At the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society with the Marcus Shelby Orchestra.

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and have never heard of (or been to) the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, look them up and go! They’re located in a gorgeous beach house in Half Moon Bay. There’s always fantastic music, food and wine. And sketching at a live performance is one of my favorite things to do: it’s fun to capture the music, the atmosphere and the action.

The Marcus Shelby Orchestra featuring Tiffany Austin performed last Sunday, and we went. And I sketched.


bach1It’s a challenge to be mostly in one spot and do a series of sketches: your angle doesn’t change, you can sometimes ‘zoom in’ on a performer, but for the most part, your view remains the same. So you get to focus on things other than composition : capturing the feel of the music, the energy of the musicians, the atmosphere of the place…I’ve posted all my sketches I did, in the order in which I sketched them. ( I sketch in two books, and if I’m mid-sketch and see something I just must capture, it either finds it’s way into what I’m drawing, or I set aside what I’m working on midway, switch books, do a quick capture before I return to my earlier piece, so some of these might be sketched in parallel.)





It’s interesting to see how the pieces become more a capture of the music and less like portraits of the musicians as they progress. My brush pen and gelpen replaced the sharpie and fountain pen as I progressed.

What was in my kit?
L to R: Sailor Bent Nib, Sharpie Ultra Fine Point, General’s Sketch and Wash Pencil, Stabilo CarbOthello: blue and white pencils, Pentel and Kuretake Brush Pens, Uniball Signo Gel pen, Escoda Travel Brush, various brands of artists’ watercolors in a Winsor and Newton Travel Kit, 1 Stillman  and Birn Beta sketchbook and 1 moleskine watercolor book.

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to At the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society with the Marcus Shelby Orchestra.

  1. duckyrui says:

    Love how dynamic your lines are, those are great sketches!


  2. These are so gorgeous!


  3. Alice says:

    would love to see a video of you sketch painting with the music accompaniment!


  4. Nancy says:

    I really enjoyed this series. You captured the excitement of the performance. Thank you.


  5. I am inspired by your drawings, i hope one day i will be as good as a drawer as you.


  6. Susan Hancey says:

    I’ve not been to Bach Dancing and Dynamite for many years, and your dynamite sketches brought back wonderful memories. They totally capture the free spirit of the place (though not the glorious setting on the ocean). Thank you!


  7. I’m curious if you get dirty looks from whomever is sitting next to you when you pull out all your materials and start doing something besides sitting still while appreciating the music? There are a lot of people out there who would be irritated by any kind of action in their peripheral vision while at a concert, although perhaps these are not as formal as some? Love the drawings, so dynamic and colorful too. The top one reminds me of Toulouse-Lautrec, the way he used to draw and then just paint in parts.


  8. ezrawexler says:

    These are great. I paint models and miniatures, and am really just learning, but looking at your work makes me think I should broaden my artistic endeavors! Thanks for sharing!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s