Dr Sketchy's Bristol Birthday Party

Dr Sketchy's celebrated their first anniversary by hosting a burlesque meets circus extravaganza! The whole event was terrific, with tasty canap├ęs, great music and brilliant pole dancing beforehand, and featuring a great range of  models during the event. To make room for the aerial acts the venue had changed from the Stag & Hounds to the Pink Kitten Dance School, but this proved to be a real boon for me; it was a bright sunny day,  and the studio was lit by a single window beaming sunlight straight onto where the models were arranged. The colours and tonal range were absolutely ideal!

The circus act was a magnificent aerial performer named Tabitha T Ease who posed in some jaw dropping positions, the one drawback being that her full length loose fitting jumpsuit left way too much anatomy to the imagination ;) still managed to get some great sketches of her posing in a suspended hoop. 

The burlesque double act of BarryIsland DragKing and Flossie Smalls was good fun, portraying a grubby builder and a bored housewife for their set. Flossie was stunning and in the brief time that she was posing she demonstrated a gorgeous range of poses, I would love to have been able to spend more time drawing her. I think that the little digital sketch of Flossie with the touches of colour is my favourite drawing of the whole afternoon.

The final act was Missy Malone, delivering a classic burlesque routine for the afternoon's big finish. Again my one regret was that we didn't get to spend more time drawing her. To have 4x 5 minutes poses whilst she was wearing a full length black dress was good fun, but not much life drawing was going on :S My digital sketch of her final 20 minute pose was my second favourite sketch of the afternoon; I had to move to stand on the opposite side of the room than I had been sitting, which gives it a unique perspective compared to the rest of my sketches, and 20 minutes was plenty to get to grips with my tablet.

Safe to say I am looking forward to next time already!

Bristol Alternative & Burlesque Fair

I forgot that when they're not posing at Dr Sketchy's, burlesque models tend to move around quite a lot :S

Today I ended up abandoning any attempt to quickly sketch the models whilst they were performing, and just sat and enjoyed the show. In between acts I had fun doodling other audience members and people browsing the market stalls. Some absolutely amazing performances, most notably Beau Rocks who really is a living breathing Vargas girl. Such personality and stage presence, I just wish she had sat still for 5 - 10 minutes... probably would have spoiled the act for the rest of the audience, but I would have been grateful :P

Dr Sketchy's Bristol Celebrates a year of glamour, burlesque, and crazy kitsch!

To celebrate their 1st birthday, Dr Sketchy Bristol are hosting a Burlesque/Circus/Glamour Extravaganza 27th July. Am I looking forward to it? Well here are tickets #1 and #2 for me and Hattie :)

Dr. Sketchy’s is the setting for life drawing classes with a difference. Fusing classic drawing techniques with contemporary trends and styles, it allows artists to express themselves in a fun and exciting atmosphere. Since its foundation in New York City in 2005 by Ms Molly Crabapple, Dr. Sketchy’s has wasted no time in spreading its creative vibe all over the world, and gaining credibility in each city it dwells.

Over the past year Bristol has hosted seven Dr Sketchy ‘sell out’ sessions in which talented artists have been inspired by Circus performers, burlesque artist, drag queens, singers and even ‘Alfred’ popped down from the museum for a session.

Each class is a three-hour, fun-filled session featuring fantastic costumes and the opportunity to see live performances from some great name on the UK's alternative cabaret scene.
Unlike most art classes, silence is not mandatory and you can enjoy a drink from the bar while listening to there groovy psychedelic soundtrack as you sketch.

Here's a selection of my sketches from recent events, I can't wait to update with new sketches after the next event! Burlesque + Circus + Sketching = Happy Adam

Roller Derby bout sketches (+ bonus train ticket reference number)

I found these old pages on my tablet the other day, from a roller derby bout that I went to aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaages ago but forgot to post online. I am working on a derby-related drawing at the moment, so was digging around for reference stuff and was delighted to come across these old gesture drawings. Of less derby relevance but greater historical posterity is the trainline reference for mine and Hattie's train home- 4BRNCF2X -jotted down here because my tablet had loads of battery left and my phone was about to die, and we needed the code to collect our tickets home from Cardiff. 

Doodle Man

I have been doodling this guy in 5-10 minute chunks over the last couple of months. Every time I have had to sit in the doctor's waiting room I have been fiddling with this on my tablet. Every once in a while I would start on a new layer, so I could cobble together a gif of the WIP. I was considering doing a coat and then some powered-armour exoskeleton, but I decided it would be more fun to draw a line in the sand and then start something new. 

Dr Sketchy's Bristol :: "Jungle Blues"

I am just back in from another great session at Dr Sketchy's and am happy to be able to share the results.

These sessions are always great fun and benefit from a tremendous range of fantastic models and the bubbly personality of the Hostess Lou Leigh Blue. Today's models were Honey Asaurus HolidayPoppy Von Tarte, and Velveteen Hussey. They were all brilliant in there own way, and all together formed a very well rounded and entertaining afternoon of life drawing. Some might say that four 5 minute poses of Velveteen Hussey wearing a gorilla outfit was three too many, but when she did strip down to her muddy loin cloths she was fantastic to draw.

If I could have anything more than I already did, it would be a few batches of short poses. I think the shortest poses we had today were 3 minutes or so, which is still quite a long time for the models to hold certain showgirls poses. 10 minutes or so of 60 second poses would allow the models to adopt some very expressive, flamboyant poses that would be terrific for quick gesture drawings.

As much fun as today was, I am *really* looking forward to next time at Dr Sketchy's Bristol, "The Glitter Ball"... I have just ordered my first ever tablet PC (only a cheap one, nothing too fancy!) and if I can get to grips with it, I shall take it with me and challenge myself to some painting of the models. Will be nice to splash some colour on the poses, or work in light and dark tones.... fun fun fun!  ;)

-- Self Portrait Day --

This year for Self Portrait Day I went with a straightforward slouching full face SP. I was gonna do a major character piece with guns and muscles and everything amped up but it felt like I wasn't engaging in the spirit of the exercise. The idea of a Self Portrait is about observation and honesty about yourself. I can do a drawing of a massive bloke with a massive gun any old day, so I ended up producing the above SP in a few hours this afternoon.

There's loads of stuff I would like to spend longer on and I dislike leaving a final piece in b/w but I spent ages pissing around with the beard and I want to go draw a massive bloke with a massive gun now :P

Dr Sketchy's Bristol -- Smoke & Mirrors 19th October 2013

My second visit to Dr Sketchy's Bristol, and this time they put on a Halloween themed event and tied it in with the Bristol Burlesque Festival. Not as many models and routines and the last Dr Sketchy's Bristol I went to, but the fantastic calibre of  the models more than made up for the lack of variety.

The first model was Sandy Sure, who did a spectacular job of posing as Beetlejuice! The suit and wig were of course easy touches, but she did a brilliant job of capturing Michael Keaton's distinctive posture and she did some terrifying facial grimaces as well!

The second model was Bristol Burlesque Festival co-producer and classy lady Tuesday Laveau! There'll be no mistaking the pictures of her as she was wearing a massive papier mache eyeball helmet for her initial poses, and formidable star-spangled stripper boots. I was honoured when Tuesday picked out my little sketch of her face as her favourite drawing of the evening! "I have a weird face," she said, which is why she was so impressed that I was able to capture something of a likeness. For the record Ms. Laveau, Hattie and I think you have a very pretty face ;)


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Sorrel has been misbehaving recently, and I did warn her not to continue....in the end I had to put her on the grid. As the old expression goes, "You can put Sorrel on the grid, but you can't separate Sorrel from her rats." And that's how come she ended up with a little mini Barnabus buddy with her.

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Dark Forest

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Hunting in the forest, the Partisan watches a pair of enemy soldiers from hiding. This image was a fun exercise in drawing rough, impressionistic foliage and building layers up to form pictorial depth.

Werewolf Rampage

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Here is the werewolf ripping his way through an entire base of soldiers. The US army doesn't issue it's infantry with silver bullets, so the soldiers are totally defenceless against the rampaging hulk of teeth, claws and muscles. Bullets rip through the beast's flesh without even slowing it down.

Here's a quick little gif to demonstrate my process.