Join me for a sketching workshop in Tuscany in 2019

It’s a cold and windy day in Montreal, which naturally lends itself to thoughts of warmer places. That’s why I’m already planning workshops for autumn of 2019 — including the one I’m announcing today for Tuscany, Italy. Yes, I know it’s a year and a half in advance, but it’s never too early to plan a once-in-a-lifetime trip like this.


I’m thrilled to be teaching two weeklong workshops in Tuscany from September 17 to 24 and September 25 to October 2, 2019. French Escapade, which offers plein-air painting holidays in Europe, is a small outfit that handles everything — from accommodations and transportation to locations and gourmet meals. So all we have to do it paint and have a great time!

And what could be better than the Chianti countryside in September?


This will be a small group (maximum 12 students) and all the details about the workshop, the spectacular locations, accommodations and rates are on the French Escapade website.

The best thing about our travel sketching itinerary in Tuscany is the sheer variety of subjects to choose from — that, and the magical light and colour of this unique part of the world. As well as painting the vineyards and olive groves from our home base, we’ll be taking day trips to the hill town of Certaldo, the Unesco World Heritage Site of San Gimignano, and the iconic city of Siena.


A weeklong workshop is ideal for developing, honing and integrating your sketching skills. In our time together I’ll teach you techniques for capturing the close-up and colourful in villages and towns, as well as the distant and scenic in Italian landscapes. We’ll sketch vineyards and olive groves, Renaissance architecture, medieval piazzas and panoramas.

Of course, since we’re in Italy’s gastronomic paradise, we’ll also build in some time for wine and olive oil tastings, fabulous meals and plenty of exploration.


In true travel sketching tradition, we’ll pack light — carrying a small bag for art materials and a folding stool. We’ll focus on having fun while we sketch, recording as much as we can as we move from café to hilltop. The aim is to have you return home with a fat book filled with fresh and colourful sketches…and lots of memories.

If you’ve already taken a sketching workshop with me, you’ll know that I believe in working plein air. There is no substitute, in my view, for the shifting colours, shadows and textures you can only get in the great outdoors. The goal is to become better at what you already do: to express your individual style and ways of seeing, which are fundamental to you. That’s what I want to reveal and strengthen. My workshop schedule includes a demo each morning and a critique at the end of each day as well as plenty of individual attention.

If you want to know more, send me an email here. Or to register, here’s the link for French Escapade.

10 Comments on “Join me for a sketching workshop in Tuscany in 2019”

  1. Judy Sopher says:

    I can’t possibly go but not deleting the post. Like window shopping to read it over. Always wanted to go to Tuscany . Before that ,will someday visit Montreal. On the second book by Louise Penny. Enjoying it obviously.


  2. Fantastic new JoAnn. When you are ready to register, please email Jackie Grandchamps at French Escapades:

    She’ll get you registered! So excited.


  3. Gerald van der Weyden says:

    Way cool!



  4. TonyU says:

    If you haven’t been before, you’re in for a treat. San G and Sienna are stunningly beautiful and artist’s heaven. And even though it’s a long way off I’m already looking forward to seeing your posts from there.


    • Tony, I have been before, although it has been a long time! Like very long. Like right after university.
      I loved both of those places but didn’t sketch there. When I visited Siena it was right before or right after Il Palio, and I remember all the colourful flags that represented each of the districts in the city. And I remember the towers in San Gimignano, and drinking some really good white wine. It will certainly be a treat to go back.


  5. Sigrun says:

    I’m going with Liz Steel to do her Palladian Odyssey this summer – if I’m not bankrupt by the end of the year I would love to join you!!! (I’m having a lot of fun doing your “Sketching Landscapes in Pen, Ink & Watercolor” at the moment)


  6. Bonnie Olpin says:

    Oh Shari, thank you for all the art lessons and life lessons and for your tempting trips. I am in the midst of caring for my 95 year old mother and I hope I have some travel in my step when she is gone. I follow you on Instagram, and your blog and all of your Craftsy classes. Bless you for your generous teaching (i.e. getting to know colors on your palette. ). Your painting (print of Madrona (arbutus) trees hangs in our bedroom. You are my number one teacher!




    • Bonnie, you are so sweet to send this message. You know I will miss having you in the group this summer but I am optimistic that we will paint in a beautiful place together one of these, hopefully sooner than later. xoxo Shari


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