Capturing the Essence of the Italian Countryside
En Plein Air Painting and Sketching with Julie Drew
26th September – 3rd October 2025
All Skill Levels and Mediums are Welcome
As you look around you, what captures your attention? What speaks to you? How does the light play on the scene? What subtle colors are you seeing? What does the scene evoke in you?
These are questions we will explore as we observe, sketch, paint and take photo references of Le Marche, Italy. The art of seeing is something we don’t always appreciate. You will be encouraged to sit with the scene before you, taking it all in before you begin to sketch or paint.
You will enjoy a week of exploring the beautiful street scenes of Montelparo, and surrounding countryside, painting in the sun drenched mornings colourful vistas and centuries old architecture.
Julie will demonstrate and give short talks, followed by one-on-one assistance as you plan out your sketches and paintings. All demos will be done in pencil, ink and watercolor.
Later, bring your work back to the studio where you can add the final touches (or work from photo references), learn and enjoy each other’s company, before setting out again for a short trip to capture the golden hour.
Suitable for the novice or seasoned painter, Julie has experience in teaching all mediums and will gently guide you on your dream painting holiday.
You will learn:
- To enrich and hone your observational skills.
- To understand colour and learn how to mix what you see.
- Understand why and how to capture the light.
- Tricks and tips to create the sense of texture.
- How to build a strong composition when painting plein air.
- Tricks to comprehend and simplify perspective.
- To take your ideas, sketches, and reference photos back to the studio to create a finished piece.
- How to become more confident in your painting and drawing and unleash your potential as an artist.
- Photography tips with Laura Hewitt (Julie’s sister)
- Tips on birding with Laura Hewitt
- Small Piece of Handmade Paper on which to draw an Ink sketch (suitable for a medieval village street scene)
Suggested Materials list to be provided on booking.
Included in the price is:
- All tuition fees
- 7 nights accommodation in luxury air-conditioned, en-suite rooms with: – see our rooms here
- luxury bedding
- high quality, 100% natural, Italian toiletries: shampoo, shower gel, body lotion and hand gel
- daily servicing of the rooms
- mid-week linen and towel change
- 100% cotton waffle robes
- All meals including breakfast, buffet lunch and a choice of up to 4 courses from our daily changing gourmet evening menu
- A ‘pizza-giro’ evening at a local trattoria within a few minutes walk of the hotel
- Delicious local wine with lunch and evening meal
- Private group transfers to and from either Ancona airport or Pedaso (station or bus stop)
- 5 days painting tuition including demonstrations and one-to-one advice and guidance
- 3 days’ excursions to specially selected stunning locations
- Private transfers to and from painting locations
- Hands-on pasta making masterclass with three generations of the same family – Nonna, her son and her granddaughter – who will all teach you how to make tagliatelle and ravioli from scratch.
- Experience the community and culture on a “Taste of Le Marche” full day experience visiting three local, family run, artisanal food & wine producers with a tour and tasting at each
- Unlimited use of air-conditioned studio
- full-time staff on-site including concierge service
Prices start from €2499 per person based on two people sharing a room. To find out more about the different room types, pricing, how to get here and more useful information fill out the form at the bottom of the page.
Bring along Partner or Friend
If you’d like to bring along a non-participating partner they too can experience our hospitality enjoying all the meals and excursions. If you’re wondering what else there is for them to do then find out just some of the options here.
Julie Drew waits and listens, letting the details of the world around her speak beauty and wonder. Adding her own distinct expression using watercolor and mixed media to capture the depths and nuances of color, light, and shadow, she creates paintings that proclaim peace, mystery, and wonder.
Her passion for art led to a BFA in Painting and Drawing from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA, USA in 1987. Her desire to see, experience and observe new places was instrumental in Julie’s decision to take her third year of university abroad with Scandinavian Seminars. She spent a year studying the folk art of Norway and the Norwegian language and culture at Numedal Folkehøgskole.
In 1997, Julie moved with her family to Edmonton, Alberta, where she continues to paint the world around her whether at home or traveling through Canada, Europe, South Korea and to the United States.
Although Julie works predominantly in watercolor, she also uses mixed media with her own handmade paper. Julie has been instructing art classes, workshops and art retreats for 35 years including drawing, watercolor, ink, acrylic and oil in Canada and the United States.
Julie’s artwork has been exhibited around Alberta and is in public and private collections in Canada, the United States, Australia, France, and China.
Facebook page: artistJulieDrew
Youtube: Julie Drew – Art and Faith @juliedrew-artandfaith8236
Followed her brother and sister to Pacific Lutheran University and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Pacific Lutheran University in Pictorial 2D Media.
After a number of years, she decided to enter the technology world and received an Associate of Applied Technology in Website Development from Interface College, Spokane in 2006.
Throughout these years, Laura has kept up on her photography by photographing her many trips around the country as well as her own backyard. She enjoys taking photographs of birds, oceans, wildlife, lakes, mountains, architecture, and people.