Figure Drawing: A lesson learned.

Weber State Figure Drawing Session Final Render

Figure Drawing is an incredibly peaceful and rewarding event. I hold all the models in the highest regard, after all, they are sharing something special and very private with me, their figure.

Just recently I took my latest figure drawing down, I’m not sure if anyone noticed or not, but there was a reason. I unwittingly broke this trust with a model and I am immensely sorry for it even though we’ve made amends.

Surreal Post Session High

As the artist and not the model, I sometimes forget the overwhelming and surreal feel they get when modeling, especially when they stay so calm and composed. After the session, I casually talked about how I post figures on my blog and Instagram, but as you see, I rarely post faces or keep them rough and unrecognizable to keep things private. Often, the model is still on somewhat of a post modeling high and trying to take things in.

I posted the image and received an email shortly later asking me to take it down. I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND so I made haste and pulled all the images. If they change their mind, I will repost. They mentioned that they were cropping and censoring it for their audience and when they went to tag me, they noticed the full, uncensored image.

What’s The Harm In Sharing?

You may ask what is the harm in sharing without DIRECT permission if the face isn’t shown? Well, it’s usually not, but allow me to supply a possible new perspective a friend queued me in on. If a model is posting a cropped version for privacy, if family and friends follow the tag, they may, and most likely will, find the uncensored version.

My Lesson in Online Sharing

Here is my lesson and hopefully you’ll allow me to share it with you. We often assume that because a model is modeling for us, we immediately have permission to post our art, and without it being identifiable, we legally can (I believe you need a model release form if identifiable, correct me if I’m wrong). Now, there is a difference between legal and moral. The moral thing to do is to DIRECTLY AND CLEARLY ASK PERMISSION. This was my mistake. In casual conversation, even though I mentioned it, they may be too distracted by the prior events to take it in, which was my case.

As Artist’s, we all respect our muses. Though some may not agree with this, and if you don’t, share your opinion in kind and well mannered words, but we must respect our models wishes for them to return. If a model changes their mind, I would say respect the wishes even if time has passed. This is a part of being human, we can change our minds and change them again. You should have enough art in your bag that taking one down, permanently or temporarily shouldn’t hinder your online presence.

I really liked this model and want the opportunity to draw them again, by not respecting their wishes, I wouldn’t be allowed this opportunity, and as you’ve all seen, I’ve posted other art in the mean time. One image isn’t going to break my online presence.

Without further ado. Here is last weeks model, full, clear permission given to share.

Figure drawing structural lines

Committing the line work in the figure drawingWorking On figure Drawing value rangesFigure Drawing Rendered

I will be revisiting this post and updating it as I continue to think about this and clarify my ideas.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever posted an image without clear permission? Tell me your story!

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