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Monday, March 14, 2016

Burlesque & Bubbles - Dr. Sketchy Does Commedia Dell'Arte

burlesque drawing

I love the trend of drinking and drawing. Dr. Sketchys has been a New York, now International institution of combining fine art, raunchy burlesque and music set in a bar. I haven't been to a session since 2010 .

Founder Molly Crabapple has since gone on to publish multiple books, become a highly sought-after artist and star journalist for Vice. She passed the reins to very capable personalities to host yesterday's event at Midtown's Flute Champagne bar. The two-drink minimum of creative champagne cocktails can surely get you in a baudy mood.

Falana Fox & Viktor Devonne
The Commedia Dell'Arte theme of last night refers to the classic Italian theater style that heavily relies on common tropes. Pierrot is the traditional lovelorn male constantly wooing Columbina. He is a romantic figure, though often portrayed as a fool. From theater group to theater group, the plays may be different, but the characters stay the same.

While there is no actual instruction in the "class", the timed poses are similar in structure as many life drawing classes. You start with 1-minute gestures, then 2-minute poses, increasing to 5-minute drawings with one 20-minute pose. There are contests to win prizes from sponsors. Tonight they included sketchbooks and designer bow-ties. In the past they could include spa products, sex toys or shots of liquor.

The models were female and male burlesque performers Falana Fox and Viktor Devonne. Both of them were game for any pose or state of deshabillement for the sake of good art. 

I love getting my sketching practice at Dr. Sketchy from a fashion lens because the models are sexy, but come in all shapes and sizes (rather than the same tall/thin models of fashion sketch classes). As Hubby pointed out, burlesque is all about the accessories. When you're down to the pasties, it's all about the bling and feathers. The performers sell those tiny little fashion accessories that much harder. The sassy expressions are much more fun to draw than a bored "model" look. 

Without the competition of a class, or grades, you can just hang out and have fun. A strong drink next to you with a DJ and models in lingerie or less, it can be a wild night out. At the end of Dr. Sketchy's, you have a book full of sexy drawings. Doesn't that sound fun? Whatever city you live in, there is probably a Dr. Sketchy's near you. Check out the website for their schedules. 
Sketches by Mariana Leung

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