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Old 02-19-2004, 10:11 PM   #1
Ngaire Winwood Ngaire Winwood is offline
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Life drawing classes!




I had a look through the searches and couldn't find appropriate information. My question, for portrait poses from a model, how long are the sessions (20 minutes?) and what poses, lighting is best? How would I arrange, say, a 4 hour session?

I had read the threads here and also photographing section, but is there certain principles to allow the models to promote better features to draw and paint from? From experienced models to people off the street? What paperwork do I need for them to sign before I can draw them?

If it is at night, what is the best possible lighting to have ceiling lighting or is it best to have mobile lighting to produce better drawing/paintings (rembrandt lighting)? I agree that natural lighting is best, but for life classes this is not totally suitable. Any suggestions?
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Old 02-19-2004, 11:40 PM   #2
Chris Saper Chris Saper is offline
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Dear Ngaire,

Typically, the life drawing sessions I am familiar with are in three- hour spans, with the models on for 20-25 minutes, off for 5 minutes, throughout the session. I don't know whether four hours will work with the model, but as a painter I could happily go five hours. I tell my students that the most important person in the room isn't the student, isn't me, it's the model: If the model ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. Keep the model comfortable, and able to break.

In a group session, the model has to be on an elevated stand, 18"-24" works well. And one person has to be in control of what hppens. Everyone has to be able to see. Ceiling lights do not work. You will need movable directional lighting ( see the many threads on lighting)

Set up the light and model before starting, then you must (well you should) go to every artist's position, to see if the view is adequate.

Ngaire, go into the Open Studio threads to search for etiquette, etc. Otherwise, mayhem might ensue.

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Old 02-20-2004, 12:30 AM   #3
Ngaire Winwood Ngaire Winwood is offline
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Thanks Chris!

I went and had a look in the Open Studio but I couldn't find the answer. For poses, is there set angles that work best, how should I direct the model after each 20 min session. I am trying to go for natural lighting but might have to contend with night time so I will look into mobile lighting. Poses away, looking straight, not smiling, closed eyes, hands, what direction for the model? Change of clothing, on/off?
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Old 02-20-2004, 09:54 AM   #4
Steven Sweeney Steven Sweeney is offline
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Ngaire,

Click here for the thread on Open Studio etiquette.

Another couple, on helping the model pose, the twenty-minute "rule", and various tips on studio set-up.

Much of the discussion of lighting your subject in preparation for taking reference photographs is useful as well for life drawing. You
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Old 02-22-2004, 08:30 PM   #5
Ngaire Winwood Ngaire Winwood is offline
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Great Help!

Steven, once again thank you for explaining it beautifully. I had already read most of the ones you suggested, but I will go back and reread them in case I missed valuable information and thanks again for being so descriptive. Now for some more questions.

I am trying to figure out how I can get model/s for practice and possible paintings for a portfolio. Lon Haverly's idea of going into a mall sounds good, but I feel my level is not up to that yet. Besides they want entertainers/temporary exhibitors to have $15 million Liability Insurance before you can even be looked at, this costs around $500 annually I think. Way out of my league at present.

If I had to ask people in the street, or put an ad in the local paper, how would I go about it? I don't know if I could get any other artists in the district to come in for life classes but I was hoping somehow to place an advertisement for models and maybe an open studio to get started here. My family do not live close to me they are hours away and I don't have any close friends to ask to be models, except for my teenager son, who is impatient to say the least.

I rang and spoke to an artist group in Toowoomba for relevant information but the guy didn't devulge much. He just suggested that they have Wednesday night sessions, and that I could go to them but this is 70 klms away, being a single mother etc etc, I just can't get to them.

My main concern was, if I placed an ad, I don't want to get into trouble of going about it the wrong way, as small towns are very talkative and touchy. So maybe dressed models for head/shoulder studies, other than nudes. I want to start and keep a professional image at all times. So maybe suggestions of attracting the model, working with the model, sketching the model, photographing the model for later references, and paperwork (I have redesigned a release agreement to the ones on this forum but have not added anything about photographing the model for painting references on it)?How could I write this in?

Have you have similar experiences with this situation or similar problems, and how would you suggest I go about it professionally in a small town?

This district will be my income later so what I want to develop at this stage, is all part of the big plan later. Small towns and the small town gossip could start or break my future career. Any suggestions?
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Old 02-26-2004, 09:28 PM   #6
Steven Sweeney Steven Sweeney is offline
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Just kind of fossicking around in the aftermath of the database dirge-almost . . .

Certainly in your circumstances forego the "nude figure" aspect. That not only would be counterproductive (who would ever go for it, in your special circumstance??), but also isn't necessary. A person (male/female, young/old) who will sit for 5 or 6 20-minute sessions, for a head-and-shoulders drawing or pastel skectch or painting, at $XX per hour, is what you need. Don't worry about "optimum" conditions right now, just start and don't quit.

Must keep this short for now. Have to see what else is going on on the "new" Forum . . . some of which even I'm having trouble navigating.
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Old 02-27-2004, 05:18 PM   #7
Ngaire Winwood Ngaire Winwood is offline
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Thanks for popping in Steven. Yes, you are right. I neeeeed models. It is so frustrating wanting to get into it but to go about it professionally is a better approach in this small town.

If I go up and ask someone, is there a catch line that works better. Hi, your face would be great to paint, would you like to attend a studio session (oops, I don't have one, but I do have sort of a studio -the first corner of one anyway- it is the hallway with easel/art stuff measuring 6'8" by 6', (did I mention we walk through the middle of it to get to the rest of the house, it is better than the kitchen table though). Since my place isn't too impressive, should I sketch them at their house or at a park? Only 5 people in the town have actually seen my "hall studio", I am a bit of a recluse.

If I sketch and take photos, does the release agreement have to have an added bit for photos?
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Old 05-09-2004, 08:48 AM   #8
Ngaire Winwood Ngaire Winwood is offline
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Stepping into the right direction

Things are improving around here. I have arranged community workshops of many varieties as I have local and regional towns to work with and small populations. I have taken three to four months to organise a series of craft and of course, life model workshops. I had a successful first workshop today as an unpaid community volunteer coordinator. It was a tutored life drawing workshop with two nude models(male/female) that came from a city 1 and a half hours away. I had 15 people turn up from towns all over in this region from as far as 100 kilometres or around 65 miles. Four are local artists. I of course get to draw for free which suits my budget. I am hoping to organise this workshop without the tutor next time at least once a month. The venue I used is big and accommodating for this amount of people with table/chairs and a few easels. Originally going to be 30 metres by 8 metres to use, but I was only allowed to use about 15 x 8 metres of room space for these workshops. This venue is reasonably priced.

Apparently there has not been nude models in this region for around two years. That is certainly going to change if I can get the numbers on a regular basis of once a month.

Wait... there's more

Well I don't know how I did it but I secured a room by the local Town Council for free, it is a room the size of a large bedroom and suitable for about 6 sitting artists with no easels.

I have coaxed a few artists from beginners to intermediate skill to come together on a Wednesday night to do Kimon Nicolaides exercises from the todays workshop hopefully. We will each take a turn for half hour sittings overall a 2 hour night or so of drawing from life (clothed of course). I think I might have three to four interested so far. I am hoping to start our first day on the 19 May.

All in all, things are really starting to improve. Still no job yet, but hey yoou never know what is around the next corner.
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Old 05-10-2004, 12:07 AM   #9
Michele Rushworth Michele Rushworth is offline
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Congratulations on your successes, Ngaire. This determination you show even in the most challenging circumstances will take you far.
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Old 05-10-2004, 10:13 AM   #10
Julie Deane Julie Deane is offline
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Good work!

Way to go, Ngaire!
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