Watercolor Travel Sketching and Journaling in Belgium with Leslie Fehling: May 5-12, 2023

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, fries and waffles.

Day 1: Arrival at our luxurious 4-star hotel & Spa

We will pick you up at the Brussel airport at 2:30pm and we will drive you to our 4-star hotel & spa in Bruges.

This luxurious hotel located in the heart of Bruges and combines modern luxury and the authentic charm of medieval Burgundian Bruges. The huge history basement of the hotel has been converted into a spa (with a sauna, a steam bath, gym and relaxation area) where you can also order a massage.

Ideally located, it is walkable to all the main touristic activities (museums, restaurants, canals).

You will have time to settle in, maybe go to the spa, 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.

The oldest wooden house in Bruges

Horse carriage on the main square

Swans everywhere in and along the canals.

The Beguinage, the most quiet and magical place in Bruges

Wooden doors and windows of all shapes and colors.

More than a dozen of different bridges for you to sketch.

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

You will have some time to taste the Belgian specialties such as chocolate, beers, fries and waffles.

We will attend a lace making demonstration by local women using the technique from the 18th century.

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.

Day 5: Mills and Canals in the cute village of Damme

belgium-day5-dammeThe village of Damme 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.

If you are a non painter, you can rent a bike for a very easy and beautiful bike ride (or walk) along romantic canals with their 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. Make sure your flight is not before 3pm.

More info about the trip

Check Leslie Fehling’s blog to see more pictures and get more info about the trip: https://www.lesliefehling.com/sketch-belgium-in-2023/

Leslie Fehling Testimonial

Leslie Fehling, Journal Sketching
“They attend to everyone’s needs”

After doing four tours with French Escapade, I can vouch for them. They attend to everyone’s needs and always have a guide with us during our excursions and day trips. That makes all the difference. There’s always a knowledgeable person nearby who can help with any issue that comes up, from talking to a shop owner or waiter who doesn’t speak English, to handling medical emergencies. They’ve been doing this for 18 years and have seen it all. As a result, their trips run smoothly, and the participants have a great experience.

Watercolor Sketching Teacher for French Escapade in:
Provence 2017 | Spain 2019 | Santa Barbara 2022 | French Alps 2022

Workshop Description

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Belgium for seven fun-filled days and capture all the memories on the pages of your illustrated watercolor journal.

Famous for Gothic architecture, timber-frame houses, winding canals, and mouthwatering chocolates, Belgium also has a spectacular coastline on the North Sea and is home to world-class art museums. I can’t wait to experience it all – especially the chocolates! 😊 There’s something for everyone, and as your instructor, I’ll help you convert all that inspiration into lively sketches that will keep the trip fresh in your mind for years to come.

Each day, we’ll sketch outdoors, visiting a wide variety of painting locations, everything from bustling town squares and quaint villages to windswept beaches and historic windmills. My daily painting demonstrations and lessons will give you the tools you need to create dynamic sketchbook pages filled with colorful images, hand lettering, and creative page layouts that bring out the best in your artwork.

I’ve even prepared a “Travel Journaling Cheat Sheet” to help you brainstorm page design ideas every time inspiration strikes and you pull out your sketchbook. The simplest of images can morph into something special when a sketch is thoughtfully designed before diving in and starting to draw.

As a bonus, each student will receive a full-color spiral-bound book that includes all the lessons I’ll teach during our time together. No more furiously scribbling notes while listening to the instructor and trying to paint! The handbook ensures that you can relax during the workshop, knowing that all the notes and resources you need are right at your fingertips. Even if you can’t absorb all that’s taught during this jam-packed workshop, you’ll have a great resource to use for years to come.

This workshop is designed for artists who have some experience with drawing and watercolor, but please don’t feel that you need to be an expert. My one-on-one assistance can help you over any hurdles you encounter with drawing or painting. A good attitude and willingness to learn are far more important than technical expertise. If you’ve always wanted to sketch on location, this is a great opportunity to give it a try. With my guidance and encouragement, you’ll learn to love being in the moment and capturing your world in your sketchbook.

So, come and join me for this very special opportunity to paint together, learn, and inspire each other while enjoying the best that Belgium has to offer. But I’m warning you, my enthusiasm for sketchbook journaling is contagious! You’ll be changed by our time together. I’ll bring out the best in you, build your confidence with pen and paint, and help you to appreciate your own unique style and view of the world. I can’t wait to see what you create!

Leslie Fehling Biography

Leslie Fehling is a watercolor artist, workshop instructor, and art blogger from western Pennsylvania. Her illustrated watercolor journals are filled with sketches that celebrate everyday life and chronicle her travel adventures. 

She has taught sketchbook journaling and watercolor workshops in the US and abroad since 2014. Her unique approach to illustrated watercolor journaling and her enthusiastic teaching style have made her a sought-after instructor, and her workshops have empowered students of all skill levels to think more creatively and paint with greater confidence. She says, “I love seeing the joy and satisfaction my students experience when they begin to express themselves artistically and connect with the world on a deeper level through sketching. My greatest reward is when someone tells me, ‘You’ve made me look at the world differently.’”

Leslie is a leader in the modern sketching movement. For more than a decade, her Everyday Artist website has been a rich resource for painting tutorials, creative journaling ideas, and inspiring artwork, and her online learning website, Leslie Fehling Studio, enables sketching enthusiasts around the world to access her teaching. 

Since 2016, Leslie has been an ambassador for Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff, a major art supply retailer, and has designed products for them under the “Everyday Artist” label. Her paintings are found in public and private collections across the US.  

Website: lesliefehling.com/

Facebook: facebook.com/LeslieFehlingWatercolors

Instagram: instagram.com/lesliefehling/

Sketchbook gallery: sketches.lesliefehling.com/sketchbookgallery

More Sketches from Leslie Fehling

Click on any picture to enlarge.

Prices and what is included

Rates: US$ 3,590

+ 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…



  • Brussels airport pick-up at 2pm and drop-off at noon
  • A welcome reception
  • 7 nights at our hotel (includes free access to sauna and hammam)
  • All breakfasts
  • 2 lunches and 4 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 3 dinners
  • Painting supplies
  • Tour leader(s) tipping

Trip is now FULL

Thank you for your interest in this workshop. The trip is now full. You can email us at contact@frenchescapade.com to be placed on the wait list.

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel a US workshop:Cancellation Fee per Person
More than 90 days before departureThe $600 deposit is forfeited
(however $300 can be transferred to another trip with a departure date within 1 year 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
French Escapade LLC | 2389 Blackpool Place | San Leandro, CA 94577 | 510-483-5713 | contact@frenchescapade.com
California Seller of Travel Licence-CST #: 2091909-40
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