Painting a live Model

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Portraying and Painting with Models

One of the most inspirational methods of painting for many artists is to paint a live model. Painting with models helps an artist not only gather a better sense of perspective on the subject, but also allows the artist to connect with the subject, which allows the artist to gather first hand impressions of the subject and work them into the painting.

Many artists find that they portray the human form differently when working with a model than when working with a photograph or memory.

A live model with a pose for a painter

Many people can be willing to pose for a painter, but models should be given an estimate of how long they will be expected to hold a pose, as many people find themselves unprepared for the task.

For artists, while many people choose to paint a replica of the model or to create a vivid and lifelike work, many artists instead choose to use the human figure as inspiration for a more modern and unique style of painting.

A model, while typically used to serve as the basis for a painting, may also be used solely as a source of inspiration. For many artists, asking a model to do a live sitting when being painted is to provide an emotional inspiration.

In addition to capturing a physical likeness on canvas, the use of a live model helps the artist to truly portray the model's personality, working characteristics into the painting, either through the use of shadowing and facial expression or by the tones and colors used.

Subtle aspects of a painting can truly help capture the personality as well as the look of a model.

When it is necessary for a model to pose for a painter for more than one sitting, it is advised for the artist to take a photograph of the posed model from the point of view of his or her easel.

This will allow the artist to properly pose the model for consecutive sittings, ensuring that all details are the same and that there are no subtle changes that will affect the outcome of the work. It is also important to take all possible steps to ensure that the model is comfortable, as lengthy poses are made harder to hold by uncomfortable positioning, temperatures, or blinding lights.

Portraying a live model

In short, painting with models can be a richly rewarding experience and can provide both the artist and the subject with a more realistic portrayal. Live modeling truly allows a better sense of personality and perspective to be conveyed both by the model and the artist. While some artists still prefer to paint from memory, the use of live models provides many artists with a renewed sense of inspiration, particularly when dealing with a block. For those with difficulty painting the human form, studying its perspective and proportion can often help an artist to understand better the way to express such a complex figure. The human figure is one of the most commonly painted subjects, yet one of the hardest for an artist to accurately portray. For many such artists, a live model is the key to understanding the human form as it relates to art.

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Portray a live model & painting with models