Monday, December 3, 2018

Drawing Jam: Better Than Ever

Shawna (20-min. pose)
Dee (20-min. pose)

Saturday was Drawing Jam, Gage Academy’s annual all-day marathon of art. In its 19th year, the family-friendly event offers costumed and nude life-drawing models, sculpture models, mirrors for self-portraits, instructor demos, live music, art and crafts for sale, food trucks and snacks, and free art materials. It’s one of my favorite sketching-related events of the year.

Drawing Jam just keeps getting better and better. One of its most popular activities is costumed life drawing, and it used to be held in one studio that became instantly over-crowded and over-heated. It also created a long line before the opening time because attendees felt the need to compete for space in the popular studio. In recent years, Gage has tried various arrangements to improve the over-crowding, and this year was by far the best. Offered in multiple studios, costumed models worked in pairs and changed places on the platforms between poses so that everyone would have a good view of at least one model no matter where they were working. I sketched in various studios without feeling over-crowded, and that must have increased my sketching stamina, too: After more than six hours of nearly nonstop drawing, I was tired but not exhausted as I have been in some years. On this seventh consecutive year attending, I filled 27 pages in my sketchbook – possibly a personal record-breaker! Shown here are my favorites from the day.

As I’ve learned to do over my years of participation, I kept my sketching materials simple: A single 5 ½-by-8 ½ inch beige Stillman & Birn Nova sketchbook, a Tombow Fudenosuke brush pen containing water-soluble ink, and a few colored pencils, including white. All sketches shown here were five-minute poses done with the brush pen. The exceptions are the two colored pencil drawings shown at the top of the page, which were both 20-minute poses.

A personal bonus: Drawing Jam sponsors always donate art materials as giveaways to participants. This year Blick donated colored pencils – a cherry on top of a fantastically fun day!

Cookie, a drag queen, was one of my favorite models!

This model wore a fur vest with shiny, metallic-
colored, skin-tight pants! I wish I'd gotten to this
studio earlier so I could have sketched him more.

Free colored pencils. . . Tina is a happy girl.

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