Painting holiday in Sri Lanka

“Inspiration flows easily with a painting holiday in Sri Lanka bursting with evocative images and experiences.”


Negomba | Bentota | Bopath Ella waterfall | Sketch at ‘Lipton’s Seat’ | Sri Lanka’s highest waterfall at Uda Wallawa National Park | Jeep safari to sketch wild elephants | Sinharaja Rainforest Reserve | Guided jungle walk with naturalist guide | Welligama – chance to sketch stilt fishermen | Galle |

Description of Painting holiday in Sri Lanka

Focusing on just one small part of Sri Lanka, the area around the historic port city of Negombo on the west coast of the teardrop-shaped island, this painting and sketching holiday offers a delightful introduction to Sri Lanka’s landscapes, culture and history.

With a welcoming and accomplished landscape artist acting as your guide and tutor, explore this beautiful region with paints, pastels and pencils to hand. Small group trips operate in November and February, avoiding Sri Lanka’s monsoons, and catching gloriously sunny weather with little humidity.

While itineraries may vary, you can expect a wealth of imagery to inspire you every day, so that you return home with a bulging pad evoking this most exotic country. One day might bring you to a deserted strip of white sand, another to a tumbling waterfall where you can sketch, then bathe, and another to the iconic ‘Lipton’s Seat’. You may explore a rainforest reserve with a naturalist guide, diving into the bright colours of the vegetation, or take a thrilling jeep safari of Uda Wallawa National Park to sketch wild elephants in their natural habitat.

Working in a companionable, sociable atmosphere you’ll also travel in the knowledge that your holiday is having a direct positive benefit on the local community. Wherever possible locally owned drivers, guides, restaurants and accommodations are used, and maximum effort made to minimise your group’s impact on the environment.

Even in such an enticing itinerary, a couple of clear highlights present themselves. Exploring the historic Galle, with its historic fort, lighthouse and picturesque architecture; and then a day on the coast in the Welligama bay, when you may see fishermen perched on stilts in the traditional fashion – a fantastic image to capture whatever your medium.

Travel Team

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17 Jan 2022
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 17 Jan 2022 departure
'Free from' Food:
We are happy to say that we are able to cater for vegetarians and vegans. Being a dairy-free vegetarian myself I know how difficult it is to explain your dietary requirements in different countries. That is why we make sure we are able to cater for vegans and vegetarians.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environmental and wildlife concerns are my passion and I travel as sensitively and sustainably as I can, with and without clients. The small group size helps to limit our environmental and cultural impact.

On joining a sketching holiday I provide my clients with a sustainably-produced sketchbook from Khadi paper imported (and fairly traded) from India.

Littering is a particular bugbear of mine and can be a problem in developing countries. I come down very heavily on any client or driver who litters in front of me. I am currently seeking local anti-litter organisations/campaigns to become involved with and the recent appearance of recycling facilities in Sri Lanka is a welcome sight which I go out of my way to use and support.

I drink tap water whenever and wherever it is safe to do so in a concerted effort to avoid plastic bottles and I encourage my clients to do the same. Where this is not possible I discourage the buying of small size bottles and advise the use of reusable water carriers into which we can decant from a large vessel.

Many of the hotels we use are attempting to reduce their environmental footprint and have their own policies. Most of the accommodations used have fan cooled rooms as opposed to air conditioning and one produces its own organic vegetables.

Where whale watching is offered I carefully vet the operators to ensure they are behaving in a responsible and sustainable way and make sure they are aware of the reasons they have been chosen.

The Impacts of this Trip

All clients are issued with a 'Facts about the country' information sheet at or before the time of booking which outlines cultural considerations such as what to wear and how to handle the inevitable attention received while painting.
I am always quick to point out whose country we are visiting and that we have a responsibility to adapt as far as possible to the culture of the host country and not expect them to adapt to us (beyond common politeness and decency of course!)
Cultural differences are very much part of the fun and interaction is always encouraged. This is pointed out in the pre-booking literature and travelling with an open mind is always emphasised.

Visits to local craft co-operatives and small art-related businesses are always included where possible. I always encourage buying items such as souvenirs and snacks from the smallest establishments and neediest people whilst emphatically discouraging donating to child-beggars which is nearly always perpetrating an undesirable and unnecessary lifestyle in the places we visit. I would always suggest giving an endearing child onlooker a quick sketch rather than a pen!

All the accommodation we use and restaurants we eat in are locally owned, locally run and employ local staff. They are all small establishments and not part of a large chain or franchise. The food is local in style and uses home-grown produce, cooked in the traditional style.

I use only local, self-employed drivers and guides and like to support new enterprises started by young people struggling to raise themselves out of poverty. These enterprises are emerging all the time and I aim to identify them as they appear and where possible, incorporate them into the itineraries.


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