Renata Lahalle's Venice Vacation Workshop

May 6-10, 2024

Explore and sketch the secret campos and winding canals of Venice with Renata Lahalle. This vacation package includes 5 art classes taught by Renata plus several demonstrations, many sketching opportunities, vaporetto rides along the Grand Canal, entrance to the Doge's Palace + attached museums, a tour of the Basilica San Marco, the Scala Contarini del Bovolo, the Rialto Bridge and the Jewish Ghetto. We are looking forward to making art in good company. Average temperatures in Venice at this time of year are a high of 66-74°F (19-23°C) in the day and a night-time low of 52-60°F (11-16°C).

Meet Renata Lahalle

Born in Switzerland and raised in Bogotá, Renata now calls Spain home with frequent visits to her favourite spot in France. Renata has a large following on her French language blog and she speaks English, French and Spanish fluently. This workshop will be in English and in French. To learn more about Renata click HERE. Also, click HERE to read Renata's article in the June Drawing Attention Zine on page 36.

 Renata sketch goes here

Sunday May 5, 2024

Students arrive and settle into the hotel. Workshop participants who arrive early are invited to meet in the hotel lobby at 2:00 for a warm up sketch (optional). All tour participants are invited to a welcome reception in the evening. We will meet at 6pm in the hotel lobby and walk from there.


Day 1 Tour the Doge's Palace + Prison and the Bridge of Sighs

Monday May 6, 2024

After breakfast we will orient ourselves to the city with a vaporetto ride along the Grand Canal. Then we will take a guided tour of the Doge's Palace, the Bridge of Sighs and the Doge's Prison.

After lunch we will settle in a nearby campo where Renata will teach Workshop #1.


Day 2 Explore the Hidden Jewels of Venice

Tuesday May 7, 2024

Today we will discover the Scala Contarini del Bovolo, a hidden jewel in Venice. This arched spiral staircase was built in 1400 and is a marvel of medieval construction. Afterwards Renata will teach workshop #2 in a nearby leafy campo. 

Day 3 Tour Murano + Burano

Wednesday May 8, 2024

Today we will take a day trip by boat to the glass making island of Murano for a tour and then we will continue on to Burano. This quiet little island with its rows of jellybean-colored buildings is the perfect location for a quiet lunch and then Workshop #3. 

Day 4 Tour the Basilica San Marco

Thursday May 9, 2024 

In the morning we will marvel at the mosaics and paintings inside the Basilica San Marco during our guided tour of the church.

The winged lion is the traditional emblem of St Mark, the patron saint of Venice and it is ubiquitous in the city, benevolently looking down from the tops of towers and pillars and churches. After lunch Renata will teach Workshop #4 from a nearby campo. 

Day 5 Church of San Giorgio Maggiore + Farewell Dinner

Friday May 10, 2024 

Today we will take the vaporetto to the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore where we will visit the marina and the only labyrinth in Venice. Here Renata will teach workshop #5.

In the evening we will enjoy our farewell dinner (included). 



Saturday May 11, 2024

It's time to say goodbye but you will never forget the friends you made or the skills you learned during this great week! Or extend your stay for a long relaxing holiday :)   

Recommended Workshop Supply List

In this workshop Renata will be using the following materials but feel free to substitute with the materials you already have. These materials should be easy, light and inexpensive so YOU can draw anywhere at any time.

      • 1 Waterproof pen.
      • 2 Felt pens (dark blue + light blue or dark and light grey)
      • 4 Ballpoint pens (black, blue and two other colors - ex. Bic)
      • 6 Colored pencils (light blue, dark blue, orange, purple, green,…) any brand
      • 1 Multicolor pencil - any brand (ex. Lyra)
      • Watercolor - 8/ 10 colors are enough
      • Water + cloth 
      • 1 Round synthetic brush - size N°10 or N° 12
      • Please also bring glue, tape and a pair of scissors.
      • Sketchbook A5 portrait size such as: Moleskine A5 sketchbook model 165g, Hahnemühle A5 D&S 140g, Seawhite of Brighton A5 - Travelbook 130g. Avoid spiral notebooks and horizontal notebooks
      • A stool or piece plastic to sit on the ground
      • Comfortable shoes and clothes


      • As usual > No pencils, no erasers, no rulers, no compasses...

      Recommendations for nonSketcher Companions 

      While Workshop participants are working during their 3-hour class, nonWorkshop participants (spouses/travelling buddies) may wish to enjoy activities on their own. There are lots of museums and tours available that we won't have time to see as a group. Here are a few ideas:

      • visit the Guggenheim Museum
      • take a walking food tour
      • visit the DaVinci Museum
      • Visit the Jewish Museum
      • Visit the Lace Museum
      • Visit the Casanova Museum


        Click HERE to review frequently asked questions. For more information about this vacation package contact Brenda Murray at

        sketch pic

        Tour Includes

        • A welcome reception
        • 5 art classes
        • Entrance fees to the Doge's Palace tour + museums, a tour of the Basilica San Marco, admission to the Scala Contarini del Bovolo, and 7-day vaporetto pass
        • Farewell dinner 

          Tour Excludes

          • Flights to/from Venice (Italy)
          • hotels
          • meals (except farewell dinner )
          • Painting supplies
          • Porterage/luggage handling
          • Travel insurance
          • Expenses of a personal nature
          • Items not explicitly specified in the inclusion list

            Early Bird Prices in USD

            Book now before Dec 1, 2023 and save $200!

            $1899.USD $1699. Workshop Participant

            $1299.USD NonSketcher Companion Participant (such as a partner or travelling buddy)

            NonSketcher Companion tickets include the same attractions and meals as the Workshop Participants with the exception of the art classes.

            To reserve your spot in this workshop, a $500 nonrefundable deposit is required for Workshop Participants and a $300 nonrefundable deposit is required for nonSketcher Companions 150 days prior to the start of the workshop. The remaining balance is due 120 days prior to the start of the workshop.

            Please read our Refund Policy.

            Bring a Friend and Get a Discount

            Here's how it works. You and your sketching buddy register for the workshop with your deposits. Then send us an email and tell us you are registering with a sketching buddy. You will each be sent a discount code for $50 that you can apply when you pay the balance of your tickets.

            The small print: This discount code cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount code and it can only be applied to 2 Workshop participant tickets if the workshop sells out with 15 participants.


            Because Venice has so many small boutique hotels and so few large hotels that can accommodate groups, this workshop will be "convention-style" meaning that participants are encouraged to make their own arrangements hopefully in a hotel that is close to the one where Renata and Brenda will be staying. Renata and Brenda will be staying at the B & B Ca' Santo Spirito, Dorsoduro 94, 30123 Rio Terà ai Saloni, Venice. Participants are welcome to stay in this hotel if there is still availability.  However, any nearby hotel or Airbnb will work just as well. The group will meet every morning at a designated location for our workshop and activities.

            Travel + Medical Insurance

            Last minute cancellations for any reason are nonrefundable therefore protect your investment in this vacation by purchasing travel insurance. Click HERE for a list of US travel insurance providers. Some credit card companies may also offer travel insurance if you paid for your trip using that credit card.

            Pedestrian Friendly?

            "Pedestrian-friendly" is not the same as "Pedestrian-only". Venice is a pedestrian-only town with 400 small arched bridges that are crossed by going up and down some stairs. You must be fully mobile and able to walk for 20-30 minutes and manage stairs. This town is really not pedestrian friendly if you are relying on a walker or have mobility issues. If you are not able to walk 20-30 minutes and manage stairs, we recommend you consider a different Studio 56 workshop that is less physically demanding. 

            Covid-19 Vaccinations

            The instructor and tour manager are fully vaccinated against covid-19. This tour will be following all locally recommended protocols. Please check the covid protocols required for Italy by clicking HERE and check back close to the date of departure as the protocols may change.

            Practical Tips

            Flying in to Marco Polo Airport you can travel to Venice either by bus (40-45 minute drive + 9 minute walk), or by taxi or Uber (16-20 minute drive + 5 minute walk). 

            Your Tour Manager

            Participants will be accompanied by Studio 56 owner, Brenda Murray. Brenda is a Canadian artist and arts advocate, the founder of Urban Sketchers Waterloo Region and a former Urban Sketchers Board member. A seasoned traveler, Brenda has traveled to Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Brazil, Cuba, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Liechenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea (lived there for 4 years), Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Uganda, UK, and the USA (35 states). Brenda will be on hand to assist the instructor and to ensure that everything runs smoothly. She has completed the St. John's Ambulance Emergency First Aid - CPR C - AED training. Learn more about Brenda HERE

            Do you have questions? 

            Email or call Brenda Murray at 519-572-1757.