Tuscan Drawing Excursions

Learn to Draw in Italy.

Tuscan Drawing Excursions


Next Session: Spring 2020!
Enrollment Opens October 11th

Discover the joy of drawing and the beauty of Tuscany In this week-long guided experience. Students will explore the art and architecture of Florence and the surrounding countryside, practicing drawing as a means to observe, appreciate, and connect with their environment in a meaningful way. With guided instruction; group critique,  and conversation; historic tours and excursions to local vineyards, students will strengthen their relationship to drawing and looking through this unconventional experience of Italy.


Students will begin each day with a 3-hour guided drawing course, working directly from the rich urban landscape of Florence. Drawing on-site and in their sketchbooks, students will consider their relationship to place, exploring drawing as a means to take hold of that which is otherwise fleeting. In this way, the sketchbook acts as a record of experience. Through observation and sensation-based exercises, students will be encouraged to draw with consideration of scale and proportion, as much as impression, movement, and mark. As a group we will discuss these languages, and how the visual elements of a drawing work to create meaning and impact in a work of art. In the afternoon, students will have free time for their own exploring and independent work. The class will later re-group for dinner and drinks.



This week-long adventure will take place primarily in Florence, our home base. Students will visit neighboring Fiesole, a Florentine suburb that overlooks the city. Here, students will partake in an optional hike and afternoon drawing session in this peaceful reprieve from the city.  Students will get a further taste of the Tuscan countryside with a wine tour, where we will conduct classwork within a medieval village, and later in its surrounding vineyards. Lunch this day will take place at the beautiful farm and cantina, Fattoria le Masse (for more on these excursions check out the blog post here). With most afternoons fairly open, students will also be given some time for their own local exploring.

Florence's celebrated Piazza Santo Spirito, located near student housing.

Florence's celebrated Piazza Santo Spirito, located near student housing.

visit to neighboring Fiesole.


Participants will be housed in Florence’s most desirable local neighborhoods. Based in Oltrarno, participants will be a 10-15 minute walk from major destinations, but removed from the hustle-and-bustle of typically touristy districts. Housing will include apartment-style amenities, including full kitchen, living room, access to laundry, and of course, free wifi. Private and shared accommodations are both available for a small price difference, but preference must be noted early in order to guarantee availability.


Breakfast , 3 dinners and a vineyard lunch are included in the program price. Dinners will include 3 meals-out at excellent local restaurants with authentic Tuscan fare. We will also have a catered fresh-from-the-garden lunch on our vineyard excursion. The city of Florence is filled with delicious and affordable places to eat, all within a short walking distance of the accommodation and drawing sites, so students will be presented with lots of options.

A "fresh from the garden" lunch at Fattoria Le Masse

A "fresh from the garden" lunch at Fattoria Le Masse


If you are in any way considering the Tuscan Drawing Excursion, just do it.  Right now.  From beginner artists to those with more experience, the time spent immersed in the page of a drawing offers lessons for everyone.  Your days will be well spent and will fly by before you know it.  

Christine offers insightful feedback, helpful hints, and a new way of seeing the world around you as an artist, budding artist, or non-artist.  Everyone can learn something from taking the course, both on and off the sketchbook pages.  Christine has set up amazing authentic Tuscan experiences that will expose you to another side of Italy you may not have seen before.  (And be sure to take her up on all her food recommendations!)  Have you booked yet? What are you waiting for?!"

       -Lauren Briel, Student 2017

“Christine’s trip is a slice of Italian culture that truly links you to Florence through it’s local food, fantastic site visits, camaraderie, and most of all, chances to observe and draw it all under the eye of a fantastic teacher!  I want to go again! 

- Claire Gilgannon, Student 2018

“The Tuscan Drawing Excursion was a wonderful creative immersion into the Florentine world of Renaissance painting, architecture, modern day vini-culture, cuisine and of course gelato. Under Christine Garvey's wonderful teaching I tried out new ways of seeing and drawing while sitting and drawing under a bridge alongside the Arno river, in the middle of farm producing wine and olive oil or inside a magnificent church! It was a very rich, sensory experience which Christine has designed for a wonderful week of artistic learning and cultural adventure! Era meraviglioso (It was marvelous)!”

- Teddy Pearlman, Student 2018

"Christine is a smart and caring teacher who is deeply invested in giving each student a rewarding experience that is custom-tailored to his/her skill level. Beginners find her teaching style clear and welcoming, and more experienced students appreciate her sharp eye and wide-ranging skill set. She creates a space in which students feel able to step beyond their comfort zones and challenge themselves. Students who attend Christine's classes are often return customers; once they take one class, they are eager to come back for more."

- Jen Messier, Director - The Brooklyn Brainery

"What better way to discover the beauty and culture of Tuscany than through the daily discipline of sketching the breathtaking landscapes, famous gardens and historic architectural sites of Florence!

Under the expert guidance of artist-teacher, Christine Garvey, students were encouraged to engage with this beautiful setting through developing observation skills and exploring with dynamic drawing techniques. Christine is a skilled and intuitive instructor who is able to translate her unique approach to on-site sketching into a language of drawing that each student, whatever skill level, can comprehend and apply to their own practice... thereby further enriching the experience of travel through drawing.

Christine's affinity for Italian culture enhanced our connection to the people and the place. Charming accommodations situated in the midst of the hip Oltrarno neighbourhood afforded a glimpse into everyday life with historic destinations and sketching sites only minutes away. From the guided museum visits which highlighted famous artworks directly related to the course material, to the discovery each day of local gastronomy, including a wine tour at a stunning Tuscan villa, each element of this drawing excursion was carefully planned to provide an authentic taste of all that this unique region has to offer. This course was the ultimate travel / learning adventure exceeding my expectations on every level!!!"

- Patricia Kehler, Student 2016

"I've been taking classes with Christine for the past few years at the Brooklyn Brainery, and quickly became a big aficionados of her teaching techniques. Her courses, from collage to mixed media to drawing from observation, gave me great tools to work on my own artistic projects and most importantly to learn how to look around me with different eyes! In just a few classes, I learned techniques that I will use over a lifetime to improve my drawing skills. And Christine teaches this with humor and insight. When she offered me to join a small group of students to spend a week in Florence, Italy and get a chance to explore Tuscany through drawing, I jumped right in and couldn't hardly wait to be there! This trip is great for anyone. It was a unique experience and I highly recommend it."

          - Sandrine Delattre, Student 2016


Drawing of the Santa Maria Novella Cloisters by Patricia Kehler

Drawing of the Santa Maria Novella Cloisters by Patricia Kehler

Visit to Fattoria le Masse vineyards

Visit to Fattoria le Masse vineyards


The Spring 2019 Program Includes:

  • 5 Days of guided drawing coursework with individual attention and critique

  • 6 Nights of lodging

  • An evening aperitivo

  • Daily Breakfast

  • 3 Dinners at some of Florence’s best local restaurants

  • Studio visit with a local Florentine artist

  • Private Tuscan wine tour, farm-fresh lunch, and olive-oil tasting

  • Day trip and optional hike to scenic Fiesole

  • Professional guided tour of Florence’s historic center

  • Visits to the Santa Maria Novella Museum and the Boboli Gardens

  • Local tips on where to eat, buy your art supplies (and what to buy!), and see hidden city gems

  • Some surprises along the way!


Private room: €2395
Shared room: €2125

To be announced soon!

For more information, full week schedule or to register, please contact:   christine.garvey@gmail.com
* Course is subject to enrollment minimums in order to run.


Since 2009, Christine Garvey has been teaching drawing and print-based workshops internationally, working with institutions like Concordia University, Florence University of the Arts, Betahaus Berlin, The Brooklyn Brainery, Pioneer Works Center for Art and  Innovation, and The NY Center for Book Arts. A long-time lover of Italy, Christine first visited as a student in 2006 and has been addicted ever since. In 2013, Christine returned as a teaching artist with Concordia University’s study abroad program in Bagnoregio, assisting in the direction of a month-long drawing course. She returned to Florence in 2015 as a Fulbright Scholar and Visiting Fellow at Florence University of the Arts, and began her own program, Tuscan Drawing Excursions. Since then, she's been bringing students from across North America to Italy to learn the practice of drawing in the inspiring place that is Tuscany. When she's not in Florence, Christine works as a full-time faculty at the University of Texas at Austin, teaching in their Art Foundations program.