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Oil Painting Materials

Watercolor Material


This list includes the typical equipment I use and suggest. You can make changes and add on, but please consider necessary the items printed in bold. You cannot fly with solvents at all; no paint, liquids or blades in the cabin of the plane (*). Some stuff can be purchased, rented or offered free on site. Feel free to ask me.


:: Paint tubes 60 ml to 200 ml


Yellow, lemon

Yellow, cadmium 

Yellow ochre

Red, cadmium medium 

Red, magenta 

Violet red shade

Blue, cobalt

Blue, ultramarine deep 

Green, sap green

Burnt umber

White, titanium 

Black, ivory


:: Brushes, Hog Bristle


Size at the collar: 

20 mm / 0,8 inc Filbert

10 mm / 0,4 inc Filbert

5 mm / 0,2 inc Tip

40 mm / 1,6 inc Flat



:: Tools and Mediums


Palette or disposal pad, 30x40 / 7,5x16 inc

Palette knife, large

Linseed oil or gel and/or 

fast drying medium (Liquin/Oilin)

Paper towel

Mineral spirit, 1/2 lt

Drying box

:: Supports


Canvas, un-stretched / rolled

Wooden board to clip the canvas on, min size 30x40 cm / 12x16 inc

Cotton or Linen Canvas, stretched or glued on panels: 

2-3 small per day (18x24 cm / 6x10 inc)

1 double size or larger every 2 days

:: Other art tools


Sketch book

Soft pencils or charcoal, rubber, cutter

Brush pens: full black, mid grey, light grey

Paper scotch tape

Note book


:: Outdoor


Lightweight easel

Camping seat


Hat or cap with visor 

Water proof jacket


Hiking shoes

Photo / video Camera


Umbrella (sun or rain)


(*) I check in all painting supplies. Oil paints are not flammable. The US Department of Transportation defines “flammable liquids’ as those with a flash point of 140 degrees F or below, Artist grade oil colors are based on vegetable oil with a flash point at or above 450 degrees F. They are not hazardous. If you need to confirm this, please contact TSA at 866-289-9673 or their Hazardous Materials Research Center at 800-467-4922.” 


Francesco Fontana


Updated Friday, martedì 03 marzo 2015

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Sweet Provence, France

Plein Air Painting in Vaucluse and Luberon

Book this Workshop

The most beautiful villages of Provence are waiting for you to enjoy their sweet nature, old culture and French savoir vivre! Come learn and paint out across the countryside of Vaucluse and Luberon, where I've been teaching very many workshops every year since 2008. Be ready for the experience of a lifetime!

Isle sur la Sorgue is the gorgeous town where we'll be based. With its 300 antique shops, the local markets of lavender, flowers and fruits along the docks of its canals, its the perfect place to discover and hang out for a Provencal aperitif. But it's also strategically located for day trips to plein air paint in the unique hilltop villages of Roussillon, Fontaine de Vaucluse, Gordes and beyond.

In addition to sharing all I know about painting, I'll be your chaperon -- with my fluency in French and English. For the painter supplies please check my suggested list in the menu as well as the typical daily program page (under revision).

You only need to arrive in Avignon with the TGV train from Paris City or from Paris CDG Airport, or fly from anywhere to Marseille Airport. Arrival time permitting, we’ll be happy to pick you up to take you to the lodge. Otherwise we'll suggest you the easiest train or driving directions.


Painting by the Lily Pond

This Giverny experience is designed to learn and get inspired by the father of Impressionism Claude Monet. We’ll spend five days in Giverny, north of Paris, where Monet lived for 30 years. Here we’ll be painting in the village and in the gardens along the water lily pond the master had built. These are the real locations where Monet’s masterpieces were created. We are coming here for the third time because the atmosphere is so magical to say the least, and left an unerasable mark in all of us. You can add extra days to your vacation, prior and after Giverny. The group meeting point will be in Paris at Gare Saint Lazare where the train leaves to Vernon, nearest station to Giverny. Here Francesco will welcome you in person. 

The Monet’s Paris

To prepare for the culture and spirit of Impressionism, you would want to visit two Paris museums: Le Musée Marmottan e l'Orangerie. The first one displaying Impression du Soleil Levant, (Impression of the Rising Sun), from which the term Impressionism was conied. At Musée de l'Orangerie you can admire a selection of giant paintings among the 250 that Monet painted of the lilies and the reflections on the waters of the Giverny pond.  We will not guide your visit of Paris, but will provide some precious tips you’ll find in the Planner attached. I will also connect you with other participants who wish to share the Parisian experience. I know Paris very well so feel free to ask for insights. 

Welcome in Giverny 

Once you arrive the Vernon station, a reserved group taxi and a car for luggages will pick you up for the hotel. The same day a visit to the house and gardens of Monet is scheduled. Followed by a ice breaking drink and a good dinner. The following mornings we’ll be painting in the hotel garden. Then will return to Monet’s the next four afternoons, with a private pass to paint in the property without the presence of tourists. These sessions have no structured instruction, just some advise and great deal of inspiration from the golden hours of the day! 

Watercolor Workshop 

Watercolor is the official media and beginners are welcome. Oil or acrylic are allowed for outdoor expert painters only. Instruction is mainly based on demos. Francesco will be available for individual advise on request. An open feedback will take place on last day, followed by a farewell dinner. On departure day a taxi is scheduled to Vernon station for Paris, or directly to the airport.

Painting in Puglia, Italy Workshop

Lecce & Salento last summer sun 

Painting in Lecce means getting immersed in the magnificent Baroque of Lecce. We'll suggest you accommodation in a charming local B&B and walk or taxi you around for sightseeing excursions and to painting locations. We'll enjoy one the the best regional cuisine and wine testing of Italy.  

Map |  How to get to Puglia: By plane to Brindisi (flights from major Italian cities) and then a 30 minute ride on the freeway to Lecce. Possible pick up


Read the article about Lecce in the New York Times

Painting in Bali, Indonesia 

Magical Light of Ubud and the Rice Fields

Love at first sight! 'Paradise on earth' is not far from reality. My first experience in Bali proved memorable. I loved the messy mix of a shining nature, the every-day-every-were religious symbols. The intricate architecture, the spicy food and most of all the endless smile on the face of the locals. Young people are employed in every business. Most people look much younger than us pale faces. So the sense of liveliness is the mood that mostly left a mark in me.


Bali is know for its luxuriant nature. Both on the shores and on the inland. And it is. In Kuta beach hundreds of youngsters from all over the world gather to surf and chill on the sand with a case of beer waiting for the world’s most spectacular sunset. The westerns' side of the picture provides disco bars, fancy hotels, lounge beach clubs, and restaurant of all sorts. 


Kuta is a lot of fun but it’s away from the crowd that I found my dimension. Surrounded by glittering rice fields, Ubud is well known to world travellers but more sophisticated and suitable if you're not a back-packer. Painting and art in general are very popular here. The highest concentration of galleries and a couple of major museum such as Blanco's and Gunarsa's, offer food of all tastes for your eyes and cultural curiosity. 


And after the pagan leasures, the puras, such as the Holy Spring and other Hindi temples, will reset you in contact with your spiritual self. For other of endless attractions such as the Monkey Forest or the local Barong Ballet Tradition, you can find plenty of travel resources on the net.


Here I’d love to tell you about my personal Bali experience, which I love to share  with you. Join my next expedition to Bali. Check the Date and Sign Up Today!

Painting in Sicily, Italy Workshop

Palermo & Cefalù plein air on the beach
This workshop is a re-discovery of my native city Palermo, both on the seaside and in its historical center. We'll be based in the sea village of Mondello, right on the cross road of its 2-mile-long beach. We will also do sightseeing and painting downtown Palermo, in the bewitching centro storico. My workshop in Sicily last year, included a day painting trip to Cefalù. People loved it so much, I decided to schedule a three day stay in Cefalù (View photos on FB).



Our hotel in Mondello is established within the grace of an early '900 century Art Nouveau vacation town, and in the sunlight of this former fishers' village. On the other side of the Mount Pellegrino (what a breathless view from its top!) Palermo is an amazing combination of different cultural heritages. Dominations include the presence of Arabs, Normands, Greeks and Spanish, who left their trace in the arts, sciences and architecture. 


Not to mention the richness and delight of the food tradition. An ancient land of great contradictions and strong flavors, not easy to forget.


A very enjoyable experience. Francesco offers a well-run workshop with solid instruction, tailored to suit individual levels – from beginners to professionals. His skill with language makes it possible for a multi-cultural group to share artistically. Bruce – USA / Malta

How to get to Sicily


Fly to Palermo International Apt. A pick up with us can be arranged. If you rent a car take the free shuttle to the rental area, than drive to Mondello in 30 mins

By bus or train in 30' mins to Palermo, stop at Tommaso Natale where we pick you up

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