Rose Irelan-Oil painting in Spain

Oil Painting Workshop in Spain with Rose Irelan (acrylics, gouache and pastel welcome): May 9-16, 2025

Workshop Description

Get out and paint the spirit and colors of Spain’s beautiful Catalonia Coastline!
Join me in painting stunning Costa Brava, Spain.

I am so excited to teach you in this inspiring place! We will work on how best to capture the brilliant light and colors of Spain while working outdoors in Plein Air as the Impressionist masters did.

Paint the crystal blue Mediterranean waters with breathtaking vistas of the Catalonia coast, a hidden gem fishing village, botanical gardens, and medieval villages. Gather your color notes on your plein air paintings and take beautiful reference photos to further develop your work at home. The experience of being out there and painting with other artists will be a treasure you carry with you for a lifetime.

As a painter and colorist for decades, I have learned that the best thing to improve your painting and understanding of how to achieve the feeling of light and color in your paintings is to paint outdoors. I will be your guide and teacher for an incredible week of painting, sightseeing, dining, and artistic community while we all learn and grow our artistry during the week.

Along with the fundamentals of painting through drawing, composition, value, color, and edge (brushwork), I will be demoing some of the procedures and techniques I use in the field. Then it’s time to have FUN PAINTING!

I will be demoing in Oil Paint but other mediums such as Acrylic, Water mixable oils, gouache and pastel are welcome. I am well-versed in all these mediums.

Some of the key things I will be teaching and demoing are:

  • How to efficiently create compositions, and tips to help you visualize your paintings while working in plein air.
  • Color mixing and planning color harmonies.
  • Identifying value and how it relates to the colors you choose.
  • How to successfully depict form and light.
  • Painting architecture, water, boats.
  • How to paint mood and atmosphere.
  • Understanding and identifying light for a stronger statement in your paintings.
  • Designing your ideas and inspiration through motifs.
  • Quick thumbnail sketches and notions (black and white sketches) to help you quickly come up with stronger compositions for more successful paintings.
  • Brushwork, palette knife, and COLOR… oh my!


My goal as your instructor is to give you the tools and encouragement for you to find your artistic voice, strengthen your work, and find JOY in Painting! Along with my demos, I will be working with each of my students individually on achieving their goals for the week.

Whether you are just starting your art journey or you are a seasoned plein air painter, you will be able to stretch your artistic voice while being inspired by the beauty of Costa Brava. Beginners are welcome and I will be there every step of the way!

Rose Irelan's Biography

Rose Irelan is an award-winning artist who loves to portray the wonder of life and Nature’s beauty in her work. She lives in San Diego, California with her husband, Dave, who is an architect. She is a mother of 3 adventurous and awesome children and a grandmother. Rose is passionate about painting, sharing art with others and loves to live a life of adventure, as she enjoys hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, sailing, skiing and venturing to new places to paint and play.

Her Contemporary Impressionist Style captures nature’s rich and rugged displays of light with her in-depth understanding of color expressed through her energetic brushwork. “I want my paintings to convey the emotion that you experience from the terrain, the sea, and the wind.”

She attended the Columbus College of Art and Design, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Illustration and minoring in Fine Art. After a 20-year career as a graphic designer/ illustrator, Rose found her initial love of painting again and followed her passion to paint full-time in 2002. Rose paints outdoors en plein air and creates larger studio paintings from her experiences and color notations from nature. She also paints portraits and figurative paintings, not limiting what inspires or moves her as an artist.

Having a passion for teaching and giving back to the community, in 2002 she opened her art academy to provide art instruction in painting and drawing to children, teens, and adults.  In addition to teaching her classes and workshops in San Diego, Rose also teaches destination workshops for plein air painting in the States and abroad. She also offers One-on-One Art Mentorships and Coaching and is a Mastrius Master Art Mentor as well as a guest instructor at several art schools in the country.

Rose’s paintings of the mountains, and seascapes, forest, flora, buildings and figures “en plein air” are immersed with the elements of Nature.  This direct type of painting contributes to her bold energetic and expressive brushstrokes and her sensitive use of color. Her Studio Paintings are usually painted from her outdoor paintings where she can take more time to refine, design and paint a larger-scaled version of the plein air painting and reflect on what she experienced at a particular location and time. She also is a portrait and figurative painter, often combining figures with landscapes to tell a visual story. No matter the subject…Rose paints to portray honesty, spirit, and beauty. These qualities of her work serve to convey the feeling of a “moment in time” that transcends pure representation and becomes an artistic interpretation with a strong emotive quality. Many collectors of her art key into that emotive quality of her art and how it makes them feel.

“I think of painting like music you can see. Each nuance and harmony is important and works together”. 

Years of painting quick hands-on studies from life with still lives and figures and working many years outdoors have given Rose much information and understanding of how color is affected by light and have been instrumental to her sensitive and vibrant use of color and mastery of light that has become a signature of her work. She constantly is striving to learn more about light and color and how to capture luminosity in her work.

Rose paints and travels throughout California, the Southwest, the remote Sonoran Baja Mexico desert, and abroad to discover new terrains and cultures that inspire her. Her work is derived from all types of light and of all parts of the day, including her nocturne paintings where she awakens long before the sun rises to capture the moon set and early sunrise at her Baja residence.

Rose’s soulful paintings depict the vast beauty of each precious moment of life, a subject matter that is as diverse as she…!

“Every outdoor location and experience feeds my passion to paint and connect more deeply with nature. I feel the best way to paint nature is from direct observation that is truthful; not only in the way it looks but the way it feels. I am a student of nature and light”.

More about Rose on her website at

More samples of Rose Irelan's Art


spain-day2bWe will pick you up at a specific hotel downtown Barcelona and drive you to our hotel located in one of the most exclusive beaches on the Costa Brava. Upon your arrival at our hotel by the sea, take time to settle in or start enjoying the wonderful white-washed and preserved fisherman village on the beach.

Enjoy the beach in front of the hotel, walk along the pristine seashore, take in the sun from the terrace or have a drink in the Mediterranean breeze.
Before dinner, we will take an easy walk along the shore that offers breathtaking vistas along the way.

In the evening, you will enjoy a welcome reception followed by a delicious dinner.

Painting One of the Most Beautiful Villages on the Costa Brava

This “little fishing village” is a hidden gem among all other villages along the Northern Costa Brava. This village is made up of endless rocks, cliffs and extremely beautiful beaches.

The parish church lies in the center of the village and is surrounded by numerous small, windy alleys, which lead down to the beach and give this village its picturesque charm.

The most picturesque old wooden boats a waiting on the beach for you to be painted.

There are endless vignettes to paint: cliffs and rocks, boats on the beach, white-washed houses or a magnificent fortress on the beach right in front of the hotel.

Flowers, Coves and Sea Views at the Botanical Garden


Ten minutes up the road, lies The Jardi Botanic de Cap Roig. It is considered one of the most important botanical gardens in the Mediterranean.

The most characteristic plant species in the Mediterranean region mix with trees and plants from other continents are a must see and a must paint…

High above the bay, the garden offers stunning views towards the ocean.

In 1927, a Russian Colonel and his English wife began building a castle and a magnificent park. The garden runs down in terraces from the castle to the sea. These ornamental and extremely beautiful gardens contain over 1000 species of plants and flowers from all over the world.

Pals: Unique Preserved Medieval Village


As you walk through the narrow village streets, next to the city walls, towers and churches, you will feel as though you have walked into a new time altogether.

The stone archways, cobblestone streets and wrought balconies adorned with flowers create a welcoming feel in this Romanesque village.

The Surrealistic World of Salvador Dali

For those interested we will go to see the largest surrealistic object in the world created by Dalí, the Dalí Theatre-Museu in the town of Figueres, his birthplace.

We will step inside the surreal world of Salvador Dalí and find a museum like none other. Dalí wanted visitors to see his massive collection as a ‘whole’ work and therefore refused to have his works placed in chronological or subject order.

Inside is a world of fantasy mixed with architecture, paintings and sculptures. It’s a complete surrealistic experience.

Wonderful Food

Catalian cuisine is influenced by Spanish food, Mediterranean food, and even French food. There are also some dishes that are entirely unique to the region.

Catalonia is known for the sea and the mountains – great fish and seafood alongside locally grown grilled or cured meats and a lot of grilled vegetables.

And of course, you will be able to drink sangria and cava, the Spanish version of champagne.


We will finish our workshop by a “Show and Tell” or ‘Critique”  before going to the restaurant for our farewell dinner and enjoying one more time of the Costa Brava by night. .

On day 8, it will be time to say Hasta Luego!!

After our last breakfast, we will drive you back to Barcelona (either the airport or downtown). We will get to Barcelona around 11am so make sure your flight is not before 2pm.

Come and let yourself be carried away by emotions!

For the hotel on the Costa Brava, we have chosen a completely renovated hotel with a breathtaking sea view, overlooking the coves of a hidden and preserved beach.

Enjoy exceptional views of the white-washed fishing village and the blue sea in a comfortable, intimate and relaxed atmosphere.

The village’s narrowing streets and picturesque fishermen’s cottages form an idyllic backdrop to the stunning Mediterranean coast.

You can choose either a standard room (no sea view) with balcony or a superior room with sea view and balcony (see pictures).

Rooms have either two single beds or one double bed. All rooms have an en-suite bathroom, TV, satellite, air conditioning, heating, hairdryer and safety deposit box..

Pricing Details:

How to Book

The Trip is limited to 14 Participants

Sign up before 11/30 to save $200. Use the code Discount200 at check out. 

All rooms have an ensuite bathroom

Early Bird Prices:

Shared standard room: US$ 3,790 per person (US $3,990 after Nov 30th)

Shared room with breathtaking sea view: US$ 4,240  per person (US $4,440 after Nov 30th)

Single standard room: US$ 4,340 (US $4,540 after Nov 30th)

Single room with breathtaking sea view: US$ 4,690 (US $4,890 after Nov 30th)

Non Painters are welcome to join. Price is the same.


– Pick-up at 1:30pm at a specific hotel downtown Barcelona to go to the Costa Brava
– Drop-off either at the pick-up hotel in Barcelona around 11am or at the the airport around noon
– A welcome reception
– All nights  at the hotel on the Costa Brava
– All breakfasts
– 3 lunches
– 4 dinners (including drinks and wine)
– All art classes
– Entrance fees to all sites on the tour
– Transportation every day in a comfortable van
– The use of folding chairs
– Two tour leaders throughout the week


– Flights to and from Barcelona
– 3 lunches and 3 dinners
– Painting supplies (we provide folding chairs)
– Tour leader(s) tipping


– $600 non refundable deposit required at booking (see cancelation policy below)

– Remaining balance due 4 months prior departure

Sign up before 11/30/24 and save $200!

Use the code Discount200 at check out. 

Cancelation Policy:

If you cancel the trip:Cancellation Fee per Person
More than 120 days before departureThe $600 deposit is forfeited
61-120 days before departure50% of total cost forfeited
31-60 days before departure75% of total cost forfeited
0-30 days before departure100% of total cost forfeited
If French Escapade cancels You get a full refund

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