Painting Tours: USA – Pasadena-Brenda Swenson

Watercolor Sketching Workshop in Pasadena, CA: The City of Roses.

Known as the City of Roses, Pasadena is chock-full of architectural gems. With historic buildings, luscious landscapes, and California sunshine that provides a plethora of light, Pasadena is the perfect place to escape to and paint!

Pasadena is also most famous for its New Year’s Day Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game.

Come and enjoy Pasadena, the City of Roses, also known as the Crown City.

Day 1: Orientation Meeting and Welcome Dinner

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

We will  treat for a welcome dinner to celebrate the beginning of week full of laughter, painting and new friendships.

Days 2 to 5: Sketching in the heart of Pasadena

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

Castle Green: A historic Treasure

A Nationally Registered Historic Monument and Pasadena Treasure, the Castle Green is one of Pasadena’s most unique buildings. Built during the Victorian era, over 120 years ago,  the Castle Green   is an imposing seven story Moorish Colonial and Spanish style building faithfully restored in every detail.


Gamble House

Not only does the Game House exemplify one of Pasadena’s greatest craftsman-style architectural structures, but it’s also famous for its participation in Hollywood. The Gamble House was featured in the “Back to the Future” movie franchise. The Gamble House is the finest example of early 20th-century Craftsman architecture. It is preserved with all of its original furnishings which were also designed by the architects. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Beautiful Gardens

Urban retreat of year round natural beauty, renowned gardens in Pasadena feature collections and spectacular seasonal horticultural displays:  picturesque Rose Garden, Japanese garden and Oak Forest showcasing native plants .

Italian style olive alley, succulent and cactus gardens, an Arroyo Seco like pathway, orange grove laid out in grids like historical California orange groves, paths and benches set throughout and surprises around every corner.

City Hall

 The exquisite 1927 landmark exhibits Italian Renaissance and Spanish influences with its red tile roof, ornate fountain, and lush garden courtyard.

Pasadena City Hall has remained one of the most distinctive public buildings in the United States and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

End of Day 5: Show and Tell and Farewell Dinner


It is time to finish up some of the paintings started this week. The sketching workshop will end with a little “Show and Tell”.

We will then treat you for the farewell dinner before saying goodbye.

Day 6: Departure

You can leave at your convenience or extend your stay to enjoy this wonderful city. If you live close to Pasadena, you can leave the night before after the farewell dinner.

About the Workshop:

“Join me for 4 days of sketching with watercolor in beautiful Pasadena. 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 15 participants).

About Brenda Swenson:

Brenda Swenson is the artist author of two books, Keeping a Watercolor Sketchbook (Finalist, Award of Excellence) and Steps to Success in Watercolor. 

Her artwork has been featured in Splash (11,12, 14,19 & 20), An Illustrated Journey, Creative Freedom, Complete Guide to Watercolor, Watercolor Artist, Watercolor Magazine, Watercolor Highlights, Plein Air Magazine and numerous other publications.  

She has two instructional DVD’s on painting and sketching techniques. Brenda has achieved signature status in WW, NWWS, SDWS and CWA. An active participant in the arts community she has served on the board of directors for the National Watercolor Society and Watercolor West. 

She is in demand to judge shows, demonstrate and teach workshops to groups nationwide and abroad.

Price and What is included

April 28-May 3, 2022:  Price: $1,590-(hotel not included, see below) –Open



  • A welcome reception
  • 2 dinners: one welcome dinner on day 1 and one farewell dinner on day 5
  • All art classes (daily demos, one-on-one support and instructions)
  • The use of folding chairs
  • Complementary snacks and drinks brought to the painting sites
  • A tour leader throughout the week


  • Your hotel. We will books some rooms for the participants interested in staying at the hotel where the teacher and the tour leaders are staying. We will let you know the info soon. Hotel still TBD.
  • Some meals (the ones not listed as included)
  • Painting supplies (folding chairs will be provided)
How to Book

1Fill out the reservation form below. You will receive an email with information on how to pay your deposit. You can pay via ZELLE, credit card (using paypal) or bank transfer

2Send us a $600 deposit within one week. The deposit is not refundable but $300 is transferrable to a future trip. See our Cancelation Policy below.

3The remaining balance is due 3 months before departure.

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

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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