Watercolour Journaling in Nature

MAY – 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 – 2023

Immerse yourself with a sketchbook in the beautiful surroundings of Monsaraz, explore a range of materials and translate what you see into free, expressive drawings. 

Over the course of 4 days, with Laura’s guidance, we will explore many approaches to painting with watercolour, ink and coloured pencil. We will fill a sketchbook with creative experiments and dynamic illustrations – drawing on nature’s glorious abundance in Monsaraz. Taking inspiration from local fruits, plants, birds and landscapes, this is haven for wildlife and offers a wealth of opportunity to ignite the creative process, free from everyday distraction.

The focus will be on freedom, play and an exploratory approach to image-making. Over the course of four days, you will develop a better understanding of what excites and motivates you to draw and have the skills to bring this to life. By the end of the retreat you will have a sketchbook packed full of ideas and be bursting with inspiration to continue long after your return home.


MAY – 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 – 2023
(4 days and 4 nights)


Twin Share: 1.000€ PP
(+vat 23%)

Single Room: 1.200€ PP
(+vat 23%)

(Paid 2 times: Reservations Until end March, and Final Payment 7st April)

Limit people: 20, with minimum participants 15. 

What is Included:

  5 Classes with  Laura McKendry

  Journaling Class 

  Yoga Class

  2 Dinner 

  3 Lunches

  1 Local Cooking Lesson

  4 Nights Acommodation (with breakfast included)

  Local Walk

  Wine tasting Event

  Gardening Lesson

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

You will learn with:

Laura McKendry

Laura McKendry is an artist-illustrator-educator based in London. Her work primarily focuses on the natural world, often within urban spaces. She is particularly intrigued by the parts of nature that thrive in the absence of tending, the uncultivated wildernesses. Using household objects and natural resources as tools, and applying unorthodox approaches to mark-making, her process creates a freedom that translates into drawings that feel spontaneous, intense and joyful.

Working with watercolour, ink and a variety of drawing materials, she often stands to paint enabling greater energy and movement; becoming like a dance, darting back and forth to the paper.

She is a bestselling Domestika tutor, and also teaches at Central Saint Martins University of the Arts London. In both her teaching and my own practice, she focuses on the process of creating; exploring ways to paint intuitively, allowing mistakes to become an integral part of a piece.

More of Laura’s work can be found at lauramckendry.com or on Instagram @lauramckendry_art


Day 1


The bus will pick the participants at Lisbon airport at 18 pm. It is advisable to arrive at Lisbon airport before 17pm. If there is a travel delay you will phone us to wait for you. 

Arriving at the hotel Vila Planície, Monsaraz. Around 2 hours from Lisbon. 

After Évora drive in direction to Reguengos de Monsaraz, and then Monsaraz- Telheiro. GPS:  38.45474066810491, -7.382597978536595

Day 2


After breakfast at the hotel you walk 15 minutes to “Sofia In Monsaraz” with our teachers. After the welcoming session we start at 10.30h with a yoga lesson, when we do a pause to do a coffee break. At 11.30h we have our first lesson with Laura Mckendry until 13h. After a lunch in the garden, served with local produce vegetables, we will have another lesson from 14.30h until 17.00h. It is time for a wine tasting, before we head to have dinner at the castle, where we can meet each other and share the best experience of the day.

Day 3


The day starts at 9h with a walk in the nature to “Sofia In Monsaraz”, where we will start the workshop at 10.30h. After the 3rd class will gather around the lunch table in the garden. In the afternoon you can do several activities like jounaling, gardening lesson or a boat trip in the Lake (this activity is not included) or you can simple relax in the sun.

The dinner is free.

Day 4


At 10h we will have a cooking lesson with a local chef, that will teach you how to prepare a nice portuguese meal, that you will taste after the 4rd class with Laura. Around 13.30h we will savour our lunch in the garden, and then get ready for the final 5th class, that will end at 17h. Before the dinner at the local restaurant we will enjoy a cocktail in the outdoor, remembering the nice moments of the day.

Day 5


After breakfast at 10 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 our rooms have air conditioning, full and private bathroom, shared or private balcony and outdoor access. The stay also includes parking and access to Wi-Fi.

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 2023 – 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 (4 days and 4 nights)

Twin Share: 1000€ PP (+vat 23%, only 6 rooms available)

Single Room: 1200€ PP (+vat 23%) 

(Paid 2 times: Reservations Until end March, and Final Payment 7st April)

–  Deposit due to Secure your place in the event, end of March: 500€/ 600€ (plus vat)

–  It is advisable to book the plane after the final confirmation that the retreat will happen, by end of March 2023.

–  Final Payment due 7st April: 500€/600€ (plus vat)

If you would like to make a direct booking: info@sofiainmonsaraz.site


Internacional roundtrip airfare, transport to the place, alcoholic drinks, activities not included in the itinery, hotel incidentals including room service, 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. 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 one walking tour, 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.

The materials list is bellow, so you can bring your own. If you want us to provide them we have to add 100€ to the final fee.

Materials list:

  1. Watercolour sketchbook – minimum A4, 200gsm + (the thicker the paper, the better!)
  2. Watercolour set – minimum 12 colours (Winsor and Newton, Van Gogh, Sennelier, Daniel Smith are all good brands)
  3. 3 brush sizes (size 2-12), including a flat-head (size 10-25)
  4. An Aquabrush (a refillable paintbrush that can be filled with water/ink)
  5. Coloured pencils and/or wax pastels
  6. Liquid watercolours or coloured inks (Ecoline, Dr Ph Martin’s, Daler Rowney)
  7. Any other materials you want to bring or experiment with (NOT oil paints)
  8. Scissors
  9. Glue stick
  10. Bulldog clips x 2

Materials provided at Sofia In Monsaraz:

  • Cups for water
  • Tissue/kitchen roll
  • A3 cartridge paper
  • A4 watercolour paper

You can bring your yoga mat.

You may cancel before the 15 February and receive a full refund minus 50€ fee.  Your payments will be split in two, with an initial deposit to secure your place in 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 20 people. The event does not include spouses, partners or friends if they are not taking the workshop.

If we cannot gather the minumum participants of 15 until the end of February 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.


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