‘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

Refrain from commenting on the models’ body

Do not use objectifying language around a models’ physical appearance/gender presentation. As tempting as it may be to comment, or compliment a model on their body, we recommend you refrain from doing this.

Don’t say:Instead, try:
Wow, you look great have you lost weight?Wow, you seem really happy.
I much prefer to draw models like you with a few curves, not like those skinny models.I enjoy drawing you. You’re so expressive/still/professional.
Are you a man or a woman?“Hi, my pronouns* are [e.g. she/her, he/him, they/them], what are your pronouns?”

*A pronoun is a word that substitutes for a noun or noun phrase. Generally they are used in place of a person’s name, e.g. she/her/her, he/him/his, they/them/theirs etc. Some models are trans or gender diverse, including non-binary (usually they/them). If you ask a model for their pronoun, please be prepared to honour them and use the terms the model has stated.

Never touch or approach the model when they are posing

Unless they have specifically asked you to, never touch a model when posing. Wherever possible, we ask you to refrain from walking around the drawing room while the model is posing. It is not only disconcerting to have people moving around, especially behind you, but can create drafts making it unpleasant to model.

No photography

In most cases, it is not okay to photograph the model, whether clothed or nude. Please refrain from taking photos of your work until the model is robed or no longer posing.

Be courteous and kind

Models and artists alike are human beings. A model is not a mannequin that can be posed in any which way. Being a life-model is a difficult job, and is influenced by many things including how well, energetic, creative, and safe the model feels in the class. Whatever you can do to create a sense of safety and professionalism is appreciated.

Be professional

Regardless of any relationship you may have outside of the drawing room, when posing, the model is there to do a job. As with any other professional service, try to 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.

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. 

CANCELLED LMS Summer Life-Drawing Salons

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

January 8-17 2022, two sessions each day

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

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.


Six models in one afternoon

Presented by Hawthorn Artist Society and the Life Models’ Society.

Saturday 11 December, 2 – 4.30pm

The Basement, 360 Burwood Road,
Hawthorn, VIC, 3122

Featuring models: Adam, Isha, Sarma, Paul S and John Mc.

Bring your own materials; our easels and boards available as usual.

Proof of vaccination is required to attend. Booking through Hawthorn Artist Society website.

November Extravaganza Cancelled

The Committee has made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person LMS Extravaganza for 14 November 2021.

Despite Victorian goverment restrictions easing, COVD-19 case numbers are still concerningly high, and the committee is loathe to host an event in the current climate.

We are planning to hold out in person LMS Salons life-drawing sessions in January, 2022 for fully vaccinated people (as per venue vaccination policy). Tickets for the salons are available here.