Become a Figure Drawing Model with These Steps

How to Become a Life Drawing Model

Have you ever been curious about becoming a life drawing model? Do you like the idea of bearing all to complete strangers?

It might seem like a totally foreign concept to a lot of people, but life drawing modelling is only getting more popular as people feel increasingly open and free in themselves. A person can become a life drawing model for a number of different reasons; a job, boost of confidence or interest in art even. If you see the appeal of modelling in the nude to a room full of artists, we can help you figure out the first steps to your dream here.

What is Life Drawing?

Life Drawing (or figure drawing), by definition, is a practice where a collective group of artists capture the ‘human form’ when viewing a live model. This means no photos but working from a real-life subject which is usually placed in the centre of the room surrounded by a dozen to 50 artists at any given time. The idea is that the model is to be in their ‘purest form’, meaning naked. The practice can be done using no bounds which means any creative medium can be used whether it be using pencil, charcoal or paint to capture the scene.

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What Will You Need for Life Drawing?

Being a life drawing model has certain elements to it that not a lot of people realise. Posing for life drawing classes needs a lot of practice and training before you’re able to become a regular. Our bodies need to build up the strength to hold strenuous poses for extended time periods, meaning you can’t just dive straight into the action without putting your body under pressure.

What Qualifications Do You Need to Be A Life Drawing Model?

Luckily for you, no formal qualifications are needed in order to become a serious life drawing model. All you simply have to do is get your name out there in the field, apply for job positions and potentially attend an interview. The criteria is based all around your ability to hold poses, and of course having a professional yet bubbly personality that artists in the class will be able to enjoy and communicate with. Learning how to become a figure drawing model is all in the practice.

How to Practice Becoming A Life Drawing Model

You should train yourself to be able to pose for long durations and control your muscles, as in most interviews you will be asked to hold a variety of poses anywhere between 5 minutes and 45 minutes. It is important to show professionalism during your interview and performance, along with a confident personality. It is completely normal to feel nervous, so you may be asked to go back a handful of times in order to build up your confidence to become a regular model.

The Type of Person for Life Drawing Modelling

You don’t need to have a six pack, big bum or perfectly toned body in order to be a life drawing model. If anything, instructors and classes prefer to have realistic and unique features on their models, covering all body types. Life drawing is all about presenting the human figure in its natural glory in all shapes and forms, hence why anyone regardless of age or appearance can become a life drawing model.

In order to be a life drawing model it is important that you are comfortable with your own body in the nude as you will be posing in front of people whilst naked. It’s completely normal to feel a little nervous the first few classes you model at, however classes are always made as comfortable for the model as can be by setting rules and life drawing model etiquette procedures.

Does Life Modelling Cater for A Mixed Gender LGBTQ+ Group?

Yes! Life modelling is a career path that anyone can be part of. Life drawing classes are diverse and all inclusive, meaning that both the models and artists themselves are welcome regardless of how they may identify. Everyone is at the class to have fun, get creative and produce their own masterpieces!

What Are The Rules of a Life Drawing Class?

When involved in a life drawing class, there’s a few rules to uphold which are as follows:

  1. Never look at your artists in the eye, it can get very awkward we’re sure you’ll understand why.
  2. Nobody should ever be allowed to touch the life drawing model,
  3. No one should ever be allowed to comment on how you look
  4. You should always have access to a chair or something you can sit/lie down on to make your feel comfortable.
  5. Finally, you won’t be expected to host the event so don’t be put off if you’re the introverted type, there’s a tutor on hand to weave the charisma into the class and run the whole operation.

Posing for a Life Drawing Class

When it comes to posing in front of a group whilst nude, there are a variety of poses to bear in mind. The basis of posing is to ensure your posture is correct, which stretching beforehand will help towards. With classes lasting anywhere up to three hours there are things you should take into consideration such as eating, going to the bathroom and being comfortable with the room temperature before starting. You will need to train your body to cope with posing for long periods of time and ensure you are well rested before a class begins. Life drawing poses can be divided into four categories; reclining, seated, standing and kneeling.


Reclining poses are by far the easiest to hold for a long duration as you body has support to keep you still. These poses also prevent your body from tiring, unless you are tasked to hold any limbs straight.


We all know how it feels to sit still for an extended period of time. After a while the pressure gets to your bum and it begins to feel uncomfortable. Being seated during a class will have the same effect so it’s important to check that the chair is comfortable and padded.


Standing poses are one of the hardest to hold in a class, as all the weighted pressure goes straight to your feet. In day to day we can just shift the pressure to opposite feet every now and again, but this can’t happen in a life drawing class. If you feel uncomfortable doing a standing pose for a long period of time them request some sort of support or make the instructor aware.


If you thought standing was difficult, then kneeling will be even harder. Kneeling down whilst trying to stay still can be very hard on your back and knees, so they tend to be the shortest held poses of them all.

There is an etiquette with posing in front of a class, such as you shouldn’t make eye contact with an artist as it may make them feel awkward and talking too much whilst posing may disturb the class. If the poses become a pain and are too difficult to hold, then don’t try to be a superhero, simply ask to take a break. Whilst on breaks or stretching remember to cover up with a robe!

Rules regarding the behaviour of the class tend to consist of no comments about the model’s body are to be made, classes are private so no outsiders can watch, no one can touch the model and the model can dress/undress in private, ensuring the whole experience is comfortable for everyone involved in the class.

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