Scotland really is pretty as a picture. With its stunning mountains, rolling hills and glistening lochs, the country’s awe-inspiring natural landscape keeps visitors coming back for more. With a new year on the horizon, it is the perfect opportunity to try out new things and experiences. If you’re in the mood to get creative and put your artistic skills to good use, a painting and drawing break in Scotland might just be for you. Add a splash of colour to your trip and get ready to create your own masterpiece with these tailor-made art holidays.
Scotland is now operating a 5-level Covid-19 system on a local basis. This means different areas of Scotland will have different restrictions.
Find out what level each area is under and read more about the 5-level Covid-19 restrictions to plan and book ahead when considering your trip. You can search for businesses that are open, and Good to Go, where they have a Covid-19 risk assessment.
1. Paintbox School of Art, East Lothian and Scottish Borders
Situated in East Lothian, Paintbox School of Art offers luxury painting holidays at Kirkhope Farm House in the Scottish Borders with its Residential Art Retreats. Wake up to stunning views over the farm and tuck into a delicious breakfast before you step into the studio to paint or draw the stunning landscapes which surround you. With all materials, tuition, accommodation and meals included within the holiday package, it’s an overall great experience to let your creativity flourish.
Looking for more creative experiences around Scotland? Check out their whole range of art & design courses throughout the year.
2. Wild at Art, Argyll
Start your creative adventure with Wild at Art. Whether you are looking for an island escape to the Inner or Outer Hebrides, capture the lively buzz of Scotland’s cities or take an artist-guided tour of Outlander filming locations, these small group holidays will allow you to learn a new skill or try out a new medium while enjoying inspiring locations.
Find out which art courses and creative retreats are running throughout 2021 and 2022.
3. Whitehouse Studio Paintings in Scotland, Argyll
Run by artist and designer Karen Beauchamp, stay in the spacious Glenreasdale House where you will be introduced to different types of art media. With its picturesque location, it really is no surprise that many of the Scottish Colourists found inspiration here. Refuel your energy at lunchtime with some afternoon tea by the roaring log fire and after a full day of creativity, get ready to indulge in a three-course evening meal using only the finest local produce. Keep your eyes peeled on their website for courses to look forward to in 2021.
Find more things to do in Argyll & the Isles.
4. Vistas Sketching and Painting Holidays, Highlands & Islands
Prepare to fill your sketchbook with wonderful drawings and paintings of Scotland’s natural beauty. In 2021, make sure to book yourself onto the Windswept Wilderness: Sketchbook Journey. This six-day trip in Lochinver will allow you to experiment with watercolours and drawing materials as you discover some of the country’s hidden gems. Highlights include Boat Bay within the Inverpolly Nature Reserve, the impressive white sand and sea stacks of Balnakeil and the magnificent views over Suilven. Fancy a road trip along the North Coast 500? Don’t just see the sights but sketch them too with the Sketch the 500: Sketchbook Journey. Starting and finishing in Inverness, get ready to bring locations and attractions to life on paper, from John O’Groats and Ullapool to Loch Maree, you will no doubt impress everyone with your creative flair.
5. St Hilda’s Sea Adventures, Oban – Art Cruises
Our spectacular waters are renowned for their abundance of marine life and stunning scenery, providing the perfect backdrop for any type of artwork. In spring and summer of 2021, make a splash with St Hilda’s Sea Adventures as you sail along the Inner and Outer Hebrides on Scotland’s west coast. The cruise’s art tutors will be onboard to give you their best expertise on how to improve your technique, from drawing and traditional media like pencils and oil pastels, to liquid watercolour painting and mixed media, you will have every opportunity to flaunt your skills. After a day of producing fine artwork you will certainly have worked up an appetite. Get ready to loosen your belt as you tuck into mouth-watering Scottish seafood specialities made by the cruise’s very own chef. With tours running in April and August with limited spaces available, be sure to book now for this unforgettable experience.
Find more things to do in Oban.
6. Rusko Art Holidays Galloway
Swap the hustle and bustle of everyday life for a relaxing art retreat in the glorious Galloway countryside. Brush up on your art skills at Rusko Studios where artist Elizabeth Gilbey will teach you how to make a simple sketch into a detailed landscape painting by creating depth and by understanding the use of colour. For the non-painters who are accompanying their loved ones on the trip, there are lots of local attractions and sightseeing opportunities to try out, from mountain biking at Kirroughtree Visitor Centre to a delicious brunch at Galloway Lodge.
Find more things to do in Dumfries & Galloway.
7. Art4You Scotland, Killearn, Stirlingshire
If you’re looking for ways to relax and unwind next summer, spend your holiday getting creative at Art4YouScotland. Overlooking the Stirlingshire hills near Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, it is the perfect setting to let your imagination run wild with your creative ideas. You’ll be provided and equipped with art tools to help give you the best results and bring your artistic vision to life. During your spare-time, get to know your surroundings better and with Loch Lomond & The Trossachs Park right on your doorstep, you can also fill your day with an exciting range of activities, from cycling and golf to catching a bite while out angling.
Find more things to do in Stirling.
8. Scottish Art Classes – Easel Adventures with Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions, various locations across Scotland
Photographs are a great reminder of life’s meaningful moments – big or small. If you’re thinking of planning a more creative trip to Scotland next year, Easel Adventures with Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions might just be for you. Paint your way around Scotland as you take in some of the country’s most iconic attractions and sights, including Edinburgh Castle, Ben Nevis and the Scottish Borders Abbeys. After your trip, you will have canvases of wonderful paintings to show family and friends, and to look back on for many years to come.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our roundup on some of the best painting and drawing breaks in Scotland. If you’re looking to discover more of Scotland’s art and culture scene, check out what experiences lie ahead, from festivals and galleries to outstanding architecture or keep Scotland in mind with our fantastic YouTube tutorials on how to draw some of the country’s most famous landmarks and places to buy Scottish artwork.