Sonoma-Brenda Swenson 2

Travel Sketching in Watercolor in Sonoma with Brenda Swenson, April 11-15, 2025

Workshop Description

“Join me for 4 days of sketching with watercolor in beautiful Sonoma. 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).

Brenda Swenson's Biography

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

An active participant in the arts community she has served on the board of directors for the California Art Club, National Watercolor Society and Watercolor West. She’s a Signature Artist in WW-M, NWWS, SDWS and CWA. Her artwork has been featured in several volumes of Splash: Best of Watercolor, An Illustrated Journey, Creative Freedom, Complete Guide to Watercolor, Watercolor Artist, Watercolor Magazine, Watercolor Highlights, Plein Air Magazine and numerous other publications.

She participates as an arts juror and demonstrator, and offers workshops both nationally and abroad.

More about Brenda at

More Samples of Brenda Swenson's Sketches

Click on any picture to enlarge.

Sonoma is the perfect town to enjoy painting and the art of living with good food, vineyards and history all around.
Its historical plaza is the heart of town where people come to relax on the lawns surrounding the city hall, to shop in the numerous artsy boutiques or indulge in gourmet meals and wine tasting.

Sonoma is one of the most historical towns in California and it boasts the most northern mission church along the Pacific coast. I was also the siege of the Bear Flag Republic for 25 days before California became an American territory and many buildings around the plaza date back from this period.

Sonoma is known for its peaceful way of life surrounded by nature.

Day 1 (April 6): Orientation Meeting and Welcome Dinner

5 pm: Meet your fellow travelers, your instructor  and your tour leader, at our selected hotel in Sonoma for our orientation meeting.

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

Days 2 to 5: Painting in Sonoma

Here is a list of some emblematic spots in Sonoma

Jack London’s Historical Park

The Mission

Centennial oak trees

City Hall

Botanical Garden

Victorian Houses

Wine Country and Wine Tasting

sf-day4-brenda-vineyardWith more than 425 wineries, miles of rugged Pacific coastline, towering redwood forests, and its close proximity to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Sonoma County is a dream sketching spot in California.

Today, we will be spending the day painting in one of the numerous wineries in Sonoma.

You will be treated for lunch and wine tasting.

Day 5 (April 10): ``Show and Share`` and Farewell Dinner


This morning we will paint at the Sonoma Plaza, the gorgeous historic landmark that radiates romance around every corner, cafe and cobblestone…


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

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

It is time to say goodbye but hopefully we will meet again. You can leave at your convenience or extend your stay to enjoy the wonderful wine country.

The hotel is not included. We will let you know soon what hotel we chose for the tour leaders and the instructor. You can decide to either stay there too or to choose another accommodation.

Pricing Details

Max. of participants is 15.


$1,590 if you are driving your own car to the painting sites

$1,690 if you are riding in our van

The hotel is not included, see below.

Price includes:

– 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)
– Entrances to sites
– Complementary snacks brought to the painting sites
– A tour leader throughout the week
– The use of a studio

Price excludes:
– Your hotel. We have booked some rooms for the participants interested in staying at the hotel where the teacher and the tour leaders are staying. Email us to get the hotel info.
– Some meals (the ones not listed as included)
– Painting supplies
– Tour leaders tipping

How to Book


– $600 non refundable deposit required at booking (see cancelation policy below). The deposit is not refundable but $300 is transferrable to a future workshop.

– Remaining balance due 3 months prior 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
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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