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Why not, I thought? On the heels of posing for a pro-age cosmetics ad campaign and ing with a New York talent agent, I was feeling pretty confident. Then a moment of panic … standing stock still?


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An art model poses, often nude, in front of the class, as students draw them. How do I know? I work as an art model.

about lingerie and nude modeling online in my newer article. The truth is, that was never a concern for me. It helps students to practice drawing all sorts of different body types and faces, in different positions and lighting, and yes, at different times of day as I eat more and my stomach expands. Despite my insecurity about having a petite frame and small boobs, there are students who find my appearance interesting enough to focus their drawings on my bust. There are students who, after drawing me, better understand how to draw dainty breasts draping over pectoral muscles.

No stereotypical faux-ethnic garb or Dragon Lady bullshit— just a person who happens to be Asian. However, as things currently are, tarot can be quite white. Working as an art model of color means increased representation for people of my ethnicity. To others, posing nude might be nerve-wracking. The reality is that much of the work involved in modeling takes place away from the camera. The first thing students do in a drawing or painting class is pretty much always gesture warm-up drawings.

The model holds a series of these poses for about 1 minute each though it can be anything between 15 seconds and 3 minutes. The challenge with short poses, however, is coming up with many poses in quick succession.

Here are some quick guidelines. Take mental notes!

I visualize myself go-go dancing or doing yoga, and show what it would look like if I froze at a random moment. Come up with a go-to pose or two for each of these 4 : lying, seated, kneeling, standing. With this tip aloneyou have more than 16 combinations you could do!

To keep things interesting, have asymmetries among your arms and legs. For example, one leg is bent to the side and the other is straight.

General question

One arm is up above your head and the other is draped across your chest. Variations of contrapposto with one hand on your hip are easy classics. Foreshortening is also something to keep in mind: extending an arm or leg looks totally different from the front view vs. Here are a few items very common in figure drawing classes, and some ideas on how to use them for flair. Gestures and short poses were the part I worried most about when I started, but once I got moving, it actually ended up being a lot of fun.

The most painful part of being a figure model comes down to circulation issues when you hold seemingly basic poses for a long time.

Further reading

A hand and foot might go numb, or a locked knee might be painful to flex. This is much more likely to happen if I rest weight on a bony part of my foot against a hard surface, so having cushy towels or a pillow helps a lot. When I get a break and start moving my leg again, it feels like Jell-O. Keeping your knee totally straight and rigid, by contrast, demands far less muscle engagement. This brings me to my next point….

Bring snacks and water, be assertive, and take care of your physical and mental endurance. You can always bring it back to its place. Nobody is going to be mad at you for taking a few seconds to recover. Even if you need a 5-minute break before one is scheduled, speaking up and taking breaks still allows you to do your best.

Help yourself so you can help others. Remember, figure modeling is all about helping students learn. If I start a pose for 20 minutes, take a break, and return to the same pose for another 20, I always ask the following question:. That way, I can make sure for their sake matches the pose I had before. This makes them more comfortable with requesting that I rotate my leg a little, adjust the slope of my shoulders, whatever I need to do to keep it consistent. Even when I start a new long pose, I ask what adjustments I could make.

The thing is, in a foundation-level class, students might be used to settling and not asking for what they want.

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As a former art student myself, I want them to be satisfied with what they draw. Once you get moving and understand how your body reacts to different poses, figure modeling is a lot less scary and a lot more fun! Interesting and thoughtful post. As a former art model a lot of what you wrote resonated with me. As an artist newly returned to life drawing you reminded me of why I need to get back into it as part of my practice. So thanks! I used to model for art students and would love to get back into it in my new city.

To add some thoughts to this post: the hardest pose I ever had was two hours with one foot on a ladder. Learned that lesson real quick! That being said, self-advocacy is super important no matter what! Thanks for this post! Back when I was in school I considered modeling for extra cash, but in the end I chickened out.

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It was really interesting to read the thoughts and tips of someone who does this professionally. Love all of your tips! I have learned most of these the hard way real quick. Lol Though, one thing I try not to do is give complete control of my body to the Art students. So being open to any of their requests is not always the best answer. That sounds like an interesting job.

I have motor tics so I feel like I would always be twitching in weird ways while the students are trying to draw me?? I am a male model in my fifties.

I started modeling a few years ago simply because I love art and love being part of the art world. It also keeps me motivated to stay fit and take care of myself. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Find my other sex toy guides, sex education articles, and essential readings!

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Find the best places to shop and more of my sex shop coupon codes! For the most part, people know whether they can hold a pose for 1 minute. Just get moving! Do I want to do a lying, seated, kneeling, or standing pose? What are my arms and legs doing?

What furniture or props do I have nearby that I can use? Low bench for slight elevation — propping up one of my legs when standing or squatting. Lying face down, resting my head on my arms on the bench. Lying on my back, arching my back over the bench. Rod or long piece of PVC pipe — imagining it as a weapon or baseball bat and showing the twists and turns I might do when clubbing something. Gestures take more creative thinking, but they give you more creative ! Once you get past the set of short gesture poses, the time increases to 20 minutes at a time.

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