Some friends and me decided to go for this Drink and Draw event that popped up on Facebook the other day. It was Friday night and we felt like trying something new. ‘Let’s go post nine, no one’s going to show up before that anyway’, I texted my friend. ‘Perfect!’, came her reply. So when we sauntered down Carrer Sepúlveda around nine-thirty, we really weren’t expecting to see a massive gathering outside the venue, Bacanal. We were informed by a very flustered man at the entrance that the bar had filled to it’s capacity since six-thirty, and they were really sorry but could we please come back after sometime?

Six-thirty for a event scheduled to start at eight? Unfashionably early, I remember thinking to myself and frowning.

We considered heading someplace else, but what we saw through the glass outside made us stay put right there. Pencils, beer and good vibes – plenty of them, just like the event page had promised. People clustered in little groups were everywhere, scribbling away like they were back to art class in kindergarten. I spotted some pros in there, but most were amateurs looking to have a good time. While some people had picked corners, created their personal zones and were drawing by themselves, some others who had come with a gang of friends were sitting around large tables, making merry and scribbling away. Who’d have thought so many people would want to spend their Friday night drawing!

 

 

 

When some space cleared up and we got in finally at about ten-thirty, the atmosphere had become more lively than before. Lots of colourful drawings were now hanging from ropes that ran across the bar, lending a very festive and cheerful touch to the space. We grabbed some paper, beer and chips and got down to drawing.

I remember being a little reluctant to come for the event, did we really want more drawing at end of an intense week of charcoal regime at the academy? But I’m so glad we decided to go nonetheless. It wasn’t about drawing towards a goal, getting those transition shadows right, values perfect, or capturing the gesture line down to pat anymore, but just some plain unhibited drawing for fun. And while most of us do that outside of academy hours anyway, there’s just something amazing about being in a room full of five hundred odd people enthusiastically drawing away over beer, conversation and laughter.

I gathered it’s also a great way for independent artists to break studio routine which can sometimes get really lonely, and socialise over drawing. For some people, it’s the best language they know, so events like this would make them feel right at home and at ease with conversation. For the others, it’s just a great way to meet new artists and other drawing enthusiasts to geek out over art talk, endangered animals, world politics, you get the drift.

The organisers did a good job sprucing up the event as well. While there were papers, pencils and markers up for grabs for everyone, they also had some sheets with photocopies of incomplete drawings that everyone could complete as they wished. A lot of these were put up and it was fun looking through all the different things people came up with. They also saved the most fun bit for the end – a loooonnnng roll of white paper with the cross section of a building printed across it was unrolled on a long line of tables and everyone could pick a room and draw whatever they wanted. (see third photo below) I thought it was a really sweet way to wrap up the event! Maybe they’ll put up pictures of what it ended up looking like on the Drink n’ Draw page soon. The event happens every two months, so do follow their page to receive updates of their upcoming events if you’re interested. And if you’re going, remember to get there (unfashionably) early!

 

 

We had a really good time yesterday, so I probed a little more into this whole sketch jam culture in Barcelona and discovered some more groups as well. While this event was a perfect way to loosen up on a Friday night, there are some others that are held outdoors on weekends at different locations, which could be a a really nice way of exploring the city, especially if you’re a student and relatively new to Barcelona. And with Spring coming up, and potentially great weather around the corner, I can’t wait to go to one of the outdoor events!

Here’s a list I put together that should have you covered if you’re interested in the Barcelona sketching scene,

The links above will take you to their facebook pages where you can stay updated with event schedules. Hope you’re all having a great weekend, and maybe see some of you at the sketch jams soon!

Manasi Parikh | Intensive Drawing Student | 2nd Trimester