A painting week at Dalvaro Art with Joe Dowden in 2017


Course title:

Painting water and seascapes in watercolour


Arrival day; Sunday May 28th 

Departure day Saturday June 3rd                                                                 

This painting holiday is organised by Dalvaro Art in conjunction with the painting tutor Joe Dowden.


The painting holiday venue is the home of Loli and Harold. The villa “Las Orquideas” overlooks the rural pueblo of Benigànim and the Valle D’Albaida, Valencia, Spain. This area of rural Spain set amidst the orange and olive groves is also an area of vineyards and fine wines. Being almost central between the main airports of Alicante and Valencia it is well situated for visits to many of the ancient Moorish towns, both inland and on the coast of the Costa Blanca, well away from the touristic areas usually associated with Alicante and Benidorm, making for ideal locations for any artist. 


 ‘Las Orquideas’ is a colonial style, white villa with magnificent views across the valley to the mountain range of Benicadell, the sierra de Marriola and several towns in the Valle D’Albaida.

The very well-appointed villa’s accommodation comprises two twin and two double bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms. With a further three twin bedrooms and two double bedrooms, all private and en suite, in a separate annex. An enclosed naiya, which includes a self-service breakfast/snack bar area, plus an outside summer kitchen, plus, of course, many outside dining areas.


Breakfasts, lunches and evening meals, with drinks, are all included within the cost of this painting holiday.

The well-planned and beautifully landscaped gardens surround the villa and cover an area of 5000 square metres or just over 1 acre and offer many shaded and reflective places to sit, paint, read or just relax and take in the tranquil surroundings. For the more athletic, there is the opportunity to play tennis or petanque (boules) as well as the use of the cascade swimming pool.

The villa is well situated for walking, hiking, cycling, photography etc. particularly for any non-painting partners. 


Joe Francis Dowden

My oil and watercolour paintings hang in royal palaces, government buildings and private collections around the world.

Painting travels have taken me to Russia, East Asia and the Middle East. With absolute client confidentiality, I never publish images of my private commissioned work. These include the mountains, canyons and wadis of Arabia. I have driven thousands of kilometres in off road vehicles through Middle Eastern mountains and deserts. I have run my own watercolour holidays for many years. I have also run courses and workshops at the invitation of government, national and private organisations in several countries, including the World Watermedia Exposition in Thailand at the invitation of the Thai Department of Culture and Heritage . I have also exhibited many paintings in the Mall galleries and West End of London.

Just as I was inspired by great watercolour books, my books have inspired young overseas painters who have gone on to become international artists. Recently my paintings have featured in Pratique des Art, The Art of Watercolour and its French edition L’Art de l’Aquarelle and other magazines. My watercolours have been published in many international books and catalogues.

I did my first plein air watercolour at the age of 6. I have painted and drawn on location ever since. I demonstrate watercolour to audiences around the UK and the wider world. I work fast, aiming at gallery standard, without prior preparation so artists can see everything. A humorous and informative conversation with the audience helps. Many of these “demo” paintings have gone into international exhibitions.

In 2014, I started the England branch of the International Watercolour Society, at the request of IWS President Atanur Dogan. IWS England has enabled many British Isles painters to exhibit internationally. We have several projects going. We are preparing to do You Tube live streaming with one of our international masters at the SAA Newark- UK TV Studios. We also have a forthcoming magazine project. These projects are with the UK based Society for All Artists.

 I spend a limited amount of time teaching. I make teaching a special time which counts for art students.


Enjoy learning watercolour painting in a relaxing environment with Joe Dowden.

On this course you will learn all kinds of techniques and tricks to make your seascapes and water reflections reach a professional level.

After this workshop, your painting will be improved and you will have control over a greater number of resources with which to address those paintings you’ve always wanted to do.

Painter single €1445     

2 painters shared €2765     

1 painter + 1 non painter €2500

Our guarantee of NON-CANCELLATION applies to all our holidays. For more information.



This is a guideline only as sometimes matters outside our control force changes to be made.


Sunday May 28th 

Afternoon/evening transfer from airport, Alicante 85 minute journey time, or Valencia 70 minute journey time. On arrival at Las Orquideas you are shown to your room, followed by a tour of the grounds and facilities, with drinks before the evening meal at about 8:00.

Monday May 29th 

The buffet style breakfast is from 8:00.  Meet in the studio at about 9:30. Presentation of free art pack and “get to know each other” talk from Joe Dowden, regarding the week ahead and the expectations of the course, painting, painting and more painting. Joe will also discuss the way he works and give a short demonstration. A break for tea or coffee will be followed by practicing some of Joe’s techniques in the studio or the grounds. Lunch at 2:00 is followed by a relaxing time before continuing painting around the villa. Aperitifs are served before the 8:00 evening meal.

Tuesday May 30th  

After breakfast a 50 minute drive to Denia, a popular painting coastal resort, to include a visit to the marina for a mornings painting followed by lunch in a nearby restaurant. Continuing in or around the marina for more painting before returning to Las Orquideas for our evening meal.

Wednesday May 31st  

A 15 minute drive to the Cova Negra, for a mornings painting in this parque naturalis, with its river and Les Arcadetes which form part of a mediaeval watercourse which carried water for 10 kilometres from the spring of  Bellús to Xàtiva. A picnic style lunch follows, before returning to Las Orquideas to prepare for tomorrows trip out.

Thursday June 1st 

A 50 minute drive, starts the morning, to La Albuferra de Valencia, the rice fields, not yet flooded but the interesting lake and waterways are ideal for painting reflections, shadows, large rowing boats and trees. A picnic style lunch breaks the day before finishing the day’s work and returning to Las Orquideas to prepare for the evening meal.   

Friday June 2nd 

Morning spent at La Albuferra de Anna, a small but interesting lake, with its ducks, trees and small rowing boats offering many reflections.  Returning to Benigánim for lunch and our final session in the studio to complete any unfinished work.

Saturday June 3rd 

Breakfast followed by morning transfers to the airport for your flights home.


The prices quoted include;

Airport transfers at the stated times. 

Transfers outside these times will incur an extra charge of 50€ per person. 

Six breakfasts, five lunches and six evening meals all with drinks included, anytime snacks and drinks available Monday to Friday.

Extra payments will be asked, per person, for; extra nights stay including breakfast 70€, lunches 12.50€ and evening meals 15.50€  

Sufficient paper and paints will be supplied to complete the course. 

Any extra paper or paints can be purchased from the studio, as can brushes, pencils etc. if required. 

Easels, folding chairs, sunshades, drawing boards and water pots are all freely available for your use during the course.  

Painter single €1445      

2 painters shared €2765    

1 painter + 1 non painter €2500

Our guarantee of NON-CANCELLATION applies to all our holidays. For more information.


            To book this holiday or ask for more information please contact Loli Alvaro lolialvaro@dalvaro.es  or use the form below.