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, diamants 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 will attend a lace making demonstration by Anya who learned how to make lace at the age of 6.

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.

We will also 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 andt he 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.

Brenda Swenson – Watercolor Sketching Workshop in Belgium, June 12-19 & June 19-26, 2019

“Join me for a week of sketching with watercolor on my 8th workshop with French Escapade. We’ll enjoy the free-flowing and colorful nature of watercolor at its best while sketching and having fun!

I’ll help you develop observation skills, color awareness, simple design principles and learn about light and shadows. We’ll investigate various techniques, sketching tools, and approaches to watercolor. Enjoy time with fellow artists, instruction and friendly critiques”.

Space is very limited (max 10 participants/workshop).

img-painting-brendaBrenda Swenson is the artist author of two books, Keeping a Watercolor Sketchbook (Award of Excellence Finalist) and Steps to Success in Watercolor. Her paintings and sketches have been featured in numerous books (Splash 11, 12 & 14, Artistic Touch 4, Creative Freedom, Incite 2), and magazines (Watercolor Artist, Watercolor Magazine, Watercolor Highlights, Plein Air Magazine).

Brenda has achieved signature status in WW, NWWS, and SDWS. Active participant in the arts community, she has served on the board of directors for the National Watercolor Society and Watercolor West.

Lapin – Illustration Workshop in Belgium, July 3-10, 2020


Follow Lapin on instagram

Lapin is a French illustrator, artist, teacher, and urban sketcher living in Barcelona. You might spot him in a bright floral shirt and stylish hat as he travels all over the world and records every second of his life through sketching.

From whimsical portraits of the people he meets to bustling urban sketches, Lapin’s style is unique and will inspire you to dive right into the scenery around you.

Lapin already filled around 190 sketchbooks for the last 15 years and he particularly appreciates sketching on vintage accounting books which he finds in flea markets.

He has given many workshops through the Urban Sketchers Program in Portland, Chicago, Barcelona, Mainz, Manchester, Singapore, Tuscany, Napoli, Lisboa… He’s teaching online on Sketchbook Skool and participate to the first Sketchkon in Pasadena.

Lapin has published 25 books, among them are “Poblenou”, “Ouessant”, “Paris, je t’aime”, “Barcelona original”, “Carnet de Bagnoles”, “Cuaderno de Cuba”, “Lapin au Japon”…

You can see more of his work on his website or on instagram.

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.


Dates & Rates

2019 – Travel Sketching Workshop with Brenda Swenson   

June 12-19 & June 19-26, 2019- 1 spot left Watercolor Sketching Workshops with Brenda Swenson – Max: 12 Participants/Workshop

Rates: $3,390 + $550 for single room


2020 – Illustration Workshop with Lapin  

July 3-10, 2020-Open-Illustration Workshop with Lapin-Max: 12 Participants

Sign up early and save $200!

Rates: $3,290 before Nov 30 ($3,490 after Nov 30) + $550 for single room

Non painters are welcome on the trip. They will get a $400 discount. Their price will include the same as the painters with the exception of the art classes.



  • Brussels airport pick-up at 2pm and drop-off at noon
  • A welcome reception
  • 7 nights at our hotel
  • All breakfasts
  • 5 dinners including drinks
  • All art classes
  • A personal bilingual guide throughout the week
  • Entrance fees to all sites on the tour


  • Flights to/from Belgium (Brussels)
  • Lunches and two dinners
  • Painting supplies
  • Tour leader(s) tipping
Book Now!

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
If French Escapade cancels You get a full refund
More than 90 days before departureThe $600 deposit is forfeited
(however $500 can be transferred-only one time-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

Thank you for traveling with us!

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