Me and My Shadow

I promised my readers that I would post an image of artwork from the New York Academy of Art as soon as I could get one. Well, I am a woman of her word. After just a few weeks of posing down there, I already have a great drawing to share with all of you. And the timing couldn’t be better, as this really helps to prod me out of my giddy blogging funk.

This pencil drawing was created in Chris Pugliese’s Friday atelier class by Barbara Fail. Barbara is a gifted artist of many talents. She draws, she paints, she sculpts, and I hope I have the opportunity to pose for her again. This one was a doozy! Yes my right arm is leaning into the wall, yes my right foot is raised, and yes the pose was tough as hell. But well worth it I’d say. Only once during the seven six-hour sessions did I have to step out of the pose completely, just to drop that arm for a few seconds and shake out my wrist. Otherwise I hung in there pretty well.

The lighting was set up beautifully by Chris, with the figure half lit and half in shadow. It was a challenge for the artists to capture the “emergent” quality of the model, materializing through subtle values of lights and darks. The standing pose being “active” adds even more interest and movement. A touch different from the garden-variety contrapposto.

So this is me in my first ever modeling assignment at the New York Academy of Art, through the eyes and hand of Barbara Fail. Many thanks to her for letting me take a picture to share on Museworthy:


19 thoughts on “Me and My Shadow

  1. Lin says:

    Wow that’s absolutely fantastic!!!
    I really mean it…I REALLY wish I was that talented (but I’m not, dammit!)

    • artmodel says:


      Neither am I! Barbara did an incredible job. I’m always amazed at the meticulous skill and observant eye that artists use to create drawings such as this.

      Thanks for commenting!


  2. swatch says:

    What a great piece!!
    This ability is something to aspire to.
    Seven six-hour sessions??? Wow that must have been agony. Just the other evening I read your post about what you think about as you stand there. Claudia you do very hard work.

    • artmodel says:


      It is hard work, no doubt about it. But keep in mind that this pose was not typical. While most long poses are strenuous to some degree, this one was more strenuous than usual.

      Besides, consider the drawing that was produced. Makes it all worthwhile 🙂


  3. Bruce says:

    7x 6 hours in that pose? Wow. How often do you break? Every 20 minutes? I love posing myself. I am working with one of the artists from that school. We do one pose but 3 hours at a time in his home. I love the head space I go to, but can’t even imagine holding that pose for 42 hours. You are amazing!

    • artmodel says:


      Surely you don’t mean that I HELD THE POSE for 42 hours? I wrote; “seven six hour sessions”. Not 42 hours straight!! It was three hours in the morning, break for lunch, then three hours in the afternoon, on seven separate days. Yes, we break every 20 minutes for a five minute rest, and then back in for another 20, etc.

      I hope this clarified it.

      Thanks for your comment.


  4. ColdSilverMoon says:

    Wow, great pose and great drawing. 20 minutes intervals or not, I can tell you from experience this is a tough pose. The first 20 might be easy, the 2nd 20 might be ok, the 3rd might be tolerable, but after that it starts to get old quick. I much prefer 6 hours of all different poses to one continual long pose – not to mention 7 sessions of the same pose! Congrats on the patience to hold a great pose like that, and to Barbara Fail for a wonderful drawing.

    • artmodel says:


      I’m totally with you in your preference for shorter poses. I am a short pose model at heart. They are my favorites. But over the years I have learned to respect the long pose and, luckily, figured out the tricks for holding them well.

      In this particular pose, the tough part was the raised right arm. Everyone thought the difficulty would be in my legs but it wasn’t. That right arm inevitably had circulation problems which created numbness and cramps in the shoulder. Pretty uncomfortable.

      So glad you liked Barbara’s drawing. She did an amazing job. Thanks for your nice comments!


  5. dougfromcanada says:

    Very well done by both of you!

  6. Charles Estrada says:

    Amazing pose! Well done.

  7. You earn your money, Claudia.

    A the weekly, 2 hour, sessions Where I sketch here, the models do a lot of 2 to 10 minute poses and never over 20 minutes.


    • artmodel says:


      Thank you so much, that’s nice of you to say. I guess we New York art models handle some pretty hardcore and demanding poses. We’re abused! But I’d say that the art models in most large cities, art academies, and serious art schools work just as hard.

      Nothing wrong with short poses, by the way. Plenty of value in them as you know. I actually prefer them.

      Thanks for your comment!


  8. Dave Rudin says:

    This IS a very nice drawing, I have to say.

  9. paul budzynski says:

    C ~
    While reading this thread, my thoughts keep returning to ‘recovery phase’. I hope you have access to quality body workers or at least a good tub for soaking in some epson salts.
    Sometimes when my own body is taxed to the extremes, it is oddly more usage that is my key to recovery. Usually something related yet different than what I’d been doing.
    Hope you get a chance to get back out to Nantucket if you’re Summer in the City, slows enough.
    Miss you.

    • artmodel says:

      Paul!!! This is absolutely amazing. Our family has been planning our trip to Nantucket this summer and I was going to email you once the plans were finalized!! They are, and we’re coming 🙂 I’m so excited to visit the island again!

      Your advice on “recovery” is so wise and helpful. I don’t do tub soaking nearly as much as I should. But I am religious about stretching and cool down. And I totally agree with you about using more movement to aid in recovery. I find a brisk walk to be very beneficial. When I’m modeling, I will often use my breaks to just walk around the building, even if I only have a few minutes. Then I get back into the pose and the strain feels a little less.

      Paul thanks so much for commenting here. I will email you very soon and tell you my Nantucket schedule. Hope to see you! And hope you’ve been well 🙂


      • Claudia,
        Life’s been the proverbial ‘rollercoaster’ but who doesn’t appreciate a good ride?
        What are the alternatives?
        Looking forward to your Email and to catching up.
        Yes, Amazing is a good word.
        Thank you for your note, it made my day…

        • artmodel says:


          Sounds like we have a lot of catching up to do! I look forward to it.

          I am all too familiar with the life as a rollercoaster metaphor. I’ll make a terrible pun and say that it has its “ups and downs”. 😆

          Email is on the way, and I am beyond excited for Nantucket! It’s going to be a great summer.

          Thanks Paul!


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