You don’t have to be beautiful to rule my world

Or rather (to get on to safer ground and avoid what Prince was actually singing about) to make me want to draw you.

I've put together the pictures on this page to show that you don't need to have any particular body type to be a life model. You don't need to be a pretty young woman or a muscular man (or a pretty young man or a muscular woman for that matter). There are two requirements - you have to be able to keep still and hold a pose which may last for several hours (you will get breaks in that time but it still isn't easy) and you have to be interesting to draw - which isn't only a matter of striking interesting poses, I always think it includes having presence and to be able to project personality.

(Having said that, the good-looking models do have an unfair advantage. If someone says to me, “S/he’s a good model”, I have noticed it can mean either they kept still and showed an interesting character, or they couldn’t keep still and were obviously bored but they did look good!)

And, while I don’t want to discourage anyone from trying modelling, it is only fair to point out that there are a lot of older male models chasing a limited amount of work. I have drawn some excellent older male models, but they were good because they put a lot into it. If you are an older man who wants to try modelling you need to ask yourself, “What is my unique selling point; what will make artists and tutors want to book and rebook me?”

New models sometimes ask me to suggest poses to them. If you want ideas for standing, sitting, reclining or other (crouching, kneeling, doing handstands etc) poses, use the links to go to the relevant pages.