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Artwork by Patrick DolanMore Information

Try A Weekend Alternative Art Experience

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If you’re looking for something fun, interesting and creative to do on a Saturday afternoon, you could do worse than visit Dr Sketchy’s alternative life drawing classes, which are held every month (or so) at the Glee Club on Canal Street. This is no ordinary art class, it’s a “life-drawing event where entertainment meets art.”

This week I joined the class to see how good, or bad, my sketching skills are now, having not really done any life drawing since my arts foundation course in 1977! My partner, who is also an arty type, came along with me – he spends a lot of his time illustrating, so it was a doddle for him really. I found it somewhat trickier.

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I mentioned that Dr Sketchy’s is an alternative life drawing class. You won’t get the usual type of model, half draped in fabric, languishing on a chaise lounge. Rather, you get to draw real performers from the world of cabaret, burlesque and circus. Also drag queens, carnival freaks, fetish divas – you get the picture.

As well as posing for you in their lavish costumes, the models perform for you live. So you get entertained between the poses, which is rather fun. The drawing poses last five minutes, ten minutes or longer and prizes are given out for the best drawings. I didn’t manage to win one of the major prizes (not surprisingly) but I did bag some sweeties as a runner up.

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What was great about this life class was that it was very well attended. The room was full to bursting with artists, from complete beginners to the more proficient. Some of the work that was turned out was truly awesome, unlike mine – see attached!

Everyone is welcomed at Dr Sketchy’s, no matter how good, or bad, their drawing skills are and the class has a relaxed, and inclusive type of atmosphere. For the £8 admission fee, I thought it was rather good value. We got to draw Bettina Spankenhaus with her phantom of the opera burlesque act, and Sandy Sure’s Beetlejuice, who after unleashing his wild 15’ arms showed us his mouldy pants in a disgusting and energetic striptease. There were also plenty of very short poses from a lovely local model who bore more than a passing resemblance to Lily Munster.

If you’re thinking of brushing up on your life drawing, go along, I’m sure you will have lots of fun. The next Dr Sketchy is on Saturday 29th November and has the theme of Victorian Vaudeville and features Lilly Laudanum & Gossamer Thread’s Vaudeville Co.

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