Drink N' Draw

For never having done this before, Jude was remarkably calm about shedding her clothes in front of a roomful of people. Her eyes widened when she learned she’d have to hold poses for up to 20 minutes, but wasn’t she more nervous about modeling nude in front of dozens of people drinking from an unlimited supply of PBR? 

"No," she said, flicking her hand. "My friend is coming. Everyone else I’m never going to see again." 

Every Wednesday at 8pm, 3rd Ward invites anyone with $15 and a pad of paper to visit its Brooklyn design compound and draw a naked person. Joel Morrison, the artist who runs the appropriately named Drink N’ Draw, says they usually have to turn people away. But on this particular night there were several empty chairs in the large semicircle radiating outward from Jude, who lounged butt naked against a clean white wall. 

The crowd of about 60 was young – I spied only one gray head — and casually dressed in jeans, tees and unbuttoned flannel. Everyone was a better artist than me.

There are no instructors at Drink N’ Draw, nobody to impress. And nobody to tell you which body part you should start drawing first. Breasts and undercarriage felt too intrusive, I decided. Hands and feet, too peripheral. I began scratching out an elbow.

In the back row, artists drew on paper sheets too large to fit in the chairs, and one guy sporting a buzz cut drew Jude’s face so clearly that I could see individual hairs curling around her shoulders. Most sketchbooks weren’t nearly as polished. The architect sitting next to me outlined a graceful feminine figure but left out most other details. I looked at my drawing and congratulated myself on creating something vaguely humanoid. 

As the PBR cans piled up, the combination of alcohol and Joel’s mix of electronic music and Pixies (he said he was aiming for a "reflective" mood) kept the conversations flowing and the atmosphere light. It was less about creating a masterpiece than unwinding after a day at the office. 

Plus, as Joel pointed out, there are other perks to hanging out in a Brooklyn art studio: "It’s easier to say ‘Hey, nice drawing,’ instead of ‘Hey, nice tits.’"

Photo by: Masha Maltsava

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