Ropes and Sketches

After a month, I attended another figure sketching session with This time, they added the art of decorative tying or Shibari.

Shibari draws its roots from Hojo-jutsu – the Japanese art of capturing and restraining captives. From Hojo-justu, a new erotic form eventually evolved called Kinbaku. As this erotic form of bondage reached the west, it has been more popularly known as Shibari.

Before the sketching session started, we were given a overview on what Shibari is and the dos and don’ts. While the origins came from imprisonment, it is noted that in this performance safety is always a priority. It is the people involved in the practice is of sound mind and body. You cannot be under the influence of alcohol as it may impair you judgement.

Consent and a good relation between the people involved are highly important. The practice is done by consenting parties and they also need to be aware of what they like or dislike. The rope artist need to adjust to the comfort level or pain threshold of the one to be bound.

Performing it alone is not also advised. Of course, there is a need to be guided by an expert or a person who actually knows what they are doing. Again, safety is a priority.

After the orientation, the sketching started. Setting up took quite a bit of time since the Shibari artist has to create intricate knots for the model, Dear Prudence (

How the texture of the rope and pattern of the knots contrasts with the softness and curves of the body is such a beautiful sight to behold. Watching the process of creating the patterns is equally as astonishing. Seeing how the ropes get untied in just a few moves is also amazing. The rope artist emphasized that proper rope technique is crucial especially in emergencies.

For this session, I initially thought of ditching the watercolor and work with just pencils and ink. I was concerned that I will have trouble with the details because of the ropes. But after the first pose, something felt missing with the sketch. So, I decided to use my water colors and added some splashes of color.

Pose after pose, I barely noticed how time went by. I was probably too focused on getting the ropes and the perspective right. When I saw the light through the venue windows turn yellow, only then I realized that’s it’s already close to dusk.

It was an interesting learning experience – both in figure sketching and in the art of rope tying.

As always, the session ended with the sketches displayed at the center of the room where they pick the favorites. From the latag, as they call it, you can see the variety of styles of the artists present. The number of artists who attended the session is quite notable, too. Dear Prudence did mention how the number of attendees usually grow during shibari sessions.

Here are some of the sketches from that session (from the Sunday Nudes Instagram page):

Sunday Nudes opened up the registration for their last session for 2019 (on December 1 in Casa Lychee, Q.C). Check their Instagram page for more information.


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