Galloway in Summer ~ Oil Painting Retreat with Elizabeth Gilbey

Oil painting art holiday in South West Scotland

Dates: 18-25 June 2022 – fully booked, waiting list only
Location: near Kirkcudbright, Galloway, South West of Scotland
Tutor: Elizabeth Gilbey
Activity: oil painting, incl. plein air painting
Suitable for all skills levels

Elizabeth Gilbey, a professional artist living and working in Galloway, leads this 5-day residential oil painting course. The area where her studio is located has been favoured by artists for more than a century for its light and especially lush green landscape. It was discovered by members of Scotland’s renowned Glasgow Boys and Kirkcudbright is a designated Artists’ Town.Check out the article Dumfries & Galloway Life magazine published on Liz Gilbey.

About the course

This relaxed art experience is a great way of escaping the stresses and strains of everyday life in the company of other artists.

The first day begins with how to start a painting, selecting a view and making a simple compositional sketch or underpainting using a limited number of colours and light values. The tutor demonstrates techniques and supports you in making a start.

You learn about the basic principles of creating work direct from nature, such as:

Drawing and composition – seeing shapes and mass
Working with light and dark values
How edges help to give a picture depth
How to work with colour and understanding “temperature” of colour

Day two moves your work forward and brings the landscapes to a more finished stage. The stunning landscape around the studio offers plenty inspiration.

View of Gallowway Hills

On the remaining days we take trips to the surrounding area – including the harbour at Kirkcudbright or other coastal area to paint the sea, boats or beach scenes. You will also learn about the area’s rich art heritage.

Make sure you wear layers and waterproof clothing as a drop or two of rain shouldn’t put us off! In fact, rain clouds and showers make some stunning subject matter for artists.


There is also time in the studio to develop your work further, using sketches and images gathered in the field, or to create colourful still life.

We break for lunch either back at the studio or at a local pub or cafe. After a day in the field, the group returns to the studio to relax round a log fire. Accommodation is in the same building as the studio and you’re welcome to complete your work in the evening if you wish. There is a well-stocked art library, including instructional videos.

Dear Liz

Thank you for an inspiring week. Rusko Studio and the surrounding countryside are a wonderful setting and your excellent teaching has helped me to close that gap between what I see and what I paint. More please!

Love Nancy {Nancy from Lancashire}

Cost & inclusions

Cost: £600 per person, based on two sharing (£250 single supplement) 

This includes:

  • 5 full days of art tuition (6 hours per day in two 3-hour sessions)
  • 7 nights in comfortable, newly renovated self-catering accommodation. All rooms are en-suite. (The basics for a continental breakfast are provided on the first morning.)
  • Use of studio space throughout: The studio is equipped with easels, drawing boards, cleaning agents, paper towels and a varied selection of art materials. Please bring with you your own painting kit. Brushes and canvases are also for sale at the studio at £17.50 for a set of five good hog brushes.
  • Use of large and cosy kitchen and living area – a great place for tea and chat.
  • Use of art library and instructional videos.

Please note that transport to and from the holiday venue is not included. A non-refundable deposit of £200 secures your space. This art holiday will be provided by Elizabeth Gilbey at Rusko Art. 

Book your place now

Studio and accommodation

Rusko Studio is a converted Victorian stables situated in the heart of beautiful Dumfries and Galloway. It is the home of artist and course tutor, Elizabeth Gilbey. Guests stay in a luxury flat in the renovated stables adjoining the studio.

Newly renovated in 2017, Rusko Studio offers comfortable, modern accommodation consisting of three double/twin rooms all with en-suite shower rooms. The centre of the building is a large, fully equipped, open plan kitchen and living room with cosy sofas and a log burning stove. The building features original beams and shows off the heritage and character of the former stables, coach house and groom’s quarters.

Non-painting partners are very welcome and the local area offers magnificent walking, outdoor sports and sightseeing opportunities. The studio is in a National Scenic Area, on the edge of The Galloway Forest Park and Cairnsmore of Fleet National Nature Reserve. The area is a designated UNESCO Biosphere and home to the UK’s first Dark Sky Park.

Book your place now

blossom tree

Very helpful and effective tuition! {Stewart from Glasgow}