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A Sketchy Vacation

Posted by Koosje Koene in ArtJournal, Draw Tip, sketchbook on May 28, 2018

A couple of weeks ago, I took a vacation. The week was initially supposed to be a sketch retreat with a friend, but we had to adjourn that plan. Still, I decided to take the week off and serendipitously, at the last moment my husband could take that week off too and we booked a trip to a place we’d never been: Santorini, Greece.

Time for art

This week could have been all about resting, reading, excursions, sightseeing and lots of good food. Which, of course, it was for a large part. But I told my husband on beforehand that this was supposed to be a sketch retreat for me, so I was going to take a lot of time with my sketchbook.
And I did. I reserved time to go on little sketch outings on my own, and also just pulled out my sketchbook whenever we sat down somewhere. My husband didn’t mind at all: he brought his book anywhere we went and was completely happy sitting next to me reading while I was in my own sketching world.

On those sketch outings by myself (I would take an hour or so), I made friends with some of the neighborhood dogs and chatted with some kids too, who looked over my shoulder to see what I was doing while practicing their English.
Here’s my favorite drawing I made during the week. One of my goals for the week was to loosen up and experiment. In this drawing below, it worked out really well, and I felt so lucky when a Greek lady appeared around the corner of this narrow alley and slowly walked towards me. The drawing wouldn’t have been the same without that figure in it.

I’ll share the rest of my drawings (and their stories) here on my blog soon.

Reserve time for your art

If I wouldn’t have planned dedicated sketching time, I may not even have made this drawing. I filled many pages in my sketchbook, capturing s many great memories while practicing my skills and exploring my tools. I’m so glad I did!
Often we tend to feel guilty or feel anti-social when we’re drawing.
Whether you’re on vacation or at home: make sure to reserve time for your art.
Take it seriously, tell others about your intentions, so they will take you seriously, and they understand it’s important to you.
That way you make it easier for yourself to push back any chores or other seemingly urgent matters that need your attention too. Too often at the end of the day we checked off many items on our list, but never took the time to draw, or make art. ‘I’ll take time for it tomorrow’, we tell ourselves. And then the next day, we discover that we ran out of time again.
So let’s set this rule: Art goes first. After that, you’ll feel more energized to start doing the other stuff on your list.

Before you leave

Just one more thing. In case you didn’t know: I regularly send out an email newsletter, and you can subscribe! Steven, who follows me through my newsletter, once sent me an email saying he appreciates the ‘art vitamins supplements’ that I send by email. I like his analogy a lot, and if you’d like me to send you an art vitamin boost every now and then, please sign up here

Koosje Koene

Hi I'm Koosje. I'm an illustrator and art teacher in Amsterdam, where I was born and raised. I went to school to study graphic design, then worked for ten years as an award-winning professional photographer. But eventually my love of drawing and painting took over and I became an illustrator. My illustrations have been published in many Dutch magazines and in 2011, I began blogging and started developing and teaching online art classes. In 2014 I founded Sketchbook Skool, which is a flourishing community of artists from around the world of all skill levels.