Life Drawing Hen Parties

ally katte back big hairI’ve always enjoyed life drawing, there’s something about the human body that I find compelling; all of the lines, curves, tones that flow and shape themselves into a figure, have an elemental beauty.

That being said, perhaps my favourite thing about life drawing is how it can be used for fun and exploration, experimentation and play, and all those other exciting drawing-related words.  It’s for this reason I was chuffed to become the life drawing teacher for Betty’s Birds hen parties last year.  Quite often as an adult we don’t get much chance to ‘play’, which is a real shame; so I created a life drawing workshop that is all about drawing exercises and games!  Would you believe it – the fun all adds up to help in improving drawing skills too…

Want to have a go yourself?  Fancy a party with a difference? It’s definitely worth checking out Betty’s Birds!

Dr Sketchy Bristol

You must be familiar with the concept of life drawing – it’s drawing naked people, right?  How about the Dr Sketchy version, where you get to draw not-quite-naked, but fabulously costumed people?  I’m pleased to say that this is how I spent my last Sunday afternoon.  The drawing that is, not being almost naked.

Ally Katte burlesque performer modelling for Dr Sketchy Bristol

Ally Katte burlesque performer modelling for Dr Sketchy Bristol - face pencil sketch















I’ve posted about going to Dr Sketchy’s classes before and had to travel far out to them, so I was chuffed to find one starting much closer to me in Bristol!  Hooray!

Poppy Raine burlesque performer modelling for Dr Sketchy Bristol - silk fans and veils

We worked with 3 burlesque performer models, Ally Katte, Poppy Raine and Didi Curv’e; 2 of whom treated us to a performance as well.  It was up to the audience whether they wanted to simply enjoy the act or get some movement drawings into their sketchbook too.  I was pleased to bear witness to Didi Curv’e playing the bongos with her boobs – I’ve never seen anything like it!


It was a lovely atmosphere as we were welcomed in (upstairs at the Stag and Hounds) and the class was started off with a few quick warm up poses of a few minutes.  As we worked further into the session, we managed to get our teeth into slightly longer poses of 10 and 15 minutes.

I really enjoyed drawing the models – I only wish I was able to capture more of the beautiful costumes, they were so intricate in places.  Note for next time, need to work on Go-Go-Gadget Speedy Drawing Skills. 


As a personal bonus, I thought I recognised a Lenore (the cute little dead girl) tattoo on Poppy Raine.  It’s been ages since I’ve read the graphic novel by Roman Dirge so felt a little like glimpsing an old friend!

Didi Curv'e burlesque performer modelling for Dr Sketchy Bristol - multi coloured pencil sketch of her face

I’ve posted my favourite sketches and can’t wait for more Dr. Sketchy action in September!

UK Government Passes Act Changing Rules For Copyright

Just a quick post today – I discovered, rather disturbingly, that the UK government department for business, innovation and skills is looking to pass legislation that allows people to use ‘found’ artworks for their own commercial gains for free.  For the love of anything creative and inspired (and to help prevent a sudden rise in starving artists), please sign this e-petition to stop people being able to effetively legally steal artworks and allow artists and photographers to still be recognised for their work

Other illustrators may want to see what the AOI are doing on our behalf to campaign for amendments to the legislation.

Thank you, lovely readers

Also, I just wanted to say thank you to those of you that have replied and posted comments and even sent a text, I’m a little bit scared about Facebook throwing a fit due to my nomadic nature so don’t always risk going on there lest they test my knowledge of my (oh dear, hundreds of) facebook friends again…  So it’s nice to still be connected.  However, that being said, when I am brave enough to face the facebook challenge, it has been lovely to see your facebook messages too!

New York Magazine

After having worked on and sent away (with great difficulty) my Nighttime Stories sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project; the separation was made a lot easier when I had an email from someone who works for the New York Magazine.  She had found my sketchbook and asked if I was free for a chat about the project and my contribution to it.  It seemed that she had asked the guys running the exhibition to put a few of their favourites aside for her and my book was included in the pile.  The pile was then whittled down to a final featured four.  One of which was mine.  It was such a boon to see that my work, which had become a very personal piece, had been picked up as a favourite out of thousands of entries.

To view the article, visit this address:

sketchbook project brooklyn arts library

new york magazine article on brooklyn arts library's sketchbook project