Back by popular demand, “Paint Tuscany with Lori McNee.”  Join me (Lori) for an exclusive workshop adventure into the beautiful Tuscan countryside of Lucca, Italy!

Now is your chance to go plein air landscape painting under the Tuscan sun…in October 7-13 or 14-20 2018!

***BOTH SESSIONS ARE FULL (Hope to see you next year!)

Last October 2017, I led an amazing Italian painting adventure at Casa Berti in Tuscany. The weather was warm and perfect for outdoor painting.

My 2017 “Plein Air Painting Under the Tuscan Sun” workshop filled very quickly and it even had a waiting list. So, for 2018 we are offering TWO amazing sessions.

First session: October 7 – October 13, 2018 
Second session: October 14 – 20, 2018

Sign up for one session, or sign up for two! (Please refer to our Terms & Conditions agreement before booking). BOOK NOW below.

Spend 6 nights, and 5 days plein air painting under the autumn Tuscan sun! Each day you will be surrounded by olive orchards, vineyards, villas and picturesque buildings.

A smiling student painting her value study.
Plein Air Painting Under the Tuscan Sun workshop student entering Casa Berti’s studio.

Where You Will Stay: You will be staying in Casa Berti, a 17th Century Tuscan estate located in the countryside above the historical Renaissance city of Lucca. Lucca was founded by the pre-Roman Etruscans. An ancient Etruscan ruin is only a short walk from Casa Berti with plenty of painting opportunities.

The estate is spacious, comfortable and quiet with modern conveniences including newly remodeled ensuite bathrooms.

Each lovely bedroom is unique with an ensuite bathroom.

Casa Berti’s grand art studio is absolutely stunning. The large picture window fills the space with natural light as it overlooks the Tuscan landscape.

The studio is equipped with French easels, but participants are welcome to bring their own pochade boxes. (A full supply list to follow after registration).

The beautifully landscaped grounds with a swimming pool, flowers, fruit trees, and olive gardens of Casa Berti are bordered by the countryside with picturesque plein air painting locations nearby.

Benham Gooder, the owner of Casa Berti is a true English gentleman. Ben will be our host and tour guide for the week.

Ben will be offering a few excursions including but not limited to a day trip into Lucca, a plein air painting day at a local vineyard ending with wine-tasting, plus an authentic Tuscan pizza night!

What You Will Learn: Improve your painting skills during 5 days of classroom lectures, studio & outdoor instruction and demonstrations. Each day, I will guide you through simplified steps to create a successful landscape painting.

You will discover the fundamentals of design, value, edges, color mixing and harmony, as well as brushwork and texture. You will be taught an approach that will help you create your own successful paintings.

The objective of this workshop is to have fun, relax, come with an open mind, and a willingness to try new things.

I will be demonstrating with water-mixable, solvent-free oil paints. Traditional oils and acrylic paints are welcome, but this is a great time to try solvent-free with Lori McNee! Learn more about me here.

Happy students after a morning color mixing class.

What’s Included: 5 days of instruction and 6 nights accommodation, including all on sight meals including, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and wine.

Casa Berti’s chef!

Dinners are prepared by a chef using the freshest local ingredients. Please advise us of any special dietary requirements.

Cooking lessons are a fun way to end a busy painting day!

Our host, Ben Gooder will provide the transfers on the first and last day of the workshop.

Casa Berti dinnertime, Italian family style.

Non-participating traveling partners:
You are welcome to bring a partner or friend who is not participating in the course. The cost includes accommodation, transfers and all meals. We will gladly assist in planning activities during the days for your partner; such as vineyard tours with wine tasting, guided tours of Lucca, Second World War battle site tours and guided walks in the Garfagnana (a very beautiful, mountainous area of northern Tuscany).

$750.00 non-refundable deposit at registration.
$2600.00 USD per participating workshop student.
$2000.00 USD for non-participating partners.

Click the BOOK NOW button below to reserve your spot! (Please refer to our Terms & Conditions agreement before booking).

*Below is a tentative workshop schedule which is subject to change.  We might adjust it according to weather, class needs or other fun opportunities that may arise!

Here are a few words about possible ‘excursions’ from our host, Ben Gooder:  “Although there are plenty of vistas and details to inspire artists on the grounds of Casa Berti itself, there is also a wealth of local sights easily accessible by foot or a short car drive. The vineyards and olive groves at Colle Verde, for example, where a day’s painting can be pleasantly rewarded with a wine tasting of the fattoria’s excellent product.

Just 1 km away is the pretty medieval church of Mammoli, or a short walk through the woods brings you to the ruined monastery of Montecatino. Paint the picturesque town of Lucca from the vantage point of the handsome walls or Roman piazzas.” ~Ben Gooder

Workshop Itinerary: (subject to change)
Day 1 Oct 7th/second session, Oct 14th
Pick up from Lucca train station at 4pm
Orientation meeting and welcome dinner

Day 2 Oct 8th/Oct 15th
9:30am-12:30pm: Introductions, handouts, Q&A, equipment prep, canvas prep, setting up palette.
2pm-5pm: Thumbnail sketchbook work, value sketches in the field, monochrome painting studies
5pm-8pm: Optional studio time
8pm: Dinner
After dinner: Optional studio painting

Day 3 Oct 9th/Oct 16th
9am-12:30pm: Color mixing basics: discuss limited palette plein air painting, low versus high horizon design.
2pm-5pm: Limited palette or extended palette option plein air painting, focusing on design and edges.
7pm: PIZZA NIGHT! Learn to make Italian pizza from scratch.

Day 4 Oct 10th/Oct 17th
7am-10:30pm: Optional morning light plein air painting.
10:30am-12:30pm: plein air painting or optional break
Shopping and Lunch in LUCCA!
5pm-8pm: Optional plein air painting or studio time
8pm Dinner
After dinner: Art business night! Bring your tablets/laptop and notebook

Day 5 Oct 11th/Oct 18th
9am-12:30pm: Using colour harmony to enhance your paintings.
2pm-4:30pm: Plein air painting, or studio painting.
4:30pm-7:30pm: Optional sunset/nocturne plein air painting
8pm: Dinner
After dinner: Movie night!

Day 6 Oct 12th/Oct 19th
9am-12:30pm: Reviewing basics, design, value, colour, edges
2pm-3:30pm: Finishing touches on paintings.
3:30pm-5pm: Group discussion, Q&A, and sharing
8pm: Farewell dinner, followed by after dinner social

Day 7 Oct 13th/Oct 20th
Departure, transfer to Lucca train station at 10am


Session One Starts: October 7
Ends: October 13, 2018

Session Two Starts: October 14
Ends: October 20, 2018

Skill level: Beginner to Advanced
Includes: tuition, accommodation, meals, transfers

Casa Berti
Via di Mastiano e Giuliano
5007, Lucca, Italy

Contact Ben:
IT: +39 347 346 5078
UK: +44 7973 393 682
Contact Lori:

A non-refundable deposit of $750.00 USD is required to be paid at the time of registration. Your place is confirmed once the deposit is received. The remaining balance is due 8 weeks prior to the start of the workshop. If you are booking less than 8 weeks from the scheduled start date, the full fee must be paid at the time of registration.

Your instructor

Lori McNee is a professional artist, instructor, and an internationally known art blogger, art-marketing expert, and the owner of  Lori’s broad spectrum of artwork includes landscape, plein air, still life, and wildlife paintings in oil or encaustic wax. She is an exhibiting member of Oil Painters of America and the American Impressionist Society, and is a popular demonstrator and faculty member at the Plein Air Convention. Lori’s paintings are in private and corporate collections throughout the world as well as the Gilcrease Museum and the permanent collection of the Encaustic Art Institute in Santa Fe.

​Lori shares her online success secrets to artists, businesses, and organizations around the world. She has been featured in The Wall Street Journal Online and The Huffington Post, and writes for publications including Artist’s Magazine, Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market, Photographer’s Market. Her own book, “Fine Art Tips with Lori McNee: Painting Techniques & Professional Advice”  is available on Amazon.

Your Host
Ben Gooder is an award-winning feature film script writer and documentary film producer. He divides his time between Italy and the UK. He discovered Casa Berti 20 years ago and realized a long held dream when he purchased the property from his family two years ago. Since then he has embarked on a development program to improve the buildings and land. He is proud to have restored Casa Berti and made it a Centre for excellence and self fulfillment. He takes great pleasure in sharing his love of this place with visitors from all over the world.