I've drawn in some pretty raw strip clubs. Ones where it's difficult to see whose dancing through the fog of smoke. Ones where the performers argue you are violating their rights ( even if you have yet to draw them) and demand lap dances. Drawing alone in a highly sensitive environment like this can be daunting. Last night I visited The Gold Clubin Jacksonville, Florida, with my drawing partner, Leslie, and came home with a great group of images.
The past few times I drew in a strip club, the environment was tense and uncomfortable. I was unable to use my traditional sketchbook tools ( crow quill pen & watercolor field kit) because it would draw too much attention to walk into such a space with a drawing arsenal. Thus I was left with crappy ball point pens and pencils, working in a dark environment. I've praised the iPad as a drawing device before, but at The Gold Club, the device truly shined. Under the crazy artificial spot lighting I was able to work with true LED light and a complete color palette, so I could see exactly what I was doing... AND work with color the whole time ( something I could not do with traditional drawing materials in this setting).
Having a female drawing partner with me really cut the tension, and the performers loved us both. It was by far one of the best experiences I have had drawing in what can be a really tense environment. Here is a group of images I did in the span of about three hours, focusing on social dynamics inside these fantastical artificial environments.