Art and culture

Drawing in the countryside

July 4, 2011

Open air watercolour drawing class – July 16th /17th 2011 – Cascina Crocetta, Valle Uzzone, Alta Langa


A secluded retreat on top of a hill, with view on the amazing landscape of Alta Langa, in Southern Piedmont: Cascina Crocetta is the right setting for two day dedicated to landspace and botanical painting, with the technique of watercolour. The old stone farmhouse, recently restored, has preserved the environments, part of the original furniture and tools of a farmer’s family of a hundred years ago: the kitchen, the cellar, the wood oven. Fields are still cultivated around the farmhouse and a small church on top of the hill, surrounded by a circle of ancient oaks, is ideal for inspiration, enjoying the cool breeze of Alta Langa.

The class is dedicated both to beginners and to advanced painters. We will spend some time drawing, but we will also take walks in the country, in search of landscapes and natural object to portray.

These are the main issues that will be discussed:

  • Watercolour painting supplies: paper, pencils, colours, brushes, water
  • Everybody can successfully draw …
  • Starting on the right foot: pencil drawing to begin with
  • Landscape painting
  • Nature art


July 16th, Saturday

  • 10 am – meeting in Castelletto Uzzone, Piazza della Chiesa (in front of the church).
  • Transfer to Cascina Crocetta: first introductory lesson on the technique of watercolour drawing; first drawing test.
  • 1 pm – lunch (self-catering)
  • 3 pm – open-air drawing
  • 5 pm – walk to Prunetto castle and open-air landscape sketching
  • 8 pm – dinner with the group in nearby holiday farm

July 17th, Sunday

  • 10 am – meeting at cascina Crocetta, introduction to the techniques of botanical watercolour drawing and test.
  • 1 pm – lunch (self-caterining)
  • 3 pm – discussion over the drawings produced during our class, advise and suggestions.
  • 5 pm – end of the meeting

The teacher

Roberta Ferraris has practiced the technique of watercolour applied to natural subjects for more than 15 years.

With her work she proposes the exploration of Italian environment, with strong attention to natural and agricultural landscape. Chosen subjects are also spontaneous plant species and edible plants of Italian gastronomic tradition.

Since 1994 she has contributed with her work (drawings, photos and text) to main Italian publishing houses. She lives and works in a farm in Alta Langa (Southern Piedmont).

Drawing supplies

Our organization will provide some art supplies for beginners. Who has had some experience of watercolour drawing, please bring your own supplies. Below you find a list of needed supplies:

  • Watercolour paper (300 g x square meter) with smooth and rough texture
  • Watercolour block (for sketching)
  • a set of cake or moist pan watercolours, with a choice of at least three primary colours (yellow, red and blue) and a selection of native and calcinated earths (ochre, raw and burnt umber, raw and burnt sienna) sepia, Payne’s Gray, a choice of greens. You also need a watercolour palette or a set of small porcelain saucers.
  • At least three brushes of various dimensions, from 000 (very fine, for details) to 10; the best are made out of Kolinsky red sable’s winter coat, but synthetic brushes can work well for a beginner.

Our self-catering lunch

Cascina Crocetta has a kitchen where it is possible to prepare simple meals. We ask all partecipants to bring something easy (rice salads, pies), to share with the goup. The organization will provide something as well.

Sleeping accomodations

Cascina Crocetta is nearby Castelletto Uzzone, 13 km from Cortemilia. It does not have rooms: sleeping arrangements can be found in various holiday farms (aziende agrituristiche), hotels and in the youth hostel. More information: 334 2265612


The cost of the two day course is 100,00 € per person (+ membership to Terre Alte association: 7 €). Registration