Taking a life drawing class that Berlusconi would be proud of - all in the name of being a good dad

Man About Town

Getting married makes you think about children. Everyone starts asking you about them, so you start thinking about what sort of parent you’ll be and the myriad ways you could mess them up. But one thing I don’t want to mess up were I to have children is teaching them to draw.

When they ask me to draw a chicken, I don’t want it to end up looking like a potato. For some that is a very real possibility. I hope that they will one day be better at everything than me, but for some things I don’t want it to be embarrassingly soon.

Of course it’s easier at first. Small children can usually only manage giant-headed stick men, with eyes in places only Picasso would put them. But in no time, they’ll be managing much more and you want to wait until they are older than you until they start laughing at your failings.

This thought had been pecking away inside my mind when I received an invitation to a life drawing class at Bunga Bunga. This restaurant and bar, you may have spotted, was named after the game allegedly played during clothing-optional parties hosted by former Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi. Despite the name, I was assured that nothing untoward was planned that evening.

As the name also suggests, it’s a venue that doesn’t take itself too seriously. From the gondola-shaped bar to Eurovision nights (with gigs from former contestants) to Italian conversation classes, the venue doesn’t want to be the same as any old bar.

The owners Charlie Gilkes and Duncan Stirling have had other London successes with Barts, a speakeasy-style bar hidden in a block of flats and an 80s-themed nightclub called Maggies (yes, after Thatcher), cleverly realising that people actually like quirky fun places.

It was good to be doing life drawing in continental surrounds, as sitting that close to a naked person you’re not sleeping with feels decidedly un-English. But when it came down to the actual sketching, I wasn’t nearly as bad as I had initially worried.

The instructor gave me helpful pointers and those, combined with the fact that my mind was focused on the charcoal in hand and not making a horrible smudgy mess, meant that I wasn’t the worst there.

If I keep practising, I feel as though I might not humiliate my offspring with my bad artwork. Instead I can save the embarrassment until they’re older when I offer to take them to a life drawing class.

Twitter.com/lukeblackall

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £...

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment & HR Administrator

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Business Partner

£55 - 65k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: A HR Manager / HR Business Partner i...

Recruitment Genius: Senior HR Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company's vision is to be t...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map