A Few Tips For Life Models From Andre R, plus images by Rob Black

Andre took part in last Saturday’s multi-life modelling event in Mortlake and would like to share this advice which is particularly good for those new to life modelling;

  • It’s a good idea to stretch thoroughly before a posing session.  Calves, thighs, hamstrings, neck, back and shoulders are all vital.  This helps muscles from seizing up or going into unhelpful spasm.  My personal preference is to stretch at home and then again at the venue

On this point, it is probably ideal also to soak in a hot bath both before and after a posing session – but that’s not a very green thing to do!  Maybe a Jacuzzi at your gym is a good compromise!

  • Have only a light meal before a posing session
  • Take a dressing gown, towel (for wiping away perspiration), facial tissues and bottled water into the posing room with you – the core “kit” for any model to have handy
  • If you find you have to sit on chairs or cushions etc provided at the venue, it might be good “etiquette” to cover these with your own towel or dressing gown and sit on this
  • When posing for any period longer than 10 minutes, consider how your body weight is distributed onto pressure points onto your limbs.

Always aim to distribute weight and pressure onto feet, hands and joints as evenly as possible.  Be realistic about how long you can hold any pose that generates even the smallest seeming: pressure points, muscle tension, muscle stretch, muscle lock, joint strain or any feeling of holding or bearing weight – yet having to keep still

  • Never look directly at artists, it is unnatural and soon becomes uncomfortable for both artist and model.  Pick a point in the room – it might be a light switch, a spot on the wall, a bracket on a pipe, a red paint splotch on the back of an easel.  Point your nose at this spot.  If you ever have to move your head or return to a pose, you will always be able to return your head to a precise position again
  • Try not to have limbs doing anything symmetrical, have each leg or arm doing something different – it is more interesting for the artist(s)
  • One trick for being able to hold arms away from the body for long periods is to use a pole, but you still have to think about weight, stretching and pressure points and be realistic
  • There’s no harm in planning poses ahead of a session.  Maybe flick through life drawing tutorial books to get ideas for poses.  Steal ideas from other models! Always be realistic about what your own body can manage
  • Plan a “repertoire” of what you can achieve for the range of poses you might be asked to undertake: short dynamic poses (2mins to 5mins), mid-length poses (15-25mins) and long poses (30-45mins)
  • If you find you are in trouble in a pose (it can happen to even the most experienced) and decide  you must break the pose to stretch, unlock frozen muscles, deal with a building spasm etc, you can try warning the artist(s) that you are going to have to break the pose in 2 minutes’ time (or whatever)
  • When memorising your pose (so that you can return to it) the two key things to make a mental note of are head position (see above) and feet position (some people even have their feet position chalk marked on the floor). Arm positions just have to be memorised
  • The following is a personal view.  Posing nude for life drawing is not a naturist thing.  My belief about “etiquette” is that as soon as any break or session end is called, you should put on your dressing gown.  I once saw a male model walk around the room nude looking at what artists had drawn – don’t make such assumptions about what strangers are comfortable with.  Keep to the line that is drawn about why you are there to be nude.  As I say, just a personal view.
  • Always ensure tutors or hosts are going to both time poses strictly and call out time remaining during any poses of 10 minutes and above.  Most mobile phones have stop watches these days! Models can lose all sense of time, even in a 15 minute pose.  It helps both models and artists to have someone call out “10 minutes left” “halfway through”, “5 minutes left” etc.  This is so incredibly helpful that you must always ensure it is going to be done

Here are some bold, colourful images created on an i-pad at last week’s event by Rob Black

Thank you Rob, we really appreciate your work, it’s great to share it. Lovely compositions

Rob can be found on rob@lambentgallery.co.uk

Published by esther bunting

Performer, artist, writer

4 thoughts on “A Few Tips For Life Models From Andre R, plus images by Rob Black

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