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Old 10-28-2001, 11:38 AM   #1
Deborah Chapin Deborah Chapin is offline
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question Models en plein air




I'm including more figurative work in my plein air painting, and I am having a difficult time in finding reliable models. Although I can do small figures from the people who are actually in a scene I would like to find models to do more indepth work. Can anyone suggest first how to find good models and second how to keep them working. Also, could you give me some tips how long one generally keeps someone in a pose. Since most of my models have been friends to date and they aren't used to modeling it has been difficult to judge this topic.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Deborah Chapin
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Old 10-31-2001, 11:49 PM   #2
Daniel Arredondo Daniel Arredondo is offline
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Deborah;

A good place to find models is near a university or college. If their schedule allows, I find lots of willing student models. Different parts of the country pay different fees. In San Antonio, we pay about 30.00 for a 3 hour session with 5 minute breaks after 20 minute sittings. If you want to keep the break to 5 minutes I suggest timing the break also. If the model sits nude it is generally higher 40 to 50 dollars for a three hour session. Models with experience will sometimes sit for 25 minutes and 5 min breaks.

Some inexperienced models sit there and want to do a good job for the artist, and do not want to take a break. Encourage them to take a break, because by the end of the session they will regret it. As my son stated, the first hour is fun, the second you earn your money, and the third is pain.

Find other artist that are willing to paint with you and share in the expense of the model.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by Cynthia Daniel; 11-02-2001 at 04:34 AM.
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Old 11-01-2001, 08:42 AM   #3
Deborah Chapin Deborah Chapin is offline
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Models en plein air

Thanks Daniel for your helpful information. I am trying out the area but perhaps I may be doing it wrong. When I was in college I used to check bulletin boards for notices but I have a feeling that that day and age is gone. This is clearly going to take a bit of research. I live outside of Washington DC so should be plenty right? Just have to find the right place to put out the notice.

I'll let you know how it works.

Deborah Chapin
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Old 11-10-2001, 10:06 PM   #4
Steven Sweeney Steven Sweeney is offline
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Finding -- and keeping -- good models can be difficult. Because of atelier experiences in which "long pose" or portrait models quit after about 75 or 85% of the work had been done, I have for my own portrait practice hired models on the basis of, say, $8/hour, paid each session, with the promise of a $2/hour bonus payable *upon completion of the portrait*. The closer you get to finished, the more the model loses if she/he quits. Of course, some discretion is required. A professional model might refuse or be offended by such an arrangement. But a student trying to pay the rent may not lightly walk away from the bonus payment.

If you're not quite ready for commissions and need practice more than sales, consider offering the finished portrait to the model as payment, or as a complement to a reduced hourly payment. Take some good photographs of the finished work, for your portfolio.
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Old 11-11-2001, 07:54 AM   #5
Doug Rugh Doug Rugh is offline
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We've had two sessions a week for about 6 years. This is how I've found it works for us (similiar to Daniel):

Two-hour pose with a timed 5 minute break every twenty minutes. $15+ for portrait (they just show up); $25+ for costume (they come up with interesting outfit); and $35+ for nude. The plus is tips. The bigger the class the better they do. So a figure model can make over $45 in two hours. Once a year I take out a small ad in a local paper for models.

I've found it's important to start and end on time so noone is inconvenienced. Also, if I have to cancel a session for any reason attendance will start to lag. Our group is popular and usually packs a room because we are informal and there's lots of yacking. This has taught me to paint and talk at the same time as well. We rent space for $10 a session at an old train depot, at night with artificial light, and an old firehouse, in the morning with daylight.

As solitary artists, it's a good chance to get together, have a good time and still get something accomplished.
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Last edited by Doug Rugh; 11-11-2001 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 11-11-2001, 08:15 AM   #6
Deborah Chapin Deborah Chapin is offline
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Thank you Steve:

Since the last time I received a message here I have arranged one thing with a student of mine. In exchange for one free class he's agreed to pose on location for me for 12 sessions. So that will be one stretch. I have another model who is a daughter of one of my French friends who I am hoping will do another stretch. I found that the french kids are really quite willing to pose. Longer tradition and they understand the reasons behind working from life.

I'm still looking for at least 1/2 dozen more so I can work pretty steady on this aspect of my work.

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Deborah Chapin
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