Exploring Nature: Naturalist Watercolor Course With PAU MACIEL

May 2024 (6 days and 5 nights)

From 22th (Wednesday) until 27th (Monday) May 2024

In this artistic experience, you will learn to tell stories of nature while expressing your personal style!

We will embark on a fascinating exercise that combines observation and creativity. We will be illustrating entirely new, never-before-seen natural species! 

Get ready to create marvelous illustrations of flora and fauna that will capture the moments and adventures we will share in Monsaraz. We will become true naturalist explorers, illustrating every detail of animals, plants, and unique locations.

Throughout this artistic journey, you will also conceptualize ideas to intricately depict our exciting expeditions in one or multiple illustrations. All levels of experience are welcome, and Paulina will adapt the exercises to each individual participant.


Paulina Maciel

Paulina Maciel is a Mexican artist, designer, and illustrator. She has made naturalistic watercolor illustration her profession, applying it to various projects and collaborating with different international projects. Since 2013, she has been sharing her knowledge, techniques, and discoveries of naturalistic art with both in-person and virtual students, building a community of over 150,000 students through her successful courses on Domestika.

Nature is a constant source of inspiration in her work. Paulina meticulously and almost scientifically explores natural species, observing and documenting them to reinterpret them in her own artistic style. Her methodology aims to awaken curiosity and sensitivity towards the natural world.

In addition to her artistic endeavors, Paulina directs Canela Estudio, where she sells her illustrations and offers a line of Art supply products for artists.

Know More about Pau’s work:

@canela_estudio   //   linktr.ee/canela_estudio


May 2024 (6 days and 5 nights)
From 22th (Wednesday) until 27th (Monday) May 2024


Shared Room:
1800€ PP
(+vat 23%, only 6 rooms available) = total 2214€

Single Room:
2000€ PP
(+vat 23%) = total 2460€


Reservations until 30 December 23, and final payment until 28 February 2024

Until 30 December 2023:
First Payment:
(shared room)
(individual room)

Until 28 February 2024:
Second Payment:
  1107€ (shared room)
  1240€ (individual room)

What is Included:

  6 Art Classes

  Yoga Class

  Tea tasting

  2 Dinners local restaurants

  4 Lunches

  5 Nights Acommodation (with breakfast included)

  Wine tasting Event

  Transport from Lisbon Airport to the Hotel (2 hours) and transport in the area

• It is advisable to book the plane after the final confirmation that the retreat will happen, by end of December, or sooner until we have 10 participants.

• If we cannot gather the minumum participants of 10 until the end of this year the event will be cancel and the payments refund to the participants.


Day 1

Wednesday, 22 May 2024

The bus will pick the participants at Lisbon airport around 16  pm. It is advisable to arrive at Lisbon airport before 16pm. Arriving at the hotel Vila Planície, around 18pm, Monsaraz. 

Day 2

Thursday, 23 May 2024

After breakfast at the hotel you walk 15 minutes to “Sofia In Monsaraz” with our teachers.

Class 1 – Introduction and connection among artists: An inspiring talk about our journeys as artists, sharing dreams, challenges, and experiences.

After a lunch in the garden, served with local produce vegetables, we will visit a Rug Factory and have a swim at the lake

At the end of the day it is time for a wine tasting, before we head to have dinner at the castle, in a local restaurant, where we can meet each other and share the best experience of the day.


Day 3

Friday 24 May 2024

The day starts at 9h with a walk in the nature to “Sofia In Monsaraz”, where we will start the workshop at 10.00h.

Class 2 Creative interpretation and imaginary species:
Exercise in drawing never-before-seen species, fostering creativity and emphasizing the importance of visual description.

After this Second Class will gather around the lunch table in the garden and relax a bit before heading the the 3rd workshop.

Class 3 Introduction to technique and the naturalistic world.
Introduction to a variety of materials used in naturalistic illustration, such as pencils, watercolors, and inks. 

In the afternoon there is time to relax and by the end the day we will have a yoga lesson, a journaling session or a dance class.

Day 4

Saturday 25 May 2024

The day starts with a walk at 9.30 and we start the 4th Class that is going to be outdoors:

Class 4 – Botanical walk and species observation:
Exploration of natural spaces through a botanical walk.
Taking notes and making graphic records of encountered species for later detailed illustrations.

We will savour our lunch in the garden, and then get ready for the 5 Class, that will end at 17h.

Class 5 – Detailed illustration and textures:
Step-by-step guidance led by Paulina Maciel in illustrating the chosen objects with meticulous detail.
Interpretation of textures, selection of suitable pigments, and blending techniques.

Day 5 + Day 6

5. Sunday 26 May 2024

The day starts with a walk at 10.00 to “Sofia In Monsaraz”.

There we will end the previous class/ Studies and before lunch we will start the final class:

Class 6 – Final project and presentation:
Development of an individual naturalistic illustration project, applying the techniques and concepts learned throughout the course. You can choose between an existing natural species or an imaginary one.

After the last lunch at “Sofia In Monsaraz” we will finish the presentations and feedback on the final projects.

Before the dinner at the local restaurant  “Sem Fim” we will enjoy a cocktail, remembering the nice moments of the day.

6. MONDAY, 27 May 2024

After breakfast at 9 am you return to Lisbon, and estimated arrival time is 12.30h.


Everything is organised to detail so that nothing will prevent you from enjoying all the peace and quiet of the Alentejo. All the rooms have air conditioning, full and private bathroom, shared or private balcony and outdoor access. 

This accommodation is a 15-minute walk from the workshop venue and passes by the menhir and the Alentejo plain, ideal for reflection before starting work.


May 2024 (6 days and 5 nights)
From 22th (Wednesday) until 27th (Monday) May 2024


Shared Room:
1800€ PP
(+vat 23%, only 6 rooms available) = total 2214€

Single Room:
2000€ PP
(+vat 23%) = total 2460€

Reservations until 30 December 23, and final Payment until 28 February 2024

Until 30 December de 2023:
First Payment:
(shared room)
(individual room)

Until 28 February 2024:
Second Payment:
  1107€ (shared room)
  1240€ (individual room

If you would like to make a direct booking:


Internacional roundtrip airfare, transport to the place, alcoholic drinks, boat trip, activities not included in the itinery, hotel incidentals including room service, materials list, expenses during free time, laundry service and hotel bar, food and beverages not included in the itinerary. COVID-19 test, if applicable.

We require all participantes to have a personal travel insurance that at minimum covers medical emergencies and cancellations. We do not provide travel insurance for the retreat and each participant is required to have their own individual travel insurance. The place, where the retreat happens, has an Insurance that covers accidents. Will not be responsible for refunding any lost trip funds if you have to miss your scheduled trip.

We cannot guarantee to accommodate vegan, gluten free or dairy/egg free, and some allergies. We are unable to accommodate participants with severe food allergies or food intolerances. 

Please contact us in advance of registering if you have any dietary questions.

It will start when arriving at the hotel, Thursday and finish when you leave the hotel, by Monday. We are not responsible for any non-retreat activity that a participant decides to purchase outside of the retreat and such activity will not form part of the participant’s contract with us. The bus transport is insurance secure.

This retreat includes some walking, where the ground may be uneven and you may be on your feet for several of hours at a time and should be comfortable walking 1km.

Block of paper for watercolour or wet techniques, HP minimum 300 g 9×12 in ( e.g. Strathmore, Canson, Arches pink cover)

-Watercolours in tablets or tubes, (Winsor and newton, Schminke, Pentel, Daniel Smith, White Nigths. Professional brands only)

Synthetic brushes round tip size 5/0, 2, 4, 8;

Gouache or white acrylic paint

Mixing plate

Water bottle

H pencil


Pencil sharpener

Masking tape

-professional coloured pencils (Caran d’ache, Faber Castell)


Lemon Yellow

Cadmium Yellow

Opera pink or Permanent Rose

Alizarin red

Cadmium red




Cerulean Blue

Sap green

Teal Blue


Payne’s gray

You may cancel before the 31st novembre 2023 and receive a full refund minus 50€ fee.

Your payments will be split in two, with an initial deposit to secure your place on the retreat.

After you have completed your registration you will be sent an Invoice to complete your deposit payment. Payment can be made by Banktransfer or PayPal in euros. Additional costs may apply where special accommodations are made available to participants.

In this event we will accept until 15 participants. The event does not include spouses, partners or friends if they are not taking the workshop.

If we cannot gather the minumum participants of 10, unti end of December  2023 the event will be cancel and the payments refund to the participants.

Other questions about this retreat please contact: info@sofiainmonsaraz.site 

For more info or questions please consult here our Terms & Conditions.

Book now

We will contact you with the details for payment.

Se quiser fazer uma reserva, pergunta ou sugerir fazer uma parceria escreva-nos por aqui:

This website uses cookies to ensure the best user experience and improve the quality of our website. By continuing to browse, you agree to receive all cookies and agree with our Privacy Policy .