3.08.2006

Figure Drawing Tales

When you go through the art program at a college, one of the rites of passage is taking figure drawing classes. If you're not familiar with the set up, it's basically this: a group of artists gather in a circle and draw a human subject. The subject is more often than not nude. Occasionally a prop will be added to further aid the artist and/or model in enhancing the poses, like a chair, a broom, or a hat. Similar in the way an actor uses a prop to enhance their performance. This sort of thing is rare, so mostly the model is sans prop.

The whole scenario is quite bizarre if you think about it: A couple of people looking at and drawing a completely naked person. If you were to walk by the room and were totally oblivious to where you were, you would definitely do a double-take because of the fact that you don't normally see a naked person just struttin' their stuff right out in the open. Along with a bunch of onlookers surrounding said naked person.

Throughout the years of taking figure drawing classes there's bound to be some interesting situations as well as interesting subjects from time to time. I have a couple I'd like to share with you all:

My first figure drawing class was at Dekalb College (now Perimeter College) in Atlanta back in 1987. Being a community college, they did not have it in the budget to pay for full-on nude models so we were forced to look at the human body in leotards and Speedos. No lie. It was a strange sight. The first model I ever had to draw was, weirdly enough, someone who I knew from high school. She was one of the "stoner" kids who hung out the smoking section behind the school (yes, they had places like that back then). Apparently she needed some extra cash and modeling (semi-nude) in art classes was just the ticket for her. So, it was an odd feeling to sit right in front of her while she disrobed and displayed her figure for all of us fledgling artists to see. And did I mention it was her first time, too? It showed. During the first couple of long poses I noticed that she was so nervous that she began to quiver and shake. The poor girl. Trying to look calm in a relaxed pose, all the while her slightly-overweight body jiggling. I almost wanted to grab her robe, throw it on her and wisk her away from all of us naughty peeping-toms and tell her everything will be alright.

Another interesting model at Dekalb was this older man with a very very obvious toupee. He was almost hitting 65, but had an orange tan and a barrel chest if you ever saw one. Yes, all this and glorious Speedos to boot. The entire time he would talk and try to hit on all the women, making for many awkward moments while we drew. We all agreed that he thought that he was God's Gift to Women.

Later on in my career I took some "continuing education" classes -- basically classes for older folk who felt the urge to take that one class on pottery that they missed out on when they were young. To further my career in the animation field, I needed to take some figure drawing classes to help me with my gestures and figure studies. There were no instuctors, making it cheaper and therefore, easier for me to take. Even though there were no instructors, we did manage to maintain some sort of respectable dignity in these classes -- we were, afterall, "older" students. But the models soon would take advantage of the situation and become more relaxed with their posing. This would be the first time I would be drawing nude models, so the initial 'unveiling' always shocked me -- it's such a strange thing to witness, you know? I found myself always looking down, or looking out the window whenever the model disrobed, out of respect. I know, strange, since we were about to view the model naked full-on for 2 hours, but whatever. It was almost involuntary for me.

The way it was set up was this: quick 1 to 5 minute poses at first, then on to 15, 20 and/or 30 minute poses later on. The second half was the big test for the models, and they knew it. I could sense their seething frustration whenever the timer was wound to 20 minutes and they had to find a decent pose that would be sorta interesting for us to draw that long, as well as be relaxing enough for them, without some body part falling asleep on them.

This one lanky girl, no matter how hard she tried, would always start yawning during these long poses. Not just simple, cute yawns, but a big, long, full-gaping-wide-mouth yawns. And many of them. I literally had to stop my drawing to wait for her to go about her business. It was very annoying. And then she would fall asleep during some of these poses -- mouth open wide for all to draw.

There was this one female model who was different. She was quiet, and kept to herself (some of the models would at least make small talk during breaks). I didn't notice at first when she disrobed (I was looking somewhere else, remember?), but it wasn't until I was drawing during the quick gesture poses that she... well, she had no hair "downstairs." On purpose. And she had her belly button pierced. I remember thinking to myself, "Oh. Well... this is different."

But it didn't stop there. See, the connection between artist and model is a strange one. When you start to draw a nude figure, you are no longer looking at a person with no clothes on anymore. You are looking at your 'subject.' They become an object to you. There are no sexual thoughts going on in your brain, just your inner artist trying to get the gesture, the pose, the subject just right. Good models know and understand this connection and will work with us and help us attain our goals. Some are very aware of their poses and will ask if that particular pose works for everyone, but some could care less. They come across as mindless drones, posing like they are working in a factory. No fun for everyone involved. Anyway (got off track there), this one particular model was okay. She wasn't bored or anything, but her poses were VERY different than what we were used to. And I noticed it right away. All her poses were very suggestive and almost Penthouse-worthy. I kid you not. It was very odd to draw her with her patootie up in the air, legs spread out. For those who take figure drawing classes, you know that this is not typical. This crossed the line from artistic subject to porn-mag subject. I eventually stopped drawing her and began to sketch this old man to my left who had a front row seat to all this porn-glory. It was pretty funny for me to think about what was going through his head. I also imagined the scenario later on that evening at home: having to explain to his wife why he had such naughty drawings in his sketchbook.

One model came in to the studio and I literally had no clue if it was a he or she, until they took off their robe. It was a female, but she looked like a little boy. She made for an interesting subject, that's for sure.

So, there ya go. Some curious tales from the art set. I was wondering if any of you guys had some intriguing tales to share? Would love to hear them.

38 comments:

  1. Wow, great stories, Ward. Certainly food for thought because I have considered taking figure drawing classes before but always decided aginst it, thinking that it would be too uncomfortable for me. I usually just sketch people from magazines or television, though I know that probably means I'm missing out on some basics of muscle and bone structure of the body.

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  2. I had a teacher my Freshman year, who always requested the same model and then he put her in very suggestive poses. We all felt sorry for her, until we found out they were having an affair.

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  3. Ha ha! Nice ones.

    I had a very artsy-fartsy teacher for my first figure drawing class- the kind who believed that it was more important for the students to "expand thier minds" than to develop decent skills. So for our first session with a nude model, our illustrious teacher got us a midget. Yeah, thats the way to teach fledging artists the intricacies of human proportion. And to make things more fun, he told our model to lie down so that all of our perspectives would be foreshortened. Also, he repeatedly asked us to try and "capture the doleful, sad expression" of his face. ... Maybe he was playing a joke on us- if he was, I don't think it was funny.

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  4. We had this one clearly gay male model in art school who would arrange himself so he could stare directly at the same male student throughout every long pose. That poor guy really came to dread figure drawing class because our instructor must have thought this model was really great, he booked him so often ( or maybe he was just available a lot ). Anyway, during one of these long poses one day this model uh, came to attention. Intermittently. Over the course of forty of the longest, most awkward minutes of the collective lives of everyone in the room.

    At the end of each long sketch our instructor would have us all circle through the room to scrutinize the work of our fellow students. What's most memorable about that day is seeing how everyone tried to deal with the models.... inability to hold the pose, shall we say.

    You never saw so many erased and redrawn private parts as you would have had you been there that day!

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  5. It's very funny that you mention the undressing thing. I've started taking figure drawing classes and I always turn my head not to see the model undressing. Maybe it has to deal with what you said about seeing the model as an object. For me, the undressing it's a very intimate and human moment (I bet Hitchcock would agree) while the nude it's just an exercise.

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  6. Leif's comment is hilarious! This post was funny, Ward!

    For the record, I would find it a great challenge to render a "small person", but not at the beginning of my drawing career. It would be nice to master proportion first...

    Anyway, I RAN a life drawing class for a while (which you already know about, Ward)! Let me tell ya, I had some bizarre experiences with models...

    One guy posed wide-eyed with one hand covering his crotch and the other hand cupping his mouth as if he was caught in some sort of...act. I later explained to him that those types of poses weren't appropriate.

    One girl was SCARY skinny, and kept blabbering on and on about how she was doing a month-long "juice detox". We could count every rib protruding from her bony spine.

    One woman showed up looking as if she had been propostitioned to leave the strip club where she was working to come pose for the class. She had huge fake boobs (with obvious scars), tons of makeup on, and cheap plastic stilettos. She posed in the most over-the-top "cheesecake" poses, too. I kinda' felt sorry for her.

    An the list goes on and on...several androgynous models, several incredibly obese models, a pregnant woman, etc, etc.

    All these scenarios were very interesting, to say the least. I often marvel at how open and free these "modeling types" are, and I still wonder why nude modeling and tattoos/piercings seem to go hand in hand...

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  7. I remember there was one model who would run all around the room and then leap into a pose, sometimes on a chair or something. I guess he was trying to create context for the pose, but the vigor with which he did this always cracked us up.

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  8. With a post like this, I thought you'd for sure end it with some of your own figure drawings!

    Ok, so one of our most "unique" models in college was Pearl. I think she was like 80-something when I was there. I was simultaneously amazed and grossed-out at the fact that she could still lift her leg up to her head (as she asked our instructor, "is this high enough?"). Oftentimes for longer poses, she would fall asleep and slowly lose her balance. And needless to say, she was an interesting study on texture...

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  9. the first and only nude model i ever drew was a very young and very pregnant beautiful girl with long tiny purple braids all over.she had a few tiny wads of white toilet paper stuck inside of her pubic hair. i don't think she could see it. i tried not to satare at them, but i was transfixed. it was a good thing for me, to see another naked woman, i did not grow up in a naked kind of house. my school was really uptight, too, baptist and so no naked showers after gym class, just put your uniform back on stinkily. so it was empowering for me to see someone so free with her body. i thought she was beautiful. i realized how lovingly and kindly i looked upon this young girl. i wondered why i did not look as lovingly upon myself. it was a tender experience.i got a great deal out of it. i accepted her totally as a human being. my nervousness at drawing finally subsided, i started actually really likeing my drawing. ans then the tescher came up and told me that i had my proportions all wrong, she destroyed my drawing by drawing over it and she destroyed my confidence in my own talent in art, too. i was flooded with emotion. i got up and left and i never came back. but i never forgot the lesson that thae girl was beautiful, imperfections of young pregnancy and toilet paper wads in her pubes and all. and i am beautiful, imperfections and all. women are beautiful. people are beautiful.there is so much beauyt. i left with a certain tenderness towards my own body that i still have to this day.

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  10. every spring at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn they have the "all night draw-a-thon". besides Pratt students it is open to anyone who pays the $20.00 fee and the entirety of one of their huge campus buildings is committed to life drawing from dawn until dusk. every room has a different model with different length poses. coffee is available in all of the hallways and at 5am there is free pizza. a drum circle in the stairwell provides a pounding beat that keeps you alert and excited.
    it is an absolute hoot.
    every year there is an old man who wanders from room to room and sits up front and gawks at the models. he has a sketchbook that it appears that he is drawing in, until you peek over his shoulder and realize it is just page after page of skribbles.

    ...at my college the model asked me out and that was the beginning of the end of the amicable relationship i had with my teacher. he tended to frown on the fact that during the break she would walk over to me totally nude and start chatting.

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  11. I took a figure drawing class about four years ago at Callawolde and it was great--except that the male model wore a realy bad wig. It was pretty distracting. It was crooked and sometimes it looked like he had it on backward.

    The female models were pretty cool. One was a beautiful african american woman who looked like a body-builder. She was my favorite.

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  12. In 1976 I was a student from Syracuse University studing abroad at St Martins in London. They seemed to have a collection of "street people" for nude models. Very unsettling.

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  13. The first nude model I had was also the first nude woman I saw (I was still a teenager in the sixties). It was my second class at this Art school and I was seated at the first row in front of the stage, totally unaware, when this beautiful young woman came on and disrobed half meter in front of me. I went petrified and terrified of somebody in the room looking into my head.
    So I gathered all my inner strenght to concentrate on her as a "subject" and made a detailed draw of her...face.

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  14. Hi Ward! I read your blog all the time, but his post really spoke to me. Figure drawing models: I had a 25ish guy for my first figure model. We had the same guy for pretty much the whole semester, as volunteers were hard to come by. Anyway, let's just say that he could not keep "it" still. "It" was constanly fluctuating between flacid and stiff. Not only was this terribly embarrassing for everyone involved, but it made "it" hard to draw! I had to erase the whole area at times, because it moved SO MUCH! To top it off, he had this ridicukous smirk on his face the whole time! Yikes!

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  15. I would tell you my "ultimate" model malfunction story, but most people wouldn't believe it, most would be horrified, and the rest would be deeply offended.

    Let's leave it to say that he earned the nickname Leaky-Pete that day and that the session was more or less cancelled on the spot.

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  16. Oh, man -- these stories are hilarious! And sad. And crazy. I just knew that there would be some wild stories out there.

    I've never experienced seeing a male model being aroused, but I can't imagine how crazy it would've been to be in class when that happens! I did have to pose for one class but it was with clothes on, for one of my illustration classes. Drawing the clothes was part of it and we got to draw all our classmates at one point. My legs fell asleep all the time.

    "Leaky-Pete?" Oh dear. I'm both fearful and intrigued by this story. I'm not sure if I want to hear more....

    James, I took a class at Callonwolde as well! It was around '99, I think.

    Some great stories! Thanks for sharing, people, and keep 'em coming!

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  17. I've taken a lot of "continuing education" figure drawing classes, but I still remember the first one best...I guess I didn't really realize that "figure" meant naked. Seems silly now. I remember looking down to pick up a pencil or something and the next thing I know there was this old naked woman right in front of me! I don't know if I had a shocked look on my face or anything, but I remember trying to be like, "yeah I knew that was gonna happen." Seems I wasn't the only one who didn't know, as there were two young children in the class. They did not return the next week.

    Anybody go to the ASIFA Atlanta figure drawing class last week? If so you got to witness the most lifeless life drawing poses! And talk about quivering...she would get herself in these bizarre yet uninteresting poses and then not be able to hold them at all.

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  18. This topic is great ^^

    My school use to have late night drawing sessions. There were two notable times that were bizarre. One night we had a very beautiful female model. Everbody started drawing but this one guy...not even with art supplies was just standing there...watching. It's not an amusement park people!
    Also one night to my surprise I got my first male model. I thought he was a student at first because he was young and scrawny. Instead of a robe he had a raincoat to cover him up o.0. When he switched poses he also did these weird Tai Chi moves. The worst part during the break he came up to my friend and I and asked if we had any lotion.......buck naked and he wants lotion lol. My friend gave him some and we quickly ran away lol.

    You always get regulars and you start to know their names. My favorite model is Chris because he brings props. Just like Ward said "sans props" is quite common. He tugs on ropes to tighten his muscles, and he does great long poses without flinching. Although one time he stuck an apple in his mouth for a 30 minute pose and he started drooling lol.
    Figure Drawing is quite fun, but the poor model must dread figure painting! The usually hold the same pose for twenty minutes, take a break, and then try to repostition to the right spot again.

    Great post Ward.
    The comments are great especially the small person model and Mr. Aroused lol.

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  19. art imitates life here:
    http://snlmm.net/char.php?i=598

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  20. I've had three experiences with figure drawing. My first was in a fine arts class with a nude model. It took some getting used to but as you said, you quickly start to look at them as a subject and not as something to oggle at.

    My second was a drawing for graphic designers class and we had the same model for the whole semester. She wore a full body spandex suit. I actually didn't mind the covering at all and I think it made for a more casual class. I can see the value of full nudity for anatomy and muscles and bones, but for full gestures, the covering was fine with me.

    The third class I had was an extended learning class with no instructor. We'd just show up and the model would disrobe and we'd get to work. The most disturbing one was what looked like a 55 year old woman with nipple rings and another ring down you know where. It kinda gave me the creeps.

    Looking back on it all, I was actually kinda dissapointed that all I ever got to draw was women. I really wanted to conquer the human figure and I still don't know if i'm drawing men's hips correctly. that might sound kinda strange.

    Great post and interesting stories. THanks.

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  21. I took five semesters of figure drawing. In the begining, it was a required course and I was not looking forward to the scene. Growing up in a small Texas town with a Baptist Preacher for a grandfather, you certainly did not admit to looking at naked people for hours a day.

    The first day, the model walked in to the class wearing a short, silky kimono robe. She was tall and elegant looking and I was hit with the horrible fear that not only would she take off her clothing but that I would faint from embarrassment.

    Well, I didn't. I got through it. She became a subject just as you said. Over time, I grew to love these classes and got pretty smug about my rendering skills. (I had a terror of a teacher for two semesters who ridculed my early works so badly, while telling the other students she wouldn't be so hard on them, that I would cry when I got home every night.) But I did get better

    My second moment of reckoning came when I was in one of my later classes. I had found a teacher who I truly loved and was very encouraging and critical at the same time. (A difficult thing to be) Well, we had an older male who was, uh....very well endowed. I drew him, going into elobarate detail everywhere but his groin. My beloved teacher came up to my drawing and said, this is nice Courtney but you must draw the (insert name for male sexual reproductive orgen here) very loudly. I blushed three shades of red, started laughing and then drew it.

    This all came full circle when my grandmother (the wife of a baptist preacher) asked to see what I was doing in school. I brought her my huge portfolio of drawings and she looked at every drawing commenting on this aspect or person. She was one cool lady.

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  22. Man, lots of fun stories here! Thanks for the spark, Ward!

    I don't have a ton of figure drawing experience, but I'll never forget one interesting moment from one of my earlier classes. It was a four-hour class that was a mix of anatomy instruction and figure drawing. We had a nude male model posing for us this particulr day, and we'd already done about a half-hour of drawing. We stopped for a break, and before we got started again, the instructor took the time to comment (while standing next to the model, no less), "I just wanted to point out, in case you haven't noticed it, that [insert model's name here] is uncircumcised." The model was naturally a tad embarrassed that everyone was being essentially instructed to stare at his crotch, and he lowered and shook his head with an awkward grin on his face. We moved on fairly quickly after that.

    This particular instructor also shared with us one day a pair of paintings he was commissioned to do for a local couple: one closeup of the husband's genitalia, the other a closeup of the wife's. And they weren't small paintings, either.

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  23. Ah, life drawing. I took a couple of life drawing classes in college, back in the mid-70's. Our models were very professional, although I thought some were not very attractive. Some of the men had rather shapeless bodies that were actually harder to draw than the more muscular ones.

    One of the best models that posed for us on several occasions was an elderly lady named Cleo. She had to be in her 70's or early 80's. She was graceful and elegant. Her face and neck were quite wrinkled, of course, as well as her hands, but I was surprised to see that her womanly figure was still full and soft looking, if a little saggy. But not wrinkled! A good thing to keep in mind as I face my own maturity.

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  24. These are very interesting figure drawing stories ...

    I have a few "interesting' stories in drawing classes too:

    First, there is this male model, do good pose, nothing weird about him. But one thing make the class very uncomfortable is what he does during break ... He would walk around, stand next to the students and try to talk to us completely naked. I don't mind to talk to models, but it's very uncomfortable to talk to someone standing next to you, completely naked.

    And there is older female model ... we are supposed to have clothes drawing section that day. That she keeps wanting to take off all her clothes ... even the teacher kindly explain to her that we are having clothes model section that day. She still try to unrobe ... My teacher was definitly very unhappy with the model that day.

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  25. Did I mention that my school was loaded with immature wanna-be comic book artists? Who couldn't handle even a good model with even a trifle of decorum? Who would amuse themselves at the models expense whenever possible?


    An example. We had one very bizarre model. She would talk to herself during poses for one. Another day she came in dressed like Wonder Woman. She also wore a bike helmet to take the Bus to our school (not kidding).

    Anyway, someone of extreme maturity decided it would be funny to throw some pennies on the carpeted model stand. Sure enough, the always-oblivious model arose from a reclined pose with a dozen pennies stuck to her. There was much laughter.

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  26. Twenty minutes, HA, child's play, we often do full hour poses in my illustration drawing classes, or more if we can. which is sometimes great, as I love to go as detailed as I can, but mostly annoying because it's an 8:30 am class, and most of our models fall asleep and move a lot.

    We had a pair of clothed models once who were so adorable together, and the girl was wearing this frilly underwear overtop of her leggings, with a really (REALLY) short skirt, so you could see the ruffles. In between poses she changed her outfit, I was talking to a friend, and all of a sudden I had this weird feeling, so I turned around and she was standing by the open window (about 10 storeys high) and she just whipped off her shirt! The funny part about that was that we have a changing room for the models, and also that this was a drapery study, and she was so comfortable with herself that she could undress in frant of a class of 25 ish people, and her boyfriend was present...maybe that helped. But I'll always remember that because I'm VERY self-conscious, and would give anything to be as free as her.

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  27. Interesting topic. I am a figure drawing model working at several schools in my area. Someone mentioned about the embarressment of undressing versus sitting out there completely nude. It's true. For me the hardest part of any class (even after doing this for a couple of years now) is the inital disrobing I do at the beginning of class. Unfortunately for me a lot of the rooms I model in do not have any convenient ajoining room or closet to change out of my clothes in. So most classes I take off my clothes right on the stand in the middle of the room with everyone observing me. THAT to me is the toughest part. Once I'm naked and working on making my poses creative and interesting for students, I soon forget about the fact that I am completely without clothes on.

    On a sidenote-- the strangest class for me was a "Figure In Motion Class" The instructor at one point handed me a baseball glove and casually would toss a baseball at me for me to catch. This went on for maybe 15 minutes while students attempted to capture the energy and movements of my body.

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  28. I'm a part time figure model, and have been for the last 3 years since being laid off.

    One of my favourite type of classes are those workshops where students start off with normal gestural sketches, and move towards a more avant garde interpretation of the human form. That's when creativity kicks in and I get to do short poses where various lights and projections of images and words are shone on my body, and it's up to the students to interprete and depict it, usually in abstract form.

    During these times I also get to work with props, and have much more freedom to do bizarre poses- for example, I did one in which I held the legs of a stool against my solar plexus, as if I've been stabbed by it. Yes, I do love those classes...

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  29. The weirdest experience I remember was when an extremely intoxicated model stripped off and start posing. None of us questioned why he was 15 minutes early for the class and sat down and started to draw. He was so drunk he could barely stand let alone hold a pose.

    After 10 minutes the teacher walked in and asked "Who the hell are you?"

    The drunk then just grabbed his clothes and bolted.

    Five minutes later the real model arrived. Nobody has a clue who the imposter was.

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  30. I was a model at Auburn University, and it was quite an experience. I highly recommend being a model to everyone, as it offers a chance to really shed whatever inhibitions you might have. I've yet to be the artist, though I still want to in the future (I took art in high school, but not in college).

    Though I have no interesting stories of my own (except that in a few of the classes I knew some of the students, which was a little strange), I heard some humdingers. For long poses (20+ minutes), models were in a position that wouldn't be too uncomfortable (usually seated or something). It was acceptable to nod off during this process. Once, while sleeping, a male model became erect. I think he slept through it, as when he woke up all was back to normal. Also one other time a male model (who's girlfriend was an artist in the class) and another female model were modeling together. During the modeling session, he apparently became erect. The girlfriend got mad and left the room, and he ran out after her - butt-nekkid.

    Anyway, I haven't modeled in a while, but wouldn't mind doing it again sometime.

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  31. Just something I wanted to point out:

    (And did I mention it was her first time, too? It showed. During the first couple of long poses I noticed that she was so nervous that she began to quiver and shake.)

    Speaking as someone who has done this kind of modeling, I can tell you she may have been nervous but she also may have been in pain. As you know it starts to hurt after a while standing still - I have often come to the point of shaking just because my muscles become fatigued and the pose hurts. I assure you, I am not nervous and have lots of experience. I was shaking on the model stand last night . . .

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  32. I have to say, I'm a life model myself and to me, this post undermines what the process of figure drawing is really about. There is a difference between looking and drawing. You say you appreciate the form of the body for the creation of art alone, not focusing on the fact that this is a naked person in front of you. But the hypocrisy is blatant in this post as you use your experience for funny stories about the imperfections of the models bodies. They are not there to impress you. Without sounding off like some anarchistic feminist, I have to say its pretty disrespectful and misses the mark entirely.

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  33. Ms. Macabre, I disagree. I'm merely relating interesting stories about my experiences as an art student. Nothing more, nothing less. To say that this post "undermines what the process of figure drawing is all about" - you're the model, not the artist. You're being paid to pose for us. That's all. I've never once felt that any model had to impress me - we are all different in shapes and sizes and colors and I glorify that aspect of figure drawing. I embrace it wholeheartedly, actually. I loved the idea that we are all different as human beings - to be able to draw any type of character when I entered a figure drawing class filled me with a great sense of expectancy.

    I never once talked about any imperfections, but merely talked about my observations of these models. That's all. And you know? I find it interesting that you worry about sounding like a "feminist" with your concerns regarding my post - why? That statement itself reeks of the archaic notion that all models are women and all artists are men. Did you actually read the entire post or just skimmed it until you felt the desire to comment? Because if you did read it in its entirety, then you would've read about the male model I encountered. So, really, your argument is invalid.

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  34. In one college drawing class of mine, one of our models was our instructor's college-age daughter. She wore a swimsuit so it wasn't as awkward as it could've been, but a little weird nonetheless. As a dad now, I don't think I could put my daughter in that situation. :)

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  35. I was an art model for 2 years, and I took that moonlighting job very seriously. It's not for everyone, especially pin-up wannabes and bums who are looking for quick cash. Those types do pay a disservice to the whole concept.

    It takes some getting used to, on both sides of the easel (both of which I've experienced.) Unless you were raised by nudists from day one, there will always be that shock and snap observation at the moment of disrobing.

    Also, anyone who begrudges posing for 20 minutes or more is a sissy-mary.

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  36. One has to be prepared to pose for at least 20 minutes. I find the shock and snap observation dissapates after the first 15 seconds into a gesture pose of some kind. I am always afraid I might find myself in an embarrassing situation at that time but touch wood ,(pun intended) it doesn't happen.

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  37. My first time modeling for a class was about a month ago - and pretty much all of my worst fears were imagined. As soon as the instructor said it was time to "get started," I could feel a little stiffening. Had to fiddle around with my robe for a little bit, and then even after taking it off I kept my back to the class for another 20 seconds.

    I never got a full erection, but one time each during standing, sitting and lying down poses the little guy kept having a mind of its own and would fluctuate a lot. The stress on my face trying to control it might have been more noticeable than the actual size increase. The worst was the final long pose, sitting on floor with legs out and apart - normally my penis was just resting easily, but one time it uncontrollably began to shoot straight up. Luckily it never got that large but I assume it was pretty noticeable...

    No one said anything about it, and class and instructors were very friendly to me the entire time. I was hoping they'd write it off as inevitable for a mid-20's guy over a 3 hour period. Pretty sure they'd not invite me back, but about a week later I did indeed get a return invitation. So apparently there are worse things that could happen...

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  38. I started modeling for college art classes when I was 18 years old. At first, I did it to impress a girl. A bunch of us had been sitting in the dining hall talking over lunch, when she said that she drew naked people in art class. I had never done anything like that and had grown up in a household where casual nudity was simply not practiced. I immediately wanted to be one of those naked models, and I told her so. I figured that she would be impressed that I actually followed through and did it. I did, but I never got to model for a class that she was in, and I was too shy to ask her out at the time. I don't even remember her name. But I have kept modeling for 28 years, and I've modeled for classes at at least 20 different schools/universities/art centers, etc. for thousands of artists and students.

    It is really interesting to read this post and all the comments from art students. As a long-time model, I've gotten so used to the dynamics of a figure drawing class, but for those who don't regularly attend such classes, I can see how having a nude person in the room can be out of the norm. Most of the time, my modeling sessions are serious, yet fun, events. But every once in a while, something unusual happens, so over 28 years, I have accumulated a lot of different stories.

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