Painting Tours: Belgium

Bruges is a city that will capture your heart. Bruges, a Unesco World Heritage is rightfully called the “Venice of the North”, because of its medieval architecture surrounded by numerous canals.  Painting in Bruges, the Capital of the Flemish painters, is one of a kind experience.
Besides painting the endless vignettes Bruges has to offer, you will also experience Belgium’s specialties like chocolate, lace making, beers, diamonds and waffles.
Day 1: Arrival

We will pick you up at the Brussel airport and we will drive you to our hotel near Bruges.

You will have time to settle in, have a drink by the pool and relax before our welcome reception and orientation meeting, followed by your first Belgian dinner.

Days 2, 3 and 4: Bruges, the Venice of the North

This splendid medieval city is one of Belgium’s crown jewels and is largely considered one of the most beautiful towns in Europe. In no other European city are the look and feel of medieval times so present as here in this city close to the North Sea.

The historic downtown of Bruges has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. In 2002, Bruges was designated the ‘cultural capital of Europe’.

You will find hundreds of sketching subjects from the quaint Beguinage quarters to the impressive Grand Place with its majestic Belfrey.


belgium-day4Lace is one of the specialties in Bruges. We may be able to stump upon a senior lady showing us how to make lace with about more than 80 bobbins.

You will also have some free time to explore more of Bruges.

There is so much to do! Visit one of the various art museums displaying the famous Flemish paintings, the first 13th century hospital, the Church of Our Lady with the sculpture “Madonna and Child,” the only one of Michelangelo’s sculptures to have left Italy within his lifetime, a brewery or the chocolate museum.

We will take a boat ride on the peaceful canals with delightful views of medieval Flemish mansions.

Day 5: Mills and Canals in Damme

belgium-day5-dammeDamme is one of the most charming villages in Belgium. Located in the Flanders, between the beaches and Bruges, this village will enchant you with its mills, canals, barges, Gothic church and plaza. The vignettes to paint are endless.

Instead of painting, you can rent a bike at the hotel for a very easy and beautiful bike ride (or walk) along romantic canals with its barges, between quaint towns, outdoor cafés and wind mills. In less than 25 min you will be in Bruges and in 45 min, you will be in Holland.

Day 6: Dune Beaches by the North Sea

Today, we will drive to the coast by the North Sea for a complete different scenery. You can paint (or shop) all along the sandy beaches or by the boardwalk that is alive with outdoor cafes, shops, bikers, rollerbladers and strange vehicles known as cuistax.

This resort is known for its rich architectural heritage with sumptuous residences form the early 19th.

Day 7: Windmills

Damme is a friendly and attractive town. You will see reminders of the past, such the town walls and the town gates everywhere. Located along the canals, the town offers many scenic views for you to paint: boats, mills, flower pots, bikes, etc..A very lively town with restaurants and shops.

In the afternoon, we will go back to our hotel to finish up some paintings and for our “Show and Tell” followed by a farewell gourmet dinner.

Day 8: Departure

After breakfast, we will drive you to the Brussels airport by noon.

Keiko Tanabe – Watercolor Painting Workshop in Belgium, Sept 21-28, 2020

About the Workshop

“Join me on this wonderful trip to Belgium!

Having been there, I can say my love for this absolutely delightful country has stood the test of time. This will be my fifth time teaching for French Escapade.

Canals, wind mills, medieval town of Bruges, friendly people, charming villages, scrumptious food and wine, everything conjured up in the image of Belgium awaits when we go there in Sept 2020.

Please join us as we explore and paint outdoors while enjoying the joie de vivre the region has to offer. If you’re looking for a cozy, personalized therefore very special painting holiday organized by a tour operator who is completely bi-cultural and bilingual, this is it.

Since we will be a small group, I can also closely work with each one of you for a semi-private painting experience.

My teaching style consists of one hour demo once or twice a day followed by one-to-one support”.


About Keiko Tanabe

Mostly self-taught, Keiko embarked on a professional art career in 2005 and started exhibiting publicly.  Since that year, her paintings have been juried into many exhibitions across Americas and in Asia and Europe.  Her work has been purchased by private and corporate collectors from all around the world.  She also had her paintings published in leading art magazines in the U.S., Europe and Japan.

Additionally, she self-publishes her art books and six books have been completed by 2014.  She is also a sought-after workshop instructor.  Since 2011, she has been invited to and completed successfully more than 200 workshops and numerous live demonstrations around the world.  She has served as a juror in a number of art exhibitions including some major watercolor shows around the world such as the Transparent Watercolor Society of America, the International Watercolor Society, the Northwest Watercolor Society, the Utah Watercolor Society and the New Mexico Watercolor Society.

In 2015 she was named an official Ambassador for Winsor & Newton.  In 2018, she was appointed to the advisory board of the American Watercolor Weekly.

Iain Stewart, AWS/NWS – Sketchbook and Watercolor Painting Workshop in Belgium, June 20-27, 2021

Iain Stewart’s website:

About the Workshop:

“The most enjoyable painting I do is when I paint outdoors. There is an intimacy and sense of “being there” that only occurs when you take the time to slow down and record your surroundings in watercolor- and what surroundings we will have!

Join me in Belgium for a truly memorable week!

We will tour daily with an easy schedule of demonstration, one on one critique, and group discussions designed to build your confidence and ability alike. You may paint or explore or do both on any given day. I will be there to guide you through my approach to painting en plein air and help you take your watercolors to the next level!

The course is limited to 12 students to maximize our time together and the amount of individual instruction you will receive. This is a truly unique opportunity to see inside how I work and play. When painting on site in such wonderful surroundings you are inevitably doing both.

Let’s indulge our creative and adventurous spirit with a painting holiday in Belgium!”


About Iain Stewart, AWS/NWS:

Iain Stewart is a watercolor artist / illustrator and a signature member of both the American and National Watercolor Societies. His work has received numerous awards in international competition and he is a sought after juror and workshop instructor. He is also an architectural illustrator with an international clientele- a business he has run for the last 20 years. Iain maintains a studio in Opelika, Alabama.

To find out more about Iain Stewart:





Charming Hotel in Flanders

The hotel in Flanders is only 7 miles from Bruges. This charming hotel has a beautiful sun room where we will take our breakfasts and a big living room with a grand piano. It has 11 rooms, each with flat screen TV, mini-bar and full bathroom. You will be able to relax either in the open air swimming pool or in the hot tub.


Prices-dates and what is included

Rates: US$ 3,390 with the $200 early sign up bonus (US$ 3,590 after the deadline for the bonus)

+ US$ 550 for a single room

Non Painters are welcome to join and share the room of a painter. They get a US$ 400 off and will come on excursions with the group, share the meals, etc…

Sept 21-28, 2020-Open-Watercolor Painting Workshop with Keiko TanabeSave $200 before Jan 31, 2020! 

June 20-27, 2021-Open-Sketchbook and Watercolor Painting Workshop with Iain Stewart, AWS/NWSSave $200 before Nov 30, 2020!


  • Brussels airport pick-up at 2pm and drop-off at noon
  • A welcome reception
  • 7 nights at our hotel
  • All breakfasts
  • 2 lunches and 5 dinners including drinks
  • All art classes
  • A personal bilingual tour leader throughout the week
  • A boat ride in Bruges
  • The use of folding chairs


  • Flights to/from Belgium (Brussels)
  • 4 lunches and 2 dinners
  • Painting supplies
  • Tour leader(s) tipping
How to Book

1To hold your spot, please fill out the reservation form below and send us a $600 deposit.
Note that the deposit is not refundable but is transferrable. See our Cancelation Policy below.

2Once you have submitted your reservation, you will receive a confirmation email with the details on how to submit your deposit via one of these 3 methods:

– by check (if you live in Canada, it needs to be a money order)
– via ZELLE (free instant money transfer offered by all major US banks)
– by credit card
– by bank transfer

3The remaining balance will be due 3 months before departure.

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel the trip:Cancellation Fee per Person
More than 90 days before departureThe $600 deposit is forfeited
(however $500 can be transferred to another trip with a departure date within 2 years of cancelation date)
61-90 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

Thank you for traveling with us!

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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