Paint the American Riviera

Pocket Sketchbook Workshop in Santa Barbara, California with Kath Macaulay
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Kath Macaulay teacher artist pocket sketching workshop

Beautiful Locations, Copious Creativity, and Lots of Laughter

Dates: March 7-13, 2021
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Cost: from $3150 based on double occupancy
Single Supplement: $425

Learn enough to play for a lifetime! Join Kath Macaulay for her Pocket Sketchbook workshop in Santa Barbara, California. The basis of this 6-day destination workshop will be painting and sketching on location. 

Kath’s travel journaling technique is perfect for hiking, biking, sauntering, sitting in a café, or waiting at the airport.  Capture what you think you see in 25 minutes or less using a water soluble pen, a 4 x 6 inch pad of paper, and a small paint set.  Ideal for the timid beginner to paint fearlessly in public. Also perfect for the advanced artist who wants minimal equipment, total portability, speed, no interruptions and no clean-up.

This sketchbook workshop in Santa Barbara includes several of the watercolor techniques of John Singer Sargent. Kath will use photos of his watercolors extensively as teaching examples. 

You can learn more about Kath Macaulay and view her work on Meet the Artist page.

I see the world as if cataracts were removed!


Pocket Sketchbook Workshop in Santa Barbara

With it’s Mediterranean climate and south-facing coast Santa Barbara is an artist’s dream. Year-round beautiful light and panoramas where the Santa Ynez mountains tumble into the Pacific make the perfect setting for our watercolor and sketchbook workshop with Kath Macaulay. Additionally, Santa Barbara also holds a special place in our hearts as we lived here for many, many years. We are excited to share our favorite places with you!

The week together will focus on making content for your travel journal with quick, intuitive sketches and watercolor. You will visit beautiful Santa Barbara locales, have wonderful food and lots of laughter along the way. There is some walking to get from one place to another, but most of the included walks are city strolls. A daily, brisk morning walk along the beach is always available.

  • Art Program 85% 85%
  • Sight Seeing 75% 75%
  • Walking 65% 65%
  • Fun! 100% 100%

What’s Incuded

Pocket Sketchbook Workshop in Santa Barbara

  • Daily watercolor and sketchbook art classes with Kath Macaulay on location and in our Art Walk studio
  • 6 nights at centrally located, beachfront hotel
  • Visits to the Santa Barbara Mission, Rose Gardens, Waterfront, and other quintessential Santa Barbara locations
  • Welcome aperitivo
  • Fabulous welcome and farewell dinners
  • Orientation meeting and walk
  • Optional guided walks to some of our favorite spots
  • One-week unlimited use downtown and waterfront shuttle pass
  • Daily, optional morning walks along the beach
  • Wine and chocolate truffle tasting
  • Free time to explore scenic Santa Barbara 
  • Delicious continental breakfast to start your day
  • Wine social every afternoon
  • Support from your guides who were long time residents of Santa Barbara 
  • All transfers and admission to sites
  • Fully hosted and escorted
  • Portable chairs to use during the week


Pocket Sketchbook Workshop in Santa Barbara

1. Small group classes

With a maximum class size of 16, you can expect quality time with Kath as well as your friendly, like-minded classmates.

2. Daily guided excursions

Each day you will experience beautiful locations and hidden gems with your local guides.

3. Coastal California

Enjoy living like a local in one of California’s most beautiful locations. Our centrally located hotel is steps to the beach and a short walk to the harbor, wharf, and State St.

Bouncing Kids Kath Macaulay pocket sketching workshop

Example Itinerary

Pocket Sketchbook Vacation in Santa Barbara

Actual daily schedules may differ.

hotel Milo Santa Barbara art vacation tour

Day 1

The sketchbook workshop in Santa Barbara begins at our charming, beachfront hotel just blocks from State Street. After a meet-and-greet and program overview, we will have a short orientation walk to get to know the neighborhood.

Our first day will close with fabulous welcome dinner in downtown Santa Barbara.


Day 2

We begin in our Art Walk studio where Kath will outline the week’s project. Then we will be treated to an art-themed walking tour of downtown Santa Barbara. We will visit local galleries, historic sites, and artist’s workshops. There will be time for Kath to teach along the way.

The remainder of the day is free to explore Santa Barbara.

Day 3

Today, we will explore the waterfront. Inspiring locations abound for the outdoor Kath’s Pocket Sketchbook workshop in Santa Barbara. The harbor, or the coastal promenade for example.

In the afternoon, some may choose to peruse Santa Barbara’s Tuesday farmers’ market. Filled with the seasonal bounty of the region, it is a treat for the senses.

Day 4

In the morning, the energetic may join us for an optional walk/hike on the Inspiration Point trail. Afterward the group will meet at Mission Santa Barbara, Queen of the Missions, and it’s adjacent rose garden. There, we’ll enjoy a picnic lunch among the roses followed by a class with Kath (A game of croquet on the sprawling lawn is optional).

We will convene later in the day for wine and truffle tasting by local artisan makers.



Day 5

The day begins with a trip to the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden nestled in the coastal foothills of the Santa Ynez mountains. There, we will walk through a dewy redwood grove, a scented chapparal forrest, and a mountain meadow awash with golden poppies and blue-violet lupines. Inspired by what you find, Kath will select a location to teach.

The afternoon is free to lunch and explore in downtown Santa Barbara.

Day 6

On our Pocket Sketchbook workshop in Santa Barbara final day, a short walk will bring us to one of the California coast’s most renown historic buildings. Our tour there will conclude with a spectacular view across the city to the waterfront. There will be time to capture the architectural style Santa is so famous for.

We celebrate our last evening together with a very special dinner in the company of fellow artists and friends.


Day 7

Our watercolor sketchbook workshop in Santa Barbara will come to a close after a delicious breakfast shared together. Then we bid farewell to our art walk studio until the next time we meet again.

A full week of leisurely sightseeing and cultivating creativity

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