The Retreat and the renaissance portrait painting course, well… it totally exceeded expectations. The ‘devils in the detail’ they say. Tim went to outstanding lengths to ensure the ‘studio’ was equipped with everything we would need and with every comfort. Each morning two gorgeous life models, Sara and Erika greeted us in the most impressive authentic renaissance costumes and Tim would begin the session with a demonstration and continue with help to each and all.

Regarding Castello di Potentino (and its wonderful and awe-inspiring host Charlotte Horton) it was inspirational… as were the wine tastings, stories, histories, lodgings, meals, lovely-young-volunteers and surrounding vistas. Tim chose exceedingly well with this beautiful place on earth. All the extras were such a treat and yes we all fell in love with the Michelin Chef Roberto Rossi and his 5 star restaurant in Seggiano.
Honestly I could go on and on, I’m afraid I have already, but I cannot thank Tim enough for this life-changing experience

An experience I will never forget and a trip of a lifetime. It was wonderful to be able to take a week out of my busy life to reconnect with nature and my creativity. I learnt so much from Tim in a short time improving my painting skills dramatically. As I never had the opportunity to study art at a university level I feel that after what Tim has taught me I have confidence to produce more professional paintings. I couldn’t think of a more perfect atmosphere to paint in. From painting in a studio room of a medieval Tuscan castle with live models to landscape painting on a warm autumn afternoon in an olive grove looking over vineyards, forests and ancient villages. I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity.

Timothy Allen knows Renaissance art. With intelligence and humour he inspires his students to paint from life, fortified by the fabulous food and wine of the Castello. Under Tim’s guidance I actually produced a portrait, while living in a castle in Tuscany. It’s hard to convince myself that this really happened! But it did and I’ll never forget it.

The Renaissance Retreat was an experience of a lifetime. The castle setting was perfectly conducive to learning the techniques of the Masters under Tim’s excellent instruction and inimitable flair. It was immensely satisfying to see the quality of work achieved in such a short time. Tim put together a programme of intense study more than balanced with unique and memorable extra-curricular activities. I recommend the Renaissance Retreat highly.

Painting in Tuscany, in a Castle, with a live model, what more can be said! I’m still in awe that I had this experience of a life time. If you have the opportunity to take advantage and make it a reality, I can highly recommend it.

The Renaissance Retreat didn’t just meet my expectations, but exceeded them.  Tim went above and beyond to be accommodating, friendly, helpful and a great chauffeur as well.

Tim offers a week of learning to paint from a model and en plein air in a Renaissance style. That is the focus of the week, and it is an intense learning experience. I went to sleep at night thinking about what I would do next with my painting, and woke to thumb through photos of paintings by the Italian masters. Tim is a great instructor, and led us through the process of slowly building a painting. We had an excellent, lovely model and a beautiful setting for the backdrop to our developing portraits. Staying at the castle was like finding a little piece of heaven, and the food, wine and conversation were of the highest quality. Our restaurant outings were top notch. It was a week I will never forget.

The Renaissance Retreat was one of the highlights of my life, especially for two of my passions: painting and food. The castle and the landscape were beautiful. The food and wine plentiful and delicious. Tim provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn and apply renaissance oil painting techniques with inspiring subjects (live, costumed model and beautiful Tuscan landscapes). The opportunity to learn from a Michelin chef and from artisan local cheese-makers added so much to the experience. Thank you Tim!

I highly recommend this amazing trip to Potentino, with delicious food, divine wine and inspirational art classes!
Tim is an excellent and passionate art teacher who gently encourages his students to push forward! We received all the art supplies we needed, worked with a beautiful and professional model and painted plein air too! The time I spent at the castle with him and the amazing group of friends I made there, inspired me grew as an artist and also got me motivated to carry on with all of what I’ve learned.
I will never forget this magical experience. Thank you!

This painting retreat exceeded my expectations. There was an intense focus on painting and Tim was patient and instructive and always willing to answer questions and demonstrate techniques. The castle was the perfect setting … beautiful and inspirational…enhanced by its hostess, Charlotte, who created unbelievable meals with an emphasis on fresh, local products. All meals were shared at large community tables that provided an opportunity for us to meet other guests and a charming group of young volunteers.