Abbondanza Toscana

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Palazzo Pfanner
by Frank Eber

Love Lucca
by Frank Eber
Frank Eber working
at a favorite location

The Violin Player
by Frank Eber

An inviting entry
at Villa Fiori
The Bay of Poets Laundry day in Lucca

Frank Eber's
How to Paint Loose and Atmospheric
Watercolors in Plein Air

Dates: September 16 - 26, 2017

Growing up in Europe has defined Frank Eber's style of loose and atmospheric watercolors. He was mentored for two year by Italian master painter Renato Casaro and lived in the south of France for three years. He works primarily as a plein air painter, but his background also includes working as a professional illustrator for video cover sleeves and portrait artist by commission. Frank's love of travel has given him prime opportunities to paint on location in Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Germany.

Dennis PendletonFrank is an award-winning watercolor artist and Signature member of the American Watercolor Society, the National Watercolor Society, the Transparent Watercolor Society of America and Watercolor West. He is a juried Artist member of the prestigious California Art Club. Some of Frank's recent awards and exhibitions include the 106th Annual Gold Medal Exhibition at the Californial Art Club; 2nd Place at the "Best of Plein Air" 12th Annual Exhibition of the Laguna Plein Air Painters; exhibitor at the 2016 San Diego Watercolor Society, 36th International Exhibition.

Frank will help you bring your painting skills to a higher level. You'll learn advanced watercolor techniques based on tonal values that create atmosphere, balance and unity in your work. You'll learn the secrets to painting luminous watercolors by manipulating color temperature, tonal value and edges. Basic watercolor background washes will be covered as well as time sensitive and challenging wet-on-wet and dry-on-damp approaches in all kinds of plein air subject matter.

The Workshop Format

Frank will conduct discussions and on-site demonstrations on composition, direct color mixing, positive and negative painting techniques as well as the "state of mind" while painting. In particular Frank focuses on numerous demonstrations, broken up into parts, to help students keep up and absorb all aspects of painting techniques. Beginners are welcome but must have a basic understanding of the watercolor medium.

In addition to the individualized guidance from Frank and the incomparable subject matter surrounding you, you will enjoy a cooking class, garden visits, excursions to markets, the jewel town of Lucca, a Puccini concert and more. And what better way to unwind after a beautiful day of painting than to sit back in a lawn chair with a glass of wine and contemplate the iconic views . . . majestic cypress, olive groves, vineyards. Or to choose a book from our collection and loose yourself in a bit of Tuscan history or armchair exploration.

The workshop ends with an informal "show and share" of sketches and paintings created during your time together, just before enjoying the final night’s pizza from the wood-fired oven and sipping the limoncello you'll make on your first evening at Villa Fiori.

Your days will be a mixture of at home, painting around the farmhouse and the grounds, and away days, on excursions to hilltowns, gardens, the architectural wonder of Lucca and special trips to Lerici, a colorful fishing village on the Bay of Poets, and the beautiful town of Volterra.

“At Home”

The farmhouse, Villa Fiori (House of Flowers), your home for ten days, is our venue high in the hills above Lucca. Villa Fiori is a lovingly restored farmhouse with all the character of its original brick walls and an expansive and open layout that ambles over four levels. The grounds are lush with gardens and outdoor seating areas for enjoying the views of mountains and valleys. Olive groves and forested hillsides beckon for an afternoon stroll to explore the countryside.


Your excursions have been chosen for their expansive landscapes, quiet corners and places where you can discover your own muse. A few highlights include:

  • The jewel city of Lucca is only 20 minutes away, and a guided tour will introduce you to this charming city we call our own. The medieval center is surrounded by intact Renaissance walls that are now a shaded pedestrian and biking path. Take a stroll or ride a bike for a bird's eye view of the city. Romanesque churches, small alleys and tree-lined piazzas and the very best cappuccino in the world are all part of Lucca's charm! On one of our visits to Lucca we'll hear a Puccini concert held in a thousand year old church containing excavations of Roman ruins.

  • The stunning hilltown of Voltera pre-dates the Roman era and houses an expansive collection of Etruscan artifacts from the first inhabitants. Colorful markets, medieval piazzas, Roman ruins and expansive views provide a wealth of subject matter for your painting. Save some time for shopping because Volterra is also the center of alabaster art and crafts with shops carrying small souvineer pieces to museum quality work.

  • Lerici is the seaside town on the Bay of Poets where Percy and Mary Shelley and Lord Byron found inspiration. Wander the narrow streets full of arches, stroll the sandy beaches, explore the imposing medieval fortress and enjoy one of the many seafood restaurants where the day's catch defines the menu.

  • You'll meet a local ceramics artist at her home in a refurshished old barn. You'll see the delightful terrace garden that inspires her as well as her hillside views of the surrounding countryside. You'll be painting your own souvenir plate in her studio, which she'll fire in her kiln.

    Other Activities

    Your meals "at home" are prepared in the Tuscan style, and you will enjoy a cooking class with our own Abbondanza Toscana chef. Karolina will introduce you to some of the specialities of Tuscan cuisine using fresh ingredients from local markets and our own gardens . One evening we'll dine at our favorite Lucca restaurant where the clientele is mostly locals. Listen carefully as they describe their dinners with delizioso, magnifico and fantastico. Our local baker is also our pizza chef. Eduordo will guide you in making your own pizza and cooking it in the wood-fired bread oven. You’ll also tour a nearby biodynamic winery and taste wines that are a true expression of terroir.

    The Week's Itinerary

    For a day-by-day schedule of your time with Frank, see our sample itinerary.

    Learn more about Frank Eber

    To view more of Frank’s work, visit his website at

    Book your Workshop now

    To reserve your space with Frank now, check Schedules and Prices and print your booking form.

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