pencil sketch of a burlesque performer with white feather fans and a white costume

Burlesque Sketches

As a warm up for my drawing, I like to do a lot of figure sketches.  As I have a fondness for burlesque, a lot of my sketches revolve around that theme.  Behold, a feathered lady and an aerial hoop artist.

Machete Bears All

As a drawing exercise and for inspiration whilst the piece was being created, I have several images on the theme of the burlesque act ‘Machete Bears All’.  Have a look at some sketchbook scribbles:

pencil drawing of dancing bears in fez and waistcoat


The bears are dressed for entertainment – wearing human items is deemed cute but is at odds when worn by a wild animal.  Perhaps lulling you into a false sense of security, the human aspects make it more familiar and therefore less of a threat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

salmon and tin of salmon drawings to have items for my picnic basket

 

For entertaining bear references, I thought of Baloo from the Jungle Book, Yogi Bear and Winnie the Pooh.  All loveable characters defined by their either slightly clumsy, preoccupied by food and/or  friendly demanors.  Certainly a far cry from the wild animals they really are.  I couldn’t have loveable bears without a pic-a-nic basket, a tin of salmon and a jar of honey.

 

 

pencil sketches of baloo from the jungle book studying his walk

 

Or indeed without an affable walk.  Baloo is perfect for this so studied his gait in the disney Jungle Book clips on you tube.  I can’t tell if you can see from my sketchbook notes, but I could tell he carried a lot of weight in his hips, twisting as he walked, arms swinging wide, his whole frame quite loose – very relaxed with no tension held in the body.  At complete odds with my good posture dance background!

 

 

 

 

 

Below you can see the translation of costumes from bare to bear.  Turning what you expect into something you don’t.    The character performing for your entertainment, becoming the entertaining bear.  In the act, the bear cannot get into the food in its picnic basket and is forced to revert to its feral state when it gets angry.  For this I watched lots of Eric Bana clips turning into the hulk!

pencil drawing of belly dance costume, and high heel shoes

pen ink and pencil drawing of girl in bear costume

After turning feral, the bear eats a member of the audience and is much happier for having eaten something.

pencil sketch of angry bear having just mauled a victim

 

Zombie Jesus Day! Burlesque Poster

I was asked to design a poster for Pink Kitten Dance School’s student cabaret this Easter; I was inspired by an image from their ‘March’ image in the Pink Kitten calendar and worked from there.  I wanted it to be tongue in cheek and fun to look at, hence Zombie Jesus Day!  but I got cold feet and made a differently titled one for the final.  Although I’d be interested to hear if you have a preference title-wise….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like bright pink and teal but after discussing it with a colleague at the dance school, I changed the colour palette and I think it does work better for the Easter theme.  So below you can find the final version, with all the tweaks.

 

I’m biased, as I work for the company and that I perform in their showcases, but they are a blast for an evening’s entertainment, you should come along!

 

Craft and Textiles Show at the NEC

I received an email alerting me to a craft and textiles show in Birmingham; soon thereafter I realised I had to go sample its creative delights and under the guise of it being a birthday present for my mum, we left for Birmingham.  It was an inspiring place to be, there were lots of talented people exhibiting their work.  We found an exhibition space for Ollivier Henry and Jean-Noel Lavesvre, artists who have a passion for costume and theatre.  I was astounded by the delicate work they had achieved and took a photo of my favourite piece.  My artistic representation of said work can be seen below:

study of historical costume, blue vintage dress handcrafted

Dancing Bear Costume

I am going to a cabaret night where the audience is encouraged to dress up according to a theme.  The theme we have been given is the circus.  Now, I have a somewhat extensive fancy dress wardrobe and I like to be able to wear costumes more than once – so I am updating a bear costume that I already have into a Wonderous Dancing Bear of Rave.  For some inspiration I drew some dancing bears to give me an idea of what I’d like my costume to include.  I plan to blog some how-to ‘s if ever you find yourself with a need to dress as a dancing bear…

Warm Up Bear Sketches

A few practice drawings to get the feel of drawing bears

Some ideas for costume accessories etc

Costume Items:

Bear – ears/fur/claws/muzzle

Accessories – tutu/fez

How To ‘s for each of these to follow!  I’m looking forward to putting it all together, I can bear-ly wait!