Europe19: Palladian Odyssey Prep

May 7, 2019 | 5 Comments

After Rome (see previous article here) Mike Botton and I headed to Umbria for a few days prep before the first Palladian Odyssey Umbria Tour. This is the first time we have run this workshop tour and so there were still a lot of little details to lock in or refine and I wanted to visit my workshop locations at the time we would be there during the tour. We had visited all of the locations (except for Fabriano) last year, but the time of the day for our programme differs a little from when we were at the locations last year. Also last year I was with the full Team Botton scouting locations, rather than doing proper workshop prep.

So here are a few highlights from last week. As I will be re-visiting these locations with two tour groups, I will leave the descriptions for future articles.


This gorgeous tiny hilltop Umbrian town is my home for the next 2,5 weeks and will form the base for the Palladian Odyssey Umbria Tour.

And this is the view from my hotel room! An amazing way to start the day!

First Montone coffee – another example of a 2 minute sketch (or less) to record a moment.


A few hours at the end of the day at Fabriano, including a visit to the paper museum and shop!




My outdoor office!

A very important part of Mike’s job is to find outstanding eating establishments and then sorting out the menus. So of course that means I tag along and sketch the food.

Although Montone is small, it has an incredible collection of outstanding restaurants!

I love sketching dinners as I often have fun times with the owners, chef and staff!

And another one.

I’m also doing some colour mixing swatches and tests. More about these colours later.


But most importantly I have been spending my time, finding locations and doing some trial demos for the workshops!


Every view is sketchable in Montone!

It’s been a very busy week and I’ve had less downtime than I expected. But it’s been a LOT of fun and I knew that this trip is fairly intensive work for the first few weeks.

And I’ve done more sketching than planned – I have already filled my first A4 molekine book. I’m loving the new format so much!

I’m writing this article only a few hours before the first tour group arrives from Florence. I can’t wait!

Please follow me on Instagram if you want daily updates.



  • Someday Liz, I want to do this with you. My dad took me years ago and I remember Assisi so fondly as one place I would love to return to! I actually sketched much of our trip back then (before it became a “thing”—or I knew it was anyway) on the tour bus and around the towns we visited. Anyway, your photo’s and sketches bring back such fond memories of that trip. My dad is ill with Alzheimer’s and I miss him. These photo’s, your written verse, my memories, all make for a beautiful start to my morning! Best of luck for your time spent there!

    • Manuela says:

      Hi Liz,
      Enjoy your Time in europe….
      i want to congratulate to your courage to switch to A4 portrait…. in my eyes that is really flattering your Sketches and your style of Layout of Pages.
      I am a little bit jealous about the watercolors from Aquarius …. they Look great.
      Hope I will get a reply of them how to Order a Set.
      Enjoy your Time

  • John Flames says:

    Enjoy your trip!!

    I look forward your drawings of Palladium´s buildings.

  • Looks like wonderful sketching locations! Enjoy!!

  • pbass wil says:

    Loving your rich earth tones – encore!

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