Letters to Domai
I agree with the writer of last weeks newsletter, Simon Whittle: drawing a life model really is the best way to improve yourself artistically. The costs per hour mentioned match my experience. In the Netherlands a fee of 25 euro is normal for a session of two hours posing time.
Although I am an amateur artist I do work one-on-one with nude models, because this will allow a real personal interaction. Poses can be discussed with the model and she will be able to comment on the work as it progresses, at least for the longer poses. Also you will have maximal control over the lighting and over your own position relative to the model.
A few weeks ago I participated in a life drawing class. It was a good productive session, but strangely enough it was the first time ever that I did not know the name of the model. That is weird isn't it? So I prefer by far to work on a personal level in a private setting, because that gives a maximal intensity to the observation of the model: you do not only see the person you are drawing but you will also get to know her a little.
Kind regards, Stefan van B
I just read the letter by Mr. Whittle in London, and his comments are fine, so far as they go:
"...life models are well paid, but it isn't silly money. And the intensity of the work, and the quality of the result is definitively worth every penny. I also pay £30/hour if we are going to create some serious photographic reference material, but most artist's life models are allergic to cameras, certainly until they get to know you well."
I know whereof I speak, since I have spent a few decades doing just that sort of work, though not exclusively, since I may be "well paid" for the time before the artists and students, but I was lucky if I got more than one job in a day. And doing enough work to resemble a full-time position is very stressful. Most people can't handle that much work. It takes a lot out of one.
Most people think a model for artists just "sits there" and stays still. Well, I was (I use the past tense, since I have more or less retired...unless I get specifically requested for something) working as a male model. Females have it much easier, but males get the exercise of performing very physically strenuous "gesture poses," and my mesomorphic physique always got calls for very athletic poses.
Gesture poses, you know, are very brief. Usually they are less than two minutes, some only thirty seconds, and one needs to have a very wide repertoire of poses so they are not all the same or variations thereof. this puts the creative slant on the work, as imagination is tested. Many males will study classic sculptures and paintings to get ideas. Mine tended to resemble the work of Michelangelo, as the turns and twists gave the circle of students more angles from which to draw or paint.
To be frank, I felt a bit miffed by the reference to only female models in the letter to which I am responding. Male art models are the minority, but we have to be twice as good to get less than half the jobs less talented females can get. Also, competition is harsh sometimes, and one has to work hard at working in very diverse circumstances for very different teachers and artists in sometimes widely diverse locales.
I know that your site is not geared to presenting the male figure, so I'm not asking you to change it. I only want it to be known that there are some very fine male models out there; and no one who desires to learn anatomy or classic styles of drawing, painting or sculpture should avoid the male figure.
Incidentally, being both a model and a Naturist haven't made me jaded to the exquisite beauty of the well-presented female form. And I am also an artist myself. So, again, thank you for your high quality site. I am always recommending it to many others, since not everyone can manage to afford or find a venue for a very good female model.
Blesséd Be! Namaste! Robin G