Watercolor Sketching – French Alps – Shari Blaukopf: June 4-11, 2025
Watercolor Sketching – French Alps – Shari Blaukopf: June 4-11, 2025
I have several shelves in my studio positively groaning under the weight of my travel sketchbooks. I browse through them often, and each time I do, memories of a specific place come flooding back.
That’s what I love best about travel sketching. How the act of putting pencil and paint to paper enriches the experience of travel and preserves it forever — as it will during our workshop together in the French Alps, in 2025.
Come sketch with me in the French Alps !
Join me as we share our first glimpse of majestic Mont Blanc, Europe’s tallest mountain and our constant companion across our Alpine journey. Join me as we explore the medieval and renaissance architecture, the cobbled streets, ancient châteaux, flower-lined canals and public squares that make this region unique in the world — and worth capturing in our sketchbooks.
Join me as we explore the natural and cultural riches that surround us. The farmers’ markets, the postcard villages, the towering peaks and cool Alpine lakes.
Join me in the French Alps, as I share my techniques for capturing this region’s unequaled beauty and character in our sketchbooks, and preserving them forever.
Take travel sketching anywhere
I’ve designed this workshop to give you confidence sketching wherever you happen to be — in the French Alps and far beyond. As we work spontaneously, I’ll show you how to keep your watercolour sketches loose, fresh and vibrant no matter what your subject.
We’ll begin each day with a short demo and end with a review, leaving plenty of in-between time to work on your own sketches. As part of a small group, you’ll get plenty of individual attention and feedback, as we work on value studies, vignettes and composition: the essentials to simplifying a scene and capturing its essence.
Most important, we’ll make sure to have fun while we sketch, recording our daily impressions as we move from Alpine meadow to châteaux, from canal to lake to festive market. At the end of the week, my goal is that you’ll return home with a book that is just bursting with fresh, colourful sketches — and memories.
Shari Blaukopf is a Montreal-based workshop instructor, watercolor painter and sketch blogger.She loves to teach, travel and fill sketchbooks with her observations —skills she’s channeled into creating online sketching courses at Learn.shariblaukopf.com
Shari is also the author of The Urban Sketching Handbook: Working with Color.She’s been active in the Urban Sketchers community since 2012 and has given many watercolor workshops both on her own and internationally through the Urban Sketchers Workshop Program. Her watercolors are in corporate, government and private collections in North America and abroad, and she’s a signature member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour.
You can follow her sketches on her blog at shariblaukopf.com or on Instagram @sharisketcher.
The Alps is a dream destination for a plein air artist because of the spectacular scenery you will encounter: alpine meadows, cobblestoned villages, waterfalls, glaciated peaks, wildflowers, clean lakes, chalet with flowers from windowboxes…
Some of the highlights of the tour are seeing Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe, from the hotel and visiting Annecy, also called the Venice of the North, a beautiful medieval city surrounded by canals and mountains.
We will pick you up at 2:30pm a the Geneva airport and drive you to our beautiful chalet in the Alps.
Upon your arrival, you will have time to settle in and enjoy the spa (hot tub, sauna and swimming pool) before our welcome reception and orientation meeting followed by a gourmet dinner.
After a copious breakfast taken on the terrace facing Mont Blanc, you will be ready for a day of painting.
The hotel and the village offer a breathtaking 360 degree view towards Mont-Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe.
We will be painting either from the garden of the hotel or in the village. The vignettes are endless: wooden chalets, baroque church, green pastures and grazing cows.
Megève was developed in the early 20th century to be a posh resort in a beautiful setting.
We will be painting its mythical square with its cobbled pedestrian zone, its rustic-style alleys and its cozy chalets.
At the end of the day, do not miss the luxury shops. Don’t worry, there are also many affordable places to shop.
Chamonix, the biggest ski resort in the world, is surrounded by majestic high mountains such as Mont Blanc and glaciers.
Morning will be dedicated to painting. In the afternoon, you will have some free time to take the highest gondola in the world to the top of “L’Aiguille du Midi” at 12,000 ft.
A breathtaking view of the Alps and Chamonix down below awaits you. Or you could take a tram to see the “sea of ice” glacier. If you prefer shopping, or more painting, Chamonix has it all.
Annecy is the French show-piece of lakes-and-mountain beauty. The Canal crossing Annecy brings Venice to mind as you stroll along its banks.
Your choice for the painting site will be unlimited: medieval narrow streets, renaissance houses along the canal, the famous old prison (one of the most photographed monuments in France!) or the Annecy lake surrounded by mountains.
We will also have the opportunity to go to the local market in the old Annecy and shop for the numerous wonderful cheeses, sausages, honeys and all local products.
For the last day, we won’t be driving anywhere so that you will be able to finish up some paintings.
We do have a studio that you can access 24/7 to work on your paintings.
We will end the week with a “Show and Tell” and a gourmet dinner with maybe the best sunset on Mont Blanc.
After our last breakfast together, we’ll drive you back to the Geneva airport by 10-10:30 am.
This beautiful chalet, in the heart of Haute-Savoie, boasts stunning views of Mont-Blanc and the Aravis Massif.
The beauty of the panorama, the charm of the cozy wooden interior, the gourmet restaurant, the well-being of the Spa, the comfort and amenities of the wainscoted rooms, all make this unique spot a haven of peace.
All bedrooms have a double bed or two twins with en-suite bathroom.
They all have a television, free WiFi and a desk.
Enjoy the inventive and elegant local cuisine in the cosy dining room overlooking the panorama of the massifs. Indulge in the salad bar or more decadent, the dessert bar!!
Take advantage of all the amenities the hotel offers:
Heated outdoor pool
Hot tub and sauna
Gym and table tennis
Massages on request
The trip is limited to 13 participants
Sign up before 11/30/24 and save $150! Use the code EARLYBIRD at check out.
All rooms have an ensuite bathroom.
Early Bird Prices:
– Standard Shared: US$ 3,840 pp (twin or double)
– Standard Single: US$ 4,390
– Superior Shared : US$ 3,995 pp (twin or double)-view towards Mont Blanc
– Superior Single: US$ 4,740 -view towards Mont Blanc
Non Painters: Price is the same
– Geneva Airport pick-up at 2:30pm and drop-off at 11am
– A welcome reception
– All 7 nights at the hotels
– All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 6 dinners including wine
– All art classes
– Transportation in a comfortable van with A/C
– Use of the hotel spa
– The use of folding chairs
– Two tour leaders throughout
– Flights and train to destination
– 3 lunches and 1 dinner
– Painting supplies
– Required Travel Insurance
– Tour leader(s) tipping
– $600 non refundable deposit required at booking (see cancelation policy below)
– Remaining balance due 4 months prior departure
|If you cancel the trip:
|Cancellation Fee per Person
|More than 120 days before departure
|The $600 deposit is forfeited
(however $300 can be transferred to another trip with a departure date within 1 year of cancelation date)
|61-120 days before departure
|50% of total cost forfeited
|31-60 days before departure
|75% of total cost forfeited
|0-30 days before departure
|100% of total cost forfeited
|If French Escapade cancels
|You get a full refund