Dr Sketchy’s has been happening right under our noses for a while now in Bristol. It’s a worldwide anti-art school which allows artists and non-artists to come together in a friendly pub environment and sketch away uninterrupted for 3 whole hours. Most people shudder at the sound of life drawing classes, they think of the painstaking process of sketching in fine details of an old person’s private parts with the nerve wracking process of having to show your sketch to a class of serious looking ‘arteests’ who silently judge at your poor attention to line or form. In Dr Sketchy’s, life drawing is beer infused, full of twists and turns (and not just in the model’s poses) and is an all round enjoyable experience.
There are three models who feature in the 3 hour long session, they all come from a burlesque background which sounded great on the offset but capturing all of their tattoos, jewelry, head pieces and fruit bowls (yes, I said fruit bowls!) seemed much more difficult in application! I was seriously amazed by the individuality of all three models, they all had a great look which was really great for any artist looking for a change of pace.
Not aware of the Dr Sketchy’s format, halfway through the class we were presented with a crazy twist. The class was themed Jungle Blues which explained the wildlife infused sound clips that were played periodically from a laptop outside of the sketchers circle. Cue the crazy gorilla! No word of a life, our entertainer proceeded to dance seriously seductively in front of each of us, it was one of those moments in life where you need to just double check your feet are still on the floor and that you haven’t entered some kind of parallel universe. After the dance, our gorilla gave us three different poses for some quick fire drawing rounds, at one point I put my charcoal stick down in defeat to see several people had already given up. Each model awarded one lucky sketcher a prize for their favourite sketch, my competitive streak was in gear after the first model – envious of the prizes up for grabs – but unfortunately the standard of some of the artists was incredible. Don’t let this put you off, anyone can come along and give it a go, genuinely you will produce atleast one drawing where everything just works.
Art doesn’t have to be quiet, life drawing doesn’t have to be dull & the models don’t have to be skinny vegan bone portruding 50 year old men. As far as I’m concerned any class that puts on chilled music, lets you drink beer and presents you with the NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE (albeit challenging) task of drawing a gorilla, then I am more than happy to recommend this!
Here’s a few snaps I was allowed to take at the class… I also got unknowingly photographed while I was taking some pics
More details on Dr Sketchy’s can be found here.