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One of our last classes is usually Drawing The Band…

Early on I found drawing live musical performances to be an engaging challenge. The not quite static nature of most musicians is a good application for quick gesture study to capture pose and proportions, and speed drawing generally helps embody the energy of the music often in the lines and forms.

The combination of musical rhythm and a moving subject that tends to move in small, more predictable and interesting ways, makes doing live studies of musicians an entertaining study of body language and rhythm.

Generally, drawing musicians in a live setting can be great fun, I recommend doing this on your own both as practice and pleasure. Seek out musical venues with tables and enough light to sketch in.

For my class, we’ve always had at least one session with live musicians as our models, for some time now it’s been the way we wrap up the course, I find the festive atmosphere is a nice way to cap things off. Here’s a set of some of the studies I’ve done myself in these classes.

Taste may vary, but simply because the settings are the most conducive to it I find: I recommend acoustic, mid tempo or slow, jazz maybe, folk and blue grass are favorites of mine, classic blues.

The modest volume and settings make sketching very pleasant in my experience. Don’t employ lap lighting without checking with the venue, some performers might find it distracting.

Off the top of my head, shows at Burritoville [2055 Bishop St] and L’Escalier Montreal [552, rue Sainte-Catherine est], are well suited to the task. Le Cagibi [5490 St. Laurent], I’ve always thought House of Jazz would be cool to try [2060 Aylmer Street] and probably Divan Orange [4234 Boulevard Saint-Laurent] with it’s tables near the sides of the stage would serve. I recently was introduced to Resonance Café, and look forward to returning to draw there soon! [5175A Avenue du Parc]


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