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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Nude not lewd

    Artist and model Steve Holmes strikes a pose for an upper division figure drawing class. Nude models play a crucial role in the UA College of Fine Arts curriculum.
    Artist and model Steve Holmes strikes a pose for an upper division figure drawing class. Nude models play a crucial role in the UA College of Fine Arts curriculum.

    “”So do you really draw naked people?””

    UA fine arts senior Paul Temple says that’s the one question his friends always ask him about art school.

    And the answer?

    “”Yeah. Yeah I do, because you have to!””

    Figure drawing is an essential component of many art classes, and at the University of Arizona it begins in Drawing 101.ÿ

    “”The youth of the 101 classes is very apparent,”” said Steve Holmes, one of the models who poses nude for these art classes.

    “”I had a guy come into class, and I was up on the podium in the classroom, and he looks and goes, ‘Oh, a dude! Man, I don’t know if I’m gonna be able to do this!’ÿAnd he ended up staying in the class, and he toughed it out and manned up.””

    Holmes started modeling for life drawing five years ago, when a fashion design drawing class needed models for their designs. He now models for a variety of venues, including the Pima Community College East and West campuses, The Drawing Studio, the Tucson Museum of Art as well as the University of Arizona.

    “”It scratches that teacher itch in me,”” said Holmes. “”You’re not taking a life drawing class, you’re taking a life-seeing class. We’re such a visually oriented species,”” he said.

    By providing aÿteaching tool to draw from, Holmes said he is contributing to the bigger picture of art education. He is in high demand as a model because he takes the job seriously.

    The prospect of sitting naked and motionless in front a group of people whose task is to capture every inch of your body on paper is intimidating. However, Holmes said that the physicality of the job is more strenuous than many might think.

    “”There are a couple of models here who are basically round people, and there’s not a lot of detail to get into there with a drawing,”” said Holmes. “”I do yoga, which enables me to get into and hold poses that some of the other models avoid,”” he said.

    Physical fitness is an important trait for a nude model, from both the model’s and students’ perspectives.

    “”Anyone can model; any human body will work, but some are better than others, and I’ve got the instructional version here,”” said Holmes of this variety.

    “”We had been promised a very beautiful woman, and instead we wound up with a guy,”” Temple said about his first day of figure drawing. Often the students’ expectations differ from the reality of working with nude models.

    However, there are other aspects of modeling which sometimes escape the public; the job is more than a naked body on display.ÿ

    As an artist himself, Holmes brings an extra perspective to the task of posing. “”I know the things that I like to draw. I know the poses that I consider dynamic or interesting or have more potential for other development into another piece,”” he said.

    While he may have experienced some initial disappointment about the models chosen for his classes, Temple also recognizes the need for a capable model.

    “”If the model doesn’t have discipline, then the class is a waste of time,”” said Holmes.ÿ

    “”The students can get lazy, and the teacher can get lazy, and the students will still get something out of it as long as the model is doing his job,”” he said.

    That job, said Holmes, is to help art students “”achieve what they’re here for.””

    “”In my own little way, I’m making the world a better place, and I get paid to do so. You can’t beat that,”” he said.

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