Essentials of Plein Air Painting: The Umbrian Experience

with Mitchell Albala - Aug. 30-Sept. 6, 2023

Essentials of Plein Air Painting: The Umbrian Experience

with Mitchell Albala - Aug. 30-Sept. 6, 2023

An Unforgettable Plein Air Painting Adventure

Dates: Aug. 30-Sept. 6, 2023
Venue: Castello di Petroia, Perugia, Umbria, Italy
Medium: For oil and pastel painters

Supply List

Join Winslow Art Center and landscape painter and best-selling author Mitchell Albala for an unforgettable plein air painting adventure in the Umbrian countryside, at beautiful Castello di Petroia, a 10th century castle near the historic medieval city of Gubbio.

Mitchell has a reputation as a generous instructor with a practical and accessible approach to painting outdoors. In this workshop, Mitchell will guide you through each step of the plein air painting process from start to finish.

The 6-day workshop will be a blend of guided instruction and free painting sessions. You’ll be part of a close knit Italian “art colony” as you benefit from daily demonstrations and lectures, and personal and group critiques. You’ll paint in both early morning and late afternoon sessions (for optimal lighting).

Level: This workshop not suitable for those who have not drawn or painted before. It is ideally suited for those who have some painting experience and now want to break into plein air painting, or those who want to hone their existing landscape painting skills.

Topics covered include:

Selection and Composition Landscape painting begins with site selection — choosing a subject, assessing the light, compositional thumbnails, and working with a limited focus.

Landscape ValuesLearn how a 4- or 5-value study helps you understand light and dark, differentiate shapes from one another, and simplify.

“Smart Starts”Learn the proper way to start a painting. Referencing your value studies, you’ll lean how to assess the color of the light, determine the main color groups and lay in a foundation with “color blocks.”

Color Development and Paint HandlingLearn how to move from the color block stage to fully developed color. Plus mixing color, paint handling, and managing detail.

Putting it All TogetherIn our last two sessions you’ll finish paintings already started and/or apply the process you’ve learned to new paintings.

About the Instructor

Mitchell Albala is a highly respected painter, workshop instructor, and author. His semi-abstract and atmospheric landscapes have been exhibited nationally and are represented in corporate and private collections. He leads painting workshops in the U.S. and has offered plein air adventures in Italy. He is the author of two books: Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice (Watson-Guptill, 2009), which has been the best selling landscape painting book in the nation for 10 years; and The Landscape Painter’s Workbook: Essential Studies in Shape, Composition, and Color (Rockport Publishers, 2021). Mitchell has also lectured on Impressionism and landscape painting at the Seattle Art Museum, and written for “International Artist” and “Artists & Illustrators” magazines. He hosts a popular painting blog, which can be found at his website:

Luxury Accomodations at Castello di Petroia

The venue for this week-long art immersion is the 10th Century Castello di Petroia, an authentic medieval fortress perched on a hilltop between the towns of Perugia and Gubbio, with inspiring views of the surrounding landscape. The castle, birthplace of Federico da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino (b.1422), is surrounded by a 600-acre traditional Umbrian farm with beautiful olive groves, hiking and horse-riding trails, meadows, woods and abundant wildlife.

The castle’s 16 bedrooms, each with ensuite bathroom, feature original wooden beams, stone arches, antique furniture and painted ceilings. The luxurious accommodations have been restored with an eye to modern amenities, while preserving the authentic medieval structure. The 13th Century dining room is warm and refined, with historic furnishings, soft light, fireplaces and candles. Breakfasts, which include homemade yogurts, breads, pastries, jams, fresh fruit and local meats and cheeses, are served in the historic Guidobaldo Hall, an elegant book-lined, wood-beamed room with magnificent views of the Umbrian countryside.


Day 1 - Weds, Aug. 30, 2023
  • Pickup at meeting spot in Rome at 1:30 
  • Arrive Castello di Petroia, Gubbio 
  • Orientation/Welcome, Aperitivo and Dinner 
Day 2 - Thurs, Aug. 31, 2023
  • Breakfast at Hotel
  • Lunch at Hotel 
  • Full day of painting instruction
  • Aperitivo and Dinner at Hotel 
Day 3 - Fri, Sept. 1, 2023
  • Breakfast at Hotel
  • Lunch at Hotel 
  • Full day of painting instruction
  • Aperitivo and Dinner at Hotel 
Day 4 - Sat, Sept. 2, 2023)
  • Breakfast at Hotel
  • Lunch at Hotel 
  • Full day of painting instruction
  • Wine Tasting
  • Dinner at Hotel 
Day 5 - Sun, Sept. 3, 2023)
  • Breakfast at Hotel
  • Excursion to Town of Gubbio
  • Aperitivo and Dinner at Hotel
Day 6 - Mon, Sept. 4, 2023
  • Breakfast at Hotel
  • Lunch at Hotel 
  • Full day of painting instruction
  • Aperitivo and Dinner at Hotel 
  • Outdoor astronomy lecture and stargazing
Day 7 - Tues, Sept. 5, 2023
  • Breakfast at Hotel
  • Lunch at Hotel
  • Full day of painting instruction
  • Farewell aperitivo and exhibit of work 
  • Farewell Dinner 
Day 8 - Weds, Sept. 6, 2023
  • Breakfast at Hotel
  • Depart for Rome – 9:30 AM
  • Arrive in Rome at drop-off spot – 12:00-12:30 PM
(Planned itinerary is subject to minor alterations.)

Essentials of Plein Air Painting: The Umbrian Experience

with Mitchell Albala – Aug. 30-Sept. 6, 2023
at Castello di Petroia, Umbria, Italy

Total cost is based per room and number of occupants:

Solo workshop participant: $4,450.
Two workshop participants sharing a room: $7,250.
Workshop participant with travel companion: $6,950.

• Maximum 2 occupants per room, double occupancy not required.

What’s Included:  

  • 8 days, 7 nights accommodation, private room with ensuite bathroom at Castello di Petroia
  • Ground transport from Rome to venue and return
  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches, all dinners with wine
  • 5 full days of painting instruction
  • Additional activities include: Welcome aperitivo, excursion to Gubbio, wine tasting, outdoor astronomy lecture and stargazing, cooking lesson, closing reception.
A deposit of $750 per person will reserve your room and space(s) in a workshop. You may cancel your reservation for a full refund of the deposit within 24 hours. After 24 hours, the deposit is non-refundable. Full balance and signed contract are due four months before the beginning of the workshop.

$750 deposit per person

Please read the contract for complete terms and conditions.

Experience Counts

Martha and the Winslow Art Center team have over 10 years of experience organizing destination art workshops. We personally participate in every travel workshop to ensure the quality of the accommodations and cuisine as well as to coordinate the special needs of the art instruction program.

If you have any questions, please use the form below, phone 206-715-6663 or email to contact us.