How does a life-drawing model time their pose?

Have you always wondered how a life-drawing model times their pose? Did you know some models count their minutes silently to themselves so they know how long they have until they have to change position? That means counting to 60 for one minute or 120 for two minutes or more before they change pose.

Alternatives to counting poses

I’ve seen some models place their telephone at their feet with the timer set so they can see how long they have for each pose. So, for example, if a whole drawing session is 90 minutes long they continually subtract the minutes of each pose from 90 as the life-drawing session goes along.

Alternatively, some models prefer a simple stop clock to time longer poses. Or they rely on the tutor to do the timekeeping for them.

Choosing the positions for poses with the model

To make sure a workshop or class runs smoothly before the class begins the model and tutor discuss what type of poses will be done and how long each one should be.

Even though experienced models do their own timekeeping, it is also normal for the tutor keeps an eye on the time in a workshop as well. The teacher wants to be sure drawers get enough time to sketch each pose and the tutor has time to give tips and ideas to the individual participants.

When a model does their own timekeeping they can let the teacher know when the pose is about to end in case the teacher wants to add extra time. The whole process is fluid but at the same time organised.

When attempting long poses of say 20-30 minutes or even an hour, the tutor also has time to give tips and ideas to the individual participants when the model does their own timekeeping.

Signs of an experienced model

The sign of a very experienced and professional model can be noted in the way they do their own timekeeping during their poses. Also, they don’t lose concentration during the pose.

Not moving, that is, standing still for the duration of the pose is another important strength of a good life-drawing model. If they move it changes the pose people are drawing.

They also know how to communicate well with the artist running the workshop to understand the goals for the class.

Do you want to know more about being a life-drawing model?