure you have a board

          for backing and painters tape or clips to secure them. I use 11 x 14 and 8 x 10 thin wood panels that I've gessoed

          for my oil work because ready made frames are easy to purchase for those sizes and I use canvas paper pads for

           my acrylic work

         A plastic jar with lid for transporting dirty water to safe dump site

·         Paper Palette or wood, whichever you prefer

·         Brushes: a few flats, filberts and rounds not to large as we are working on small panels-You should have one

           larger paint brush or a rag for toning canvas or boards  

          plus 1 very fine and soft brush for detailed work

·         Water containers ie. tin cans (for acrylic or water soluble oil painters) , (avoid glass containers for safety).

·         If using oil paint- it is strongly recommended that you use water soluble oils to minimize exposure to dangerous

          solvents or use oil or soap products to clean brushes (instead of turps or mineral spirits) for the regular oils.  

·         Rags or paper towels

·         Palette knife

·         Drawing material: sketch pad , pen or pencils.

·         Painting smock or apron or old clothes

·         Paints:  MUST: titanium white (large), cadmium yellow light, cadmium red medium, ultramarine or cobalt blue or 

          thalo blue and burnt umber and possibly a green if you prefer not to mixe it

·         OPTIONAL (not necessary): veridian or sap green, cadmium yellow medium, cerulean blue, Indian red or

          transparent oxide, red/orange, alizarin crimson, raw sienna or yellow ochre and raw umber. 

          For toning boards or canvas, an acrylic red and orange, as I almost never paint on a white surface

          Plus a good hat with brim


I don't force people to paint in my style unless they want to learn it, please let me know your preference at the start. I am very flexible, I generally try to find out how people paint and assist them in creating stronger and better paintings. I will give tips and make suggestions as we go along. I will be talking mostly about two methods of painting, the three value method and the alla prima method and pointing out their strenghts and difficulties. I will also be painting along with the group so they can see just how I do either of those. I will cover what to do as a prep (thumbnail sketches) before putting any paint on both on site and in the studio. I'll discuss choosing subject matter, how much or little to paint, what drew you to that subject, how to move things like trees, rocks, hills, light and shadows to emphasize what you want to say, how to see real color in nature, how to and what to change, color to warm or cool the piece, composition, focal point or points or not, how to mixe paint, how to apply it, the golden mean and much more. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to speak up, I am there to help you grow and improve as artists and I want everyone to enjoy the process and have fun. I will try to have group critiques at the end of each day and are to be kept on the positive side by all.

Keep on painting,


Contact Us
email :
Our Villa/ Farmhouse offers a strategic location for visiting the beautiful cities and towns in Tuscany and Umbria.




Studio Painting Demonstration    (click on photo below)

(Then click on Open this content in a new frame)





Studio Painting : presently Tue. 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Oil or Acrylic                        Sat. 11:00 am to 2:00 pm

                             Other dates and times are possible                              Students can join at any time due to

                             the flexible teaching method


Session - one 3 hour classe per day or evening for 8 consecutive weeks

Fees are $240.00 for the 8 week course


Students will be introduced to their materials. The different ways of beginning a painting are covered. All paintings are composed of 4 main visible elements:color, value, shapes and edges and these topics will be discussed throughout the eight week session .Composition, placement  and  the necessity or not of a focal point will be covered. Alla prima and/or the three value methods will be used. Students will be encouraged to develop their own unique painting style (own voice) through positive critiques and suggestions. Gentle group critiques by their fellow students and the instructor will take place after most sessions. Both novice and experienced artists can benefit greatly from these classes.

Students must bring there own subject matter (ie. real reference material, photos, copies of paintings, etc).Please be conscious that the material should be clear and large enough to make out enough detail to work from. We will not work from memory, this should only happen after years of experience. Painting materials and subject reference material must be brought to every session.

Classes are kept to a maximum size of 4 to 8 people. Due to the flexible instruction method used in the workshops, the eight consecutive weeks is highly recommended but are somewhat flexible. These courses run year round including the summers.


  Material list for painting:



On-Site Classes:          


Session :  one weekend (Sat-Sun) 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

                  No dates at this time


Fees $300.00



Discussions on how to start an on-site painting by first choosing  a subject that inspires the artist and by figuring out what attracted them to that scene. Then deciding what will be the focal point for that piece and how to plan the piece so that happens. This all takes place prior to any actually painting. Other practices discussed will be the advance thumbnail sketch, a light/dark study and even color studies prior to actually painting. Alla prima and the three value methods will be discussed and each student can choose either of these techniques. John likes to have students use their own judgment in how much information to include in their paintings, if they want to eliminate certain features in the landscape to strengthen the composition or to even rearrange the landscape. A camera to record the scene so that works can be completed later is a good idea. John does stress accuracy, students will be encouraged to paint what they see and not what they think they know. Attention will be given to shapes, values, edges, composition, color and complementary. They will be spending a lot of time looking and making conscious decisions while they paint. Squinting and stepping back are two of the most important tools for on site work. Students will be made aware of the time restrictions and various ways on how to deal with them when painting outdoors.  Other important en plein air challenges will be discussed.

Should extreme weather warrant it, the workshop dates may be changed on short notice but normally a site is chosen that can accommodate most weather conditions.



Contact Information

John Presseault,

Cell 416-668-0840

Web page:

Classes to take place at John’s studio located at:

501 Alliance Avenue,

Units #210,

Toronto, Ontario M6N 2J1

Directions: (4 Blocks North of St Clair Ave West – 1 1/4 Blocks east of Jane Street) or
(from the foot of Black Creek Dr, south-west along Humber Blvd that turns into Alliance Avenue,

on the south side of Alliance)

Free parking

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