Ideas For Painting Holidays | Art in Devon




water colour palette and brush

Whether coast or country Devon is just stunning, a picture perfect destination for a creative retreat or day of painting. I’ve got some ideas for the best Devon can offer, covering options for the day long workshops, mini breaks or longer stays. Whether you be a novice or a more experienced artist looking to create and be inspired.

Best Residential Painting Holidays in Devon

The best residential holidays for artists cater for small groups where attention can be given in a relaxing environment. For this reason, I have focused the selection on smaller art schools.


Janet and Peter have been offering residential retreats from their 17th century since 2003. The cottage situated in Sprytown, a tiny hamlet just outside of the village of Lifton, this beautiful location which benefits from nearby views of Dartmoor.

Visitors can choose between an action packed weekend of art or a slower paced five-day residential break. The programme includes meals, tuition, accommodation and social activities such as a local evening stroll, and for those that opted for the five days, a pub visit (own expense) is also included. They also have an online course where you can create your own beautiful illustrated sketchbook.

The two tutors have skills and interests in different mediums so you can try out several while you are there. Each class is small with a maximum of 5 guests. The emphasis is to focus on tuition and practical demonstrations, the approach aims to give the student confidence and positivity with their art. Janet and Peter tailor your course to encourage the development and progression of your existing skills. 

Nearest Train Station: is Okehampton, 20 minute onward taxi journey or a bus to the top of the road 

The weekend course aims to give:

” .. an experience that give you a taste of what’s possible. Fast paced with the opportunity to try out different media, often focussing on one.”

The five day course:

“A slower-paced experience with more time to go out to sketch and paint in nearby locations. We offer the opportunity for in-depth learning and development of individual ideas and projects. Both suitable for beginners and all levels.”

One of the ‘Tors’ on Dartmoor – A Tor is a naturally occurring rocky outcrop, natural landscape on Dartmoor

Inspired Painting Holidays

The course is run by Catherine Stott, an experienced professional artist and teacher. The studio base is in Bampton is a small rural town on the Devon and Somerset border. The centre of the town is classed as a conservation area, with many of the buildings listed for preservation. Teaching is a mix of studio and location visits.

Holidays are fully residential with single occupancy accommodation included in the standard price.  Courses are suitable for painters of all levels of experience including beginners – this is because groups are kept small, so that much of the tuition can be one-to-one. 

Students visit scenic spots and large gardens in the area – there will be plenty of preparation and support on hand if you have not sketched outside before!

Nearest Train station: Tiverton Parkway, residential guests are offered a free pick up from the station

Course aims to:

“..develop your skills in any non-solvent based medium – for example, watercolour, acrylic, soft pastel, water mixable oils, or pen and wash. Beginners in a medium and more experienced are all welcome. We send out general materials advice and are happy to discuss the best choice for you.”

East Devon Coast Line Near Sidmouth

Recommendation for Day Workshops & Longer Stays East Devon

Sidmouth in East Devon is a small coastal town and the location for my recommendation for those looking for a day workshop or whish to enjoy a coastal location for a residential painting holiday.

East Devon Art

Based in the heart of the town, East Devon Art hosts one day workshops as well as five day courses in the summer months for students of all abilities. These workshops are taught by nationally and internationally renowned visiting artists.

Arts and Crafts in Devon – Some Ideas

The Paint Hub in Dawlish Warren is a craft café suitable for a few hours of craft time whilst on holiday or on a day trip.

Make South West – Craft workshops (formally the Devon Guild of Craftsmen) they also run Exhibitions as well as other activities see main website for details.

Devon Open Studios If you are in Devon around September you should check out the Devon Open Studios website. The ‘open fortnight’ is now an annual event where every autumn members of the network, open their doors to members of the public to view and discover their work.

Thelma Hulbert Gallery (THG) presents a changing exhibition programme of contemporary art & craft, alongside a permanent collection of artist Thelma Hulbert’s work. They also have a summer of workshop activities, many of which are aimed at young adults and children.

Craft Courses is a useful resource if you are looking for a directory of all sorts of craft and painting activities. This selection is focused on Devon.

Please note I do try to keep this site up to date, but as things change often, it is recommended that before travelling any distance you do your own checks.

If you wish to feedback on the site content please get in touch.

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