France has always attracted painters, including some of the most famous names in art such as Renoir, Van Gogh, Matisse and Picasso. Perhaps it’s partly that reason why painting workshops in France have become so popular, although the excellent food, fine wine and unspoiled French countryside may play a part in attracting aspiring artists to the country.
When it comes to choosing from the painting workshops in France that are available, location is a big factor. Many workshops are based in Paris, once regarded as the undisputed art center of the world. And the city offers plenty of other diversions, as well as inspiration from some of the greatest art collections in the world, such as those in the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay and the Pompidou Centre. Other possible destinations for a painting workshop include the Provence region and Normandy; both areas have been home to well known artists over the centuries. Monet is often associated with the dramatic Normandy coast, and the unique light of Provence inspired many of Van Gogh’s famous and distinctive paintings.
Taking part in a reputable workshop that has a good reputation is also important, and reading comments and reviews from other customers can help you make a decision. It’s also important that you choose a workshop that focuses on your chosen medium, such as oil painting or pencil sketching. And your skill level and overall expertise should be taken into account too; you don’t want to be struggling to keep up with everyone else in terms of technical know how. Some workshops are aimed more at beginners, while others attract more serious painters.
Another factor is the teacher to participant ratio, especially if you feel you need more personal instruction. Some painting workshops welcome singles or older people, and the emphasis is as much on socializing and having fun as it is on improving your artistic skills. Costs can vary, based on the length of workshop, the amount of instruction and what exactly is included in the cost. In general, all your art supplies are included, as well as instruction, meals and accommodation. Finally, although your goal is to improve your technique, it would be a shame to visit France and not have some free time built into your trip. Whether your interests include visiting historic castles, sampling the local cuisine and wine or simply sitting at a pavement cafe, France has something for everyone.