Travel Sketching in Italy 2017


Spring in Lake Garda, Northern Italy was the perfect time for our Travel Sketching workshop in this beautiful region. Bright sunshine and blue skies were tempered by a chill breeze from the lake, while a late snowfall glistened on the peak of Monte Baldo across the water.

Our first morning sketching in Riva by the castle, a comfortable spot in the sun. Our materials are light and simple – sketchbook, pens and a small set of watercolours. We sketch as we go – over cappuccino in a lakefront café, at the harbour waiting for our boat, and in the evening, apéro in hand as the sun goes down!

Time for a couple of “speed sketches” on the boat to Limone sul Garda – the steep mountainside lit by the morning sun, villas and boats reflected in the water.

Limone is lively and colourful, a quaint harbour and sunny piazza. We sketch the shore, the boats, and the visitors soaking up the view.

Across the Lake, Malcesine offers a delightful spot to sketch the piazza and distant mountains. And there is always time to shop for bags!

A day trip to Verona – beautiful, elegant and vibrant. Sunday is market day, and the city is crowded with visitors. We find a café on Piazza Erbe to sketch this view of the tower, balconies and facades

Back in Riva, we have time to wander the streets of the old town, sketching the church from our table at Café Maroni, and the colourful doorways of the Via del Marocco

Our last morning in Riva is grey and stormy, the mountains sheathed in mist and a cold breeze off the lake. We find a sheltered spot at a lakeside café to sketch the shoreline and moored boat.

Some quick sketches before we leave, of the flowers and statues in the lovely garden of the Hotel Liberty

Riva is a perfect destination for a painting or sketching holiday, offering the cultural and historic interest of an authentic Italian town with the natural attractions and outdoor activities of the lake and mountain setting.

Our special thanks to the Travel Department team for their wonderful assistance and customer service at every stage, with special thanks to Renate and Sinead, our guide and local representative in Riva.

Sincere compliments too, to all the staff at Hotel Liberty for an exceptionally comfortable and enjoyable stay. We look forward to our next visit.

And thanks to our wonderful artists who made this workshop so special – Colette, Sinead, Wendy, Anne, Sandra and Jane – and to Michael, our super “Director of Artist Support Services”! 😊



  1. Mary Frances Doyle

    How wonderful, Brenda. Thanks for sharing. Looks like you all had a great time and were duly inspired. Such warm and vibrant colors.


  2. Lovely sketches, Brenda. A wonderful experience! When are we going again?


  3. Really wonderful, colourful and warm, I feel like I’m there…..and of course I’m not one bit envious!!


  4. Leslee

    Looks like all had a wonderful time.


  5. Mary

    fantastic work. So jealous I wasn’t there.


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