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Drawing and Painting in Florence, Italy

This course is no longer accepting Applications​


6/18/2024 - 7/9/2024


Florence, Italy


Visual Art & Design


Immerse yourself in the art of the Italian Renaissance as you study drawing and painting in Florence under the instruction of experienced artists and teachers. Discover the artistic principles and practices developed during the Renaissance that laid a foundation for representational art. Fill your sketchbooks daily as you visit major churches, museums and historic sites and paint landscape on location in the countryside. Draw from the human figure and develop your own creative work in the studio, and participate in a student art exhibition.

Who Should Take This Class

Students should possess a basic ability in observational drawing (proportion and perspective). Students are required to have taken at least one beginning drawing class and it is preferred that students also have had a beginning painting and a figure drawing course to provide adequate preparation. Advanced students are also welcome.

Required Application Materials (please submit materials in a single document)

  • ​Personal statement: Address the following questions (one page): What interests you about studying art in Florence, Italy and how do you believe this experience might benefit you both personally and as an artist? What specific skills or new knowledge do you hope to gain through this experience? In what ways could you contribute to an overall positive study/travel experience with your peers in this setting? 
  • Portfolio: Ten images including five drawings or paintings that show an observational and naturalistic approach. Compile into a single PDF with each image labeled according to media and size.

Course Coordinator

Andy Dickson (Fullerton) is a painter and printmaker from Long Beach, California. Much of his artwork can be characterized by its focus on ordinary and unconventional locations and by a naturalistic, observational approach to painting and drawing. In 2018/19 he was the Resident Director of California State University’s International Program in Florence, Italy and he has coordinated multiple CSU Summer Arts courses in Italy and France.


Students will need to Bring

All materials will be presented to students in detail at the orientation meeting. Different options will be discussed, as well as ways of reducing cost with alternative materials. It is advised that students wait for the meeting before purchasing supplies or consult with the course coordinator via e-mail regarding specific questions.​


  • ​​Two sketchbooks -one medium size, approx. 8” x 11” and one smaller, approx. 6” x 6” or 7” x 7”
  • Graphite Pencils (HB, 2B, 4B)
  • Vine Charcoal
  • Two charcoal pencils (soft and medium)
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Small artist type utility knife for sharpening (do not carry on plane – pack in luggage)
  • Sanding block​
  • Two Micron pens or other technical drawing pens.
  • Any additional drawing tools desired (colored pencils, pastel pencils etc..) 

  • ​Painting

  • ​​​Set of Gouache paints in the following colors:
  • ​​• ​Permanent white
    • Cadmium yellow lemon or lemon yellow
    ​• Cadmium yellow medium, deep or marigold yellow
    • Cadmium red light
    • Alizarin Crimson
    • Ultramarine Blue
    • Phthalo Blue ​
    • Black ​

    (other colors are acceptable to add to this if desired)

  • A small portable set of watercolor type brushes
  • Portable, covered acrylic/water media palette​

  • ​Support options:

  • ​​​​​​​​​ ​​Crescent cold press illustration board (a large sheet you will have to cut into smaller pieces)
  • Or Canson Illustration board pads – sometimes called multi-media boards
  • Or Cold presses watercolor blocks – small to medium size 7” x 10” or 11” x 14” approx.

  • Additional Painting Items:

  • A spray bottle (small size for water)
  • Two small water containers
  • Paper towel or rag (optional)
  • Gouache storage palette
  • Portable easel for gouache painting
  • Small portable folding chair ​
  • Sunhat 
  • ​Sunscreen


  • ​​All participants will need a valid and current passport for travel to Italy.
  • You must provide your passport number to Summer Arts by May 31. If you do not have a current passport, you should apply for one immediately.
  • United States citizens do not need a visa to enter Italy. However, citizens of other countries may.


  • Participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements. Summer Arts does not provide any group flights or reservations for this course.
  • We recommend flying into Florence (FLR).
  • You will need to provide Summer Arts with your travel information.
  • Students must arrive in Florence by June 17.
  • Class will start on Tuesday, June 18 at a time to be determined.


Summer Arts will offer group lodging arrangements from June 17 to July 9 (22 nights). Housing is provided at Casa per Ferie Madonna del Rosario and includes breakfast. There is an 11 p.m. curfew. Rooms are single or double. Costs are:

  • Single room: $1,105
  • Double: $925

When you are notified of your acceptance to the class you will receive information on how to book your lodging.

You may also make your own reservation and payment arrangements with any hotel, vacation rental, or hostel you like in Florence. Please be sure you are located within a convenient distance of the course location.


The following information is for estimates only. Your individual expenses may differ.

  • Airfare (from LAX or SFO to FLR): $1,400-1,800
  • Other transportation: $300
  • Lodging (if booked through Summer Arts): $925-1,105
  • Insurance: $75​
  • Cell phone: $100
  • Food/spending money: $1,000

Click here for course fees


Scholarship awards range from $100 to $2,000 and about 80% of students receive scholarship assistance. Scholarship funds are only available towards tuition costs.
To apply for aid, complete the application when you apply online for admission to the course. Click here for more information.


  • Application: April 15, 2024
  • Acceptance notification: Rolling, or by April 22, 2024
  • Housing reservation and payment (if reserving housing through Summer Arts): May 3, 2024
  • Insurance payment: May 3, 2024
  • Course fees: June 3, 2024

For additional information about the course, passports and visas, or any other questions, contact [email protected].

Guest Artists

Samantha Minear

Samantha (Minear) Carroll has a master's degree from CSULB where she studied with Domenic Cretara. She is interested in combining the human figure with unexpected items from our contemporary culture.  Although she almost always works in drawing and painting, she occasionally makes bronze sculptures.​

Marsha Steinberg

Marsha Steinberg is the coordinator of the Studio Art Department at CSU International Programs, Florence. She is an award-winning painter and printmaker and has participated in various art exhibitions in Italy, Greece, France, The Netherlands, Canada, Australia and the U.S. She has been living and working in Florence since 1974.

Susann Allgaier

Susann Allgaier studied at the Art Schools of Bern and Zürich and earned an MFA at the New York Academy of Art.  She has worked as a professional artist, gilder, art restorer and conservator in Zürich, London, Florence and New York City and as an instructor of drawing, painting, sculpture, gilding and restoration techniques in New York City and Florence. A recipient of grants from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, and the E.D. Foundation, her paintings, drawings and sculptures have been featured in solo exhibitions in New York City, Italy and Switzerland, as well as in group shows throughout the U.S. and Europe.​

Donald Henriques

Dr. Donald Henriques is professor of Ethnomusicology at Fresno State and is director of Mariachi Orgullo de Fresno State. He has authored a number of works on mariachi that have been published by Oxford University Press and has also presented at national and international music conferences.

Kareli Montoya

Kareli Montoya is known for her extensive work as choreographer for Disney Studios’ Coco. In 2017, she choreographed the magical closing performance for the Pixar presentations at the D23 Expo involving over 100 Folklorico dancers. In 2018, Montoya was assistant choreographer to Mandy Moore at the 90th Academy Awards, where she performed to the award-winning song “Remember Me.”

Dr. Victor M. Torres

Dr. Victor Torres is a full professor in the Department of Chicano and Latin American Studies at Fresno State and has directed its Los Danzantes de Aztlán (LDA) Mexican dance program for 25 years. Under his direction, LDA has earned top awards in binational (US-Mexico) and national competitions.