Mark I. Chester

I started Gay Men's Sketch in March of 1987 because the drawing groups I found in SF drew female models all or most of the time.  So I put up some flyers, porn star/writer Scott O'Hara was our very first model and we met in my studio in the South of Market where we still meet.  We've now in our 18th year, making us San Francisco's longest running gay drawing group.

A few important qualities set this group apart from other groups.  We try to hire all gay male models and work with a lot of men new to modelling.  More than one model has started with us and ended up at the Bay Area Model's Guild. We also welcome sketchers of all skill levels; anyone with a sincere interest in drawing the male nude.  This is a friendly, non-competitive group of men who enjoy drawing the male nude in gay male company.  I hope you'll come join us!

I identify as a photographer, not as a sketch artist.  But, I wanted to learn how to draw because I photograph reality and there are things I would like to explore that live totally in the realm of fantasy.  I've never become accomplished enough to do that, but drawing has had a tremendous (and unintended) effect on my photography.  All that time spent looking at men, a single spot light highlighting and sculpting their physiques.  A real lesson in *seeing* and what else is photography about, if not *seeing.*

I've chosen these pencil sketches, not because of their great artistic skill, but because there is something in the rendering that I continue to be attracted to - maybe it is the way I created a shadow, or the quality of a certain line, or the tilt or twist of the model's body.

self portrait

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