Thursday, April 26, 2012


Yesterday, I was asked to pose "semi-nude" for a group of artists this Friday. I reluctantly said yes, mainly because it was the first time this group had requested a booking of me in years (I had thought that the group had disbanded), and I didn't want to turn down this first request. But I absolutely hate the idea of posing "semi-nude." The organizer suggested that I model in swim trunks or something similar. I did find a pair of gray gym shorts which I will take to the session with me.

99% of the modeling I do is nude; the rest is the occasional fully-clothed portrait. I haven't done a "semi-nude" session in 8 years, and after the last one I did, I swore I'd never do another one. That session in 2004 was for an intermediate drawing class, the students of which were deemed "not ready" for a nude model. But the instructor wanted them to be able to see as much of the form as possible, so she asked me for minimal coverage. I got a posing pouch, which was just a male g-string, and modeled in that. I absolutely hated the state of mind that put me in. I felt impure, as if part of my body was deemed inappropriate even after all the nude modeling I had done. And of course, covering that one part of the body just drew more attention to it, to the point that I felt that the atmosphere was much more sexual than in a regular nude life drawing class. I felt degraded somehow.

That's not me in that picture, by the way. I would never post a picture of myself in such a thing. Nude yes, posing pouch no.

I threw the pouch/g-string away after that class, and since then I've shyed away from anything that didn't say "figure drawing" or "life drawing" in the course title unless I knew that nude models were the norm (like the Drawing II classes at the University of North Texas, for instance). It is the purity of the nude that has kept me modeling all these years. I'm helping artists and art students create art which represents and depicts God's greatest creation, made in His image and likeness, in its purest state. I also have the satisfaction of knowing that I'm doing a job that the majority of the population either wouldn't or couldn't do.

Experience has taught me that nude is my overwhelming first preference, clothed second, and semi-nude a very distant last. But of course, once I accept a job, I'll do whatever the group has asked of me. I did air my feelings to the session organizer, so we'll see what happens Friday night. If I don't change the organizer's mind, I hope modeling in my gym shorts won't leave me in the awful state of mind that working in that posing pouch did those 8 years ago.


  1. For some reason I think of the draping of Jesus in Dali's Corpus Hypercubus.

    1. I don't think I've ever seen that painting before. That's strange looking, unlike the cloth wrapping around Christ's groin seen in most artwork depicting the crucifixion. I tend to prefer Michelangelo's depiction:

    2. Haha, me too! Nudus nudum sequi Christum, "Naked to follow the naked Christ."

  2. Dan, maybe you could make something that looks like one of those "pixelated" areas you see over the genitalia when they show nudes on network TV. It's the modern version of the "fig leaf" that was applied to classical statues in the Victorian era.

  3. Fred, it turned out to be a non-issue. I got to the session, and we decided on a pose from one of Michelangelo's figures on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel (or as close to it as I could get). Since that was a nude, the coordinator said to just do it nude as well. And I'm sure that the gray gym shorts I had would not have left me with the same feelings I had with the posing pouch in 2004. If anything, the booking gave me a chance to blog about one of the few unpleasant experiences I've had modeling.