Life Model Code of Conduct

NOTE: Everyone participating in Life Drawing at WVWC will be required to turn in their phone for the duration of the drawing session. Please plan to bring your phone to the session – no one will be admitted without their phone (if you forget your phone, you will not be allowed into the drawing session).

In the great tradition of western academic art, undraped (nude) models have been a central part of the teaching process. Society at large has little to no understanding of the purpose, protocol & process of drawing the undraped figure as a learning tool. In order to minimize misunderstanding and the fact many artists are of beginning level, we adapt a professional approach, similar to a Doctor/Patient relationship with strict, predefined roles and protocol of behavior.  This applies to the model, the students and the monitor/instructor.  


  • Model should have an opaque wrap that is worn between sessions. (often a robe or towel is used)
  • Since the classes are composed of students of various levels of experience, skill, maturity and dedication, please create discreet poses. Make them interesting. You are a vital part of the class! Consider the pivotal points of the body (hips, chest, shoulder girdle, elbows, wrists, neck) and extend your limbs in counterpoint, making circles and counter-circles through space (ie – head looks one way, hips face opposite). Twisting the body in various directions is a good starting point. 
  • Please do not incorporate direct eye contact with an artist when posing. It is very distracting for the artist and can be misconstrued. Try to set your gaze above, below or between the artists.
  • Any stretching necessary before or after the pose should be done draped.
  • Models should wear a wrap at all times except when on the model stand. As soon as the pose is over and the model steps off the stand, they must be appropriately draped. If the model remains on the stand between the poses, they should be at least minimally draped.
  • The model may circulate among the students, but must be fully draped.
  • Care must be taken when leaving the studio (to go to the bathroom, etc.) to be properly attired as the general public may be encountered.
  • It is recommended that the models bring their own towel or sheet to rest on. The studio may not always be as clean as one may want. Be sure to take your belongings with you–security cannot be guaranteed in the classroom.
  • Because of the nature of the studio, walking bare foot is not recommended and is strictly at the model’s own risk. (we recommend bringing flip-flops or other slip-on shoes)
  • Models may bring their own cushions, stools, staffs and other appropriate props. These can be used discretion of the monitor. The studio is equipped with a minimum collection of props and pillows.
  • Sometimes it is difficult to control the temperature of the studio. A portable heater is available, or the model may bring their own if they prefer.
  • Poses typically are held for a maximum of 20 minutes (unless prearranged by the monitor or instructor). There is a 5 minute break between poses. The monitor will time the poses. However, if model chooses to bring their own timer, it eliminates any uncertainty or error of the pose being miss-timed. 
  • Models should arrive at least 5-10 minutes prior to the start of the class.
  • Models should have water and provisions at hand, so as not to wander too far during the short breaks.
  • Daytime Models will be paid if they show up for a class or session that they are scheduled for, even if there are no students. Evening Community Life Drawing models are paid based on artist attendance.


  • Students are expected to be respectful of the model, and there should not be excessive talking while the model is posing. If artists are in an extended conversation and the pose starts, it should be taken outside of the studio.
  • Cell phone calls should be taken out of the room when model is posing. The room should be quiet.  Occasionally the group will play the radio.
  • It is expected that while the model is undraped, everyone is either actively drawing or teaching. Any exception must have the permission of the model and the monitor.
  • Photography is not allowed, except at the discretion of the model. The monitor alone cannot give permission. The artist or the monitor must directly ask the model, and if it is acceptable with the model, the monitor must know that the model has agreed to be photographed.
  • If a flash is used, it should be at the end of the pose as not to disturb the other artists. 
  • Do not approach the model stand or leave your belongings there. That is strictly the model’s territory. Likewise the space where the model will change and leave their street clothes.
  • After breaks, if/when the pose shifts, call out any changes to the instructor. Do not overwhelm the model with instructions. Go through the instructor. Likewise–never touch the model.
  • If a student is uncomfortable with drawing from the life model for any reason, they must inform the instructor at least one class session in advance so the instructor can create an alternate assignment.


  • Monitors direct the model in pose selection. The model has the right to refuse or modify a pose if they feel it will be excessively uncomfortable. The model may be asked to sit, stand or lie down. 
  • Monitors or teachers can ask the model to change or modify their pose if they feel it will best serve the purposes of the session or class.
  • It is not appropriate for the monitor to touch the model for any reason. The only exception would be prearranged with the model (at the discretion of the model) for teaching purposes (for example calipers or other measuring tools, or water-based markers or tape, to identify landmarks, proportions etc).
  • If the model has to return to a pose and tape references are needed, it is typically it is done by the monitor, however if the model prefers, they can to do it themselves.