On the 26th, for our loosely Halloween-themed session (complete with sugar and pumpkin cookies and assorted chocolaty goodies), we had the pleasure of drawing the lovely Dahlia Derriere, who paid tribute that evening to one of her favorite writers, Edgar Allan Poe.
For the first half of this session, Dahlia was dressed as the titular character in Poe’s short story, The Black Cat. If you just giggled over the fact that I said “titular”, I’m gonna guess you may not have read the story, so for you guys (and the rest of us who can’t remember what we did ten days ago, much less a story we read ten years ago in high school), here’s a little Wikipedia blurb on it: “The narrator tells us that from an early age he has loved animals. He and his wife have many pets, including a large black cat named Pluto. This cat is especially fond of the narrator and vice versa. Their mutual friendship lasts for several years, until the narrator becomes an alcoholic. One night, after coming home intoxicated, he believes the cat is avoiding him. When he tries to seize it, the panicked cat bites the narrator, and in a fit of rage, he seizes the animal, pulls a pen-knife from his pocket, and deliberately gouges out the cat’s eye. From that moment onward, the cat flees in terror at his master’s approach….”
I don’t want to ruin anything, so I’ll stop there, but it quickly turns into a horror story from there. (I know, it doesn’t seem like it, cause, well, cats are monsters, but trust me, it quickly goes bad. What initially seems like a perfectly understandable pest-control story becomes an “innocent cat turns out to be some sort of disguised demon hell-beast from beyond the veil” sort of tale. This sort of thing happens a lot more often than you’d expect.)
In any case, Dalia Derriere’s tribute to the Master of the Macabre was a lot easier on the eye than a pen-knife.
As always, we start our sessions out with the 1- and 2-minute poses, so here are a few sketches from that set. First up, from Michael Bull:
Next, from Brian Dugan:
And, back to the photos…
Our first contest of the evening was (as it is every Dr. Sketchy’s evening) the non-dominant hand drawing contest, in which we attempt to even the playing field by awarding the two artists with the steadiest hands in the room with a shot from the bar. (At Dr. Sketchy’s, we’re not afraid of “the Fiend Intemperance”.) I don’t think we got any drawings from this contest, so here are some sketches from the other 5-minute poses from anonymous artists who was kind enough to give his/her drawing to Dahlia:
For the second contest, we asked the artists to illustrate the last moments of Poe’s life—which, for those of you who don’t know, were spent right here in Baltimore. The cause of Poe’s death is still a mystery, but check out our artists’ guesses. First up, from Brian Dugan:
And from Stewart White, the 1st place winner of this contest:
For his efforts, Stewart took home a snazzy and wide (or long, depending on how you hold it) pad of hemp paper. Next up, the model’s pick (and maybe the 2nd place winner? we can’t remember anymore), Poe in a cask of amontillado, by Michael Bull:
The 2nd-place winner (whether it was Michael or not) took home a 100% Windpower paper sketchbook. Both sketch pads, by the way, were generously donated to us by Artist & Craftsman Supply on the corner of North Ave and Howard.
For the second half of the evening, Dahlia was the Tell-Tale Heart, and had made for her exquisitely gothic costume a large cameo of an anatomical heart.
Next up was the random noun contest, in which we ask the audience to volunteer a random person, place, or thing—and this time, we threw in a random verb for good measure. So, for this contest, artists competed for a volume of Poe’s short stories in graphic novel form (generously donated by from Atomic Books of Hampden) by incorporating “ghostbusters” and “shooting” into their drawings.
From Michael Bull:
And from the winner, Brian Dugan:
More sketches! First, again from Brian:
And two from Lois Borgenicht:
And from Stewart White:
And another anonymous gift to Dahlia:
And, for the last pose of the evening, we asked each of our artists to write a Poe-esque or otherwise eerie sentence, and then instructed them to pass on their sentence to the person sitting next to them. The artists then incorporated the sentence that was given to them. This contest resulted in some very awesome drawings and and, in one group, a quick game of Mad Libs. Whoever passed on his card to Michael Bull drew a blank, it looks like, but Michael did pretty well with what he was given:
And from Brian Dugan:
And from another generous (and, yes, anonymous) artist:
It’s possible the talented lady who drew this last sketch won, but if she didn’t, she was definitely one of the runners-up. The winner of this last and most bizarre contest of the evening took home Gris Grimly’s Little Jordan Ray’s Muddy Spud from Baby Tattoo Books which is run, along with Dr. Sketchy’s L.A., by the awe-inspiring Bob Self. If, for whatever reason, you’re reading this blog from all the way out in California, definitely check to see if Bob is bringing his Dr. Sketchy’s Roadshow—on tour right now—to a city near you.
Special thanks to Russell at the Windup Space for the awesome space, drinks, and tunes; and to Bill for manning the door with his manliness; and to Jeff for the photos. And, of course, to the lovely Dahlia Derriere, without whom this tribute to Poe wouldn’t have been possible, and, last but not least, to all of you wonderful artists who joined us that evening—especially all of you who shared your drawings with us (or with Dahlia, who then scanned them in and posted them for us).
Hope to see you all at our next session—tomorrow night! (If you’re reading this on Monday, that’s tonight…) We’re thrilled to have back the luscious Lena Grove of Gilded Lily Burlesque—see you then!