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We have two in-person Decorative Painting courses that we teach in our studio in Florence; Introduction to Decorative Painting and Advanced Decorative Painting. Both of these courses are taught by Alison Woolley. Alison is a a master artisan recognised by the region of Tuscany. She has over 20 years experience teaching decorative arts and she specialises in hand painted decoration using  traditional media.

Please see details for each course below. If you would like to book in for one of the courses, please complete our Course Enquiry Form 



Courses are scheduled depending on demand. If a course has been scheduled, exact dates can be found in the table below the course.  


There are many hotels, apartments and agriturismo options for your stay in Tuscany. The studio is located in the picturesque setting of the Santuario del Carmine near Anghiari. You will need a car to get there, or ask us about taxi services from Anghiari. Please contact us if you would like recommendations on where to stay during your course. 


Courses are usually held over three to five days. Particular durations will be stated once a course is scheduled.


All in-person courses take place in our studio in Florence:

Località il Carmine 

Anghiari (AR) 52031


We also hold retreat courses in which students stay and learn in different beautiful locations around Italy.


Alison Wooley teaches all courses. Alison is the owner of the FlorenceArt.Net studio and has been teaching for over 20 years. Please see the About page for more information about Alison


To register for a course, please complete the Course Enquiry Form to confirm its availability. We will then contact you to complete registration. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us



Learn traditional techniques for producing genuine Florentine artisan decorated panels, furniture and frames.

Course description:

This course is useful for those who wish to understand the processes involved in producing traditional Florentine painted decoration, mostly intended for wooden surfaces. Several hands on projects help to illustrate the aspects of this type of decorative work. The focus for the first exercise panel is on creating one small example of dimensional ornament, ( for example: a rosette), using two different approaches to shading or chiaroscuro work.


Antiquing techniques will also be explored using this panel. We will then move on to a simple monochromatic decoration, concentrating on the aspects of decorative brushwork. In the meantime we produce a number of small sample panels and mouldings to cover various aspects of surface preparation, antiquing and finishing.


During the course you will learn about:

  • How to prepare wooden pieces for painting

  • Techniques for making a traditional gesso ground

  • Use of casein paints, lime paints, and ground pigments 

  • The basics of shading or "chiaroscuro" work

  • Introductory aspects of composition and familiarization with styles of historical ornament 

  • Basic gilding techniques

  • Various finishing techniques with varnish or shellac

  • Antiquing, waxing and patina


The courses take place within the Florenceart Studio, a working art studio producing Florentine decoration for furniture and walls for the international interior design industry. Students can observe and learn from their surroundings as well as from the teaching. Students explore the historical aspects of Italian arts and crafts and gain an understanding of the high quality materials and craftsmanship involved in the production of them. The course is meant to be inspirational as well as educational.


Course level:

All levels are welcome on this course. Teaching is in English or Italian. The group size is limited to a maximum of 8 participants per course. 


Projects per student:

• 1 gilded and painted tray

• 1 panel with simple two tone decoration

• sample mouldings with various finishes for wooden furniture

• extra sample panels can be produced according to speed and desire of individual students to explore new techniques under the guidance of the teacher.



Course Name
Course Dates
Decorative Painting
Introduction to Decorative Painting
Learn traditional techniques for producing traditional Florentine painted decoration.
FlorenceArt.Net Studio, Carmine Anghiari


If you are interested in joining this course, please complete our Course Enquiry Form or email 



Study simple techniques to strengthen the most important aspects of your decorative painting.

Course description:
This course concentrates on Grottesca ornament which is versatile and colorful. This style has a long history going back to the decoration of Roman villas but has been adapted and used effectively by artists throughout the centuries up to the present day. It is a great style for studying various aspects of decorative painting work because it can include subject matter as varied as human figures, animals, insects, ribbons, foliage swirls, and architectural elements. All are handled with a light touch and not overworked. The overall effect of Grottesca decoration is almost always light and airy, colorful and playful.

You will learn the following:

  • Painting techniques for colorful ornament such as the use of a monochromatic underpainting, or a the use of a limited palette

  • Techniques of different water based media such as casein paint, acrylics, egg tempera and pure pigments

  • Composition of ornament based on historical styles

  • Developing colour schemes for decorative work

  • Using paints and materials (base coats and grounds) effectively to obtain beautiful hand painted effects and patinas

  • The rendering of form with shading (chiaroscuro)

  • Decorative brushwork


Course Level: 
This course is very useful for artists or decorators who would like to concentrate on specific aspects of decorative painting that will strengthen their work. Each student will have a choice of which projects they wish to realize. One choice can be to produce decorative panels on canvas with techniques suitable for wall decoration, or wooden panels with the correct preparation and ground for wooden surfaces. Additional small sample panels can be produced according to speed and desire of individual students to explore new techniques and materials of interest under the guidance of the teacher. Located in the centre of historical Florence, students have the opportunity to be inspired by Renaissance Italian masterworks and study examples of historical decorative painting.