Out & About

Sketches of a Holiday

The jet-set Papier artists dig into their beach bags to show us their favourite travel journal illustrations.



For those of us who are less artistically equipped, when we're on holiday, freed of office desk shackles and bloated with boozy-lunch-induced inspiration, switching up Instagram filters represents a daring leap of creativity. For many of Papier's perennially pencil wielding artists though, a drawing or painting when they're lounging by an Italian pool or sitting under the canopies of a Californian orange-grove is classic vacation relaxation.

So we asked a jet-set pack of our designers to open up their well travelled sketchbooks, shake out the sand and give us a peek at some of their favourite holiday illustrations.

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Luke Edward Hall

"I drew this picture in August 2015, when on holiday on Italy's Amalfi Coast. We were staying for some of the time in Ravello and this pen sketch, from my tattered old sketchbook, was drawn down by the pool at the Villa Cimbrone – a historic building that has been converted into a lovely hotel. Its gardens are very famous, in particular for the scenic belvedere, the Terrazzo dell'Infinito (the Terrace of Infinity), which has an incredible view across the Gulf of Salerno.

The Amalfi Coast has a magic about it – I love the views, the food, the people... I'll be returning for years to come, I'm sure."

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Beth Snyder from 1canoe2

"I went on a work holiday in June to Ojai, California with several sweet friends who also own greeting card companies. We laughed, talked shop, swam in hot springs, and soaked up that California sunshine. How could I not paint a little citrus on the patio while I was there?"

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Emma Block

"In May, I visited Peru with my husband. He wanted to go for the history, the landscape and the culture. I wanted to go for the textiles and the llamas. Fortunately, the trip had plenty of all of those things. I did a few sketches and paintings inspired by the colourful traditional dress of the Quechua women living in the Sacred Valley.

Weaving is a hugely important part of traditional life in the valley: it allows the women to earn money independently and it keeps alive the techniques and designs that have existed since pre-Incan times. I love the prominent use of red and pink in the designs, and the striking silhouette of the traditional Peruvian women's outfits. They wear many layers of skirts which gives them their full shape."

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Kate Cronk of Peggy & Kate

"Saltwater, sun cream, pine needles and French cheese – these smells are instantly conjured when I think about our late-summers spent basking on the rocky edges that line the Calanques, the small bays that cut into the shoreline just outside Marseille. Getting to our sublime spot is a mission; scuttling up, up and up a vast cliff and slipping our way down towards the bay on well-worn stones. But on encountering the scene – of bronzing femmes et hommes, the mischievous baby boars sniffing out picnics, and the cool promise of the water before you – the climb is easily forgotten."

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Brie Harrison

"This was from a trip to Costa Rica where I stayed with a friend on a beach called Playa Pelada. We would go for early morning walks and soak up the warmth and explore the plants, driftwood and shells that washed up on the miles of sand. Heaven!"

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Carolyn Suzuki

"In the summer I try to hit as many bodies of water as I can. This gouache painting was done after a trip to my all time favorite beach, Venice, California. It's a people's beach: it's always crowded with lots of people from locals to fruit-sellers. I just love it."

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Tuppence Collective

"This sketches are taken from a recent trip to Malaga where they have the most beautiful public parks running the length of the harbour. Every plant and tree you would expect to see in a botanical garden is just nestled in a quiet strip alongside the busy roads and city. It made for the perfect little sketching haven."

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Jade Fisher

"This is from our first road trip across California in 2011. We started in San Diego and drove up the coast, spending one or two nights in a few different places on the way to Yosemite, before heading back down through Death Valley into Nevada and finishing up in Vegas. We arrived at Mammoth Lakes in the evening to a perfect snapshot of two red canoes on the edge of the water, with campers and fires and kids running around on the shore. I think I left a little bit of my heart there!

In Death Valley, we sat in the pool until 2am with bats dipping in the water around us. The whole trip felt like a dream, or a film – everywhere felt familiar but magical. We saw lots of cool folk art and met a lot of cool hippies and I fell in love with the ideas of going off-grid, alternative ways of life and adventure – I picked up some books there and read about Leonard Knight and Salvation Mountain. We didn’t make it there on that trip, but it’s next on my list!"