Nude Life Drawing Session by L.J. Ireland

As an art teacher at a vocational high school I had spent some time discussing with my class the usefulness of drawing the figure in an unclothed state. We discussed how many famous artists began painting with nude models and then clothed them to suit the costuming of the period.

Students appreciated the fact that bones and muscle structure and proportions of the figure had more clarity when the figure was naked but that we were restricted to clothed models due to board policy, age of the group of students and the fact that we were taking turns volunteering for the class. Our figure drawing sessions progressed and students took turns modeling.

I circulated offering suggestions and helping with the development of the drawings until I heard the outcry from my class to, “Put it on!”. It turned out that my Downs Syndrome student who was taking his turn as a model had taken it upon himself to help the class out further with defining the features of the human body as he was in the process of undressing! I quickly reminded him that although this was a nice gesture he needn’t continue to remove clothing for the drawing session. He obliged and stopped his strip tease act and the class continued in a more uneventful and demure manner.

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