Novelty counts. Henderson said he never wants to repeat the same theme in the same way. Themes in 2011 included comic book characters, zombies, roller derby girls and mobsters. Some themes aren't as successful others, though Henderson pointed out that in some cases that isn't the fault of the models or the concept.
For instance, in September, Dr. Sketchy's did a tribute to the Cartoon Network show "Adventure Time," which included special prizes, like signed artwork from the show's creator, Pendleton Ward.
"We scheduled it opposite the Emmy Awards," Henderson groaned. "The Emmys won."
Dr. Sketchy's first show was with just two models, Molly Tilly and Pepper Fandango, but by year's end, 19 different models had been involved.
"We've had a new model nearly every month," he said.
Some are friends. Most are local artists of one type or another and know Henderson through school or the arts community. All of them use stage names, as much to maintain a persona as to retain a certain degree of privacy.
Leo Tuxedo, one of the few male models, said part of the attraction to pose is that it allowed him, as an artist, to see both sides of the figure drawing process. "It's perspective," he said. "Making the art and being the art."
Lavender Menace and Lita Lane, two Huntington artists, agreed with Tuxedo. The pair posed as roller girls for a Dr. Sketchy show several months ago.
"We've done art modeling, and this is a chance to stretch out artistically and pose more interestingly," Lane said. "For artists, maybe, this is like a civil service."
"And it's just fun to play dress up," Menace added.
Elle Xohmbeah and Penny Maple, who appeared in the Bonnie and Clyde and Twin Peaks shows, said Dr. Sketchy's isn't only about figure drawing. It's performance art.
Henderson said putting together a show is a collective effort. The models help determine the themes, design sets and manage to operation.
"Pepper, Penny and Molly help behind the scenes," Henderson said. "Pepper often DJs and sets up the music. Penny designs props, and Pepper and Penny help set up. A lot of people help getting the word out."
The exposure seems to be helping some of them in their other artistic endeavors.
"I've gotten more interest in my other art and photography," Henderson said. "Pepper, I know, is everywhere. I think it's helped her some."
For 2012, Henderson has high hopes for Dr. Sketchy's. He'd like to see the show expand: more nights, more shows and more models.
"We're also trying to find something to do with FestivALL," he said. "Last year, we kind of participated on our own. This year, they want us. We just have to figure out what to do and where."
There's also the looming Mayan Apocalypse to think about.
"We'd probably want to do that one in November," Henderson said. "We'd probably be too late if we did it in December."
Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.