LMS Winter Life-Drawing Salons

We’re back in person with our Life-Drawing Salons

Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 June, Saturday 2 & Sunday 3 July.

Morning 10:30am – 1:00pm (short poses) & Afternoon 1:30pm – 4:00pm (long pose)

Models to be announced.

Hosted at Princes Hill Community Centre, 5 Bagung Lane, Princes Hill.

Tickets are available online here.

Email us for discounts available for bulk purchases

Attendees must provide proof of vaccination and wear masks to enter this venue. Numbers are limited.

‘Fully Vaccinated’ Status

It is becoming clear that many venues and employers define ‘fully vaccinated’ as having had two initial shots, plus as many boosters as are recommended by the government (as at time of writing three vaccinations would be required to be fully vaccinated). Many employers are mandated to require ‘fully vaccinated’ people only to attend their places of work.

In line with this, the Committee will review the vaccination certificates provided to us and update the next edition of the model list to indicate 2V or 3V.

Please note that access to the model list is a paid subscription service, contact us via email to enquire about this service.

Minimum Fees and Travel Costs

Changes to Minimum fees

The Committee advises that as of 1 July 2022, the minimum rate for drawing be increased to $45.00/hr, for at least two hours, and the minimum rate for reference photography be increased to $85.00/hr, for at least two hours.

The last update to model fees was 1 July 2019, generally fees will increase every two years.

Choose one of the following options:
For jobs which require over 90min total travel time (round trip) the LMS recommends the model be paid half hourly rate for all travel time.
For jobs more the 100km (round trip) from the models home the LMS recommends the model be paid at the Australian Tax Office kilometre reimbursement rate for the entire distance.

Time and kilometres are both based on driving time. Models using public transport only are encouraged to charge based on driving time/distance.

Generally speaking, the kilometre reimbursement will be a higher cost than the time reimbursement. It is up to the models’ discretion which is the more reasonable fee to charge.

Expected behaviour while attending a life drawing session

Do not comment on a model’s body
It is highly inappropriate to use objectifying language around a model’s physical appearance or gender presentation. If you would like to express your gratitude to a model, do not do so by complimenting their body. Instead, thank them for their time or tell them what you enjoy about their work. For example:


“You have a beautiful body.”

“Wow, you look great, have you
lost weight?”
“I much prefer to draw models
like you with a few curves, you
look like a real woman.”

“Are you a man or a woman?”


“Your poses are so

Never comment on weight.
“I enjoy drawing you because
you’re so expressive/

“Hi, my pronouns are [she/her,
he/him, they/them, etc.].
What are your pronouns?” *

*Pronouns are widely used in place of a person’s name in a sentence, eg. “Drew is our model for today, they are a member of the Life Models’ Society”. Some of our models, much like the general population, are transgender or gender diverse. We encourage you to introduce yourself with your pronouns, ask the model what theirs are, and then refer to them by the pronouns they state. It is impolite to refer to someone by the wrong pronoun

Never touch the model or approach when they are posing
It is never appropriate to touch a model. When placing tape or charcoal markings
around the model as reference points for a long pose, care must be taken to avoid
contact with the model’s body, and we recommend that the markings are placed by an artist of the same gender as the model. Consent must be gained before approaching.
Please also refrain from walking around the room while the model is posing, as it is
disconcerting to have people moving around, especially behind you, and can create
uncomfortable draughts.

No photography
Unless explicitly agreed upon prior and paid appropriately, it is not okay to photograph the model, whether clothed or nude. Do not take photos of your work until the model is out of their pose, robed, and outside of the photo boundaries.

Be courteous, kind & professional
Models and artists alike are human beings. A model is not a mannequin to be contorted in any which way, and no two models can perform exactly the same. Being a Life Model is a difficult job, and is heavily influenced by how safe, energetic, creative, and comfortable the model feels in the class. Whatever you can do to create a sense of safety, comfort and professionalism is appreciated. As with any other
professional service, keep interactions courteous, without being overly familiar.

Click here to download a printable version.

Common Art/Life Modelling Terms

Usually characterised by holding body weight all on one side of the body, causing the shoulder and hips on that side to be closer together. Can be standing or sitting.
Classical examples: Statue of David, Birth of Venus

Foreshortening refers to the phenomenon where parts of the body closer to the artist appear larger than parts of the body further away. Foreshortening depends on the point of view of the artist; a model lying on a bed will appear long, and all parts approximately the same size from a side view, while from the head looking down the body, the feet will be proportionately much smaller and the head much bigger.
Classical examples: The Mourning over the Dead Christ

Open pose
Open poses refer to poses with an open aspect, usually arms spread wide, head up. They frequently display a hopeful mood. Imagine giving an important speech.
Classical examples: Cicero Denouncing Catiline

Closed pose
Closed poses usually have a shrunken, curled, or compact appearances, the limbs often cross one another and sometimes the face is hidden. The mood of a closed pose if often sorrow, grief, shame or fatigue.
Classical examples: At Eternity’s Gate

Gestural Drawing
Many life-drawing classes and sessions will start with short, dynamic or gestural poses. Gestural poses usually display the act of doing something; e.g. running, dancing, swimming, playing tennis, etc.
Classical examples:
Degas’ Ballerinas, Matisse’s The Dance

Generally any art that is clearly based on something real, a scene, object or idea, that is representative of an actual thing. As opposed to abstract or surreal art, which do not always represent real objects.
Further information on Figurative Art.

Negative space
Everything that is not the model is characterised as negative space. If an artist requests ‘negative space’, usually they are looking for the spaces between the arms and body, or legs and ground or chair. It can be very useful for correcting proportions.
Classical examples: Discus Thrower

Classical pose
Generally speaking a classical pose will be a pose which brings to mind classical artworks, or classical positioning. It’s hard to be definitive about what a person might mean by classical, so best to ask for further clarification on what they mean.

Dynamic pose
Usually refers to an expressive pose with a lot of tension and energy. Poses of shorter duration, two and five-minutes, are much more dynamic than longer poses.
Classical examples: Lacoon and his sons, La Danse

Model Opening Address/Introduction
Many models take an opportunity at the start of all sessions to introduce themselves by name, and to reiterate the expectations of the session. In particular to emphasise their boundaries, such as not allowing photography, which applies to all life drawing sessions.

is determined by the position of the viewer (artist) to the model and room. the art of representing three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other.
Further information on perspective.

Refers to the dimensions of a composition and relationships between height, width and depth. Proportion also describes how the sizes of different parts of a piece of art or design relate to each other. Often tutored art classes will describe techniques to get proportions right, something that is especially difficult with the human body.
Further information on Body Proportions.

The term medium in art can refer to the material(s) used to create an artwork, for example paper, canvas, charcoal, pastels, clay, oil paint etc. It could refer to the type of artwork, for example painting, sculpture, printmaking etc. In some cases, it can refer specifically to a thinner/solvent used to work with oil paints.

Plinth or pedestal
Generally a circular or square column, box or platform. Often used to display a statue or sculpture but can also be used for a model to pose on.
Further information on plinths.

The background of an artwork is everything that is far away from the viewer/artist. The foreground is the part of the artwork that is close to the viewer/artist.

Refers to a specific treatment of light and shade, often associated with the strong contrast in Renaissance paintings.
Classical examples: Bagglione, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Goya

New Model and Member Workshops

New Member/Model workshops are held several times per year.

To become a member of the Life Models’ Society (LMS) you must attend a workshop. This helps us to vouch for you as a responsible model, and provides all LMS models with a shared understanding of the modelling environment and expections in Melbourne.

In the workshop potential model/members are tutored by very experienced life models who will demonstrate various poses, explain what to expect at a modelling session for artists, as well as guiding participants through posing themselves.

The workshops are a great way to develop physicality, to test out being nude in front of strangers if you haven’t done this before, and get excellent guidance on what to do in front of your audience.

All the good, the bad, and the slightly awkward issues are covered here and will conclude with potential models ready to go out and get work within the art world. Some of the potential models are booked to work in the LMS salons.

Register your interest to attend by filling in the form, this includes further information on the sessions.

Monkeypox and Life Modelling

There has been a fair amount of coverage in the last few months regarding Monkeypox. Monkeypox may be spread from person-to-person through skin-to-skin contact, contact with contaminated items or surfaces, and respiratory droplets.

People with monkeypox are infectious from the time that they develop their first symptoms (which may be a fever or a rash) and until rash lesions crust, dry or fall off.

Often symptoms and rashes will develop in the genital and anal region, an area of the body usually covered by clothing. When a model is engaged for nude drawing, this region is exposed to contact with surfaces. For more information, refer to the Department of Health warning.

The LMS advises models to bring their own fabric to sit on while posing, however this is even more important as the Monkey Pox may be spread by a models sharing contact with a surface, including fabric.

We advise all models to use only fabric they had supplied to sit on, and never to sit on a surface, such as a chair, stool, or the floor, without a fabric barrier between their skin and the surface. We encourage employers of models to help reinforce this behaviour by asking models to use their own fabric for this purpose, and reminding any models who may forget to use fabric.

Regardless of the responsibilities on models to bring and use their own fabric, we ask employers and venues to uphold high standards of hygiene, including wiping down surfaces with anti-bacterial wipes, and washing of fabric used in the venue.

As with transmission of COVID-19 or any other contagious illness, we remind models and artists alike not to attend a class when they are unwell.

LMS Autumn Life-Drawing Salons

We’re back in person with our Life-Drawing Salons

Saturday 9 April, Morning 10:30am – 1:00pm (short poses with Elevan)
Sundayt 10 April, Morning 10:30am – 1:00pm (short poses with Odelia) & Afternoon 1:30pm – 4:00pm (long pose with Emily)

Hosted at Princes Hill Community Centre, 5 Bagung Lane, Princes Hill

Tickets are available online here.

Email us for discounts available for bulk purchases

Attendees must provide proof of vaccination (or valid exemption) to enter this venue. Numbers are limited.

Fundraising Life Drawing Events

Hi everyone

A concern has come to our attention that we wanted to share with you.

In the current climate, with the war in Ukraine, and the floods in NSW and QLD, there are a lot of people out there trying to do what they can to raise money for relief efforts. This is to be commended, however people can engage entirely in good faith and still have serious issues.

The concern we had is that there are operators out there who will use these situations to their own advantage. If you are approached to participate in a fundraising activity, please ensure you do your due diligence before accepting the job.

It is also possible you will be asked to perform or work or provide rights to publish or share existing photos or artwork for no pay as part of this arrangement. While you are welcome to accept an unpaying gig for charitable purposes, we recommend strongly that you are highly cautious of these gigs, especially when they are online.

As with all modelling jobs, the other LMS working conditions still apply for gratis jobs, and as with photography jobs, a model release is needed to ensure that the photographs are only used in a manner to which you agree.

Gigs where cryptocurrency or NFTS are involved in any capacity are particularly insecure, as the platforms are vulnerable to hacking.

If you have any questions about fundraising activities you have been approached about, please contact the committee, or Posey Corps to discuss.

The Committee

Classical vs Sexy posing

The Committee has recently received a number of queries regarding types of posing that could be called sexy, explicit, or erotic. 

Some models may have been told that sexy, explicit, erotic posing is more fun, or will get them more work. We understand that this being taught by another Melbourne based business who run modelling workshops (which is not associated with us and we will not name here). Further to this, we would add that posing in underwear is sexualised in a way that posing nude is not. 

We are diverse and come from a wide range of cultural understandings and experiences of nudity. If we want life modelling to be available to a diverse range of people that means keeping the understanding of what it is ‘standard’ so people can judge if the service they are hiring is culturally safe for the group and for the model.

We received an email from a group who had hired a number of models who had posed in a sexy way that made the group uncomfortable. The group asked for advice on how to respond to this; how to tell models not to pose in this way.

Sexualised posing is not appropriate for a standard life modelling job. This includes anything that is heavily genital focussed, or provocative in any way. We don’t mean to suggest that open leg poses are always out, however some poses will ‘present’ the genitals, while others are more sculptural.

The committee is bringing this to your attention for a couple of reasons, but the main one is CONSENT. Sexy/explicit/erotic/boudoir etc. are all valid forms of expression, but this type of posing:

  • must be negotiated in advance and agreed to by all parties
  • is more akin to sex work than life modelling, and has different responsibilities and considerations, and may include additional risks
  • should attract a significantly higher fee, starting at $150/hr.

By engaging in sexy posing without having had very clear conversations about this, a model may be exposing the artists to something they may not have agreed to see. This is especially problematic in educational settings, where you might have had to fight hard to have a model at all.

If you are okay with sexy posing, but are still paying the standard fee, you are undercutting sex workers who do this for a living, and you are setting up an expectation that other life models will do the same for the standard fee, which is not an expectation that is to be encouraged. All LMS members have been advised that sexy posing is an additional service and that it is to be negotiated ahead of time, that it attracts a significantly higher fee and is not something they are to agree to unless they are confident.

If you engage a model who is posing inappropriately for your group, we encourage you to have a quiet word to them about posing in a more classical way. We also encourage you to send this feedback to the Committee, via

Hen’s & Buck’s Events

A related topic has been working for hen’s or buck’s events. The Committee regularly receives requests from non-susbcribers relating to hen’s or buck’s events, and generally will refer them on to specific models who are also experienced in this area.

Bookings for hen’s and buck’s events are not the same as usual life-drawing. Most of the time, there will be quantities of alcohol, as well as a vaguely (or wildly) titillating atmosphere. People attending these events are unlikely to have been to life-drawing events in the past and are less likely to be familiar with the etiquette of modelling, especially with regard to making personal comments and taking photos (see also use of alcohol). 

For this reason, hen’s and buck’s events are more expensive for the hirer and more work for the model. We understand the standard fee starts at $150/hr for this kind of work also. 

Modelling in underwear

Modelling in underwear is not standard life-modelling. The Committee generally discourage modelling in underwear because, as mentioned, it can be seen as erotic and contributes to scandalising the genitals. If you have not been able to get agreement to have the model pose fully nude, we recommend requesting poses in a bathing costume, bikini, gym wear or other form fitting clothing.

If you require clothed poses of any form, including costume, this must be negotiation beforehand, not least because the model may not be wearing suitable garments to pose in. Models may request an additional fee to pose in costumes.