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One Part Creativity,
Two Parts Magic!

Love letters to Leonardo - Mixed Media, by Penny Maday Ciochetti © 2021

Located in Nanaimo, BC, Island Girl Art Studio offers fine art courses for the curious newbie to the emerging professional artist.

With an emphasis on creativity and freedom of expression, Penny Maday Ciochetti guides students through Drawing, Watercolour, Acrylics and more. 

Register On Line or email Penny to join a Wait List for the course of your choice.


NEW Summer Classes: Weekly Courses and Weekend Workshops



Creating a Clay Bust with Guest Artist Ruben Galdames

A special event at the studio, that you won't want to miss. All levels welcome, even beginners. August 19, Aug. 25 & Sept 1st

( 4:00- 8:00 pm) Go to the class list to read more & to register

Wild & Wonderful Watercolor Level II

Now a Day and an Evening Class!

You've learned to walk now it's time to run! 

Painting With Acrylics: Daytime and Evening Class - All Levels Welcome

Students develop their own style and to explore styles and techniques.

Wonderful Watercolour !

An Intro Workshop for Beginners

Friday July 15 ( 6;30- 8:30 pm) + Sat. July 16 (11:30 - 3:30 pm) 


Spend an evening and an afternoon on a weekend to jump right into the world of watercolour painting!
For complete beginners.

One Day Workshop:

Emily Carr and the

West Coast landscape

Sat. July 30, 2022

Let's paint the wild west coast landscape inspired by Emily's lifelong dedication to Vancouver Island!

One Day Workshop:

Georgia O'Keefe

Floral's with acrylics


Saturday, August 13

Come and paint large-scale macro florals inspired by Georgia!

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Painting Plein Air!


Starting Friday, July 8th, 4 Session.

Have you always wanted to learn how to paint the outdoors on location? Well, here's your chance!

What people are saying
about Island Girl Art Studio


“I took the Introduction to Drawing Class from Island Girl Art Studio in the Fall of 2019. I looked forward to it every week and thoroughly enjoyed every class. We laughed our way through learning and left a little later than planned each week because we didn’t want to leave. Although I didn’t know it at the time, what I learned in those weeks helped to sustain a creative practice throughout the next year’s lockdowns and beyond.

I am forever grateful for that! “


– M.K.

“I love my weekly painting classes with Penny! We not only learn about colour, texture, and various painting techniques, but we experiment and play with paint! We laugh and have a good time while creating a painting of our choice. I feel totally relaxed after a painting class - it helps me disconnect and recharge, almost like a painting meditation."


– Jen. K

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to know how to draw to take a Painting class?

No, you do not have to know how to draw to take the Acrylics or the Watercolor classes I offer
as I teach you how to use a reference image or photo and how to enlarge it using a grid. This
technique has been around for centuries and used by all the great Masters!
If you know how to draw already, that's a bonus as you can use your sketches to complete
paintings or develop ideas/compositions - but not knowing how to draw won't hold you back
when you are just learning to paint!


Do I have to bring any art supplies or materials to class?

All materials and supplies are included in my classes. If you have supplies/materials - or brushes for example, that you love and use at home, feel free to bring them along, but it's not necessary. For example, in the Acrylics class - an assortment of canvases are provided for students to use (up to a maximum size of

16 X 20 ''). If you wish to paint on a canvas that's larger than 16 X 20'', then just bring this to class with you.

All the paints, brushes, mediums and materials for painting are available for student use in the studio. I also glaze your finished paintings free of charge. In the watercolour class, all materials are also included and in the Drawing class, students are provided with a drawing kit.

Should I register for a Beginner's class if I have painted before but don't feel very
accomplished or have been away from painting for a while?


If you have painted in watercolour or acrylics before, but feel like you need more instruction or
can't complete a painting you are satisfied with -from start to finish, then I recommend taking
the Beginners to get going again!

What do we paint in the Acrylics class, does everyone do the same thing?

From the very first class, I want students to paint what they are interested in or what they
love. Of course, this does depend on your experience and comfort level, but almost any subject
can be tackled. We don't paint portraits, figures, and abstracts in the beginners class, but after
you have taken that you are better prepared to move on to more advanced projects.

What is different about your watercolour classes?

I teach transparent, modern watercolour with lots of room to make mistakes, break the rules and
fix mistakes. This approach makes students confident and unafraid! I have been fortunate to have studied and learned from some of the best teachers in North America and Europe and all have one thing in common they are fearless! I paint in watercolour almost every day and although I work in a long list of other mediums (photography, printmaking, acrylics, encaustic, Italian limestone fresco to name a few) - watercolour is a very old love. Students learn how to jump right in and to build on their technique, colour, composition, skills and creativity as they go along. So many people are very intimidated by watercolour, but really it's a lot of fun and very relaxing! The range of this medium is absolutely endless and can produce beautiful artwork right from the start, even if you've never painted with it before.