I go to a life drawing group on Saturdays. Typically there are about 10 of us with some people attending every week; some are professional artists and others, like me, hope to fit in the category emerging artist. We sit together in a bright tall room in a big Victorian house in the leafy St Margarets suburb of London, and a different female model turns up every week. We draw and paint, while listening to the BBC Radio 3 classic music station. From time to time you can hear music filtering through from a room down the hall where young girls attend ballet lessons. The light dappling in through the big windows is magnificent, especially on a sunny day.
When we're done shuffling about the room, making cups of tea and looking for milk in the community fridge, Alan calls out and we gather in the drawing room. The model, beautifully lit by the sunlight, typically starts with two 5-minute poses. This is a great warm-up exercise and pushes us straight into putting the gesture of the model onto paper quickly.
The model rarely poses for longer than 10 minutes, which is great if the pose doesn't work for you (for example due to the angle from where you are working), but a race against time to record what you want if it is a perfect pose.
The group has a preference for classic poses and the models are experienced enough to know what we're looking for. Last Saturday, our model was an actress and was obviously aware of aesthetic ways to stand and twist her body. As each model visits us every few weeks, we get used to their bodies (shapes, curves) and after a few sessions it becomes easier to draw them.