Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School

What a way to spend a Monday evening. If you get a chance to go to a Dr. Sketchy's event I would highly recommend it!

What is it you ask?! Well, the original events started in Brooklyn in 2005 by a USA artist called Molly Crabapple and the evening consists of a cabaret act interspersed with the opportunity to do life drawing. There is a bar for drinks to get your creative juices flowing (if you need that sort of thing) and the host of the evening provides commentary and dishes out the odd prize or two! I went with my friends Mel and Rachel and we all absolutely loved it.

My friend Rachel sketching the Cabaret Rouge act.
The London Dr. Sketchy event was hosted as part of the Wonderground festival on the Southbank.

This is the outside of the Speigeltent where the Dr.Sketchy Anti-Art school was held. The seating area is like a dodgems at the fair with wooden dodgem cars as little seats and tables! Very surreal and fun!
Our cabaret act for the evening were three lovely dancers called Cabaret Rouge who started the evening in daring black and silver outfits and danced to the Moulin Rouge version of Roxette. Very striking moves. They used chairs to dance around and when they came to do their poses (for the life-drawing element) they used the chairs as props to create bold and interesting shapes. There was a 20 minute interval where you got a chance to get a drink and in the second act Cabaret Rouge had changed into some fabulous flapper costumes and danced the Charleston and other 1920's style routines.

I have to admit some of my drawings were slightly suspect - I haven't really done any figure drawing since art college over 20 years ago! A bit like riding a bike though, once you know the basics of figure drawing it's just practise! My drawings for the second act were better for having a bit of a warm-up.
I was slightly embarrassed but pleasantly surprised to win a little prize (blowing bubbles - such a cute gift!) for my 10 minute sketch in blue crayon.

My 'prize-winning' blue sketch. I used negative space you know.....
It's a pretty niche event but if you like figure drawing and cabaret then you would absolutely love Dr. Sketchy's Anti Art School!

A selection of my 5, 10 and 20 minute sketches from Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art cabaret event


  1. Very good sketches Caroline, especially since they were all done in less than 20 minutes!

    1. Hi Alex, Thanks ; )
      I forgot how fast and furious life-drawing is! Such good fun though.

  2. This is such a great idea! I also haven't done any figure drawing since Art College and I was (sadly) never great at it. Amazes me how I ever managed as a costume designer as I'm sure my base figures and stances were awful, I must have just blinded people with my fabulous costumes ;) Thanks for commenting over on my blog, I'm behind in doing my replies, sorry, you know you can buy single derwent pencils on ebay, you should track down your missing colours in the old style studio pencils. Beth :)

    1. Thanks Beth. Hey I never knew you could get individual Derwent pencils - such good news!