Classes & Residentials

French Residential Life Drawing Holiday – Sept 2020

In Provence France

In the heart of the Côte du Rhône wine growing region, there is a beautiful 18th century manor house. It is the perfect location for this fantastic opportunity to immerse your-self in artistic endeavours, French culture and the wonderful Provençal light that many painters like Cezanne loved so much.

On the course you will be introduced to many techniques aimed at developing hand / eye coordination; defining the angles and rhythms of the human body; understanding proportion, perspective and shading.

I will guide you with helpful tips, fun exercises and a huge variety of materials to choose from which will help you to relax and leave any fear of drawing you may have behind, and you will create some works to take home that you can be proud of.

The holiday is just that too. There is a swimming pool, extensive gardens, and many bicycles to ride into the village. I have a masseur – Marie Hèlène, who you can book for as many massages as you like and optional morning meditation and early evening yoga. The chef Marie Noëlle is a superb cook and you will taste many famous Provençal dishes, all cooked on site, and eat outside in the beautiful courtyard (weather permitting – its normally nicely warm), accompanied by wines of the region.

We will also have a couple of trips out drawing; one in the picturesque market town of Vaison-La-Romaine, and one in the mountains of the Dentelles. I’m sure you will have a wonderful time and want to return.

Devon Life drawing classes, workshops and talks

Drawing the human figure is the cornerstone for all applied art practices.

In many ways, learning to draw is a voyage of self-discovery. There is a lot of fear connected to drawing and so learning to enjoy it is a liberating and relaxing pastime. I see it as a mindful but also a mind-less practice that reduces stress and increases self-belief. All ones immediate worries disappear during a drawing class. There is no room for other thought, and therefore you can achieve quality time out from the daily grind. Whilst drawing, I touch pools of deep peace that refresh my frazzled nerves and lighten my heart. It is a kind of meditation.

My favoured way of sharing my knowledge is not through the old fashioned insistence on getting things ‘right’ from the start. I prefer to introduce materials and mark making in a way that is exciting and draws one into the desire to create. Once the desire is there, the fear banished, the student is ready to take on more technical ideas…so long as the playful attitude remains, and becomes our instructor.


NEW Dartington Residential

A special residential drawing course will be being set up on the beautiful Dartington Hall Estate, mid-end of June 2020.

Subscribe here

Click image for gallery of Devon Classes and workshops

Devon Life drawing classes, workshops and talks

All skill levels welcome.

I start with quick sketches to warm up and then introduce several drawing exercises for fun and to relax which you can partake in or not — as you feel. The poses will vary in length beginning with 1 minute and up to 30 mins. If we have a day course I am happy to extend pose times.

My models are different every week, and I have both male and female models who all give a great variety of poses and attitudes.

It’s important to not become stuck in one way of working and for this I supply lots of different mediums to work with. I believe this helps with improvement of hand / eye coordination, observational skills, control of the hand and the particular mediums chosen. It’s a joy to encourage people when they discover what works for them, and many tools help with self-expression and the freedom to play.

I’m very relaxed and there is no judgement, just the joy of creating.

I have a box of materials which I ask a donation towards, and paper at 10p a sheet of A2 and 20p for A1 plus free ‘fish and chip’ paper.

Its at Dartington Shippon studios.


Dartington Hall – if you are coming UP hill from Totnes, go past entrance to main Dartington Hall courtyard on left (parking opposite) and immediately after, on your left (opposite the new Green table cafe) , there is a ‘lane’- which also leads to the Zen garden, with a gate (usually closed) leading to a courtyard with stone buildings in.  This is where the Shippon studios are and where the old Art block of Dartington College used to be.  We are in the building on your right, the door being halfway along the building and up a ramp.   This will change in April 2020 to Studio 20 at SPACE Dartington Hall.

I run classes on Tuesday mornings -10am til 1pm

Thursday evenings, 6.30pm — 8.30pm,

both include tea/coffee and biscuits.


LIFE DRAWING SCHEDULE January, February, March 2020

Jan 2020 Feb 18th & 20th Half term

TUESDAY 10 – 1     am   £20 THURSDAY   6.30 – 8.30
14 16
21 23
28 30


Feb 2020


4 6
11 13
18 Half term 20th Half Term
25 27


March 2020


3 5
10 12
17 19
24 26

Easter March 31st & 2nd April

Tuesday Morning class, 3 hours:

£20 drop in

£18 Student

 Thursday Evening class, 2 hours:

BOOKING ONLY 5 classes £60 Student £50

To book, please pay fully in advance

Coop Bank

A/C no 05088001

Sort code 089300


Cheque to

Isabel Coulton

The Old Hall,

Church Street,

South Brent,


TQ10 9AQ


Morning class, 3 hours:

£20      £18 Student

Evening class, 2 hours:

BOOK Set of 5  =  £60    £50 Student

I also run Portrait drawing classes twice a month and am available for talks and workshops on Life drawing, Portrait drawing and the making of Our Lady of Buckfast sculpture in stone. See the video here.


Friday 8th Nov  – PORTRAIT DRAWING 10AM TIL 4PM    Completed

These portrait classes will only run if they are booked with a minimum of 6. Maximum 10 people. £50 for the day, all materials included.

Student discount £45


Testimonials from classes, workshops and talks

“I wanted to email you to thank you for an excellent workshop – the best I have attended.  The immediate feedback I have received from people is all positive; if I do hear any suggestions I will let you know but it’s difficult to improve on brilliance!  Indeed, we wondered whether you might be free for a repeat performance? “
Devon Art Society

“Just a quick email to thank you for an excellent talk yesterday.  Your nerves were quickly replaced with your enthusiasm and I was really impressed by what must have been hours of preparation.”
Devon Art Society

“ Dear Isabel,  I am putting together the workshop programme for 2019 and  as  your life drawing workshop was so popular last time, I wondered if you could be persuaded to run another one for us next year?”
Totnes Art Society

“I have been enjoying Isabel’s life drawing classes for 18 months. I appreciate her friendly, informal approach and her encouragement to experiment with different materials and techniques, different ways of looking at and perceiving the life model, yet underpinned with a thorough knowledge of anatomy. The experience has encouraged me to experiment more with other work that I do at home.”

“It’s great to work with Isabel, she’s unassuming and honest and will explore all avenues of drawing. It’s a learning process and we learn together. And they’re fun! I would definitely recommend them.”

“A really fulfilling day with thoughtful and encouraging guidance from Isabel. Working in a group was enormously helpful in giving me the confidence to try out new ways of presenting a portrait. It was a lovely and varied group of people and we had lots of fun and laughs. In the beautiful setting of Dartington Hall the day was a fantastic treat and tonic. Many thanks Isabel”

“As a total beginner at life drawing I’ve been very lucky to find Isabel. My confidence and drawing skills continue to develop under her tutelage. Each week comes with new ways to draw, using many different mediums; encompassed in a fun and focused class!”

“I joined a life drawing group in London but there was no tuition and I really missed that.  Isabel is full of ideas on how to loosen up, try out different mediums and generally explore new ways of depicting the models.  Isabel works alongside us but help and advice is available if asked for and we share and learn from each other as well.  There is a very relaxed atmosphere  and I am thoroughly enjoying the Tuesday classes at Dartington.”

“I have been attending Isabel’s drawing classes with my daughter and  we have both gained so much from them. The pieces my daughter produced where a valuable addition to her GCSE art, and Isabel’s gentle guidance really encouraged my daughters self expression to emerge.”

“I love attending Isabel’s classes, they are so relaxed and I never feel that my work is being judged, lots of lovely support and encouragement, so therapeutic. Thank you.”
Leigh Smith

“I have found the classes excellent value for money, relaxed and very informative. I love the way you get the balance right between giving feedback where it is wanted but not imposing it on people that don’t want it. The length of poses and the models are excellent, along with your guidance.”

“I really enjoy Isabel’s group. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed. We are all different levels and Isabel gives  fun exercises to help us explore texture  etc and encourages us to express ourselves freely. She gives helpful general suggestions of how to approach a subject  but also encourages you to find your own  way. But if you need more advice she gives concise pointers. Isobel provides all the materials and I have experimented with different mediums which I have enjoyed. I don’t feel pressured in her class so I am more relaxed and feel free to experiment. Recommended!”

Click image for gallery of the Camaret-Sur-Aigues Region

Residential Life-drawing holiday

in Provence, France with Isabel Coulton,

 9th – 17th Sept 2020

8 Nights Full board, all materials included.
One evening wine tasting
Walk with picnic and drawing in the mountains

Prices £1500 

Rooms available:

3 Double bedrooms, 1 en suite

1 single room

3 twin rooms

TO BOOK click the link below and email me.  Payments are in 3 stages:

On booking £500 deposit re-fundable if I cancel the course, £300 non- re-fundable if you change your mind

£500 on 1st May Last payment £500 on 1st August  Contact me for alternatives



Half my heart resides in Provence, home of my ancestors. Having taught life-drawing for around 7 years now in Devon, I have a burning desire to give classes in my French home town of Camaret-Sur-Aigues.

Situated on the Rhône valley plains near the historic town of Orange – about 30 mins north by car from Avignon, Camaret is an ancient, small, walled Provençal village as yet unspoilt by development.

La Bastide is a most beautiful chateau or ‘manoir’ – an elegant 18th century country house with 2 hectares of gardens. It boasts a lovely pool, plane trees all around, a Ping-Pong room, and ample room to play pétanque and eat outside. We can draw inside and outside in perfect peace.

Drawing the human figure is really the cornerstone for all applied art practices. However it doesn’t have to be the painful and terrifying experience it used to be. We are all artistic, and express ourselves in a wonderful diversity of ways – as varied as there are human beings on this beautiful planet of ours.

My approach to teaching life-drawing is not to follow a dogged routine of laws, but to acquaint people with ways of looking and seeing to shed the shackles of fear that restrict our real enjoyment of making marks. Fear has never been a good instructor, whereas true enjoyment and interest in the process of sketching, coupled with lots of brain evading exercises and plenty of practice, is sure to bring increased understanding of the things we draw, which in turn brings ‘progress’. More information to follow on the structure and tuition of the week.

Drawing is a mindful/mindless exercise. It is something which can take me to deep pools of bliss, as well as those moments of struggle which actually produce the best results. This holiday will offer a daily yoga morning routine and a short end of the day stretch. Shiatsu massage, an ancient Japanese practice that encourages wellbeing, will be an added option.

I am offering a full board holiday. Breakfast, lunch and supper included with wine from the region, cooked by a Provençal chef, Marie Noele. We will have a trip out to Vaison-La-Romaine, and as the name suggests

it is famous for its rich Roman ruins, medieval town and cathedral. What makes Vaison-la-Romaine unique is the possibility to see the antique, medieval and modern towns within the same environment – 2000 years of history. With four theatres, numerous exhibitions and galleries, Vaison-la-Romaine is also renowned for its art scene.

Also planned is an early evening wine tasting in house before a for a sumptuous supper at La Bastide.

The Roman museum in Vaison has many beautiful sculptures and artefacts to see, and one can walk through the Roman streets, and see the plan of how they were laid out, some columns and sculptures still existing, municipal toilets and other interesting sights.

Vaison hosts one of the best restaurants in the old town that I have ever found anywhere and is very reasonably priced…we shall have to have an evening meal there, although I’m afraid that won’t be included in the package, and it is of course optional.

If the weather is clement, we can take a picnic and go into the Dentelles de Montmirail to draw the landscape. This is where the famous Côte du Rhône Gigondas wine comes from and the lace like mountains, covered in pines are a lovely place for a walk, offering extensive views of the vine-covered plains below. They form the foothills of Provence’s highest peak Le Mont Ventoux, 1909m, where cyclists the world over come to compete in the Tour de France.

Click image for examples of different styles of drawing…and there are lots more to play with.

Residential Life-drawing holiday schedule

 9th – 17th Sept 2020

8 Nights Full board, all materials included.
One evening wine tasting
Walk with picnic and drawing in the mountains

Prices £1500


The Practice of drawing and how we will tackle it.

The beauty of having several days to get our teeth into the subject is having the time to follow different stages of drawing. I also recommend experimentation. There is total freedom in my classes to work in the way you prefer, I am here to guide and encourage.

We will use a number of exercises to draw –

  • A still life, which will remain throughout the stay, so you can go back to it when you want to
  • A still life including a sculpted Roman head which you can also work on throughout the stay.
  • The female figure, indoors and outdoors
  • The male figure, indoors and outdoors
  • A day of drawing out in nature with both models, probably not nude.

We will be considering –

  • Line and the qualities of that line and mark making in different media
  • The values of light and dark, the effects of shadows and how to use value (shading) to create volume
  • Mass
  • Gesture
  • Composition
  • Expressive versus observational drawing
  • Freedom and control
  • Anatomy and more

Although these are all serious topics we will approach them with a certain joie de vivre. Making art is a joyous exercise and my job is to ensure that no-one feels inhibited or uneasy. I like to teach with humour and love in my heart. We are ALL learning until our dying day. Nobody, even the best artist can rest on their laurels and say they have done it, we all continue to work on our art and ourselves.

The accommodation

This expansive 18th century house has all you need for a pleasant stay and is quirky and delightful for an artistic crowd.

There are 7 bedrooms over 2 floors. Only one double room has an on suite bathroom, all the other rooms share bathrooms – there are 3.

There are 2 other double rooms and 3 twin rooms, and one single room.

The house has 2 comfortable sitting rooms with wifi, a well appointed kitchen, utility rooms, and lovely gardens. There is plenty of room to escape for a quiet moment, and nice communal areas to relax together.

It looks like a strict schedule, but it really isn’t.  If you didn’t feel like drawing, you can swim, relax or whatever!

The schedule


Day 1 Arrival Wednesday 11th

Check-in 2pm onwards

18:00 Welcome drinks, meet and greet

19:30 Supper


Day 2 Thursday 12th

7:30 – 8:15   Yoga Optional extra

08:00 – 09:00 Breakfast

9:00 – 10:30   Introductions  10:45 tea/coffee

11:15 – 13:00    Still-life drawing with exercises,

13:00 Lunch

15:00 – 18:00   Still-life drawing with exercises, I will give a more complete breakdown when we meet

19:30 Supper


Day 3 Friday 13th

7:30 – 8:15   Yoga Optional extra

08:00 – 09:00 Breakfast

9:00 – 13:00   Drawing   10:45 tea/coffee

11:15 – 1:00 Drawing

13:00 Lunch

15:00 – 17:00 or 18:00 for those who want to continue Drawing

19:30 Supper


Day 4 Saturday 14th

08:00 – 09:00 Breakfast

9:00 – 18:00 Walking in the Dentelles de Montmirail with sketch books Picnic (provided) at 13:00

19:30 Supper


Day 5 Sunday 15th

7:30 – 8:15   Yoga Optional extra

08:00 – 09:00 Breakfast

9:00 – 12:30 Drawing from the figure, Female

10:45 tea/coffee

13:00 Lunch

15:00 – 17:00 or 18:00 for those who want to continue Drawing from the figure, Male

19:30 Supper


Day 6 Monday 16th

7:30 – 8:15   Yoga Optional extra

08:00 – 09:00 Breakfast

9:00 – 13:00   Drawing   10:45 tea/coffee

11:00 – 1:00   Drawing

13:00 Lunch

15:00 – 17:00 Drawing

18:00 in house Wine tasting

20:00 Supper


Day 7 Tuesday 17th

07:30 – 08:30 Breakfast

9:00 Go to Vaison-La-Romaine, market day

13:00 Lunch in a café (not provided for in the package)

15:00 – 17:00 or 18:00 for those who want to continue  Drawing from the figure

19:30 Supper


Day 8 Wednesday 18th

7:30 – 8:15   Yoga Optional extra

08:00 – 09:00 Breakfast

9:00 – 13:00    Drawing   10:45 tea/coffee

13:00 Lunch

15:00 – 17:00 or 18:00 for those who want to continue Drawing

19:30 Supper out (not included in package)


Day 9 Thursday 19th Market day Orange

7:00 – 9:00    Breakfast

Check out

Optional morning meditation with Kirsten

Massage with Marie-Helène bookable – 45€ for 1 hour – ring/text me to book in advance



“Isabel Coulton’s Residential, Life-drawing holiday 2019, can only be described as a wholly uplifting experience.

 With over a week’s practice of exercising the art of still life, life drawing, together with absorption of different art medias such as: line marking, shading, toning and composition, these all took place in a relaxed environment, making participants feel uninhibited and calm, creating a truly joyous exercise. 

 As a relative newcomer to the discipline, I came away from Isabel’s course with a true understanding of what makes art, art. It has made me feel more relaxed and able to translate what my eye sees to transcribe it correctly to myriad of art forms.

 This thoroughly worthwhile, inspiring holiday has not only given me a greater capability of creating art but also introduced me to a many like-minded people, who I met in a beautiful chateau in the delights of Provence. I loved it… a fantastic, extremely worthwhile journey.”  Fiona Sadek

“I am so pleased to have my drawings from your summer residential, and I see that perhaps I can draw a bit after all. Of course your inspiration and guidance were key.”  Penelope McAll

La France:
Much more than a holiday – full on art making with super creative support and inspiration from Isabel and her team.  Plus all the food, drink, swimming, conviviality and resting anyone would desire in a french chateau.  Travel by train is my tip. Simon

“Thank you so much for such a wonderful holiday. I thought you managed to blend the perfect balance of great company, mouth-watering cuisine and, of course, life-drawing. Clearly, you had gone to great lengths to lay on all the materials we could possibly need, top quality models and your tuition was so inspiring. I look forward to another escape to the chateau!” Philip Holmes

There are memories of our life drawing holiday, which need recalling .. in idyllic late summer sun, … among yoga meditations , eastern chanting… a swimming pool, clean, cooling…..a perfect chateaux  which amazed me, and our drawing sessions, in the courtyard ..still life using pencil. I wanted more time.. to focus, but then, inside the glass windowed  studio, we had longer, to get used to different styles of mark making, … in sight of beautifully poised models, very french, … and Dan, whose long red hair i enjoyed trying to recreate, in pastels , charcoal  and paint…  Every person’s drawings unique .. which developed every  day naturally… so that an exhibition of a selection of works in the courtyard, made a wonderful show!! If there were more time, we could create more … sketch books need more I will give it more in coming weeks and months.. Our wonderful cooked meals,  so excellent! Would love to try so.e more wine tasting… tempted ! But so enjoyed company of everyone, thank you x ..Xenia

“It was such a pleasure doing art with you and I am still feeling quite shining.  I can’t wait for more life drawing and have found out about some that goes on locally but also really look forward to any classes/courses that you might hold in Devon.
I hope you know how much I enjoyed every bit of it..the teaching, the doing, the lovely people, the food and accommodation, the yoga and meditation, and just the whole thing. I wouldn’t change any of it…” Virginia Morris

Nearest transport

Train: Orange is the closest, then Avignon TGV and Avignon Centre

Airport: Avignon is the nearest, then Marseilles, or Nimes

*If we can coordinate people to arrive together it will make it much easier to arrange pickups. This will be a small (less if we pick up many at a time) added cost.

I will require a third of the cost on booking (£500), a third on 1st May and the final £500 on Aug 1st.

Cancellation policy £300 of your £500 deposit is non-refundable. Your second payment will be due by May 1st 2020 and you can cancel no later than 30th June 2020.  Alternative payment options possible.

I believe the food element is a very important one, and whilst I would like to cater for everyone’s tastes this may prove difficult. In France as with other Mediterranean countries, they don’t understand vegetarianism and Veganism very well. As far as I know we can cater for vegetarians, but it may be asking too much to consider gluten free, vegan diets.

Please contact me if you would like to discuss dietary options.


Landline 0044 1364 73120

Mobile:   0044 7920714387


My address:
The Old Hall, Church Street, South Brent, Devon TQ10 9AQ, England

Bank details:

Cooperative bank
8 Old Town Street
Plymouth PL1 1DE

Sort code: 08/93/00
A/C No: 05088001
IBAN : GB63 CPBK 0893 0005 0880 01

I reserve the right to change the schedule slightly, if needed due to weather.