A Watercolour Painting Voyage in Portugal: From Basics to Mastery

Silves, Portugal

Fo
Figs on the Funcho
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18 reviews
May 10 - 17, 2024
Group size: 4 - 10
A Watercolour Painting Voyage in Portugal: From Basics to Mastery
Silves, Portugal

Figs on the Funcho
  • Email address verified
  • Facebook verified
  • LinkedIn verified
18 reviews

May 10 - 17, 2024
Group size: 4 - 10

About this trip

Embrace the wisdom of a renowned poet: "Live in the sunshine, swim the ocean, drink the wild air." 


Join us for a 7-day painting retreat featuring accommodation, delectable cuisine, and panoramic countryside views. 


This week, close to nature and your soul, offers new emotions and friendships. With a brush in hand, immerse yourself in the art world under the expert guidance of tutor Catarina Olefir. 


Suitable for beginner levels, the experience guarantees relaxation, confidence-building, and artistic inspiration. Painting partners are warmly invited to share in this creative journey.

Your painting experience

Discover the spirited nature of watercolour with Kate. Master your brushstrokes akin to a conductor's baton, techniques to capture enchanting effects, and delve into tonal relationships. 


We'll explore the grisaille technique, portraying the world's beauty in a single color. If it feels like a lot, fret not. The theory will seamlessly equip you with skills, ensuring you approach your next painting with confidence in a relaxed manner.

About your tutor

Self-taught, Kate Olefir gleaned insights from renowned watercolour masters worldwide. From Joseph Zbukvic, she mastered capturing atmosphere and mood. Inspired by Alvaro Castagnet, she learned swift decision-making and simplification for maximum impact. Michael Solovyev's influence guided her in mixing magical colours and painting with a loose style. Now, generously, she shares these acquired knowledge and skills with you.


Kate has instructed students hailing from Canada, Australia, the USA, and Europe. As of 2024, her painted works are set to be exhibited in exhibitions spanning Spain, Italy, the USA, and Portugal.


Painting holiday schedule

Day 1: Exploring Watercolour Beauty (Half Day)

Dive into the expressive world of watercolour, mastering brushwork and exploring tonal relationships. Discover watercolour abstraction, exploring its flow influenced by technique and mood. Gain plenty of skills, setting you on your next painting with confidence.


Day 2: Playing with Colours (Full Day)

Explore the emotional impact of colours, inspired by Monet, Sargent, and van Gogh. Immerse yourself in nature, experimenting with various shades of green.


Day 3: From Sketch to Masterpiece on Plein-Air (Full Day)

Paint outdoors, drawing inspiration from Figs on the Funcho. Learn location selection, dealing with time constraints, changing sunlight, and unpredictable wind. Enjoy a wholesome vegetarian lunch under mature carob trees.


Day 4: Optional trip to the historical town or coast.   Please note: The trip is optional and the villa kitchen will be closed, however,  if a guest prefers not to go soup and sandwiches will be provided.


Day 5: Exploring Shadow Hues (Full Day)

Observe captivating shadow patterns and explore their surprising colours. Understand perspective for creating realistic illusions. Share impressions and frame-worthy paintings.


Day 6: Unleash Your Creative Freedom (Half Day)

Paint a heartfelt masterpiece, guided by acquired knowledge. Enjoy an exhibition of your works and receive a small gift, leaving with unforgettable emotions. 


Refer to the detailed itinerary for full session descriptions.

Art tutor reviews - Kate Olefir

"Did you know that for painting a whole artwork enough to have only 3 colors???? Me not, before the lessons with Kate. She is really kind, talented and patient teacher, during our lessons I opened for myself the world of watercolour and every lesson we explore more and more new and interesting techniques and secret effects" - Elsa


"I came from Germany to take lessons with Kate and very happy about my decision! Because during several days Kate touched me the basics of drawing, I discovered perspective and tonal values, before I even didn't know this words. But the most interesting was to work with watercolor😊 I painted my first artwork already on my first lesson! I had the best teacher!!! If you come in Portugal and love painting, contact wonderful Kate Olefir:))" - Eva


"I felt your love for watercolor during my painting lessons this month in Alvor. Thank you for your patience, I learned so much. I'm glad to meet you and I hope to see you again at my next trip to Portugal next winter. I wish you happiness and success." - Silas

The venue

Figs on the Funcho, crowned by LuxLife's Hospitality Award as "Algarve's Most Idyllic Riverside Retreat 2023", offers breathtaking country views that will undoubtedly leave you in awe. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of the surroundings, let the stunning landscapes inspire you, and create memories that will last a lifetime. 


Our home-from-home, The River House, is the perfect retreat for nature enthusiasts seeking modern comfort, privacy, and peace. This renovated 100-year-old farmhouse riverside property boasts an infinity swimming pool, 5 large bedrooms, and can accommodate up to 10 people with the option of single or double beds. 


In addition to the villa, The River House also offers the option of staying in our two luxurious safari tents in the garden with stunning river views. Each tent can accommodate up to 2 guests, providing a unique and immersive nature experience. So, whether you choose to stay in the villa or one of our safari tents, you're sure to have an unforgettable and restorative getaway.

Culinary delights

Indulge in a delightful culinary experience during your stay on our watercolour painting and yoga retreat.  Cheryl and Graham, are not only enthusiastic cooks but also ardent fans of culinary maestros like Ottolenghi, Ixta Belfrage, Sami Tamimi and Jamie Oliver. 


Their passion for cooking is infused into every meal they prepare for their retreats, and it's evident in the glowing reviews from their satisfied guests. You can expect a delectable array of healthy, vegetarian dishes that not only nourish the body but also tantalize the taste buds. Each meal is a journey of flavours. 

You'll have the opportunity to savour new and exciting culinary creations that are as pleasing to the palate as they are to the eye.


What others have to say

✨ ✨ "I really enjoyed my stay at Figs on the Funcho. The venue was very attractive with walking trails to explore when we weren’t painting. I can’t say enough about the hosts and cooks Cheryl and Graham. They were very welcoming and caring. I ate every morsel of the deliciously prepared food.” -  Debra

✨ ✨ "The vegetarian meals a delicious revelation. I’ve ordered my first-ever veggie cookbook to continue the benefits of ‘Fig’s’ healthy delicious meals” – Judith

What to bring

Artists bring your own paints, brushes and paper if you plan to paint during your free time. Plastic or cardboard postal tubes to take your rolled artwork home. Paper sizes provided will be no larger than an A3.


Walkers bring your binoculars, walking sticks (highly recommended for the Archaeological walk), good walking shoes, windbreaker, and waterproof jacket.


Sun hat, sun cream, and suitable footwear for walking to explore different paths and if you plan to visit the historical towns during free time, as the cobbled roads can be slippery.


Something warm to relax in at night.


Re-useable water bottle.


Swimming costume to enjoy the pool and swimming shoes for wild swimming or canoeing in the dam. I strongly advise wearing swimming shoes for all river activities.

Please Note:  Check water levels in advance for optimal water sport experiences during dry periods in the Algarve.


Appropriate attire for yoga is recommended for holidays including yoga. Yoga practitioners are welcome to utilize the provided mats and yoga equipment during the classes. 

Non-painting partners welcome

“I went along to Figs on the Funcho as a non-painter with my painting partner. My time there was incredibly relaxing with stunning views across the river and countryside, with interesting walks and sunsets to die for.” – Clive


Email me if your partner would like to join.


There are several quiet areas on the property to enjoy and take advantage of the peaceful, tranquil, scenic surroundings. Enjoy bird watching, book a relaxing aromatherapy massage, enjoy stand up paddle boarding or kayaking or simply chill out by the infinity pool and soak up some much needed vitamin D.


The clearly signed walking route is ideal for exploring the countryside on your own and you are welcome to join the art group when they go out walking and exploring the countryside.


There is so much to discover and enjoy in the Algarve that is within easy reach if you have a car.

Weather in May

Expect warm and reliably dry sunny weather. During the day expect temperatures from 22°C (71.6 °F) -  24°C (75.2°F) and comfortable night temperatures to be from 12°C (53.6°F) -  17°C (62.6°F).

 

Check-in / check-out

Check-in from 4:00 PM. Guests are requested to arrive before 9:00 PM; otherwise, arrival should be scheduled for the following morning.


Check-out will be after breakfast.

 

How to get there

We’ll have one Faro airport pick-up at 3pm for the group.


Alternative options:

For those arriving by train, disembark at Messines-Alte train station and choose a quick 5-minute taxi ride to reach the villa. This is an excellent choice for those who prefer to avoid an internal flight and instead savour a scenic journey through the countryside.


If you're flying into Faro airport, you have two options: either take the train to Messines-Alte and select a 5-minute taxi ride to the villa or opt for a 45-minute airport taxi transfer directly to the villa.


Follow the Google map directions for those travelling by car.

Cancellation policy

The terms and conditions including the cancellation policy can be found here  Retreat Terms and Conditions - Figs On The Funcho

Once a guest has paid the deposit for the holiday or event then it is deemed that they have accepted these Terms and Conditions.

What’s included

  • Tution
    3 full days and 2 half days
  • Art Materials
    All art materials are included during workshops. Please bring your own if you painting during your free time.
  • Accommodation
    Spacious, comfortable accommodation. Single or double beds with shared spacious bathroom
  • Welcome drinks
  • Meals
    Breakfast, lunch and dinner (not included: alcoholic drinks (honesty bar provided) and one evening meal))
  • Airport Transfers
    We’ll have one Faro airport pick-up at 3pm for the group. On departure date we have one transfer to airport after breakfast. We can arrange airport transfers for you at other times for your cost.
  • Cleaning
    Mid week room clean and towel change
  • Towels
    Bath and swimming pool towels
  • Wifi
    Cable
  • Yoga Sessions
    Yoga, Mindfulness, and Serenity on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday

What’s not included

  • Activities
    Optional activities such as massages
  • Day excursion
    Optional trip to the historical town or coast on Day 4. Please note: trip is optional and the villa kitchen will be closed, however, if a guest prefers not to go soup and sandwiches will be provided
  • Insurance
    Travel Insurance (recommended)
  • Drinks
    Alcoholic drinks and cool drinks, we have an honesty bar
  • Airfares
    Airfares to Portugal

Available Packages

Purple Room Shared, Occupant 1
only 1 left

Sharing the upstairs Purple Room with a companion involves delighting in the presence of dual skylights and utilising the contemporary bathroom equipped with twin basins and a shower, all shared among occupants.


If you're uncertain about your bedroom selection, consider exploring all the bedrooms in the villa.


Should you choose to have a room without a companion, please send an email to graham@figsonthefuncho.com to make this request and confirm availability.

€1,120
Deposit: €280
Purple Room Shared, Occupant 2
only 1 left
€1,120
Deposit: €280
Zebra Room Single Occupant
only 1 left

Single Occupancy in the Zebra Room: Located upstairs, this room provides picturesque river views and shares a modern bathroom equipped with dual basins.


If you're unsure about your choice of bedroom, we encourage you to explore all the available options within the villa.


If you prefer to room with a friend kindly send an email to email graham@figsonthefuncho.com to make this request. 

€1,350
Deposit: €338
Green Room Single Occupant
only 1 left

Single Occupancy in the Green Room: Located upstairs, this room provides picturesque river views and shares a modern bathroom equipped with dual basins.


If you're unsure about your choice of bedroom, we encourage you to explore all the available options within the villa.


If you prefer to room with a friend kindly send an email to email graham@figsonthefuncho.com to make this request. 

€1,350
Deposit: €338
Teal Room, Single Occupant
only 1 left

This expansive ground-floor bedroom includes an en-suite bathroom and double doors that lead to the garden. Take a glimpse of the bedroom here.


If you're unsure about your choice of bedroom, we encourage you to explore all the available options within the villa.


If you prefer to share a room with a companion, kindly send an email to graham@figsonthefuncho.com to make this request and confirm availability.

€1,920
Deposit: €480
Main Room Shared, Occupant 1
only 1 left

Explore this roomy ground-floor bedroom showcasing an en-suite bathroom and double doors that lead onto the garden. The bed can be arranged as two singles or combined as a double. Take a look at the bedroom.


If you're unsure about your choice of bedroom, we encourage you to explore all the available options within the villa.


Should you choose to have a room without a companion, please send an email to graham@figsonthefuncho.com to make this request and confirm availability.

€1,620
Deposit: €400
Main Room Shared, Occupant 2
only 1 left
€1,620
Deposit: €400
One Person Safari Tent With Shared Bath
only 1 left

One person in a Glamping Safari tent with a shared bathroom. Check out details for more information on our glamping tents. 

€1,260
Deposit: €315
Two Person Safari Tent With Shared Bath
Sold Out
€1,000


Itinerary

Day1
Arrival Day

Settle into The River House at Figs on the Funcho before enjoying a group welcome dinner.

Your Organizer


Fo
Figs on the Funcho
18 reviews
🏆LuxLife Hospitality Award: Algarve's Most Idyllic Riverside Retreat 2023 Cheryl & Graham, co-founders of Figs on the Funcho, share their love for the Algarve through culinary, walking & painting packages. With 20 years of experience, they explore the best beaches, restaurants, and villages for a memorable experience. Passionate about cooking, they draw inspiration from culinary experts like Ottolenghi, Ixta Belfrage, Sami Tamimi, and Jamie Oliver. Their retreats offer healthy and delicious vegetarian meals, delighting all taste buds.

Reviews

I found joy in cooking again at Figs on the Fungo. It gave me a push to take up my Ottolenghi cookbooks. Without these workshops, I would never have made tahini and humus myself, which are much tastier than the ones you buy in the shop. Cheryl and Graham make you feel right at home in their cosy kitchen and are the most friendly and flexible persons. It's cooking without stress and meeting new nice people. Lunch together on a lovely terrace with an astonishing view and a heavenly dessert from Laura (their daughter) on top! I am already looking forward to the upcoming Ottolenghi inspired Brunch workshop.
By Leen V for Vegetarian Mediterranean Lifestyle Cooking - Falalfel Making Workshop on Feb 21, 2024
My sister and I had a wonderful time! We love the recepies and the very kind and patient chef and his two family assistants. The food was delicious. And, the beautiful premises completed the whole picture. We can definitely recommend this cooking class 👍🏼😋👌🏼
By Bela d for Vegetarian Mediterranean Lifestyle Cooking - Falalfel Making Workshop on Feb 19, 2024
Lovely way to spend a few hours, in a lovely venue, learning new techniques to cook tasty and delicious vegetarian meals.
By Marion B for Ottolenghi Inspired - Vegetarian Mediterranean Lifestyle Cooking on Jan 23, 2024
We had a super fun day on this Ottolenghi inspired workshop. It was a chance to learn some new cooking skills and try new Mediterranean-inspired recipes. We enjoyed meeting other like-minded cooks and sharing a lunch together. I'd highly recommend Cheryl and Graham's Figs on the Funcho enterprise.
By lesley s for Ottolenghi Inspired - Vegetarian Mediterranean Lifestyle Cooking on Jan 22, 2024
NF
Hosts Cheryl and Graham are super friendly and welcoming. The workshop feels more like a group of friends getting together such is their openness to share their beautiful home.
By Nicole F for Vegetarian Mediterranean Lifestyle Cooking - Falalfel Making Workshop on Jan 11, 2024
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