My Experience as a Nude Figure Model For Art Classes

| October 25, 2015 | 6 Comments

How I Became A Nude Figure Model

Guest blog by: Frank Torchio

Having photographed nudes (both female and male) I got this urge: What would it be like to be on the opposite side of the camera or easel and pose in the buff in front of a group of artists in a figure drawing class? Among the concerns I had were, how I would look? Am I well-built and well-endowed enough? After doing some research, I discovered you don’t have to have the body of an Adonis or Playboy Playmate to model for a figure drawing class. I’m a guy who never looked like a Schwarzenegger either in my prime or how I look now.

So with some trepidation, I decided to give it a try and went online and found several figure drawing sites. My first experience was with a gay men’s figure drawing group. I sat in on some classes and asked if I could model. The moderator agreed. I was amazed at how easy it was to pose nude in front of a group of complete strangers. After changing into a robe and slippers in a private changing area I went to the posing platform, disrobed and began posing. My poses were short — one minute poses gradually increasing to 10 and 15 minutes. The podium was raised and the artists were arranged in a horseshoe.

nude figure model drawing art class blog yna

Drawing of me as a nude figure model

The second opportunity came with an art class run by a well-known teacher in SoHo, Manhattan. Again, the poses ranged from one minute to 15 minutes. Art classes have different protocols on what is acceptable behavior for both artists and models.

For instance in the gay men’s figure drawing group, it was a free-for-all. One artist would suggest a pose and another would either suggest another pose or a variation of a previous pose and could communicate freely with the model. In other classes, if an artist wanted a certain pose they would tell the moderator who would relay it to the model.

nude figure model art class life drawing experience yna blog

During breaks, protocol dictates that the model put on their robe. The only time the model is naked is on the posing dais. Walking around naked in the studio is not allowed. Some art schools limit poses to standing or seated poses and will not allow reclining poses. With the exception of the gay men’s group about half the artists were split evenly between men and women.

Is there a sexual component to posing nude? Not at all. Figure drawing art classes are very non-sexual. Once the novelty of being nude or looking at a naked person has worn off (usually 5-10 minutes) you don’t even think about it and neither do any of the artists. The artists treat the model no differently than a vase of flowers or bowl of fruit. Suppose I get an erection? Not to worry. In all the classes I have modeled for, I have never had an erection because figure drawing classes are so unsexy.

The hardest part of being a nude model is posing. I have held poses ranging from one minute up to twenty minutes. But after a twenty minute pose, your joints can become stiff and you need to bend and stretch during breaks.

I first posed when I was 63 years old. In spite of the fact that I’m older, in many ways I feel better about myself than ever before. As both an art model and a photographer of nude models I can better appreciate what it takes to be a good nude model.

There was one amusing incident that happened in one class: As I was posing, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a lunch delivery being made to the moderator. Naked in front of a dozen complete strangers, I was startled but held my pose. I think the delivery person was more startled than I was.

This posted about being a nude figure model at nude art class was published by – Young Naturists & Nudists America

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Category: Social Nudity Blogs, Art

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  • I am in my 60’s and have been modeling for a bout 10 years. And though it is not a sexual scene, I wouldn’t necessarily say it is non sexual…nothing is. Yes men in their 60’s do get erections and though I might have a more difficult time with those in my 20’s it happens infrequently. Just like on the beach when certain sensations will cause a stir, it happens. It is nothing to be afraid of and yet people are. I, as well, do not want to be deemed a creep in front of a class of college or high school students , I will make all possible mental tricks to keep them under control.

  • Francis Torchio

    Your response reveals a too prevalent attitude in today’s society,
    that nudity equates with sexuality and that there is something wrong with me if
    I don’t get an erection while I am naked and posing for a figure drawing
    class.This attitude is wrong.This is not a porno setting.Sexual arousal is not the goal nor is it an
    effect.One can be aroused in a fully
    clothed environment and not aroused with complete nudity.I do not get aroused in other settings such
    as when I’m the shower.In my youth and
    today I’ve been to nude beaches and have not gotten an erection simply because
    (as stated previously), it is not a sexual environment.I do not understand why the comment focused
    on getting an erection and not on of figure modeling itself.You have chosen instead to bring sexuality
    and not body image into the discourse and in so doing you totally miss the
    point I was trying to make.Sex and
    nudity, while not mutually exclusive, neither are they inevitably linked.

  • BruceAL

    daniel defoe  wow that’s pretty mean.  So you figure if you become 63 you can no longer get an erection?  I’m 64 and get up quite easily, not all elder statesmen have erection problems and for you to assume that age is the reason is pretty ignorant about the body.  With your beliefs, if a young man went to a nudist resort he would be erect the entire time, that sir, is a ridiculous belief.

  • BruceAL

    GBSmith , wow that’s pretty mean.  So you figure if you become 63 you can no longer get an erection?  I’m 64 and get up quite easily, not all elder statesmen have erection problems and for you to assume that age is the reason is pretty ignorant about the body.  With your beliefs, if a young man went to a nudist resort he would be erect the entire time, that sir, is a ridiculous belief.

  • GBSmith

    “you are already 63, that’s why you don’t get an erection. ”  Seriously?  If you’re “younger” you might want to do some reading sexuality and age and if you’re in your sixties consider seeing a doctor.  The main post was very good and heartening that people are interested in drawing real people.

  • daniel defoe

    you are already 63, that’s why you don’t get an erection.   You would have had u been younger.