What distinguishes the better artist’s models?

being naked

For the ignorant being naked appears to be the predominant aspect of being a life model. Posing nude may indeed be exciting or scary to novice models, but these feelings usually don’t persist. A beginning art model may experience his/her body is not judged nor valued as it is being studied. Feeling at ease with one’s body and comfortable with one’s pose may be important to the model, it is only a precondition in the craft of posing.

looks or charisma

For an artist the model’s appearance and charisma are important, yet hard to define qualities. Artists may like or dislike to work with specific models for no apparent reason. Some artists will focus and use only models with a specific body type, capabilities, attitude or atmosphere; for a specific concept an artist may seek a specific type of model. Others may like diversity as they get inspired by the models specific atmosphere to make their work. Physical beauty may be the right body type for some images, but will be useless without the right attitude.

There is more to posing than getting undressed and being watched.
Posing is an activity – a craft which can be trained.

nice postures

A good model can adopt a lot of different nice postures; standing, sitting, lying down and everything in between in infinite ways. In an intersting pose, volumes and interspaces are well distributed in space and body parts are pointing in different directions. A static pose may suggest motion; the more different a posture looks when seen from different angles, the more vivid it becomes. Good artist’s models imagine how a pose would look like and will try to anticipate what the artist is looking for. Many fine artist’s models are themselves professionally engaged in dance, theater or visual arts.

body consciousness and body control

A fine artist’s model also has strong body awareness. A model should feel and remember the chosen pose and have the body control to hold and maintain it. A model continuously monitors and corrects his/her posture and will thereby not weaken nor change positions without noticing, yet will take breaks when needed. Body consciousness and body control help to maintain more difficult postures and to resume them after taking a break. An experienced artist’s model knows and understands his/her body and can thereby estimate reasonably well how long a certain pose can be maintained or what might be possible bottlenecks. Nice postures usually are not the easiest. Therefore I think a ‘perfect’ pose can only be created together; a pose which fits both the model’s body and the artist’s ideas takes time and attention and a good understanding and collaboration between the artist and the model.

for more information on posing see http://www.modelreg.co.uk/

11 life size panels of nudes facing you.