Safe Spaces

This is pretty much a very late post. The sketch session was last 16 June 2019.

In an attempt to further hone my skills, I found myself signing up for a figure sketching session by

I have seen posts about these sessions from a few people that I follow on Instagram. However, due to the time and location, I often had second thoughts. Ultimately, I decides against signing up. When I read about an upcoming session in a location only a few minutes away from where I live, I immediately sent in a query to join the said session. In a span of hours, I registered and sent my payment. Okay, no turning back.

On the day of the event, I was cautious about being tardy. Thirty minutes before the scheduled time, I was out the door. The commute just took 15 minutes. I entered the building and the woman at the door told me to notify the organizer to confirm my attendance. As I entered the venue, I noticed only a handful of people seated in the chairs rows of chair which I supposed are for the attendees. One of them seemed very at ease as she sharpens her pencils and prepares her sketching materials.

As a person with no experience with figure drawing, I felt intimidated. The organizer, the lovely Dear Prudence (, greeted me warmly and gave me a sort of orientation of what is about to happen. Talking with her helped me feel comfortable.

Soon, other participants arrived. After a short talk from the people behind the event and intros from the participants, the sketching started.

The session features @francelsheik as model.

At first, I worried that the time allotted for the pose is not enough for me to finish anything. I was using watercolors, then, because that was the medium I was most comfortable with. Eventually I got into the flow of things. From using a single color I was able to add more colors to my sketches.

My biggest concern during that session is that the model is male. I usually draw females. But I saw that as a challenge and a way to improve myself.

Looking back, what I liked the most about sketching a live model is how I can train myself better in drawing poses. The added pressure of the time constraints also helps me to process my thoughts faster and lessen over thinking – which is something I do a lot.

There is something about being among a group of artist doing creative things that made me feel like I belong in that – that I am not just some person who happens to be able to do a sketch or two.

What I should also emphasize is how Sunday Nudes aims to create a safe space not just for the artists but also for the models. Each model is encouraged to express themselves and tell their own stories.

As session ended, Dear Prudence informed us of that the next session in the Manila venue is a shibari sketch session featuring her as model and Sensei Shinobi as rope artist. But that will be for another post.


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