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A course for those who want to practise Italian in an original way, through a combination of language class in the morning with afternoon activities to start learning, improve or revise their drawing technique.

Duration: 1 week.

Starting dates in 2021: due to the current situation, still to be scheduled.

Language level: for all except absolute beginners (starting from scratch).

Artistic level: open to everyone.
Drawing lessons are thought as a series of playful exercises, suitable for any person, from the absolute beginner to the expert. Rather than producing masterpieces, our aim is to learn how to observe more attentively what is around us and and experiment the possibilities to express our emotions and feelings through line and color.

That means we are not interested in realism as a result (therefore we deliberately do not bring up subjects like western perspective or anatomy); conversely, we are interested in following the path of external observation and expression of self, in order to develop a personal vision.

The drawing teacher is a teacher of Italian, who is also a skilled illustrator. She will be able to communicate with the students appropriately in both the linguistic and artistic domains.

paper: a block of fine drawing paper produced in Italy will be provided by the school.
colors: Participants who already practise drawing can bring their own materials, with which they are used to work. To those who have no materials, the school will provide them for the drawing lesson on the first day, then we will go together to an art shop where they can buy what they need.

The course is itinerant, we go around drawing. It is therefore recommended not to bring bulky or cumbersome materials or something involving a complex preparation.
Oil, acrylic and tempera colors are not admitted (it is a course of drawing, not painting). Pencils, crayons and chalks of all kinds, ink pens and markers, watercolors are fine.
Also turn on your disposition to get playfully involved and have fun!

Minimum number of participants: 2

Week schedule: Saturday or Sunday: arrival and accommodation in your chosen lodging. Monday to Friday: in the morning, 9.15 am to 1 pm, Italian language lesson in small groups of your same level of knowledge. Monday afternoon: Drawing lesson at school.
We will meet in the school veranda to get to know each other and start drawing. In particular we will practise some observation games/exercises.
During this first session we start to experiment the many possibilities of line, for example to describe different materials or distance, and the power of contrast.
The drawing material for this lesson is provided by the school to those who do not have it. After the lesson, we will show you an art shop where you can buy what you need.
Tuesday afternoon: Exploring and drawing the countryside of Lucca.
We continue our research on the possibilities of line and colour. Today we start with a couple of games with which we experiment how to translate our emotions into signs and colours in an abstract way. Then we observe these first drawings to speak a little about composition. Finally, we apply our personal findings to drawing what is around us, looking at the landscape as through different coloured filters
Wednesday afternoon: Exploring and drawing the city of Lucca.
We meet at school to talk about our work for today. Together we take a look at some examples of sketched travel diaries, from 1800 until today. We speak about how to fix emotions, feelings, notes with a sketch instead of a photograph, and of the advantages of drawing. We will speak a little about the “realistic” colour, the neutral colours, the impressionist technique, then about composition, how to divide the page and to tell a story with drawings.
After theory, we proceed to practice. The teacher walks with you around town to her favourite spots. At every place we will have some time to draw, 10 to 20 minutes, so we will have to work speedily. At the end of the tour we will have some different stories in our blocks and we will talk about how and what we have chosen to draw.
At the end of the day we will have dinner together at a restaurant.
Thursday afternoon: Excursion to Prato.
Trip by train. We will visit the Cathedral to see Filippo Lippi’s frescoes and the Museum of the Cathedral to see Donatello’s low reliefs.
After the visit, to start drawing we will move to Prato City Museum, where we will find works from the Middle Ages to 1900, including the Renaissance and the Baroque.
The idea is to learn from the masters. Copying the works of the greats of the past is a classical exercise, which was practised also by the Renaissance artists.
Drawing the works we like most enables us to better understand the artist’s choices of colours and composition and how the way of portraying reality has been changing over the centuries.
Friday afternoon: at one’s own leisure. On Saturday: possibility of an optional full day trip to Florence. Minimum 3 participants. Cost 70 €.
Trip by train. In the morning we will visit a museum or a church (we can decide at the moment which place we prefer) There we try to learn something from the masters, “copying” the fresco or the painting we like most, in order to understand the artist’s choices of colours and composition when he made the work.
Lunch with the teacher at the central market (not included).
In the afternoon some leisure time, then a walk into the Oltrarno quarter, a charming part of Florence less crowded with tourists but rich in Antique Shops, Handcraft Workshops and Art Galleries.
Return to Lucca in the evening.

Course price: 530 €, including the language lessons, the drawing lessons, a tour of the city, a tour in the country, the Florence excursions, the entrance into the museum, the dinner on Thursday, transportation for every trip, drawing materials for the first day. It does not include the optional Saturday tour.

Note: in case of bad weather, all drawing activities outside the school from Monday to Friday will take place anyhow, just choosing sheltered sites such as: loggias, churches, palaces, villas, ecc.


Students drawing in classMonte San QuiricoDrawing of a cat Watercolour of the Morianese countrysideDrawing of  a tree in the school gardenDrawing of a gardenWatercolour of a house in Pescaglia Watercolour of the road to Partigliano