Sketching contesting Buxton’s new Spiegeltent

Buxton International Festival will draw on the spirit of Toulouse-Lautrec by putting artists centre stage in a sketching competition which will use its new Spiegeltent venue to recreate the atmosphere of Parisian café society.

Sketching Challenge – Life Drawing With a Difference will allow the public to have a go at drawing professional costumed models including Burlesque dancers in the Spiegeltent, whose mirrored interior reflects its origins as a travelling entertainment palace in Belle Époque Europe, immortalised in Toulouse-Lautrec’s work.

You don’t have to take part in the art – but everyone in the audience can decide the winner in this fun contest which provides a rare opportunity to see a work of art created from blank page to finished masterpiece.

“If you don’t want to draw, you can just come and enjoy watching the skill of the artists,” said Joan Matthews, events organiser for the Friends of Buxton Festival who are behind the competition, which takes place from 10am to noon on July 6.

“We are talking about professional models in a fantastic setting. It’s a unique experience.”

The Challenge is being directed by professional illustrator Andrea Joseph, from Whaley Bridge, who has organised many similar events.

“It’s an opportunity to sketch amazing models in costume against the clock,” said Andrea, who added that with drawing sessions with professional models costing up to £50 an hour,  the Challenge will be  great value at £5 per ticket.

Members of the audience can wander around the Spiegeltent and look over the artists’ shoulders to see how their sketches are taking shape, and the models will change poses frequently to keep everyone on their toes.

Everyone gets to vote, and the winner – who receives a bottle of champagne – will be announced before the end of the event, which will also be the first chance for the public to see inside the amazing Spiegeltent, which is the venue for many other Festival shows.

Sketching Challenge – Life Drawing With a Difference: July 6, 10 am to noon, £5.

For more on Andrea Joseph, see her Instagram account @aheavysoul