Portrait Painting Week In France


  • Learn oil painting techniques from a skilled tutor to create your own stunning portrait in oils
  • Relax in the majestic scenery of South West France
  • Enjoy authentic French cuisine and experience French culture
From £1455 pp
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What you'll do



Discover the South West of France where the Pyrénées meets the sea. Learn to paint in a relaxing environment with an experienced and talented tutor.

The portrait painting holiday is a step out of our busy lives and a chance to reset. Kate will show you how she develops ideas and creates her paintings.

Learn how to work from both photographic sources and a life model. We will go through the stages of oil painting and learn a var...Read All


Arrive at the local Auberge for a relaxing evening with a beautiful three course French meal. Explore your beautiful surroundings, decompress and meet the other members of the group.

Introduction to Portrait Painting

8.45am -9.45 am

A continental breakfast awaits you. Transfer to the studio in Laás to start the day.

10 am- 12.30 pm 

We will start with a drawing lesson exploring proportions and planes of the human head. Exploring how to build up tone using one colour. 


Lunch at or local French restaurant

1.45pm-4.45 pm 

Working from photographic reference we will work on a small painting to understand the principals of oil painting. 

...Read All

A Day in the Studio

8.45am-9.45 am

A continental breakfast awaits you. 

9.45am -10am 

Transfer to the studio

10am -4.45pm 

Day of painting in the studio in Laás.

Kate will teach you the next steps to successfully create a portrait using layers to build up your piece. This will give you the confidence before we work with a life model.

Lunch 12.30-1.45pm Picnic by the river and opportunity to swim

1:30 – 5:30 pm- Continue painting

7.30pm- Di...Read All

Portrait Painting and Artist Talk

8.45-9.45 am

A continental breakfast awaits you. 

10am- 12.30pm

Working from a live model. Developing colour studies of the subject, we will explore the narrative in portraiture. 

12.30pm-1.30 pm Buffet style light lunch


Students continue to develop colour studies from the model. 


You will take a photo of the model and develop your own concept.

5pm Free time- River swim or a lovely walk around the vill...Read All

A Day to Relax and Explore


An early breakfast


Visit to the morning market in Salies de Béarn. 

Taking a break from painting we will explore the thermal town and it’s traditional French market. 

11.30am-12.30 pm 

Return to the studio.

Prepare your canvas for our final painting. 

12.30pm-1.45pm -Lunch in a local restaurant 


Sketching out you’re painting and underpainting.

5:45- 7pm Visit a wal...Read All

Finishing Touches


Breakfast at the hotel 

9.45 am Transfer to the studio 


Continuing to work on our final painting we will begin to build up layers adding glazes. 

Students will develop their own art piece exploring the narrative in portraiture. 

12.30pm-1.45pm Lunch at a local restaurant.


We will discuss glazing and how to explore further techniques in your painting.

5pm transfer back to hotel 

...Read All


Enjoy your last breakfast and say your goodbyes!

What's included


  • 5 full days of painting tuition from Kate Sparrow. Learn how to paint the portrait in oils
  • Half day working from a life model
  • All art materials
  • 6 night's accommodation with breakfast in the local Auberge with ensuite bathroom
  • Lunch each day for painters, this will be buffet style/picnic
  • Dinner each day is a delicious 3 course meal
  • Visit to a local walled village and the local art galleries
  • Drinks and an artist talk. Local artists will come and discuss their work with you.
Your local host


I am a professional artist who has exhibited in both London and Hong Kong. I have my own art studio and gallery in South West France. I am a fully trained art teacher with a BA in illustration and a PGCE in art teaching. I am so happy to share my love of art with others and show you techniques for developing your own oil and acrylic paintings.

I am a professional artist who has exhibited in both London and Hong Kong. I have my own art studio and gallery in South West France. I am a fully trained art teacher with a BA in illustration and a PGCE in art teaching. I am so happy to share my love of art with others and show you techniques for developing your own oil and acrylic paintings.


Running Dates  2024 : 20th – 26th July;  14-20th September

You will be staying in a beautiful and idyllic rural french village, Laas. It is situated in the valley of the gave d’Oloron, to the southeast of Sauveterre-de-Béarn and north-west of Navarrenx, in an area called the Béarn des Gaves.

Getting there:

Transfers from Biarritz, Pau or Orthez can be arranged for an extra charge.

We are situated in a rural area with limited public transport and so there is also the option of car hire if you wish.


What our travellers are saying...

Kate is fantastic. I went on her course a beginner, I had never painted with oils before and I have come away with a portrait I am very proud of. Kate is a warm, generous and patient teacher. You get thorough one to one tuition and laughs on this course - it is a perfect balance. In addition to painting Kate provides sight seeing, wild swimming, trips to neighbouring villages, cocktail bars and of course lots of cheese and wine. Accomodation is s

Beth 2023

Kate is very organised and made the logistical aspect feel very smooth and efficient. I stayed in the little guest house and the accommodation was comfortable and clean. On the first day I learnt how to treat my canvas and map out the portrait that I chose to paint. It was really clearly explained. Lunch and dinner were always really big with so many delicious courses including delicious desserts.Kate is an excellent teacher and provided really

Finn 2023


Are there transfers?

Transfers are not included but if required our host can help arrange pickups.

If other guests are arriving at the same time the host will try to limit the cost of the transfer by arranging shared transportation. An estimate of costs are as follows:
A taxi to Biarritz airport is around €120. From Orthez station the transfer cost will be €70 one way and from Pau station €175 one way.

Please let us know at time of booking if you would like us to arrange these transfers for you.

What meals are included?

6 x Breakfast, 5 x Lunch, 6 x Evening Meal

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