Arlyn Pillay Art Gallery Offers Live-Figure Cosplay Drawing

Cosplayers raise geeky fandom to new heights and make the rest of us non-costumed fans seem square in comparison. These super-fans exist to be seen, and at Arlyn Pillay Art Gallery, not only do you get the chance to view these role-playing folks, but you can also draw them. Every Tuesday night, the Tustin space hosts three-hour-long figure-drawing sessions in which artists can hone their skills. Models range from well-known comic book characters such as Catwoman, the Penguin, Wolverine and Thor to such popular icons as Princess Mononoke, Dr. Who and Snow White.

These cosplayers aren't amateurs; all are die-hard fans—and spitting images—of who they represent. The model for Thor had his father, a Hollywood movie-prop builder, design a hammer with the exact specs of the one used in the Thor film franchise.

Pillay has held conventional nude-figure-drawing sessions since the opening of his gallery in May of this year, but with his location being next to Comics Toons N' Toys, he added cosplayers. The models are mostly friends and people Pillay has met while networking and vending at different Comic-Cons, but some are also customers of his artwork.

The cosplay-figure-drawing sessions at Pillay Gallery are dramatically more popular than their nude counterparts. Artists will also find it a bigger challenge to sketch someone in full costume than in the nude. But the environment for each session is calm and focused, with five to 20 minutes allotted to draw each pose. “As kids, we're always fascinated by seeing these characters come to life,” Pillay says. “So this class is a fun idea—it's not about learning or understanding anatomy, and it's not something offered a lot in Orange County.”

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