White Rabbit Cocktail Club

On a quest to shake up my technique a bit I’ve decided to incorporate a tour of London’s drop-in drawing sessions into this drawing-rehab blog. I’m hoping that either i’ll pick up some direct advice, or that I’ll be able to have a swatch at how fellow sketchers are working, and subsequently, er, flatter them in the sincerest form.

First up: White Rabbit Cocktail Club, Life Drawing. Stoke Newington, Tuesdays 8pm, £5 per session.


The White Rabbit runs on a goth meets wonderland vibe, with a few late Victorian references to ensure Lewis Carroll himself would approve.

You are invited to ‘enter the rabbit hole’ !?

Fortunately this involves nothing more risqué than the hazardous decent of a narrow, poorly lit, twisting staircase: akin to the entrance to any London basement bar.

The decor suggests velvet drapes and ouija boards: dark and intimate. It’s an ambience created with a lot of black paint, a very slight ‘musk’ and oddly lit ‘objets d’art’ rather than any with any sumptuous fabrics and/or (hopefully) resident poltergeist.

But this is a life drawing class designed ‘against the grain’. Class mentor/teacher/guide, Dan, explained that despite being a working artist, he often didn’t feel he could relax in the quite formal atmospheres of traditional life-drawing classes and created this an alternative.

For 5 quid you get:

– Most crucially: a mixture of short and long poses with a life model

– Paper, use of boards and chalk/crayons/pencils/pens/charcoal/graphite

– Dan’s eclectic, evocative range of tunes via quite a nice sound system. Only downside: shazam and soundhound don’t work so well in the basement

– Suggestions on tackling poses, use of materials during the pose and feedback afterwards if you want it

– To accompany your evening of drawing with a small sherry (only me? pint then) from the bar if you so desire

In these parts of town that amounts to a pretty good deal.

It was also great to have a chat to other people about their drawings. I am indebted to the ipad sketcher beside me who suggested I solve my poor spacial planning in the second drawing (can you see the line?) by simply tacking another bit of paper onto the bottom: genius.

I shall spare you the 1-3 minute pose section!

So the first drawing below – a 20 minute pose –  is of clasped hands (it’s always bad news when you have to explain what you’ve drawn). As you can see, it got very messy in the inner hand…

But I was reasonably happy with the second full length image – 1 hour pose.




2 thoughts on “White Rabbit Cocktail Club

  1. I look forward to reading more of your tour of drop in drawing. I organise drop in life drawing sessions at the Friends Meeting Hall, (Quakers), in Maldon, Essex. If you are down this way 2nd & 3rd Monday call in. I enjoyed reading of your drawing adventures.

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