Naked Time

Sometimes when I’m in the midst of paying my student loans I wonder, ‘Why oh why did I insist that I HAD to go to a private art school?!’ Then something like the Twentieth Annual Pratt Institute Draw-A-Thon happens and I thank my lucky stars I’m a Pratt alumni. This was my seventh year at the Draw-A-Thon. The Draw-A-Thon is not for the faint of heart. It takes place on Pratt’s beautiful campus every spring between the hours of 7pm to 7am – we’re talking twelve consecutive hours of life drawing, people!

Most of these were done in the 5 to 10 minute room. IRL they’re full sized on 11×14″ 50lb paper or 10×12″ cotton rag, dual-surface watercolor paper, cold pressed of course. I use Copic Sketch markers, Speedball Ink, Windsor Newton watercolor, my trusty water brush pen, Col-Erase and Prismacolor pencils, gauche, graphite and a lot of shear excitement in my life drawing 🙂 I just did a grand total and over the course of one evening I raked in just under 200 of these babies.

After everything was said and done these were my favorites:

This was my seventh consecutive Draw-A-Thon. If you’re thinking of attending next year let me know and I’ll get you your tickets. I’ve learned a lot over the years. For starters, the key to success is hydration! Don’t be fooled into downing that six pack of red bull, you’re going to go cross eyed at 4am if you do that. Another thing, go running or cross training or salsa dancing or SOMETHING the day of. You’re going to be sitting on artist benches, or the floor for half a day. At five am you’re going to want the memory of using your legs.
Bring a ton of medium and a lot of different drawing surfaces, I bring an over sized sketchbook and a watercolor block. I stuff a Chinese Laundry shoe box (a great excuse to buy sexy pumps) full of art supplies. Gone are the days of stacks of newsprint and charcoal. . . sigh. . . The freshmen at this thing are so cute, dirty, covered with soot, but cute.

Get there on time! If you get there on time you’ll get your money’s worth. $15 for 18 models for twelve hours is cheaper by the minute if you get there in time to warm up in the gesture room before everyone else gets there. It also gives you a chance to stake out some prime territory.

I always go with my friend Sandra, it’s our thing. It’s best to take a close friend so when you have a model’s nekid bum in your face at 3am you have someone to cross your eyes at. I kind of feel bad for anyone reading this because they probably won’t be able to go with Sandra. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better life drawing partner. Life drawing’s funny for me. It’s like going to the gym, or cooking, I really LOVE it, but only after I start doing it. I’m always the happiest person on earth at Pratt’s Draw-a-Thon. One reason Sandra’s the perfect friend to take a long is that she’s vying for first place in the happiest girl on earth contest too, so we keep each other going on ecstatic vibes until dawn. Don’t go with a sour puss or a jerk face who is going to wimp out and want to pack up at midnight. How often do you have a chance to catch up on a year’s worth of life drawing in one sweet evening!?

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