Nudity

If you’re a disciple of Christ who follows and obeys His teaching, then this is something you ought to think through.  I did some searching and there seems to be mixed opinions on this topic. The people (we’re talking about Christians here) that are into art or study art seem to understand the importance of studying the human body and so they are “for it.” On the other hand, the non-artists seem to be opposing it at all cost.  My suggestion is first read the articles that I’m about to link so you can get an overall perspective on this important topic and then examine your own heart and seek the Lord for understanding.

Fine Art will help you to grow as an artist and that involves the studying of  human anatomy, the naked body. So the question is: Is it a sin to look at nude model(s) or images  to better our understanding of it so that we can recreate it with realism? Let me start off by saying that as of this writing, I do not take a “for” or “against” position simply because it’s not black and white. Do you have a passion to grow as an artist or do you use Fine Art as an excuse to lust after the female body and to collect pornographic materials all in the name of “art”? Search your heart and be honest.

There are Christian colleges which allow drawing of the human figure clothed in bikinis or racing suits both of which resemble underwear and have well known advertising campaigns associated with them that exploit sex as the main point of their style. This practice seems inappropriate and more sensual by its suggestive commercial context and the unnecessary focus upon the covered area that it invites. To some, it appears more like going to the beach than to the classroom where serious academic study is underway. (Gordon College’s Policy on the use of Nude Models in Art)

The Greeks believed that man was the measure of all things; as such they sought to find the perfect human form and show it in their art. The resulting nudes are not pornographic; rather, they are the outworking of the Greek ideal. As Christians, we rightly reject their philosophy, but we should not make the mistake of mislabeling their art. (A Christian Perspective on Nudity in Art — Matthew Clark)

Foreshortening and Difficult Poses

In drawing the figure, I noticed that there are poses where I have a hard time trying to get it right. These two examples are loosely based on two photos. The first one was quick and easy. The second one was a lot more difficult and challenging to get it right. I didn’t understand why that is. Then I came across a video by LoveLifeDrawing on YouTube that explains this strange phenomenon: Why is this figure drawing so HARD? Pose difficulty factors (WARNING: Video contains partial nudity).

Isn’t it encouraging to know that you’re not alone? Foreshortening [is] difficult, and a lot of us artists struggle with it. However, it’s not the end of the world! If you look through books such as “The Art of…” or “The Making of…” you most likely won’t see characters design in extreme poses. It’s only when you illustrate or seek to bring a concept to life that extreme poses often come into play.

If you can do basic front / back / side and 3/4 angle, you’re basically ready to go for concept art. Then there’s always photo references out there if you need help. Not to mention that there are 3d models that you can pose and draw on top. Do what you got to do.