Rules for Artists:
1. DO NOT touch the model, NO exceptions. No touching is a cardinal rule, not to be broken, ever. This rule also applies to artists when working with models privately for life drawing or photography sessions.
2. DO NOT photograph the model and do not ask the model if you can take a picture. A model may feel obligated to say yes because you are paying them, so it's best to not even ask. Make a separate appointment for photography because when an artist's model does photographic modeling, they make at least two to four times as much per hour as live models. Photographers/artists should have a model release specifically stating the intended use of the photographs.
3. DO NOT chat with the model when he/she is modeling. Conversation is distracting for the model and your fellow artists.
4. DO NOT make comments about the model's body.
5. DO NOT invade the model's personal space. This includes sitting on the model stand any time the model is on it, five feet away is a good starting point.
6. DO NOT ask the model personal questions such as their last name, where they live, etc.
7. DO NOT ask the model out on a date.
8. DO NOT allow non-artists to wander through the room.
9. DO NOT remove your clothes when the model does. I bring this up because it happened in one of my drawing classes when I was a college student.
11. DO pay your models well and thank him/her profusely for participating in the art making process. Here in Birmingham, AL, USA. we pay our live models $20 per hour, and photographic models $50-$75 per hour, with a 2 hour minimum, as of this date, 2015.
12. DO assign one person to be moderator to help models maintain their pose and get back into it after breaks. This person will speak for the group, giving verbal directions to the model rather than having many people telling him/her what to do.
1. Show up. Arrive a few minutes early to get changed and set up.
2. Bring a robe and change into it, away from the group, in a bathroom or other space provided.
3. Wear a robe on breaks.
4. Do not talk while you are modeling.
A Few Other Thoughts:
Everyone be kind and polite and all will be well.
Artists and models are vulnerable in this situation. Don't critique work unless asked, this goes for artists and models. Don't go to drawing group unless you're really interested in drawing the human form, creepers stay away.
I have updated this blog post after input from artists and models, and from artist/models.
If you have any more etiquette tips I'd love to hear them, and I'll add them to this post. Post your ideas in the comments section below.
I'm so very grateful to our drawing group and our models. You are much appreciated!
Here are a couple drawings I've done recently at our local drawing group.
Alexandra, graphite and white charcoal on toned paper, 16x12
Gwen, graphite and white charcoal on toned paper, 16x12
Here are a few favorite reader posts about drawing: