News

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

Contrapposto
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
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

Figurative
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.

Perspective
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.

Proportion
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.

Medium
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.

Background/Foreground
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.

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

In Memoriam – Megan Crowley

It is with great sadness that I am writing to inform you the passing of Megan Crowley. Megan has been a life model for more than thirty years and was a member of a LMS in her early career.

A regular model for the Princes Hill Community Centre, the Art Room, Whitehorse Artists Association, Hawthorn Arts Society and Victorian Arts Society just to name a few, her bubbley personality was infectious and always made artists feel at ease.

Her working life included being a CRT teacher where she was involved with many schools but her greatest passion was working as a life model. She took part in one of my art projects and has been a dear friend of mine for many years.

I miss her and will always love her.

-Patrick Loverso

Winter Life Drawing Salons

Each year, in summer and winter, the LMS puts on a series of life drawing sessions called the Salons.
Our salons are designed to allow artists to immerse themselves as much as their life commitments permit. Bookings are strongly recommended due to reduced capacity with COVID restrictions. 

If you prefer the challenge of short duration poses, come in the morning. If you prefer the details you can draw with longer poses, come in the afternoon. Please allow 15 minutes to get yourself set up before the session.

26 & 27 June, 3 & 4 July, 2021
Morning Session: 10:30am – 1:00pm
Afternoon Session: 1:30pm – 4:00pm
Cost $20.00 full, $18.00 concession. 
Hosted at Princes Hill Community Centre (assuming there are no changes to restrictions).

Book now through TryBooking here

Fleur, President. 

Upcoming Autumn Extravaganza

The famous LMS Extravaganza is held twice a year and is an opportunity to draw multiple models, network with artists, models, and enjoy the overflowing snack table, champagne and music.

Due to COVID restrictions this year’s Extravaganza will be held at Gasworks Arts Park, in the Art and Crafts Room. Bookings are essential with COVID restrictions on numbers.

Models will cycle through, creating group and individual poses across the afternoon.

The first half models will be Sophia, Ingrid, Nicole and Bree-Anna. The second half models will be Belle, Tijana, Madelyn, Albert.

Date: 2 May 2021

Time: 2:00pm, (break at 3:30pm, second half start 4:00pm), finish 5:30pm.

Cost: $40.00 full, $25.00 concession.
Tickets can be purchased through TryBooking here.

In Memorium – David

It is with great sadness we acknowledge that David Peake, long time model member of the Life Models’ Society, has passed away early Sunday morning, 21 February 2021.

David was also an accomplished artist where his presence either modelling or drawing, was always welcomed, as his warmth and personality were infectious. He was a very popular model due to his exceptional poses and was a stalwart at the Whitehorse Artist Association’s life drawing sessions run by Rosemary Price where he drew and modeled. He will be dearly missed by those who knew him and those who drew him.

David battled motor neuron disease in his final months and passed away with his family by his side. The Melbourne life drawing/modelling community will be that little bit smaller and quieter without his presence.

-Patrick

March New Model and Member Workshop

Our next new member/model workshops (hosted over Zoom) is scheduled for 14 March, 14:00-17:30 approximately.

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Life Models’ Society (LMS) must attend a workshop. This helps allow us to vouch for you as a responsible model, and to help you understand the modelling environment in Melbourne.

In the workshop potential model/members are tutored by very experienced life models who will show them through various poses; explaining what to expect at a modelling session for artists.

The workshops are a very good way to develop physicality and to get the good oil on what to do in front of your audience (usually made up of very grateful artists).

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 asked to work in the LMS salons, so artists can experience drawing models on the LMS list.

Anyone interested in registering for the March workshop should click the link here for more information.

In Praise of David P

We wanted to thank David who is a LMS life model and WAA artist for his wonderful work with us over the years by making this special presentation.

Below is the article and photos that were published in the January 2021 Whitehorse Arts Association Newsletter plus some of my drawings of David from the WAA Life Drawing workshops. Sadly, David has motor neurone disease and is rapidly declining. Our love and best wishes go to David and his family.

David has been part of our WAA Thursday afternoon life drawing family for ever.

He brings with him into our midst love, light and laughter. Working on either side of the drawing board as our model, or as a fellow artist David’s pursuit of art is dedicated and serious.

As our model, David’s unique signature poses are often (not always) an intricate tangle of bony arms and legs almost impossible for us to decipher. (David confesses he often includes extra arms and legs to confuse us!) With his most wonderful “Old Testament prophet’s face”, bony body and expressive hands and feet, these poses are the utmost challenge to our abilities and are always a joy and delight and inspiration to us. The one problem with these poses is David is not free to do a drawing of himself!

As a fellow artist David draws with dedication and love. The notable qualities of his drawings are their sense of gesture and movement, and particularly the varied and sensitive line quality they display. His drawings contain mark making at its very best.

As a friend David, with his generosity of spirit, simply by being David enhances our Thursday afternoons, and transforms them into an extraordinary shared art experience.

There are no words that are high enough praise to honour our beloved David and express what he means to us. We know he has inspired dozens of other artists all around Melbourne for years and years, but we still believe he is ours.

Thank you David.

Rosemary Price, Coordinator, Whitehorse Arts Association.

Masks for Life Drawing

In accordance with DHHS guidelines (from 5pm on 31 December 2020) you must wear a fitted face mask when you are in public indoor spaces unless you have a lawful reason not to.

This includes when visiting places such as:

  • shopping centres, supermarkets, retail outlets and indoor markets
  • hospitals and aged care facilities
  • restaurants and cafes, except when you are eating or drinking
  • churches and places of worship
  • libraries
  • indoor recreational facilities and gyms
  • indoor workplaces.
  • Life drawing and life modelling classes held indoors fall under this guideline and we remind all participants that masks are mandatory, this includes for the model.

    Let’s all make sure we can keep doing the things we love by following current guidelines.

    Any feedback on sessions held in Melbourne can be send to us directly, via email

    Further information is available from the Victoria Government: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/face-masks