Tag Archives: drawing

Working with a new muse, Shakrah Yves!

WIP Shakrah Yves by Suzanne Forbes Dec 27 2017There is nothing more thrilling than finding another woman I’m excited to make pictures of!

I met Shakrah at a Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin earlier this year, and immediately did my weird thing of being like “Hi total stranger, can I paint your picture?”.WIP Shakrah Yves by Suzanne Forbes Dec 27 2017

She moved here from San Francisco a couple years ago, and has also lived in New York and Amsterdam.

She is a woman of many talents, including singing 20s and 30s jazz. She has an absolute treasury of gorgeous outfits she has created.

As you all know, an outfit treasury and the costume styling cognizance that goes with is very precious to me in a model!

You can see her singing in one of her marvelous outfits below, and hear her band The Cat’s Meow on bandcamp here.

When Shakrah arrived with her incredible emerald outfit for a planned pastel portrait, I knew I had to commit to the pastels.

Her outfit creation deserves full color. I already had a set of colored pastels in my Amazon cart and had added a bunch of pan pastels to my German Amazon art supplies wishlist. But I had been hesitating.

My childhood dislike of “dust sticks”, my concern that pastels would be…pastel, rather than the dramatic jewel tones and Manet-level darks I like, my fear of working with color and my concerns about my ability to manage color…

all those factors kept me using just black, grey, dark red and umber all year. Here’s what’s left of the sticks I bought early this year! So I’m gonna get some colored pastels and Shakrah and I will reconvene next week.

My US Amazon art supplies wish list is here, I think all the sellers ship to Germany! My 51st birthday is January 8 🙂

*why do you mostly paint women, Suz?

Men are too easy – women’s faces are much harder to capture.

Women’s stories and identities are most important to me in terms of the kind of creative legacy I want to leave.

I value making new woman friends enormously and painting a portrait of a woman I meet who I admire is a great way to get to know new people.

Men are somewhat less likely to have the kind of carefully crafted, creative performative identity (and attire to support it) that interests me.

Unterwegs, three different ways!

Grandmother and child by Suzanne Forbes Dec 21 2017This stylish grandma and young lady were drawn from inside the bus as I waited for it to leave.

So she couldn’t see me carefully noting the details of her all-black outfit. It was one of those very gray Berlin days, but not very cold.

Grandpa and little bud by Suzanne Forbes Dec 21 2017This grandpa and his little bud were so cute.

I drew them mostly from a memory snapshot, since it would be creepy to keep looking over at a little kid. You can see I’m not very good at drawing Minions.

phone people by Suzanne Forbes Dec 21 2017Phone people never notice me drawing them.

So it’s too bad for them if they don’t want the interesting angles of their limbs recorded for posterity.

You can see previous unterwegs here:

December 2017

September 2017

July bonus round

July

June

May bonus round

May round one

April

March 2

March

January

December

November

Sexy male people and a colorful textile artist at Bordello Bizarre!

Unicorn at Bordello Bizarre by Suzanne Forbes Dec 20 2017Just finished up the rest of the drawings from Bordello Bizarre at Bassy Club.

The colorful woman below is an Australian textile and multimedia artist named Anto Christ; she made her marvelous outfit.Dancers at Bordello Bizarre by Suzanne Forbes Dec 20 2017

Ludwig performed an opera!

Ludwig opera at Bordello Bizarre by Suzanne Forbes Dec 20 2017This gent with bowler and cane brought the gun show!

Gent with bowler and cane at Bordello Bizarre by Suzanne Forbes Dec 20 2017You can see the previous Bordello Bizarre drawings here.

Thank you for having me at the Bordello Bizarre party, Joseph, and thank you so much to my Patrons on Patreon for providing the monthly sponsorship that allows me to document Queer, Indy, Punk as Fuck Berlin!

You can help with as little as a dollar a month 🙂

 

Pastel and mixed media experiments on Canson Mi-Teintes, with cats!

Miss Natasha Enquist with Cat by Suzanne Forbes Dec 17 2017I finally finished up these drawings of Miss Natasha Enquist from our Halloween Women’s Art Salon.

I was scared to work on big drawings with pastels, so I worked on them to procrastinate when I was even more scared of finishing the pastel portrait of Iris!

Miss Natasha Enquist with Cat by Suzanne Forbes Dec 17 2017 detailThey’re much too big for my scanner, so I had to photograph them.

Miss Natasha Enquist in Cat Mask by Suzanne Forbes Dec 17 2017Turns out photographing pastels is hard! I guess the dust sticks and grease sticks create a lot of surface specularity.

Miss Natasha Enquist in Cat Mask by Suzanne Forbes Dec 17 2017 detailI hope you get the idea anyway. I am pleased with them, and working on them moved me along the road of using pastels and gave me enough confidence to finish the picture of Iris. Which is much closer to a true pastel painting.

I love the process, even when I’m scared. And I love my Patreon Patrons for making possible the space I am working the process in.

Band practise with Baron Anastis and the Erinyes in a secret space!

Rah Hell at the Catacombs Dec 6 2017 by Suzanne ForbesMy wonderful drummer muse Rah Hell is in a second band, besides Donut Heart, now.

The band is called Baron Anastis and the Erinyes and consists of Baron, Joe Dochtermann and Rah. They are a sexy-punk glam-punk triad! They rehearse at an undisclosed (and remarkable) location, in a space called (with reason) The Catacombs.

Baron Anastis and the Erinyes by Kim Hven of Kimera Photography

Baron Anastis and the Erinyes by Kim Hven of Kimera Photography

The band came and had a photo shoot in my studio last month, it was lovely to help them get all funky and be photographed! I was flinging props and wardrobe at them like a maniac, my secret fantasy career has always been set dresser or costume designer.

Here’s frontman Baron at The Catacombs, growling and crooning over his handsome polished wood bass.

Baron Anastis catacombs Dec5 2017 by Suzanne Forbes

Drawing Joe, below, is such fun. He is a classic rocker.

The guys were coming in on one of the songs a little Hendrix-y, as I drew these, and arguing about a pedal. I was loving being in a rehearsal space for the first time in a long time, really enjoying the way you can hear the music when you are an audience of one. It sounds different when there’s only a couple meatsuits for it to bounce through. The band already has a real sound, too.

Joe Dochtermann at the Catacombs by Suzanne Forbes Dec 5 2017I did four drawings of Rah behind the drum kit, in front of the space mural with its flaming asteroid.

I think you can see the progress in them. I did a pencil sketch of the drum kit for the first, to get a handle on how it takes up space in the space. You can see the ghosts of innumerable corrections for scale and perspective. With the second I opted to use just a stick of compressed charcoal on the smooth paper, for crude power and speed.

Rah Hell drumming in the catacombs Dec 5 2017 by Suzanne Forbes 1 and 2I am getting used to drawing the physicality of a drum kit, and the struggle to find an angle where you can actually see the drummer’s movements.

I’ve been drawing accordionist and guitarist musicians for decades, and made a great long-term study of a cellist with Unwoman over eight years in the Bay Area, but this is the first time I’ve worked on getting a drummer’s energy and movements down.

On the third drawing I sketched in a rough outline with charcoal, wiped it out and drew over it with my PITT “B” pen. And the fourth was pure charcoal again.

Rah Hell drumming in the catacombs by Suzanne Forbes Dec 5 2017 3 and 4

Next time I go to the secret space I’m gonna take my Windsor and Newton Series 7 Sable, some Sumi Ink and a big newsprint pad.

Gonna get SERIOUSLY loose and kick out the jams!

You can see dozens more musician drawings here on flickr. As always, I am so grateful to my beautiful Patrons on Patreon for providing the monthly sponsorship that allows me to document Queer, Indy, Punk as Fuck Berlin!

 

Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin: The Haunted Medium and the Ghost Bride.

dr sketchys Berlin drawings by Suzanne Forbes Nov 26 2017Dr. Sketchy’s here in Berlin features elaborately costumed models, fabulous sets, and often multiple skits and wardrobe changes.

Dr Sketchys Berlin Haunted Medium by Suzanne Forbes Nov 25 2017I really enjoyed the saga of the medium who is possessed by the ghost of a bride.

And working on different transparency techniques for the bride’s veil!

Dr Sketchys Berlin Ghost Bride by Suzanne Forbes Nov 26 2017

As you can see I purchased my first white gel pen and used it for the first time on these.

Like all other tools I use, my crude multi-media “technique” will quickly contaminate it with chalk particles and destroy it! But it sure was fun to have something precise to make marks on the Strathmore Toned Gray paper with. It was so much like using the Pentel White Paint Markers that first appeared at Pearl Paint around 1981-1982. They were the biggest thing ever for us NYC graffiti writers!Dr Sketchys Berlin Ghost Bride and Haunted Medium by Suzanne Forbes Nov 26 2017

I had to photograph this one rather than trim it for the scanner cause there was just too much going on at the edges!

I should either get a bigger scanner or start not using the whole page, which is unlikely since “use the whole page” was drilled into me at Parsons from age seventeen.

Previous post from this session here. Thank you LaLaVox and Le Pustra for another incredible night! What a gift you give us!

And thanks to my Patrons on Patreon whose financial support makes it possible for me to go to events like this. You are the best.

Previous Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin posts here, here, here and here.

 

 

Leathermen and cigars in Schöneberg, at the Pussycat Bar.

Berlin Cigar Men smokers by Suzanne Forbes Nov 4 2017My friend Miss Natasha Enquist invited me to join her at Berlin Cigar Men, a cigar lounge night at a wonderfully cosy bar called The Pussycat.

The Pussycat is a warm, snug lesbian bar that once a month welcomes a celebration of classic leatherman culture. This evening included head shaving, with a proper razor, and bootblacking.

I could smell the cigar smoke all the way down the block from the Ku’Damm.

Berlin Cigar Men bar scene by Suzanne Forbes Nov 4 2017I knocked on the door and Miss Natasha peered through the speakeasy peephole and let me in out of the cold.

Wow, what an amazing group of great-looking old-school (and young) leathermen and wow so much smoke! I love the smell of cigarette and cigar smoke. I smoked two packs of Marlboro Reds a day from age 13 to age 24, and people smoking freely is one of the things I love about Europe.

And yet even for me it was a lot of smoke! I actually got a tiny bit nauseous from it, like when Tom and Joe and Huck smoke corn-cob pipes on the island.

Bootblack at Berlin Cigar Men by Suzanne Forbes Nov 12 2017I had a fabulous time, and everyone was super friendly and nice.

The crowd was international and relaxed. It was like travelling back in time to the Chelsea of my childhood, the Chelsea and Christopher St of the ’70s and ’80s, and I felt very much at home.

I didn’t know much about bootblack fetish and culture until I worked at Wicked Grounds kink coffee shop in San Francisco in the Oughts. We had a young woman bootblack there who came in to do boot nights, and I saw the passion that people have for boot care and wear. So I was delighted to get a chance to draw Andrew the Bootshiner, above. Sadly, I missed the headshaving this time!

Check out the bottle of Tom of Finland Organic Vodka in the top pic- it has a Tom drawing on the bottle and a percentage of the profit from sales is donated to the wonderful Tom of Finland Foundation!

The Berlin Cigar Men event is produced by Olaf Hartmannsgruber. He is the same gentleman who puts on the MaleSpace main stage at Folsom Europe, which was wonderfully diverse and inclusive despite the name. I am looking forward to the next event!

Drawings from Folsom Europe here and here. It’s the monthly financial support of my Patrons on Patreon that makes it possible for me to document gay life in Berlin and publicly share it. You can help, for a dollar or less than a euro a month!

ESDIP Life Drawing happytimes!

10 minute life drawings by Suzanne Forbes at ESDIP Berlin Nov 10 2017Me and Daria and Marina went to ESDIP Life Drawing yesterday. Know who else was there??

Lee Dotson who I know from the Bay Area, who is living at Rah Hell’s place and co-working at ESDIP, both occurring totally unrelated to me. The world is small, and rich in co-incidence.

5 minute life drawings by Suzanne Forbes at ESDIP Berlin Nov 10 2017We did five minute poses to start.

We were blessed by Luciano, a wonderful life model. For a former comic book artist like me, there are certain body types it’s terrifically easy to draw.

10 minute life drawings by Suzanne Forbes at ESDIP Berlin Nov 10 2017Then ten minute poses.

I am having a really interesting time switching back to markers and inkline after six months of experimenting with pastels.

5 and 1 minute life drawings by Suzanne Forbes at ESDIP Berlin Nov 10 2017Towards the end we did one-minute gestures.

I did two, and worked on the left-hand one for an additional four minutes, because Spiderman!

ESDIP Berlin life drawing artists by Suzanne Forbes Nov 10 2017For the last two poses, I drew the artists instead.

Several of my students and former students were in the group, which was lovely, and I wanted to capture the moment. Also, unlike most figurative artists, I’m not that interested in naked people. Even beautiful, fit, young naked people.

Daria tackled the last pose and made a terrific drawing despite the difficult angle from where we were seated. Check it out!

Life Drawing at ESDIP Berlin by Daria Rhein Nov 10 2017

Life Drawing at ESDIP Berlin by Daria Rhein Nov 10 2017

You can see my previous drawings from ESDIP Berlin life drawing sessions here, and here. Naked people warning, of course!

You can come to life drawing at ESDIP once a month. And you can sign up for our Illustration Intensive Program starting again in January if you want me to teach you to draw hands like a boss!

It’s the monthly financial support of my Patrons on Patreon that makes it possible for me to be a working artist. You can help, for a dollar or less than a euro a month!

 

Another fabulous Uke Boogie!

Dara Star at Uke Boogie by Suzanne Forbes Nov 9 2017This month’s theme at Uke Boogie Berlin was X for Xtra-Terrestrial.

No way was I gonna miss that! Check out alien co-host Dara Star getting some psychic energy from her glowing eyeball orb.

Toby playing theremin Uke Boogie Nov 9 2017 by Suzanne ForbesToby performed with his torso-mounted theremin, described by Crayon Jones as the world’s first Theremin Cock!

Rah Hell at Uke Boogie Nov 9 2017 by Suzanne ForbesHost Rah Hell kept things running smoothly.

Follow her on the Instas and twitter for drum, ukelele and CAT FUN.

Women performing at Uke Boogie Nov 9 2017 by Suzanne ForbesNice to see these lovely women singing German folk music again!

Dancers uke boogie nov 9 2017 by Suzanne ForbesSome young folks were dancing.

Alfred Ladylike at Uke Boogie Nov 9 2017 by Suzanne ForbesAlfred Ladylike was in fine form, rocking out on several songs.

Davepool at Uke Boogie Nov 9 2017 by Suzanne ForbesAt the end of the night, surprise guest Deadpool AKA Davepool!

You may remember David Hawkins performing at the Donut Heart video release party.

As always, a wonderful, free evening in Berlin at Uke Boogie. You can see the previous Uke Boogie drawings here. Thank you so much Rah and everybody!

Sheila and the Shark, Vaudeville Variety Revue

Sheila Wolf and the Shark Vaudeville Variety Revue Oct 15 2017 by Suzanne ForbesThis time at Vaudeville Variety Revue, I got to come to the Wintergarten early for dress rehearsal.

I mostly drew the performers practising, as seen with the aerial duo LIttle Finch at the bottom of this page. But I did also capture a couple of special moments in the empty venue.

Drone shark Wintergarten Oct 15 2017 by Suzanne ForbesI don’t know why Sheila Wolf, the event’s producer, has a floating robot shark.

It looked really cool though! As did everyone who wrangled it.

Little Finch aerials Vaudeville Variety Revue by Suzanne Forbes Oct 15 2017Previous drawings from this event here and here, and more to come as soon as I get a second to finish them! Having the extra hours of dress rehearsal really gave me time to get into each performer’s style.

Thank you so much  Sheila Wolf, producer of Berlin’s fabulous Vaudeville Variety Revue, for having me as your guest again!