Monday, March 09, 2009


It had been quite some time since I had been to a life drawing class, so I figured it was time for me to go back. Figure drawing classes are traditionally three hours long with one model, holding academic poses for 30 to 60 min at a time. Being an animator, I never spend 30 min on a single drawing, never mind 60, so I decided to look at some of the more alternative drawing classes out there.

I started out at Michael Alan’s Draw-a-thon which is held twice a month at various locations around the city. $20 got you into the 5000 sq ft room at the Gershwin Hotel in Midtown. The night was a mix of drawing class, performance theater, and poetry jam all mixed together. Models were “dressed” as hotel staff, butlers, drunk maids, a dead prostitute, a robot, Siamese twins, babies, creatures, puppets, and scenes from The Shining. Live music and poetry readings were also provided for your entertainment. I have to admit, the music and poetry was a bit much for me. In between the live acts they blasted Techno music at an annoying level. Many of the live acts seemed to have no idea they would be performing alongside naked men and women. A number of the models also got too into their roles, the best example of that being an older man wearing a soiled diaper which seemed to be authentic. There were over 20 models to pay attention to though, if one wasn’t to your liking. I think for my next outing I am going to look into some of the other venues around the city.

Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, in Williamsburg‘s Lucky Cat Bar on Sat afternoons is where I am headed next. I have been to their website and it seems more to my liking. This past February 14th was the first in their Art Star series with special guest Ron English. I have admired his paintings for some time and hanging out and drawing a model dressed as one of his characters (Cathy Cowgirl) sounds like a great time. For more info on that event, click on this link: . Each of their sessions also has a theme. Another one which I wish I had gone to was their tribute to Betty Page. Their next event is on March 14th, 4-7 pm at The Slipper Room, 167 Orchard St., for only $10.

ASIFA East also offers free drawing classes for its members and SVA students. For details email Art Sir at: Below I have listed a number of the other classes around the city I came across in my search.

Adult Drawing hosted by promoter Alex Zoppa. Two glasses of wine are provided with the $20 entrance fee with models from Burning (who happen to be XXX film stars) as well as some male models from Playgirl Magazine posing in the great salon tradition.

Drink-N-Draw is every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month hosted in the Gallery of 3rd Ward, in Bushwick. They provide the beer, snacks and multiple models- you bring your drawing tools of choice. Hosted in the Gallery of 3rd Ward- this is a fun creative environment to help one relax after a long day of work. From 8pm- 1030pm. $15 per person or $10 if you bring a friend.

Society of Illustrators; Tu-Th 6:30-9:30; $10 Regular Sessions, $15 Special Events.
Tompkins Square Branch Library; Sat 2:30-4:00; Free drawing sessions - ask the librarian.
Art Students League of New York; Daily; Monthly Basis, $55-$155.


Elliot Cowan said...

Hey Justin.
I didn't know you were kicking around here.
I'll add you to my list.
I enjoyed every post here.

justsim said...

Thanks Elliot, Always good to hear from someone, anyone... I have to do a better job at advertising myself. I wanted to make sure I was going to keep blogging, and had something to say every week before I went public.

Elliot Cowan said...

Blogging advice:
More drawings less words.

Cheers mate.