The Fearless Sketchbook- How to Sketch with No Consequences

With Iain Stewart

At Lucca ,Tuscany - Villa Vistosa

27 October - 06 November, 2024

Simply sitting down with my sketchbook and recording the world around me is perhaps the most enjoyable and rewarding thing I can think of when traveling. My cares drift away and I am in the moment observing. There is no pressure to perform or to allow my sketches to become precious. Sketches are simply a record of my day and where it has taken me. We all have something unique to say and my goal is to show you how to listen for that inner voice that only you own. I have designed a simple process to help you let go of the desire of accuracy in favor of interpretation and your impression of place. There is an honesty in a sketch that is hard to replicate emotionally or visually. Join me as we explore the riches of one of the worlds most beautiful and historically rich destinations. As an architectural illustrator and Professor of design drawing and presentation I will show you how to move past representation and embrace gesture and the suggested.

Course Highlights

  1. Instructions by Iain
  2. Day excursion to Lucca , San Gimignano , Portovenere , Pietrasanta .
  3. Beautiful accomodation
  4. Delicous Italian food & wine during the course
  5. Cultural activities :Cooking class , Puccini classical concert, Wine tasting, Pizza making class.

Day by Day Workshop Schedule

  1. Day 1: The arrival day! Group will be picked up from Pisa/Florence airport or Lucca Station at 3-5 pm. Arrival, unpack, settle in Villa , time to rest. Around 6:00pm , Welcome gathering with Iain and Karolina including day-to-day schedule and workshop plan, goals, and challenges. Dinner – Karolina’s favorite Tuscan delights.
  2. Day 2: Home day! Morning recovery…breakfast 9:00am Time to relax and enjoy surrounds - first instructional session with Iain .Verbencello introduction(secret recipe for lemon and verbena liquor) Lunch at 1:00pm under pergola prepared by our Chef. Post lunch, it’s time to explore Lucca! First warm up sketching session with Iain on Piazza Amfiteatro. After time on own for exploring, shopping (with a map in your hand) Dinner in Lucca 7.00pm ,afterwards back home.
  3. Day 3: Breakfast at 8:30am,departure to the medieval town of Pietrasanta, known as the “City of Artists,” has deep roots in Italy’s legacy of art and sculpture. Session with Iain on the main square , later time on own to enjoy coffee or Gelato.On the way back we will stop for lunch -best fried seafood from the boat with prosecco.You will have time to stroll ,shop for 1,5h . Return home 5:30pm dinner prepared by our Chef.
  4. Day 4: Breakfast at 7:30am, 8.30am day trip to San Gimignano with a sketching lesson by Iain. 1h stop in Pisa to sketch the leaning tower. San Gimignano its a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena. Known as the Town of Fine Towers.After session , time to explore on own with a map in hand. Lunch on own. Return home 5:00pm for pizza festival at villa.
  5. Day 5: 8:30am breakfast, 10.00am sketching instruction with Iain ,1.00pm lunch under pergola. Post lunch, back to Lucca for more exploring, afternoon sketching session on the Lucca walls. 6:45pm meeting for Puccini Concert. Afterwards, dinner in Karolina’s favourite restaurant.
  6. Day 6: Breakfast at 8:30am followed by session with Iain around villa. Lunch at 1:00pm .Post lunch excursion to Fabbrica San Martino for bio dynamic wine tasting with Giuseppe. Back home for dinner.
  7. Day 7: Time to explore Liguria! A day trip to Portovenere – most beautiful coast town with spectacular views. There will be a sketch session with Iain , time to shop, explore and relax on own (with a map in hand). Lunch on own. Return home at 4:30pm. Dinner at 7:00pm
  8. Day 8: Breakfast at 8:30am followed by sketching demonstration by Iain and sketching around the villa. Lunch at 1.00pm. Post lunch it is time to relax. Around 3.30pm, the group will depart for a setching session on the ,,Devils bridge,, afterwards dinner with wine pairing with the view..
  9. Day 9: Home day! Breakfast at 8:30am followed by session with Iain around the villa gardens. Lunch at 1:00pm. After lunch, time to relax, around 4.30pm, the group will enjoy cooking lesson and prepare dinner for everyone 7:00pm. For non-cooks, massage (on own cost) by our specialized masseuse Charlotte!
  10. Day 10: You’ll start the day with breakfast at 8:30am. The group will finish their art works. After lunch at 1:00pm, there’ll be time to pack, relax, and rest. Later in the afternoon, we’ll create a gallery with all of your works! You’ll enjoy this with a spritz and casual spuntini. At 7:00pm there’ll be a glamorous gala dinner offering the best Tuscan cuisine. You’ll have a five-course meal prepared by our Chef along with homemade verbencello.
  11. Day 11: Departure day. ☹ Breakfast at 8:30am. After breakfast, the group will be taken to Lucca train station or Pisa airport.

Course Cost: 4199 Euro

Iain Stewart is a Scots born watercolor artist and a signature member of the American and National Watercolor Societies among other state and international entities. He has also recently been inducted into the Whiskey Painters of America.

His work has received numerous awards in international competition and hangs in many corporate and private collections.

Iain is a sought after watercolor instructor and juror and has been published in numerous books and periodicals. He has just finished production of his 5th instructional DVD. In 2021 his first book on painting; En Plein Air- Light and Color, was published.

Iain maintains a studio near Auburn University in Alabama, and in addition to gallery work, is an Architectural Illustrator with an international clientele and has taught watercolor and design drawing at Auburn University where he received his degree in Architecture.

Iain is an International Brand Ambassador for:

Escoda Brushes

Daniel Smith Watercolors

Stillman & Birn Sketchbooks

Your Tuscan Experience :

Our 10-day courses are held at the beautiful farmhouse , on the idyllic hill overlooking the city of Lucca.

Tuscany is one of Italy’s best-loved regions. It’s beautiful countryside is reminiscent of the landscapes of Renaissance masterpieces. Along with rolling hills and vineyards, it also offers a rich artistic heritage including exquisite art and architecture – not forgetting premium wines and delicious cuisine.

Set between the blue-green Apennine Mountains and the turquoise Tyrrhenian Sea- Tuscany is the heart and soul of Italy. Known and loved for amazing light, splendid landscapes, charming low hills, olive groves, vineyards, and beautiful old farmhouses, Tuscany is the ideal location for any artist.

As an immersive cultural experience, we also offer activities including a classical Puccini concert, cooking class with our Chef who specializes in Tuscan cuisine, wine tasting in our favourite local vineyards- These are only a few of our many close-by atractions.


This workshop is being arranged through Karolina will follow up on all questions about the workshop, accommodations, activities, coordinate arrivals and departures, food issues and all other details.She will handle all booking arrangements, all enquiries, and receive the payments of deposit and balance from the students directly.


Karolina Lenart

Telephone: +39 3455809974

Included in the cost of your workshop in Tuscany:


*All tuition fees

*All excursions

*All activities

*Airport transfers and local transportation including day trips to Lucca, Pietrasanta, Portovenere , San Gimignano.

*All breakfasts lunches and dinners in the program

*The use of folding stools


*Flights to and from Pisa

*3 lunches (Lucca,Portovenere,San Gimignano)

*Painting supplies

It is suggested that you fly into Pisa/Florence airport as our transportation for the workshop will be coordinated from there around 3-5 pm. We can also pick up participants from Lucca train station.

Departure is scheduled for 10.00am.Please make sure your flight back is coordinated with departure from Villa.

Register: To sign up, a non-refundable deposit of 1000Euro is required. Reserve your place now, so you don't miss out!

Contact Karolina to register:

Karolina Lenart