By Regina Kaluzny
Here’s how to approach your first art modeling class:
1) Get calm. It’s nerve racking to get naked as the centre of attention in front of a group of strangers the first time, so get yourself comfortable in your body. Have a shower if that makes you feel fresher; go for a walk in the park if that makes you more serene or energized; do your hair up if that makes you feel ‘dressed up’ for the occasion.
2) Prepare poses. Go draw at a class or two and see what the models do. Look in figurative art books and notice which poses look good to you. Practice holding them for different periods of time while you watch TV or stand in a queue. Choose some basic standing, sitting and lying poses that are comfortable for you to hold. Some artists love twisting and dynamic poses but whatever is comfortable and natural for your body is always best to draw. I have my repertoire of favorite poses I go back to often because I’ve learned they work with my body and I enjoy them and I like the way they turn out for the artist. Once you’ve had some experience, you’ll be able to go with the flow of the energy of the room and improvise more and more.
3) Invest in a comfortable robe and slippers. It’s traditional for art models to put a robe on when not posing. It’s more for the artists’ comfort than for yours! It’s hard for them to talk to you before/after the session if you’re naked!
4) Know what’s expected of you. Find out from the class facilitator what is expected of you. Will they keep time or do you need to bring a timer? How long will the poses be? Is it a taught class or untutored? If it is a taught class you may be required to do certain styles of poses to help the students learn new techniques or how to observe particular things.
5) Arrive early. Arrive at least 20 minutes early for your first ever class. This will give you time to get oriented to the classroom, get changed, speak to the teacher to find out what’s expected of you, find out how the heaters or air conditioners work and to perhaps have a cup of tea and relax. It’s always best to arrive no less than 10 minutes before you start modeling.
Guest Name: Regina Kaluzny
Guest Title: Art Model
Guest Bio: Regina Kaluzny is an architect practicing in rural Victoria. She also is completely immersed in the world of figurative drawing —as a life model, an artist and as a facilitator running regular drawing classes in Kyneton and the surrounding areas. She is setting up ‘Models Ink‘, a traveling life drawing service for regional areas in Victoria and eventually throughout Australia.