Watercolour painting workshop short breaks in North East Scotland

Private tuition in Watercolour Painting with Gemma Petrie

The unspoilt landscapes in the far north of Scotland offer a wealth of inspiration with their special light and colours. In Portmahomack, a small fishing village on the Tarbat Peninsula just a few miles off the North Coast 500 route, local artist Gemma Petrie will take you on a unique artistic journey.

At a glance

Activity: Drawing and painting; watercolour with mixed materials
Tutor: Gemma Petrie
Duration: 2 full days of tuition, 3 overnight stays
Location: Portmahomack, Easter Ross (close to North Coast 500), Scottish Highlands
Accommodation: Caledonian House
Price: £625 per person, based on two sharing a room
Minimum participant number: 2
Suitable for any artistic skill level


Your workshop and tutor – Gemma Petrie

Gemma is a professional painter who was born and grew up on the Isle of Skye. She now lives in Portmahomack with her family. Gemma primarily works in watercolour, but often incorporates many different materials, including found objects from the beach, into her paintings. You can find out more about her and see examples of her work on her profile page.

The workshop is suitable for beginners and more experienced painters alike and contents will be tailored to your skills level and interests. Gemma will give painting demonstrations and help you develop your own personal interpretations of the beautiful natural surroundings. To get the most out of the experience we recommend you bring walking boots and suitable outdoor clothing. In case of very wet weather Gemma’s studio offers a cozy space for working indoors.

Bird on rock at Portmahomack

Portmahomack and its surrounding area offer beaches, an iconic lighthouse surrounded by heathlands, and a castle. You may also want to capture some wildlife with your brushes and paints. The area is home to the Cromarty Firth dolphins which can often be spotted, there are also gannets, seals, cormorants, shags, hare, deer, foxes, otters, owls, oystercatchers and lots more.

TN Beach with pattern at Portmahomack

The location and accommodation – Portmahomack and Caledonian House

The historic fishing village of Portmahomack is situated just a few miles off the famous North Coast 500 (NC500) route. Edged at low water with rock pools and natural barriers at both ends, it has a gently sloping beach. Its idyllic location makes it popular with artists. There is a quiet harbour on the north side and an interesting circular walk out along the coast to the Tarbat Ness Lighthouse, the tallest on the Scottish mainland. More than 40 metres in height, the Tarbat Ness Lighthouse was constructed in 1830 by Robert Stevenson, the uncle of novelist Robert Louis Stevenson. Portmahomack is one hour’s drive from Inverness and the nearest town in the ancient borough of Tain.

TN Lighthouse near Portmahomack

Although transport during the workshop can be arranged, we recommend you bring a car so you can make the most of exploring the beautiful part of the world before and after the art break.


Day 1 – arrival at Caledonian House in Portmahomack. A welcome gift will await you.

Days 2 & 3 – The art workshop will run from 10am to around 4.30pm and includes a lunch break in a nice spot.

Day 4 – departure day. No doubt you’ll be planning your next art break!

Additional workshop and accommodation days can be arranged.


The price for this experience is £625 per person, based on two guests sharing a twin or double room. Here’s what’s included in the package price:

– 2 full days of private tuition
– Some materials (guests tend to prefer bringing their own paints and brushes, but we can provide materials if you wish)
– 3 nights en-suite accommodation at Caledonian House (sharing a twin or double room)
– 3 breakfasts
– 2 packed lunches or cafe lunches
– Detailed pre-travel information, including insider recommendations of things to do and see
– Welcome gift
– Wild at Art service fee

So…let us us know your preferred dates for a painting short break in Portmahomack using the link below. We’ll get back to you with info on availability and price as soon as we can.

Enquire now

View from Portmahomack

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