Painting Tours: USA – San Francisco and the Wine Country

More Than a Painting Workshop – a Painting Holiday!

The difference? It includes much more!

Grab this unique opportunity to be taken care of from start to finish. In addition to having a wonderful instructor for your painting sessions every day, you will also enjoy the company of a tour leader all day, taking care of every detail:

  • transportation to painting sites
  • organized excursions and group dinners
  • hotel reservation
  • optional show reservation
  • complementary snacks and drinks brought to the painting sites
  • the possibility to contact the tour leader before the trip


Day 1: Welcome

5 PM: Meet your fellow travelers, your teacher and your tour leader at our selected hotel for our orientation meeting followed by a welcome dinner.


“I left my heart in San Francisco, High on a hill, it calls to me.”

San Francisco justly ranks as one of the greatest cities in the world. Famous for grand-dame Victorians, classic cable cars, dynamic diversity, a beautiful waterfront, and a soaring crimson bridge, the “City by the Bay” truly has it all.

San Francisco is undeniably a “must see”.


Days 2 and 3: San Francisco

You will sketch in plein-air some of the emblematic spots of San Francisco. Here is a non-exhaustive list of some of them:

Painted Ladies

One of the most photographed locations in San Francisco, Alamo Square’s famous “postcard row” is indeed a visual treat: a tight, escalating formation of Victorian houses back-dropped by downtown skyscrapers, providing a stunning contrast.

Palace of Fine Arts

This is one of the most photographed sites in the City, featured in numerous films and TV productions: Greco-Roman style Rotunda and colonnades surrounded by swans drifting across the peaceful lagoon.

Golden Gate Park

One of the largest urban parks in the world without one single “Keep Off the Grass” sign on its 1,017 acre with trees, flowers, plants, lakes…

Golden Gate Bridge

Once called “the bridge that couldn’t be built,” today it is one of the seven wonders of the modern world. This magnificent span, perhaps San Francisco’s most famous landmark, opened after a four-year struggle against relentless winds, fog, rock and treacherous tides.

Fisherman’s Wharf

The historic San Francisco waterfront provides the picture perfect backdrop for postcard views of the Golden Gate and Bay bridges, Alcatraz, Angel Island and the famous City skyline.

Day 4: Wine Country and Wine Tasting

sf-day4-brenda-vineyardsf-day4-napaWith more than 425 wineries, miles of rugged Pacific coastline, towering redwood forests, and its close proximity to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Sonoma County is a dream sketching spot in California.

Lunch: You will be treated for lunch and wine tasting in one of the numerous wineries in Sonoma.

The afternoon is yours to explore, shop or paint at the Sonoma Plaza, the gorgeous historic landmark that radiates romance around every corner, cafe and cobblestone…

Day 5: Plein-air and Studio Painting in SF


On your last painting day in SF, you will spend the morning sketching one more iconic spot of the City.


It is time to finish up some of the paintings started this week in a comfortable environment. The day will end with a little “vernissage” showing your work over a cocktail drink. We will treat you for the farewell dinner before saying goodbye.

Day 6: Departure

You can leave at your convenience or extend your stay up to 3 days at the hotel (at the discounted rate if you book early enough).

Leslie Fehling – Watercolor Sketching Workshop: USA – San Francisco: April 3-8, 2018


“Come along with me to San Francisco for five fun-filled days of painting iconic sights like the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the colorful Queen Anne-style “Painted Ladies”. All the logistics will be taken care of – all you have to do is relax and enjoy as we sketch our way through the city. Then we’ll venture out of town for a visit to the spectacular wine country of Sonoma to paint scenes that echo the colors and look of Tuscany. And you’ll record it all in your own unique travel journal.

Our focus will be on illustrated watercolor journaling. You’ll learn how to add style and interest to your sketchbook pages through the use of unique page layouts and borders, and I’ll give you plenty of great ideas for fun new lettering styles that will enhance your sketches. I’ll share my sketching process from start to finish and offer daily demonstrations of techniques for painting the subjects you’ll encounter each day. And you’ll be painting right along with me, since we learn more by doing than by simply observing. The workshop is suitable for all levels, but some experience with drawing and watercolor would be helpful.

Each student will be given a spiral-bound book containing all the information covered in the workshop. The handout ensures that you can relax during the workshop, knowing that even if you can’t absorb it all while we’re together, you’ll have complete information that you can refer to for years to come.


My enthusiastic teaching style, thorough instructions, and encouraging one-on-one support guarantee that you’ll learn and grow as an artist during our time together. We’ll be immersing ourselves in the City by the Bay and I’m happily anticipating all the sketch-worthy scenes that await us (along with the amazing food, California wine, and shopping!). Join me in discovering the wonders of San Francisco and Wine Country together and creating memorable journals of the delights and surprises that await us”.


Leslie is a full-time artist from Prosperity, PA. Sketchbook journaling is her joy and passion, and she loves sharing the fun and accessibility of this form of art in her workshops and classes. She is an accomplished water colorist who teaches both nationally and internationally, and her work may be found in private and public collections across the US.

Evelyn Dunphy – Watercolor Painting Workshop: USA – San Francisco: April 8-13, 2018
“Discover An Exciting New Way of Looking at Plein Air Painting” with Evelyn Dunphy
Awarded First Prize in the 2017 North American Biennial of the New England Watercolor Society

Each day will include demonstrations of elements of landscape painting with lots of personal instruction.

“Develop your ability to look at the complexity of the scene in front of you, and focus your vision so that you can design a good painting that speaks of the essence of the scene, rather than merely reporting the things in it. Every painting should have a concept, and your composition, colors and techniques must work towards bringing your concept to life.”

The goal of Evelyn’s workshops is to share her painting knowledge and experience with each student in the way that will best help them to further their own personal development.

In this workshop you will learn how to judge the ratio of pigment and water in order to get the desired color and value the first time, combine pigments for glowing, transparent mixtures, use your brush most effectively, and begin to “name the thing you are attempting to do. Naming it makes it possible to do it.

Evelyn is a sought-after teacher with waiting lists for her studio classes and workshops.

“Evelyn is the most informative, creative, sharing workshop leader one could ever find”.

“I must tell you how valuable this workshop has been to me. I now understand the qualities of pigments, values and temperature and what their variations can bring to a painting. I also had a gestalt with regard to osmosis and the use of watercolor. I also want you to know that I appreciate the passion that you bring to your work and to your teaching. It is really a joy to be one of your students. ” Thanks, Ruth.

“Our time together painting in Ireland has influenced how I paint in a rather profound way. I knew it then, after the Retreat, but you never know how it will hold up. I can now confidently say, 3 months later, it has a lasting impact. You are an extraordinary teacher in the ways you are able to divine where each student is in their process, and adapt what you know to share productively and successfully with them. I am a drawing teacher; I know a good teacher when I meet one, and you are one. Thank you!”

2 Watercolor Sketching Workshops-Max: 12 Participants
April 3-8, 2018 with teacher Leslie Fehling
April 8-13, 2018 with teacher Evelyn Dunphy

US $1,490


  • A welcome reception
  • 2 dinners: one welcome dinner on day 1 and one farewell dinner on day 5
  • 1 lunch and wine tasting in Sonoma
  • All art classes (daily demos, one-on-one support and instructions)
  • Transportation every day from and to our selected hotel (including transportation to Sonoma)
  • The use of a “studio” on the last afternoon
  • Complementary snacks and drinks brought to the painting sites
  • A tour leader throughout the week


  • Your hotel: For your convenience, we have already blocked some rooms at a discounted price at the Kensington Park Hotel, downtown SF. The group rate per night is $169 + tax for a room with one single bed and $199 + tax for 2 double beds. We can book the hotel for you or you can do it yourself. We will give you the group code for the discount. You are of course welcome to use the hotel of your choice. The discount will be valid for a 3 nights after the trip if you decide to extend your stay.
  • Breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners
  • Painting supplies
  • Tour leaders(s) tipping
How to Book

To Make Your Reservation for a French Escapade Tour please follow the steps below and review our Cancellation Policy:


Check Availability

Send us an e-mail to check availability. Include the dates you are interested in and the number of people you will be reserving a spot for.

Submit Registration Form and Send $600 Deposit

After receiving confirmation of availability, complete and submit the Reservation Form and send your $600 deposit check to:

French Escapade LLC
2389 Blackpool Place
San Leandro, CA 94577

If you live in the US:

  • pay by check, payable to French Escapade (if you live in Canada, it needs to be a money order)
  • or by wire transfer (let us know and we will provide you with our account number)
If you live outside the US please contact us for other payment options.

Receive Confirmation

We will send you a written confirmation of your reservation along with an information package for your trip (info about pick up and drop off, recommended insurance, name of a travel agent, what to bring, etc…).

Submit Remaining Balance

Your remaining balance is due 90 days prior to departure.

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel the trip:Cancellation Fee per Person
More than 90 days before departure$600
(deposit forfeited, but transferable to another trip with a $50 admin fee)
61-90 days before departure50% of total cost
31-60 days before departure75% of total cost
0-30 days before departure100% of total cost
If we cancel the tripYou get a full refund

Thank you for traveling with us!

French Escapade LLC | 2389 Blackpool Place | San Leandro, CA 94577 | 510-483-5713 |
CST #: 2091909-40