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The Greek Holiday

Posted by Koosje Koene in ArtJournal, sketchbook on June 3, 2018


I scanned and uploaded all the drawings I did during my week in Greece last month.

This holiday week was intended to be a sketch retreat with a friend but plans changed and my friend had to reschedule. Still, I had the week off and was lucky enough that my husband actually could use a little vacay as well and was able to take a week off last minute. We booked a flight to a place we’d never been before: Santorini, Greece. Why there? Because Greek food is amazing and when you search ‘Santorini’, on Google images, you’ll understand.
My intention for this week was still for it to be a sketch retreat, so I warned my husband that I would be drawing a LOT. So he brought a stack of books to read, and his mandolin.

We found an amazing airbnb in this tiny village, Vothonas. From there we went on small trips with our rental car, and I have been sketching on those trips as well as around the house, the village and in other gorgeous villages with tiny little alleys.

Well, I could write about it but let me just show you the bunch of drawings I made! I’ll just post them all here in one big monster blog post, for you to look at like they were my holiday photo slides. Warning: it’s a lot!

I hope you enjoy!


I’m always excited to start drawing and documenting my trip – so I start on the plane!

the view from our airbnb

an evening sketch

sitting in the evening sun drawing the view from the rooftop

more laundry – so colorful and fun to draw

fantastic food, beautiful view, and I made friends with one of the waiters, who followed the progress of my drawing

I’m very pleased with this drawing. I tried to push myself a little bit, loosening up and sketching fearlessly. This is my absolute favorite drawing of the trip.

the mandolin man

drawing at lunch. the beach was practically empty

I couldn’t get enough of the view with all the squiggly little alleys and the buildings stacked on the hills

at some hours of the day, the white of the walls would reflect so brightly, it was hard to look at

I love how this drawing turned out

a trip to the vulcano

while my husband went hiking, I sat down in a very narrow street in this village to draw. I prepared the page with watercolor the evening before. While I was drawing, I made friends with a bunch of kids, who were looking over my shoulder to see what I was drawing, pointing out the things in the view that I included in the drawing. They were fun and sweet and one of them even ran home to get her English homework to practice their English on me.

I don’t love this drawing but I loved the place I was sitting at while drawing it.

so I made another drawing from that place. it was such a lovely little cafe that I found by coincidence before making that yellow drawing above, and later I took my husband there for a drink after his hike.

lunch at the beach

flying back home again…

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.