Life Model Posing Tips

Updated on June 9, 2020
Laylarc profile image

I've worked as a model and starred in a couple of movies. I like to write about modeling.

Learn how to pose efficiently for any duration!
Learn how to pose efficiently for any duration! | Source

Life Model Posing Tips

The best models are the ones that can make interesting shapes with their bodies, and keep ever-so-still. You don’t need to be a gymnast; artists are looking for subtle and interesting positions. Turn your head a little, make your pose slightly asymmetric with an arm movement and your class will be very happy.

This is harder than it looks, and it is easy to pull muscles in a cold studio. Here are some tips to avoid discomfort.

If you only have to pose for 60 seconds, you can fling your arms out, stand on one leg or twist your head to an unnatural angle. Any longer than this and you will start to wobble, and eventually, it will hurt.

It’s not so much aches and pains as pins and needles that cause problems on a long pose. Your legs and arms can go numb if the blood supply is hampered by squashing or twisting, which is why the simple poses are best for drawings of twenty minutes or more.

Practice these simple poses, and then when your tutor says ‘O.K. this next one’s for half an hour,’ you won’t be in agony halfway through!

Very Comfortable (Up to an Hour)

  • A natural standing pose, hands hanging by the side, perhaps part of back or bottom supported by a wall. Weight evenly on both feet. Head can be turned gently to the left or right.
  • A natural sitting pose, hands resting on knees or crossed on knees. You can vary the positions of the feet quite a bit. Head turned gently to left or right.
  • Lying in a very natural position without arms or legs bent. It’s very easy to fall asleep in this position! Also lying on back with one knee bent and foot flat on the floor.

Moderately Comfortable (About Half an Hour)

  • Standing naturally with weight on both feet, but with arms loosely folded in front.
  • As above but with arms clasped behind back (one hand holding elbow or wrist).
  • Standing with one or both hands on hips.
  • Loosely curled on your side on the floor (make sure you are not lying on your arms).
  • Feet and bottom on the floor, hands behind you on the floor.
  • Flat on your back, knees in the air, feet on the floor.
  • Bottom on floor, legs loosely crossed, arms crossed or hands on knees.

Ten-Minute Poses

  • These are poses that start to get uncomfortable after about ten minutes:
  • Standing, arms crossed overhead (experiment to find how this is comfortable for you).
  • Leaning against a wall with most of your weight on one foot.
  • Crouching on all fours (makes your neck ache after a while).
  • Curling up in a tight ball on the floor.
  • Balletic poses
  • Holding a stick in both hands (like a spear!)
  • Supporting or holding the draped fabric with your hands.

Very Quick Poses

Almost any pose can be held for a few seconds. Art teachers will often want a series of rapid poses for the students to ‘warm up’ with at the beginning of a class. If you dance or do sports this will come naturally to you. If not then practice ‘throwing shapes’ with your body. Spread your arms out, twist your head, stand on one leg and pretend you’re a rock god playing an air guitar in freeze-frame. Don’t panic or feel silly the first time you do this, as the class will be much more concerned with trying to capture the angle of your elbow than how much of a gymnast you are.


Remember to warm up for five minutes before you pose, especially if you are working in a cold studio.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      9 months ago

      This has been really useful, thank you! I've booked in my fourth session as a model now and I'm enjoying it a lot.

    • profile image

      Justin Davis 

      2 years ago

      I always wanted to be a nude model to help me pay way through college and finish my degree in process technology in 4 more months ill be 38 going on 40 I want to be finish with school.Im still pursue a career in this If I have to travel from state to state; or go to Italy I will.I don't have to worry about getting lay-off from work.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I did life modeling for a art class a couple of years ago.My sister takes art lessons and their regular model had not been able to make it that day.So they were looking for a volunteer.My sis pleaded with me and I finally said yes.It was embarrassing for the first few minutes of posing nude but after that it was ok. Not much to worry at all.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)