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How to be a nude model

Loren Holmes

Thaddeus DuBois is comfortable with his body -- which is fortunate, because he makes his living modeling in the nude. Of course, such a vocation comes with its perks.

“The funnest thing to say at a party is that I’m a nude model,” DuBois says.

When asked to describe himself, DuBois talks about his artwork, leather handbags and steel constructions. He says modeling nude for artists and art classes keeps him connected to the local art scene. He has modeled nude for the last six years, where he worked at the University of Alaska Anchorage and, more recently, the Upstairs Studio in Anchorage, where we caught up with him recently.

Even overlooking the obvious self-confidence aspect, it’s not easy being a nude model. The two-hour session began with warm-ups -- 10 one-minute-long poses -- before moving into longer poses, culminating in two 30-minute-long poses where the model must stay as still as possible.

The small room was quiet, except for the hurried sound of pencil, charcoal and eraser. The artists came not for instruction but rather to practice translating DuBois’s 3D form into a 2D sketch. The subtleties of the human form are what make drawing a live figure so compelling.

“Drawing the bicep on a man is completely different from drawing the bicep on a woman,” he says. Most places that offer figure drawing have different models each week, so that the artists can practice drawing different body types.

The Upstairs Studio, 406 G St. in Anchorage, offers non-instructed life drawing every Tuesday 6:30-8:30 p.m. Participants must be over 18 and should bring all their own materials. For more information, contact Carol Lambert at 907-223-0733 or carollambert(at)carollambertarts.com.