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Models and composition

Hello everybody, does anyone have any experience with models? How do you find them? There is a legal agreement u should make them sign for their image copyright? 


  • dencaldencal -
    edited May 2018

    Models can be found at local model or employment agencies, On line resources can be found by using ‘figure model’ in the search engine.

    Probably the best way is to join a figure drawing group. Meet and talk to the models, ask for a business card.

    Legal agreements are available as modifiable templates on line. Again local is best to suit the legalities in your jurisdiction. Here is an example;

     Photographic Consent & Release Form
    I hereby consent and agree that ________________________________ (Photographer) has the right to take or use photographs of me (and/or my property) and to use these in any and all media worldwide including online, now or hereafter known, and for any purpose whatsoever.
    I hereby release to the Photographer all rights to exhibit this work in print and electronic form publicly or privately and to market copies. I waive any rights, claims or interest I may have to control the use of my identity or likeness in the photographs and agree that any uses described herein may be made without compensation or additional consideration of me.
    I represent that I am at least 18 years of age, have read and understand the foregoing statement, and am competent to execute this agreement.
     Name: Address:
    Parent/Guardian name & signature: (if under 18)
    Witnessed by Photographer:
    Date: Phone:

  • Thank you @dencal !! Let's see if I can find them :)
  • How about going at it obliquely . . . put a little notice in your local Craig's List, or on bulletin boards at local do-it-yourself laundries, or visit a few local galleries or art groups.  I've acquired models with a small notice in the local want-ads.  Also, I used to go to a local library just up the block from a middle school where the kids gathered after school.  I was doing quick pencil sketches, and the deal was, they'd get a free sketch for sitting for me for about five minutes.  I did several oil based paintings because of these sittings.  Once, I had a kid who kept showing up almost every day for another sketch.  Finally, in a kidding tone, I asked him if he was selling his sketches on the street for candy money.  He said no, he was handing them out to his girlfriends.  Models are abundant it seems. 

  • Those are good options too. I still have to figure out. How it works in Italy for legal agreement, plus u said kids and here in Italy I think u need to take special care when. Come to take kid images, expecially if u want to show/sell..
  • edited May 2018
    In my own experience, I have only worked from live models in college art classes, or in private art groups. Models tend to be very expensive and that's why it's better to join a drawing club where everyone pitches in for the model's fee. I recommend working from photos first though to get some understanding of the difficulties you will encounter when working from live models. Making students work from live models is a mistake in my opinion. The human figure is one of the hardest things to master and you'll be in for a lot of disappointment if you aren't well prepared when your sitting before a live model. Learning to draw basic shapes such as cylinders, spheres, and cubes, convincingly is the first step in making good drawings of people. 
  • I think I will never find four or five people to stand for months for complex compositions @Leo2015  :D so photos will be for sure my approach, and I think in this kind of paintings 99 percents of artists use it even if of course they don't write it in a forum :D but of course life drawing is very important, I never liked the basic shape or accademc building bricks by bricks method, even if I studied it,I guess I just have a different mind. If I close one eye and don't move the head I don't find so much difference from a photo of real life, just u have to be more focused and proportion checking all the time.. but anyway the main problem is doing complex compositions like for example Giuditta e Oloferne by Caravaggio in the modern time, if u should do it how u would approach it with life drawing of models? 
  • Bob

    This style of drawing may be more attractive to you.

    Karl Gnass, a teacher for Disney and Pixar, has a lot of resources on YouTube.


  • Thank you @dencal u are on the piece all the time. Do you enjoyed the book? Doesn't make u feel to build a lab in the kitchen?
  • Bob

    Yes I am enjoying Uncle Tungsten. I must say it is an odd sort of book not quite a non fiction, not quite an auto biography, not quite a coherent narrative, not quite a historical chronology. Good reading nonetheless. Thanks.


  • I personally find nothing wrong with using photo references for creating compositions. The problem is that you have to work with poses that are arranged by somebody else and that limits ones creativity to a large extent but if that's all you have, it's better than nothing. I didn't learn to draw figures by drawing basic shapes, but I found out later that it would have helped my drawings look better when I first started drawing them. Drawing basic shapes helps you to develop a better sense of form. It also helps you to understand the way light falls on objects. But if you don't like that method, you can also learn figure drawing by copying good figure drawings. Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci, and many others, made a lot of beautiful figure drawings as you know, and they are there for anyone who wants to learn what good figure drawing is all about. If you want to create exciting figure compositions, then I suggest you start copying the work of the old masters. Do this for a long time until it becomes easy. 
  • @Leo2015 sorry for the short answer but here it's 4 a.m. ahaha they are all good advises, I will try as always to learn the most I can! Ars longa vita brevis. When I talk about using photo I do mean making the composition by myself with models and light control, as I did with my bro in the painting I did with the Caravaggio technique, of course not to use others! Maybe I was not clear before, my question was if I need to make a plaiting like (Giuditta and Oloferne) do u think artists now days paint them from life? I think not.. so I got painting from life is the top, but when it comes in complex compositions is a bit anachronistic to put People still for months when u have a tool. I guess we have different opinions on how to paint and make a composition, I don't aspire to draw easy from imagination because I think nature is better. There are not Caravaggio:l drawing around because he didn't, it was like the DMP method paint what u see in a light controlled environment, anyway I opened this topic for another reason and not to learn to draw.
  • dencal said:

    Yes I am enjoying Uncle Tungsten. I must say it is an odd sort of book not quite a non fiction, not quite an auto biography, not quite a coherent narrative, not quite a historical chronology. Good reading nonetheless. Thanks.


    Glad u liked it! 
  • edited May 2018
    Yea, I know you are many hours ahead of us in Italy. I hope I'm not keeping you awake!  Many artists today do use models for their pictures, especially if they are academically trained. But I also think many artists today are also using photographs and projectors to make the process easier and faster. I think it's ok to use photographed models for a painting. Why not? I prefer it for several reasons: the model wont get tired of posing. The light will not change. You can take better measurements from a photograph too. The only thing is that it should be a very good and clear photo with the model posed exactly as you want it, and that is does not have any distortions. 
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