Spain-Randy Hale-old

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!  

Randy Hale's Art

Click on any picture to enlarge.

Day 1: Welcome

We 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, 90 min North of Barcelona. Upon your arrival at the 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.

5 pm: Meet your fellow travelers, your instructor your tour leader at our orientation and welcome meeting. We will  go over the schedule for the week while sipping a glass of cava (Spanish champagne).

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

Painting the Coastal Village

You will start each day with a buffet breakfast, with a stunning view of the Mediterranean Sea.

We will spend three days painting this “little fishing village”, a hidden gem among all other villages along the Northern Costa Brava.

The coastline is made up of endless rocks, cliffs and extremely beautiful beaches.

Colorful wooden boats lie on the beach, waiting to be painted. The parish church lies in the center of the white-washed village and is surrounded by numerous small, windy alleys, which lead down to the beach and give this village its picturesque charm.

spain-day3b

Painting in a Botanical Garden

spain-day4-garden
We will spend one day painting in one of the most important botanical gardens by 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.

Painting a Unique Preserved Medieval Village

spain-day5-palsChange of scenery for today, with this old stone village. 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.

After your painting day, you will have some time for visiting the wonderful little shops. Don’t miss the beautiful poteries, the specialty of the village.

Gourmet Dinners

Spain has a rich culinary history, with its range of distinct regions each proud of their local specialties, from the paella of Valencia to the varied pintxos snacks of the Basque country. Influences from abroad have brought further enrichment to local dishes. You will have a chance to taste many of these specialties during our five dinners together.

Day 7: Show and Tell and Farewell Dinner

Last day to finish up some of the paintings started this week. At the end of the day, the sketching workshop will end with a little “Show and Tell”.

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

Day 8: Departure

It is 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:

The Trip is limited to 15 Participants

Sign up before 11/30 and save $200!

Before Nov 30th: $3,790 for a shared room with ensuite bathroom

After Nov 30th: $3,990 for a shared room with ensuite bathroom

+ $550 for single standard room

+ $900 for a room with breathtaking sea view (The $900 is for the room so if you are sharing a room, the supplement is $450 per person)

Non Painters are welcome to join. Price is the same because you will be taking a painter’s spot.

Included:

Includes

– 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
– 5 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
– A personal chauffeur/tour leader throughout the week

Not Included:

Excludes

– Flights to and from Barcelona
– 3 lunches and 2 dinners
– Painting supplies (we provide folding chairs)
– Tour leader(s) tipping

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

To reserve your spot, please complete the form below (one per person) and pay US$ 600 deposit.  After receiving your form, we will send you the information for the payment. Note that the deposit is not refundable but $300 is transferrable within one year of cancelation. See our cancelation policy below.

You will be able to pay:

1- By check

2- Via ZELLE, free instant pay, offered by many major US banks

3- By bank transfer

4- By credit card

Reservation Form

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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