I’ve gone to the Society of Illustrators sketch night three times since my first foray back in October. And the more I’ve gone, the more I’ve become frustrated with the venue. Now, as far as I know, it’s the only place that offers clothed /with props models, which is why I’ve gone. It also has a unique ambience. The music and bar don’t distract me too much, but I could definitely do without. My biggest frustration though is the space. There are only a few seats where you get a decent view of the models. Most of those decent seats are close to the platform which forces you to tilt your head back…that can be a bit tiring over three hours. All the other seats in the house gives you a view obstructed by other sketchers.
The clothed figure sessions starts with the models doing two minute poses in full costume, and as the night progresses, the poses get longer while the model gets more undressed. This doen’t make sense to me at all, given the intricacy of some costumes. I need more time to draw clothed people than I do naked people. Not to mention that if I wanted to draw nudes, I’d go to their nude model sessions. Lastly, over 3 sessions I’ve drawn 6 models (2 models per session), all 6 were female. This is a pet peeve of mine, the rarity of male models. Ideally, they should one male and one female model for each session, but I could have settled with a 2 : 4 ratio.
So, I think my last verdict on Society of Illustrator sketch night isn’t ideal for figure drawing. Most people won’t get a full view of the model. There’s not much diversity in the models: no guys, no old people, no obese people etc… Spring Street Studio still wins as best figure drawing studio in my book; too bad they don’t have clothed model sessions.