Painting Holiday in Trôo, France
May 7 - 14, 2022
Sept. 17 - 24, 2022

Oils with Tom Hughes

Plein Air Paintingwith Tom Hughes in France

Join us for a very special painting week in Trôo, a uniquely beautiful troglodyte village in the Loire Valley, with lodging in a lovely 18th century château.  The Château de la Voûte is located within the village but discreetly tucked away in a gorgeous private setting offering magnificent views over the river Loir.  Award-winning Plein Air Painters of America member and master painter Tom Hughes will lead the workshop, painting "en plein air" at sites in and around Trôo.


As all participants will stay in the charming rooms at the Château, we will be able to gather in the elegant salon in the evenings (or on the terrasse with a pastis!) to share,  ask technique questions,  discuss, get feedback, or simply to relax.


Three delicious farm-to-table traditional French dinners will be served at the Château, as well as breakfast each day.  Lunch will either be a picnic lunch, or a bistro lunch when we are offsite.  A Welcome wine and cheese soirée on Saturday night and a Farewell gastronomique dinner at a wonderful restaurant on Friday night are also included.


We will be walking up and down hills -- participants should be comfortable with carrying their gear on steep slopes, footpaths and stairs.  Not recommended for people with limited mobility.

Taught in English
Oils with Tom Hghes Sept. 12-19, 2020

Exquisite lodging in Trôo at

Le Château de la Voûte

Stay in this beautiful "petit chateau de charme" with it's manicured gardens, towers, troglodyte swimming pool, sauna, steam bath and gym in the old stables.  Studio space for painting indoors available.

The bedrooms are decorated with authentic period antiques, hardwood floors, and tastefully appointed en suite bathrooms.  Fabulous views from all rooms, including the ground floor dining rooms and salons where you can read, play the piano, or a game of chess in the library.  There are caves housing a game room and the swimming pool, and a double jacuzzi in a tower.

An exquisite family-owned bijou of a chateau in an extraordinary cave village setting... it's the best of both worlds.   

Click here to see photos of bedrooms.

At A Glance


  • 10 students maximum

  • 7 nights

  • lodging in an extraordinary chateau

  • Breakfasts, lunches and 3 home-cooked gourmet dinners included

  • Welcome wine & cheese soirée

  • Group exhibition open to public (participation optional)

  • Farewell haute cuisine dinner

  • Van excursions to the best  destinations: local chateaux, markets, wineries & landmarks

  • 20% discount for non-drawing participants


Le Château de la Voûte

All inclusive cost (see above):

2500 euros for the week

per person, based on double occupancy


Single room option:

add 350 euros

20% discount for non-drawing participants

20% discount for Early Bird discount

Paintings by Tom Hughes

Click to enlarge

New format!  Deluxe lodging in Trôo at

Le Château de la Voûte

Le Château de la Voûte

Stay in this beautiful "petit château de charme" with it's manicured gardens, towers, troglodyte swimming pool, sauna, steam bath and gym in the old stables.  Studio space for painting indoors available.
Oils with Tom Hughes
May 7 - 14 & Sept. 17 - 24, 2022
Instructor: Tom Hughes

In this workshop, participants will be instructed/coached at each person's individual skill and experience level, from outright beginner to experienced outdoor painter.  The fundamentals (proportion, values, color) will be explained and demonstrated as much and as individually as students desire, with finer points like aerial perspective, color harmony, use of mediums, thin vs. thick paint, washes, scumbles, ways to hold the brush, etc., addressed at any time.


This workshop is meant to be an intensive hands-on learning experience for those who desire it:  it's a chance to build or reinforce skills and try new things without the pressure of having to make "finished" paintings that you have to sign.  Have you always wanted to make painterly pictures with big fat brushstrokes but couldn't quite bring yourself to carry it through?  Would you like to be able to draw a bit better, make things look their proper sizes, but can't always figure out why things don't look quite right?  Maybe practice mixing colors from a limited palette?  We can do any of these things -- the instructor is there to give you ideas, technical advice, moral support, demonstrations -- whatever insight he has accrued from 22 years of full-time painting.


Painting Instructor Tom Hughes

Tom Hughes has been a professional artist for 25 years.  He paints figures, portraits and landscapes in various media: oil, acrylic, watercolor and alkyd.  He has had solo exhibitions at galleries in San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, the New England states, and France.  In 2017, Hughes was invited to become a member of the Plein Air Painters of America.  His work has been featured in Plein Air magazine, American Artist Watercolor magazine and Fine Art Connoisseur. Grand prize winner in the 2019 Annual Plein Air Convention competition, Tom is one of the artists whose work is featured in a book about watercolor painting skills, Watercolor Painting by Tom Hoffmann, published in 2012 by Watson-Guptill.

Holiday Director Kate Kilbourne

Holiday Director Kate Kilbourne

Kate Kilbourne has owned the Cave Yuccas property since 2000.  In 2005 she began restoring the cottage above the cave which she now rents out as a vacation home (see  Kate is an excellent bilingual guide to the local markets, chateaux, and vineyards, and she will do everything she can to make your week in this ancient troglodyte village a magically memorable holiday.


Included in Holiday
  • 6 days of instruction

  • 7 nights lodging in Le Château de la Voûte

  • All breakfasts & lunches plus 5 dinners

  • Van transport to and from Vendome TGV station

  • Local van excursions

  • Welcome wine and cheese soirée

  • Farewell 3 course haute cuisine dinner at Le Cheval Blanc -- wine not included

Not Included
  • Air fare

  • Travel insurance

  • Medical insurance

  • Train fare

  • Drawing supplies

  • Two dinners (on Tuesday & Thursday -- allows you to try the local restaurants)

  • Wine with Farewell dinner





The cost for the 7 night holiday, inclusive of everything listed under "Included in Holiday", varies according to whether you prefer a single room or are planning to share a double.  Accommodation is in the extraordinary Château de la Voûte.  Visit the Lodging page for more details.


Double Room: 2500 euros 

Per person


Single Room: 2850 euros 

Per person


20% Discount for non-drawing participants

20% Discount for Early Birds who pay deposit early:

Dec. 31, 2021 for Spring holiday 

May 31, 2022 for Fall holiday

Typical Schedule 

Subject to change depending on weather, desires of group, or other unforseen circumstances.


Arrival at Vendome TGV station -- van pick up, check in to the Chateau.


Saturday night 

Welcome wine and cheese soirée on the terrace at the Cave Yuccas



10:00 am demo by Tom Hughes at Château

10:30 - 1:00 pm painting session

1:00 - 2:30 pm picnic lunch

2:30 - 5:30 pm painting session

7:30 pm Dinner



Full day painting in Trôo (see above), dinner at Château at 7:30 pm



9:30 am depart Château in van

10:30 - 1:00 painting on location at Château de Courtanvaux

1:00 - 2:30 pm lunch in local bistro

2:30 - 5:30 pm more painting and possible chateau visit or wine tasting, depending on group's desire



Full day painting in Trôo (see above), dinner at Château at 7:30 pm



9:30 am depart Château in van

10:30 - 1:00 painting on location at Jardins de Sasnieres

1:00 - 2:30 pm lunch in local bistro

2:30 - 5:30 pm more painting 


9:30 am - 1:00 pm painting session -- finish up work

1:00 - 2:30 pm lunch

2:30 - 5:30 pm Optional participation: students hang work in troglodyte gallery

5:30 - 7:30 pm public vernissage

8:00 - 10:00 pm farewell dinner at local restaurant



Check out of accommodation and van transport to Vendôme TGV station