Randy Hale-Spain-new

Watercolor Painting Workshop in Spain with Randy Hale: May 23-30, 2025

Workshop Description

You probably fell in love with making art before a painting holiday occurred to you. Classroom lessons, online sessions, or time in the studio are typically safe environments in which to learn.  But once we venture outdoors to paint, the light can be dramatic, the air is filled with sights, sounds, and smells of nature. While this can all be new, it enriches the painting experience even more.

When we arrive on the Costa Brava, my job is to help you capture the nuances of our surroundings with confidence.

Even before departure I’ll provide practical pointers on what to bring, what to leave behind. You’ll discover when we’re together my plein-air workshops are jam-packed with helpful tips. Painting outside sometimes presents a visual overload – so much beauty, so much information.  Because our group will be small (10-15 painters) I can show you exactly what to look for as well as how to SEE as an artist. You’ll discover how to filter out minutiae, edit and rearrange – in order to make powerful statements through your art.  You will:

  • Learn where and how to set up, what to look for, ways to be comfortable while painting.
  • Discover how useful sketchbooks can be as planning tools.
  • Become quicker and more comfortable drawing. I’ll provide tips on how to achieve accurate shapes, scale, and proportions.
  • Learn how make things more important with value contrast.
  • Learn key questions to ask yourself before beginning.
  • See how having a plan in place before you start ensures better results.
  • Discover that planning SLOW allows you to paint FAST – and your brushwork becomes confident, bold, intuitive!

During our week together I will show you how to emphasize only the most important elements, while abandoning less significant ones. You’ll practice creating strong abstract elements within your design that interlock shapes and values.  Above all, you’ll discover just how liberating it is to be freed from the need to duplicate exactly what you see…because instead, you’ll focus on creating IMPRESSIONS!  And most important, you’ll return home with a collection of paintings that capture the memories we make – a visual feast – of our week together painting in the magical light of the Mediterranean coast of Spain!

Randy Hale's Biography

Randy’s career as a professional designer, artist, juror, and workshop instructor found its footings when he discovered watercolor as an undergraduate student in college. He went on to receive advanced training at California’s prestigious Art Center College of Design. He credits much of his success in both commercial design and fine art to the rigorous discipline of this early training.  Much of his comfort in teaching and explaining concepts to painters found its roots in those decades spent presenting ideas to clients in sales and marketing.

Randy encourages his students and is energized by their successes. The tips he shares on brush handling, mixing, mark-making are fundamental to painting. But his approach of “less is more” rallies painters to simplify, suggest and imply, letting water do the work to prevent a composition from becoming overworked or too busy with unnecessary detail. 

Several decades back, Randy’s involvement with local art groups and societies occupied almost as much time as his career. His early success competing in exhibitions led to teaching a few classes. This soon evolved into a full-time occupation. It wasn’t long before he was traveling to far off locations conducting workshops for other organizations. The camaraderie of these workshops inspired Randy to organize his own painting trips, taking painters to amazing destinations to paint.  Over the past decade Randy has taken painters to Italy, Taos, Maine, up into the Rocky Mountains, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary. His trips are popular, always sold out. And he’s always planning trips with new destinations. 

Randy has served on the Board of Directors for the National Watercolor Society. He has just co-written a book commemorating the legacy of one of the early California Watercolor School painters. He writes a regular blog with relevant commentary on painting.  His insightful critiques have led to being called upon to juror art exhibitions throughout the country. His online tutorial sessions these past few years have introduced Randy to a broad international following. If you’d like to know more, visit his website at www.halegallery.  And be sure to subscribe to his newsletter – every month he provides new and relevant content!

ARTIST’S STATEMENT – from Randy Hale

Dramatic use of light is perhaps the singular element that brings definition to my own work.  Good art can be executed in any medium and any style as long it provides a hook that engages the viewer, entertains the eye, suggests a bit of mystery, tells a story, or provokes thought!  Regardless of subject, my intent is to imbue it with adequate drama that will hold the viewer’s attention. 

Painters seem to find my workshops rewarding because I share so much information on how to produce a successful painting. Not only do I identify these tips, I show painters HOW to execute them.  Whether I’m in a studio setting, on camera, or out in the field — you’ll find me showing interested painters how to simplify and edit, what to consider in creating a stronger composition, how to keep things fresh and not overworked, how to vary shapes, soften edges, and when to provide dramatic value contrasts. With watercolor it’s all about achieving rich glowing transparencies. Helping painters realize these results quickly is what makes it all so much fun!  

More samples of Randy Hale's Art

Welcome

spain-day2bWe will pick you up at a specific hotel downtown Barcelona and drive you to our hotel located in one of the most exclusive beaches on the Costa Brava. Upon your arrival at our hotel by the sea, take time to settle in or start enjoying the wonderful white-washed and preserved fisherman village on the beach.

Enjoy the beach in front of the hotel, walk along the pristine seashore, take in the sun from the terrace or have a drink in the Mediterranean breeze.
Before dinner, we will take an easy walk along the shore that offers breathtaking vistas along the way.

In the evening, you will enjoy a welcome reception followed by a delicious dinner.

Painting One of the Most Beautiful Villages on the Costa Brava

This “little fishing village” is a hidden gem among all other villages along the Northern Costa Brava. This village is made up of endless rocks, cliffs and extremely beautiful beaches.

The parish church lies in the center of the village and is surrounded by numerous small, windy alleys, which lead down to the beach and give this village its picturesque charm.

The most picturesque old wooden boats a waiting on the beach for you to be painted.

There are endless vignettes to paint: cliffs and rocks, boats on the beach, white-washed houses or a magnificent fortress on the beach right in front of the hotel.

Flowers, Coves and Sea Views at the Botanical Garden

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Ten minutes up the road, lies The Jardi Botanic de Cap Roig. It is considered one of the most important botanical gardens in the Mediterranean.

The most characteristic plant species in the Mediterranean region mix with trees and plants from other continents are a must see and a must paint…

High above the bay, the garden offers stunning views towards the ocean.

In 1927, a Russian Colonel and his English wife began building a castle and a magnificent park. The garden runs down in terraces from the castle to the sea. These ornamental and extremely beautiful gardens contain over 1000 species of plants and flowers from all over the world.

Pals: Unique Preserved Medieval Village

spain-day5-pals2

As you walk through the narrow village streets, next to the city walls, towers and churches, you will feel as though you have walked into a new time altogether.

The stone archways, cobblestone streets and wrought balconies adorned with flowers create a welcoming feel in this Romanesque village.

The Surrealistic World of Salvador Dali

For those interested we will go to see the largest surrealistic object in the world created by Dalí, the Dalí Theatre-Museu in the town of Figueres, his birthplace.

We will step inside the surreal world of Salvador Dalí and find a museum like none other. Dalí wanted visitors to see his massive collection as a ‘whole’ work and therefore refused to have his works placed in chronological or subject order.

Inside is a world of fantasy mixed with architecture, paintings and sculptures. It’s a complete surrealistic experience.

Wonderful Food

Catalian cuisine is influenced by Spanish food, Mediterranean food, and even French food. There are also some dishes that are entirely unique to the region.

Catalonia is known for the sea and the mountains – great fish and seafood alongside locally grown grilled or cured meats and a lot of grilled vegetables.

And of course, you will be able to drink sangria and cava, the Spanish version of champagne.

Farewell

We will finish our workshop by a “Show and Tell” or ‘Critique”  before going to the restaurant for our farewell dinner and enjoying one more time of the Costa Brava by night. .

On day 8, it will be time to say Hasta Luego!!

After our last breakfast, we will drive you back to Barcelona (either the airport or downtown). We will get to Barcelona around 11am so make sure your flight is not before 2pm.

Come and let yourself be carried away by emotions!

For the hotel on the Costa Brava, we have chosen a completely renovated hotel with a breathtaking sea view, overlooking the coves of a hidden and preserved beach.

Enjoy exceptional views of the white-washed fishing village and the blue sea in a comfortable, intimate and relaxed atmosphere.

The village’s narrowing streets and picturesque fishermen’s cottages form an idyllic backdrop to the stunning Mediterranean coast.

You can choose either a standard room (no sea view) with balcony or a superior room with sea view and balcony (see pictures).

Rooms have either two single beds or one double bed. All rooms have an en-suite bathroom, TV, satellite, air conditioning, heating, hairdryer and safety deposit box..

Pricing Details:

How to Book

The Trip is limited to 12 Participants

Sign up before 11/30 to save $200. Use the code Discount200 at check out. 

All rooms have an ensuite bathroom

Early Bird Prices:

Shared standard room: US$ 3,790 per person (US $3,990 after Nov 30th)

Shared room with breathtaking sea view: US$ 4,240  per person (US $4,440 after Nov 30th)

Single standard room: US$ 4,340 (US $4,540 after Nov 30th)

Single room with breathtaking sea view: US$ 4,690 (US $4,890 after Nov 30th)

Non Painters are welcome to join. Price is the same.

Included:

– Pick-up at 1:30pm at a specific hotel downtown Barcelona to go to the Costa Brava
– Drop-off either at the pick-up hotel in Barcelona around 11am or at the the airport around noon
– A welcome reception
– All nights  at the hotel on the Costa Brava
– All breakfasts
– 3 lunches
– 4 dinners (including drinks and wine)
– All art classes
– Entrance fees to all sites on the tour
– Transportation every day in a comfortable van
– The use of folding chairs
Two tour leaders throughout the week

Excluded:

– Flights to and from Barcelona
– 3 lunches and 3 dinners
– Painting supplies (we provide folding chairs)
– Tour leader(s) tipping

Payments:

– $600 non refundable deposit required at booking (see cancelation policy below)

– Remaining balance due 4 months prior departure

Sign up before 11/30/24 and save $200!

Use the code Discount200 at check out. 

Cancelation Policy:

If you cancel the trip:Cancellation Fee per Person
More than 120 days before departureThe $600 deposit is forfeited
61-120 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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