Draw and Explore

'Draw and Explore' with Paul Janssens

A series of 5 and 7 day painting holidays in the Costa Blanca, Spain

Born in London, Paul studied at Chelsea School of Art and painting has been his life's work.

Currently exhibiting in galleries the length of the British Isles, Paul has 30 years experience of teaching art including at a notable sixth form college in Cambridge, as well as commissioned work that is in constant demand.

Paul has travelled extensively, notable periods abroad included three years teaching art and producing private commissions in Portugal along with two years in New Zealand.

Inspired by the locations he visits, Paul is also influenced by the journey to reach the subject whether it's a moderate hike up a mountain or a bike ride along a rugged coastline. Very often an exceptional vantage point to capture a landscape will require an element of exploring.

Paul has chosen the Marina Alta region to run a series of workshops. Renowned for the quality of light that is ever changing throughout the year, this area attracts artists from all over the world seeking to capture their own take on this fascinating region.


About the 'Draw and Explore' workshop

We will spend the majority of our time on location immersed in the subject matter.

This will include seascapes, landscapes, significant cultural events and local architecture. Subjects have been carefully selected not only for their aesthetic appeal but also to provide you a cultural insight into this fascinating and historic region of Spain.

Exploring these varied environments will involve us getting off the beaten track which could be a gentle 10 minute walk or a moderately strenuous hike.

Each session will start with a briefing from Paul where he will demonstrate appropriate techniques relevant to the subject. We will be using watercolour, pen and pencil.

On location we will be working in sketchbooks that  not only become invaluable reference material for developing studies on a larger scale but also a visual journal of your time in Spain.

There will be two optional sunrise sessions to witness the magical first rays of morning light illuminating the mountain tops.

The group size has been limited to a maximum of six people to ensure Paul can dedicate quality time to each participant.

Area History:
The Marina Alta possesses a wealth of history dating back to the first settlers some 30,000 years ago. More recent inhabitants included the Romans who settled in nearby Javea (Xàbia) in the 2nd century.

Since then people have come and gone, each leaving their own mark on the landscape and shaping the culture of the region.

Who is this workshop for?

Beginner and intermediate artists who are wishing to develop skills in location based watercolour, pen and pencil drawing. You will also have a keen interest in exploring the outdoors as some of the locations we will visit are only accessible by foot which could be a gentle 10 minute walk to a moderately strenuous hike of 45 minutes.

Where will we be staying?

In a homely, bright villa with sun drenched roof terrace and garden. 2.5km from the nearest beach, El Portet and a 10 minute drive from Moraira town. We have a communal pool and a private garden with a range of fruit trees including Pomello, Blood orange, Nespero, lemon and Kumquat which you are welcome to help youself to. (The pomelo's are great on your muesli at breakfast!)

Why watercolour?

It's a fast working medium, well suited for capturing constantly evolving lighting conditions, easily transported, quick drying.

Equipment we provide

A range of five bushes
Hahnemühle hardback watercolour sketchbook A5 and A6
Pocket watercolour set
A set of gel pens and drawing pencils
Watercolour paper for larger studies
The above items will be yours to take home

The above items have been chosen as they are well suited to the locations we will be exploring.

What's included?

Seven nights accommodation including bed and breakfast. Two lunches out at local tapas bars and two evening meals will also be included. The remainder of the stay, you are welcome to either visit local restaurants or use the kitchen facilities and BBQ at the villa to prepare meals yourself.

One evening a typical 'Spanish' meal will be prepared using fresh, local ingredients.

What do I need to bring?

We will provide all the painting and drawing kit however you are welcome to bring your own. As we will be walking over various terrains, sturdy footwear is advisable. A rucksack to carry all our equipment with space for water and food. Some base layers and a windproof/waterproof jacket.

Typical day

A typical day will generally involve two sessions of around three hours each. We have designed the workshop this way to take advantage of the stunning light the Marina Alta region has in abundance. There will be down time during the middle of the day (when the light is at it's most uninteresting), this will give you opportunity to either work or larger pieces under Paul's guidance in the comfort of our villa, go for a paddle board, explore the local town or simply kick back in the garden under the lemon tree and read a book.

Available dates for 2021/2022


September 2021

7 day Course
Saturday 25th September - Saturday 2nd October


5 day Course
Sunday 3rd October - Thursday 7th October

7 day Course
Saturday 9th - Saturday 16th

5 day course
Sunday 17th - Thursday 21st



7 day Course
Saturday 5th - Saturday 12th

5 day Course
Sunday 13th - Thursday 17th

7 day Course
Saturday 19th - Saturday 26th

5 day Course
Sunday 27th - Thursday 3rd (April)

Contact us for booking enquiries

    Contact us for booking enquiries