Not Your Aunt Matilda’s Life-Drawing

Dr. Frank N Furter, drawn in lipstick at Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School. This is after he took off his lab coat. 2 minute pose.
Dr. Frank N Furter, drawn in lipstick at Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School. This is after he took off his lab coat. 2 minute pose.

I promise to post some opening-night pics from Drawing the Motmot, The Exhibit, but because I live so much in the moment I have to tell you about what I did last night- I went to a life-drawing event that’s been popping up around the country: Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School. It’s a combination of life-drawing and cabaret, a refreshing and fun way to draw like a fiend and win prizes. I went to the OKC branch and had a blast. I did 15 drawings, including a little sketch on toilet paper (provided) and one with lipstick (provided), plus I won a t-shirt and tickets to the Girlie Show, another OKC art event.

Naughty bell-hop. She had hot-pink hair and sparkly lips. 1 minute pose.
Naughty bell-hop just before stripping down to her corset. 1 minute pose.

At Dr. Sketchy’s there’s a theme for each month’s session. Last night was Rocky Horror Picture Show and next time it’ll be James Bond. Can’t wait to see the costumes for that.

Dr. Frank N Furter tussles with lovely assistant in a tutu. 5 minute pose.
Dr. Frank N Furter tussles with his lovely assistant, now in a tutu. 5 minute pose.

The two models last night were professional actors and singers. Songs from Rocky Horror were performed. Costumes, changed between intermissions, were killer (and fun to draw) and featured a naughty bell-hop, naughty ballarina and naughty transvestite doctor. (One attendee got a little overly-enthused and very, very sadly stripped down to nothing but his gold lamé thong) Drawing commenced with 1 minute poses, progressing up to 20 minutes. Bursts of song and dance punctuated the sketching sessions.

A quiet moment on the leopard print couch. Models confide, or conspire? 20 minute pose.
A quiet moment on the leopard print couch. Models confide, or conspire? 20 minute pose.

We sure know how to have fun around here. And it’s wonderful practice, a good way to loosen up, sharpen your drawing skills, and get totally entertained in the bargain!

Exhausted models sprawl; 20 minute pose.
Exhausted models sprawl; 20 minute pose.

16 thoughts on “Not Your Aunt Matilda’s Life-Drawing

  1. 100swallows says:

    For drawings this good they should have given you more than a T-shirt and a ticket to the Burly-Q show. I didn’t get: was the attendee sad to strip or were you sad he did (or didn’t)? I’ll have to look up a gold lamé thong but that sounds like a better prize for you.

  2. Julie Zickefoose says:

    This is SO interesting, because it flies in the face of that sort of clinical detachment you have to build in order to stare fixedly at and draw someone sprawled nude before you; i.e. in order to be able to function in a life drawing situation. To have it all sort of bowdlerized and sexually charged, well, hmmmm. And fun! Great sketches!!

  3. Ken Januski says:

    Sounds a bit too chaotic for me but obviously you had fun.

    My most enjoyable life drawing sessions were done in San Francisco at adult education classes at a high school near the Marina area. I can’t remember the name of the school. I do remember passing the smell of rancid fat from a chicken fast food chain that was on the way – Near Rancid Fat High School perhaps.

    In any case the instructor, who really was more a monitor, brought in her own records(pre-tape/cd days) and played the likes of Mohair Slim as we drew. That was the best! Not too distracting but just enough good music to make it very enjoyable as you drew.

  4. zeladoniac says:

    It really reminded me of drawing at Fort Mason in the SF Marina a long time ago; the SF Model’s Guild used to hold all-day drawing marathons in a warehouse with models, props and costumes. There were gesture pose stations and all-day pose stations. Crazy tableaux and great inventive poses. I recall Valkyries, draperies, and acrobatics.

    Funny that a clothed model can be more risqué than a nude one. It’s true that this approach makes the artist more emotionally connected to the drawing.

  5. Ken Januski says:

    My oddest memory of Fort Mason was when I went to a sort of open house for all the art classes. As I looked at the drawings on the wall I saw one that appealed to me. As I got closer it really appealed to me. Then I realized with an odd, metaphysical start that I liked it because it was mine!!

    Somehow or other in my various figure drawing classes taken around SF I’d given some as examples to one of the teachers. At the time of the open house she was teaching at Fort Mason and had put up examples of student work. So that’s how the drawing ended up there. But it was a very odd sensation. Sort of like those rent universe fabrics in OK.

    I think you’re right about clothed, or partially clothed models. I think some of my favorite life drawings from that time often included clothing props. I think the all-day sessions at Fort Mason must have been after my time there. They sound like something I wouldn’t have wanted to miss! These danged birds I’m doing now just don’t know how to hold a pose at all.

  6. zeladoniac says:

    Thanks, Muriel. I think it goes both ways- I learned figure drawing before bird drawing and it really helped the bird drawing.

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