Carmel-Shari Blaukopf

Travel Sketching in Watercolour with Shari Blaukopf, April 7-12 and April 12-17, 2024

About the Workshop with Shari Blaukopf

I have dozens of travel sketchbooks in my studio, and whenever I browse through them, memories of specific places come flooding back — and not just the sights. Snippets of conversation, mission bells tolling, seaside breezes — the scents, sounds and flavours are all still there, fresh and ready to come bubbling to the surface the moment I crack open a sketchbook. 

That’s what I love best about travel sketching, and what I want to share with you. How the act of putting pencil and paint to paper enriches the total experience, and preserves it forever. 

Let’s sketch together in Carmel and Pacific Grove!

Whenever I arrive at a new place, I immediately ask myself: What colours and shapes best define the coastline and architecture? What about the plant life, trees and butterflies? What make this place special, worth capturing in my sketchbook? 

Join me in Carmel and Pacific Grove, where we’ll experience the wild beauty of rugged Pacific shores, the enchanting fairy-tale cottages, and historic Mission architecture that make this place so unique. I’ve designed this workshop to give you confidence sketching wherever you happen to be. I’ll show you how to keep your watercolour sketches loose, fresh and vibrant. And I’ll share my techniques for capturing the beauty that surrounds us, so you can savour it for years to come. 

We’ll begin each day with a short demo and end with a review, leaving plenty of in-between time to work on your oWe’ll begin each day with a short demo and end with a review, leaving plenty of in-between time to work on your own sketches. As part of a small group, you’ll get plenty of individual attention and feedback, as we work on value studies, vignettes and composition — the essentials to simplifying a scene and capturing its essence. Most important, we’ll make sure to have fun as we sketch, recording our daily impressions as we move from coastline to village, from Mission church to lighthouse to market. At the end of the week, my goal is that you’ll return home with a fat book filled with fresh, colourful sketches — and memories.


Shari Blaukopf Biography

Shari Blaukopf is a Montreal-based workshop instructor, watercolor painter and sketch blogger. She loves to teach, travel and fill sketchbooks with her observations — skills she’s channeled into creating online sketching courses at

Shari is also the author of The Urban Sketching Handbook: Working with ColorShe’s been active in the Urban Sketchers community since 2012 and has given many watercolor workshops both on her own and internationally through the Urban Sketchers Workshop Program. Her watercolors are in corporate, government and private collections in North America and abroad, and she’s a signature member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour.

You can follow her sketches on her blog at or on Instagram @sharisketcher.

More of Shari Blaukopf's Art Samples

Click on any picture to enlarge.

Carmel and Pacific Grove, located in Monterey Bay offer spectacular setting along the Pacific Ocean.

With its European charm and its sand beaches, Carmel is a must-visit California coastal getaway and one of the most romantic places in California.

Pacific Grove, affectionately known as Butterfly Town USA offers some of the most beautiful beaches in California.

Day 1: Orientation Meeting and Welcome Dinner

5 pm: Meet your fellow travelers, your instructor  Shari Blaukopf and your two tour leaders, Valerie and Jackie,  at our selected hotel in Carmel for our orientation meeting.

We will  go over the schedule for the workshop and treat you for a welcome dinner to celebrate the beginning of a week full of laughter, painting and new friendships.

Days 2 to 5: Sketching in Carmel, Pacific Grove & Monterey

Here is a list of some emblematic spots of Carmel, Pacific Grove and Monterey but not necessary our painting sites.

Carmel Mission

The beautifully restored Carmel Mission is a historic landmark since 1771. It is not only an active church, but also a museum.

It is the only Spanish mission in California that has its original bell tower and bell.

The museum and basilica contain impressive artifacts, the plantings on the grounds are gorgeous and the Mission also has a lovely chapel, fountains and gardens.


Fairy Tale Cottages

Carmel-by-the-sea is also famous for its storybook fairy tale cottages.

A trend started by Hugh Comstock in the early 1900s. Comstock’s cottage inspired other local residents to ask for their own fairytale cottages, and  many more of them were built in the village. 

Carmel’s fairytale cottages feature high pitched roofs, stone chimneys, and timbered details that make you think you are in Alsace or in a storybook!.

Coast Line and Cypress Trees

A scenic pathway meanders above the bluff overlooking Carmel Beach through sculptured Monterey Cypress trees.

The long stretch of beautiful rocky coastline in Pacific Grove,  features several scenic overlooks.

Because of its unique east-facing location, it is also one of the only spots on the West Coast where you can watch the sun rise over the water.


Both towns are home to many historic buildings with Spanish influences in their architecture: from iron balconies to tile decoration on steps, but also features of Victorian architecture.

The historic homes, some of which date back to the 19th century, include Victorian, Craftsman, Colonial & other styles.



Monterey is a coastal town with beaches, cypress trees, the famous harbor and the past historic canneries on Cannery row that inspired John Steinbeck’s novella

The Monterey Wharf is an old fishing pier along the Monterey Bay that has been converted into a shopping and entertainment area. The Monterey Wharf is also an haven for crab and pasta lovers,

You’ll find dozens of  beautiful sea lions around the wharf, beached on the rocks taking in some sun.

End of Day 5: Show and Tell and Farewell Dinner


It is time to finish up some of the paintings started this week. The sketching workshop will end with a little “Show and Tell”.

We will then treat you for the farewell dinner before saying goodbye.

Day 6: Departure

You can leave at your convenience or extend your stay to enjoy this wonderful place. You can also leave after the farewell dinner on day 5.

Price and What is included

April 7-12, 2024: Sold out

April 12-17, 2024: Sold out  

Price: $1,590 if you drive your own car to the painting sites

Price: $1,690 if you want to come in our car

The hotel is not included, see below.


  • A welcome reception
  • 2 dinners: one welcome dinner on day 1 and one farewell dinner on day 5
  • All art classes (daily demos, one-on-one support and instructions)
  • Transportation in mini vans to painting locations
  • The use of folding chairs
  • Complementary snacks and drinks brought to the painting sites
  • Two tour leaders throughout the week


  • Your hotel. We will give you some recommendations and a code for discount.
  • Some meals (the ones not listed as included)
  • Painting supplies (folding chairs will be provided)

How to Book

1Fill out the reservation form below. You will receive an email with information on how to pay your deposit. You can pay via ZELLE, credit card (using paypal) or bank transfer

2Send us a $600 deposit within one week. The deposit is not refundable but $300 is transferrable to a future trip. See our Cancelation Policy below.

3The remaining balance is due 3 months before departure.


April 7-12, 2024:Sold out (wait list available)

April 12-17: Sold out (wait list available)

Email us at to be placed on the wait list. We often get cancelations.

French Escapade LLC | 2389 Blackpool Place | San Leandro, CA 94577 | 510-483-5713 |
California Seller of Travel Licence-CST #: 2091909-40
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