Art Safari’s creative adventures out of Africa to Italy



Venetian Reflections

With James Willis

7 – 13 September 2016


James Willis the London Paintings with JamesSketch and paint magical Venice with James Willis.  James is well known for his large views of London and Italian cities, and as a tutor at the Sir John Soane Museum. 

This tour is a feast of glorious architecture, dancing with the watery reflective light of the canals.  Venice is James’s ‘spiritual home’ his enthusiasm, art history and architectural knowledge resonate through his tutorials.  He will gently guide and mentor us, helping us to capture the essence of grand buildings and ancient streets, the ebb and flow of Venetian life. 

venice grand canalWe stay in the historic centre of Venice in a former palace in Dorsoduro, so that we can meander the streets and take water taxis to our painting destinations. 

Our Hotel has its own wharf on the San Vio canal, where there is always something to see, groceries and laundry being delivered and collected by boat as the sun rises, gondolas, water taxis and motorboats carrying Venetians to supper engagements as the sun sets, their voices echoing then fading away. 


Tackle ornate buildings and churches with confidence, choosing San Giorgio, Salute, Redentore, San Trovaso, or San Raphaelo.  As we venture out we will stop to sketch canals, bridges, squares and bustling market places – such as the fish market at Rialto, where we will endeavour to arrive early in the morning when the deliveries start!  

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The Academy of Fine Arts and the Peggy Guggenheim Foundation are just a short from our hotel.

A reasonable level of fitness is required as we explore Venice on foot and water taxis/buses but principally with pencil and brush, exploring line, colour and reflection.


SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAOur tour will be during 73rd Venice International Film Festival, held on the Lido of Venice from 31st August  to 10th September 2016.  This is an annual event that dates back to 1932. The aim of the Festival is to raise awareness and promote the various aspects of international cinema in all its forms: as art and entertainment in a spirit of freedom and dialogue. The line-up will be announced during an official press conference to be held in Rome at the end of July 2016.  We will look into attending a film screening, as an optional extra for anyone who is interested.  Keep your camera ready and a sharp eye open for your favourite actor travelling to an award ceremony by gondola

You will come back with a vibrant sketchbook, superb memories and some wonderful material to work with during the autumn.

Tour cost:  £1974 per person sharingVenice carnival mask

Single supplement: £865

Our prices include: – Accommodation, evening meals excluding last night, activities, art tuition, hosting and internal transport as detailed on the tour itinerary.

Our prices exclude: –  Flights, lunches, visas (if required), art materials, drinks gratuities and personal expenses.

Why not extend your stay in Italy?  Talk to us about the possibilities.

Contact us NOW!
Make your booking now on +44 (0)1394 382235
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Please feel free to discuss your own private tour with dates and an itinerary to suit you.