Plein Air Pastel and Watercolor Painting in Venice

DATES: 10/10/2020 - 10/17/2020
PRICE: $3,295.00

Alan Flattmann is an internationally known, award-winning artist with accomplished work in oil and watercolor, and best known for his pastel pieces. His book, The Art of Pastel Painting (Watson Guptill, 1987) and revised in 2007 (Pelican Publishing), is still widely considered the definitive guide to pastels. Alan is a Pastel Society of America’s Hall of Fame Honoree and Eminent Pastelist of the International Association of Pastel Societies.

Alan painting in Crete

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Flattmann’s work has been featured in over 40 art books and magazine articles including Plein Air, Watercolor, American Artist, and Pastel Journal. His work has been shown in over 60 solo exhibitions and included in major group exhibitions internationally. Additionally, the artist’s paintings can be found in the public collections of numerous museums as well as hundreds of private and corporate collections. He is the subject of three additional books, most recently, An Artist’s Vision of New Orleans: The Paintings of Alan Flattmann (Pelican Publishing, 2014).

Rethymnon Harbor by Alan Flattmann

Alan is a noted instructor who teaches workshops around the country and abroad. He is also a founder and currently the president of the Degas Pastel Society.

Alan is a wonderful teacher as well as a special person. He is extremely patient, kind and humble. His paintings are amazing and he paints with such confidence and skill.  – I.Van Slyke, Student

Fantastic trip and great new friends. Thanks Alan for such a great experience and of course great art opportunities. -J. Porteous, Student

Join nationally renowned artist and teacher Alan Flattmann and hone your skills as an artist.
This workshop will help beginners and advanced artists conquer the challenges of plein air painting and sketching.  Alan’s goal is to teach a sound and fundamental approach with an emphasis on painting in a well-planned, organized way.  There will be a special emphasis on ways to improve drawing and compositional skills, as well on methods of completing paintings within limited time.

Plein air pastel by Alan Flattmann

Alan will demonstrate how he creates bold pastel paintings with a multi-layered technique on pumice and sanded papers.   He will also show how he combines sketching with watercolor and gouache to create detailed studies on location.  In addition to daily demonstrations, students can expect individual attention with informal critiques throughout each day.  Painting sessions are usually in the mornings and afternoons with plenty time for lunches and exploring before and after.  Non-painting companions are welcome and there will be much for them to do and see while the artists paint.

Sarlat Market Day by Alan Flattmann

Alan is a wonderful teacher as well as a special person. He is extremely patient, kind and humble. His paintings are amazing and he paints with such confidence and skill.             What I brought back from the workshop most was the strong reinforcement of drawing skills.  – Ingrid V.

Pastels by Alan Flattmann

Activities:  Our daily painting and pastel work in Venice will be combined with other adventures such as:

  • Instruction and critiques
  • A guided walking art history tour of Venice
  • Visit to selected outer islands in the lagoon (Burano)
  • Selected evening activities such as visit to San Marco when the orchestras play
  • Studio time to work on the compositions you started on location


Pastel by Alan Flattmann


General Activities: Our first activity will be an orientation on the first Sunday followed by dinner with the group.  After that most activities for the week will be organized around the individual workshops but all participants will come together for meals and events, like the guided walking tour of selected highlights of Venice. Then, at the end of the week the artists will stage an exhibit of their work to share their visual impressions of enigmatic Venice.




Tuscany Lucca Amphitheatre by Alan Flattmann

Dinners: During the week we will have 5 dinners together. To experience a good cross-section of typical Venetian cuisine we will sample diverse neighborhood trattorie and Michael and Linda will host our group for two home-cooked meals with ingredients from the outdoor market. Two nights of the week you will be on your own to follow your nose to restaurants or concerts or the opera or whatever else might pique your curiosity. There is plenty of time for independent exploration.



Richeson’s AF Professional Pastel Set

Price: $3,295 p/p

Single room supplement – $475 (limited number available)

Non-painting partners/friends are always welcome.  Non-participant fee is $2,995

Early Bird Special!  Sign up as an artist by March 1, 2020 to receive a free set of Richeson’s Alan Flattmann Professional Soft Pastel Set, a $279 value*

*The pastel set will be shipped to artists about one month before the workshop.


  • 7 nights at the renovated convent – double or single (with supplement) room with ensuite bathroom and shower (Note: departure is after breakfast on the final Sunday.  The last class activity will be Saturday evening.)
  • Daily Venetian breakfast and 5 dinners at local restaurants, including wine

    Notre Dame de Paris by Alan Flattmann

  • Workshop tuition, daily classes
  • Guided art history tour of Venice
  • Selected excursions with class

Price does not include:

  • Airfare
  • Lunch
  • Independent meals and sight-seeing
  • Museum entry fees
  • Workshop materials
  • Local transportation: vaporettos, water taxis


Typical Venetian “cicchetti”, canal-side

To Register:  just click on the Sign Up Now button.  A non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to secure your spot in the workshop. Payment can be made on line with a credit card, or you can follow the instructions to send in your registration and payment by mail. Once we receive your deposit we will send you a formal Registration Confirmation with further information about the program. You will receive 2-3 other correspondences by email prior to the workshop with information about Italy, a supplies list and an electronic invoice for the balance. Final Balance is due by August 15th. Any time prior to your arrival, if you have questions about anything regarding the trip or the program, you can contact us by email or phone and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Contact us for more information: or speak to us live at 800-990-3506.

For our week in Venice we’ll be staying at the renovated convent Domus Ciliota near Campo Santo Stefano in the San Marco sector of Venice.  It is a short walk to the Accademia Bridge or to Saint Mark’s Square.  There is an abundance of cafes, shops and restaurants nearby.

Rooms are single or double, clean and simply decorated.  Each room has a modern private bathroom with a shower.  There is a small lounge area on each floor.

Breakfast is served every morning in the dining room beside the sunlit courtyard.

Our studio for the week will be the spacious ex-church of the convent.

To arrive either you can fly directly into Venice or into Milan and then take the train to Venice. Specific arrival instructions will follow, but from the train station you can take the vaporetto #2 and get off at San Samuele.  From the airport you can take the Alilaguna ferry (Orange Line) and get off at the Sant’Angelo.  In either case, we’ll send you easy walking directions so you won’t get lost.  Remember that Venice is a walking city, so pack light because you will have to pull your luggage down the alleys and over the bridges – there’s just no getting around that.

Our first activity will be an orientation at 6pm on the first day, followed by dinner with the group.

Departure is after breakfast on the final day.  If you are flying out that day you might try to arrange your flights for 11am or later to avoid getting up at the crack of dawn.

If you have time you might want to explore the Lakes district or enchanting towns like Bergamo or Verona, the site of Romeo and Juliet, before you arrive in Venice. This will give you plenty of time to recover from jet-lag before you settle in at the convent and start your workshop. Besides, Italy is not something that should be experienced in a hurry. Its charms need to seep into your skin while you linger at a café or amble through a piazza.

Venice, city, empire, wonder of the world, is one of the most visually stimulating places on Earth. Stripes of canals, Byzantine mosaics glittering in the sun, window cases of blown glass, leather-bound books, plumed masks, woodcut puppets. Each step through the crooked passages is a delight. Spend a week (or two) probing unknown corners. Stay long enough to lounge at a café. Get to know the old woman at the vegetable stall. Return to that tiny mask shop again and again. Photograph it. Artists and writers have been interpreting Venice since it was born in the lagoon centuries ago, from the Grand Canal to the tiny sculptures above the doorframes. Get lost in the sensuality.

Because Venice is such a visual feast that is a collection of its past, our program offers weeklong workshops in painting or photography. Participants coming from the different disciplines will capture and be stimulated by the passion of Venice.  Throughout the week the groups inspire one another to see in new ways and to experiment with their work in a city that has awed writers, painters, colonels and kings.

Bartosek-rialto sunset

Rialto Sunset by Cindy Bartosek