How to Paint a Nude Model

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Paint a Nude Model
Paint a Nude Model

How to Paint a Nude Model. You signed up for something called "figure studio," and there you are, with your canvas and paints--and a naked person. A lifetime of living with social taboos tells you to look away. How does one talk to, much less paint, a naked person? The following steps will help you.

Things You'll Need

  • Art supplies and canvas
  • Props for the model
  • Movable lights
  • Private changing area
  • Model

Recognize that learning to paint nudes is important for your artistic development. You are going to have to get the proportions, the shading and the gestures exactly right because everyone knows what a human body is supposed to look like. You can't hide your mistakes under clothing.

Be grateful that someone is willing to pose nude for a room full of art students. It takes courage to disrobe in front of a room of strangers and model, so be appreciative.

Warm up. Typically, the model starts out with poses held for only a short time, making you get the essence of the gesture quickly before moving on. Some of these gesture drawings can be more interesting than a more carefully rendered painting.

Concentrate on one body part. If you have trouble with hands or feet, just paint those and leave the rest for when you're more skilled. Or you can work on something different with every pose.

Get down what is most important first. If you don't have time to finish the painting during the session, you will be able to work on it at home.

Remember that holding a pose for several minutes can be tiring. Give the model plenty of breaks, especially if you have requested a difficult pose.

Keep you comments to yourself. Never, ever remark on the model's body. In the same vein, a professional model will never comment on the skill of the artist.

Put away the camera. Unless you are a well-known and brilliant artist, no model will allow you to take photos. Don't even bother asking.

Tips & Warnings

  • Remember that the difference between a great painting and one that is nothing special is often the lighting. Make sure you have a few movable lights available. Don't just work under florescent ceiling lights.
  • Give the model props such as chairs, platforms and pedestals. Give him or her something to hold.
  • There is no reason your painting of a nude model can't be blue, orange or any other color. It doesn't have to be of the whole body.
  • Remember that a nude model needs a warmer room than you might prefer. The more comfortable your model is, the better the session. Make sure the model has a private area to undress and dress.

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