Sketches and Sweat

My last post turned out to be one of those “careful what you wish for” deals. I innocently puzzled over where the authentic summer “heat glob” had been all these weeks and, lo and behold, the very next day we had temperatures in the 90s! Hot, humid, sticky. Georges Seurat the prophet.

But you know what? The heat sucked! What’s that old saying? “Never let them see you sweat”? Well art models are the exception to that rule. I posed at Spring Studio last night and I was sweating my ass off. Gross. The Tuesday night session begins with quick warmup poses which I normally enjoy very much, athough you can get pretty hot doing them. Of couse Minerva had the AC on plus a couple of small fans near the modeling platform. But oppressive heat is hard to beat even with all those accommodations. It’s not just the weather. It’s the lights. Regardless of our nudity, models often feel hot just from the lights beating down on us. All the fans in the world can’t combat those lights.

For one of the fast poses I did a standing gesture with my arm raised. During that one minute duration I felt beads of perspiration crawling and creeping down my torso, making their way to my bellybutton. For another pose I did an athletic, showoffy, semi-reclined backbend. I glanced at my body, and I was practically glistening! Soaking wet. Sometimes you get so sweaty and slippery that if you pose with your hand on your leg or your hip it will slide right off your body. I spent my short breaks drying off with my towel.

But the folks at Spring Studio last night didn’t seem to mind their shiny, sweaty model. They were as focused and serious as they always are down there. The opportunity to draw from life is the primary concern. The session ended with an 80 minute long pose, for which I sprawled out on top of the posing blocks on the platform. My friend Eleni was there, and she was working in red conte crayon which she wetted with water to create a wash effect:


More of Eleni’s work. These poses were five minutes:


15 thoughts on “Sketches and Sweat

  1. severnyproductions says:

    cool sketches

  2. inknform says:

    Reminds me of my days in college, having to constantly strike up conversations with the model to get her mind away from the fact that the overhead lighting was burning a hole in her skin. But, I’d always get a laugh in the end since (being more a sci-fi/fantasy artist) I’d dress her sketch in some outlandish costumes…although, that never really earned me bonus points with the professor 🙂

    fun fun fun.

    • artmodel says:


      You are a good person to feel empathy and sensitivity toward the model. We suffer so very much! 😆

      I bet your sci-fi renderings were really cool. Ah, what do the professors know!

      Thanks for your comments.


  3. PADoug says:


    I’d rather have that then the experience of having part of your body freezing while the other is roasting like we had last spring…

    Glistening bodies?? I say perhaps good art. Although some would say (And I’d have to agree) that the abundance of body oil is what turned me off to body building. Chisled is good, but sweat…

    • artmodel says:


      Temperature control is a big issue for art models, Too hot, too cold, it’s always something! Sometimes artists just have to accept their model either sweaty and glistening, or shivering and goosepimpled 😆


  4. swatch says:

    Hey Claudia – your dedication is inspiring as usual – I am always taken by how hard you work for your artists. I like these sketches. Stephen

    • artmodel says:


      You’re so sweet, thank you 🙂 I do work hard, sweaty or not!
      Glad you like Eleni’s sketches.


      • Eleni Papageorge says:

        Dear Claudia,

        I think having a model pose in a warmer studio is better to prevent muscle spasms than freezing them to the point of pneumonia.

        Those of us who draw the figure know that when you have a strong model like Claudia, not only do we find ourselves working harder …and enjoying it. But we find we can NEVER make a weak drawing of that model. Because when the model is good and they enjoy modeling, he/she won’t ever let the artist get frustrated.

        Thank you very much for your feed back on my sketches.

        • artmodel says:


          YAAAAAAYYY!!!!! Thanks for commenting!!!!!

          Museworthy looks better with your sketches posted. I think we’ll need another installment 🙂

          I appreciate your kind words, friend . . .


  5. K L says:

    Claudia..that made me hot just reading it. I guess I’m not as old as I think I am!

  6. ColdSilverMoon says:

    Lovely sketches, and great poses. Art models know the hazards of a hot room, hot lamps, and the exercise of strenuous gestures – profuse sweating, even from those of us who don’t have a propensity to sweat – thank you for that post. While I always become embarrassed when I sweat a lot, I think it adds a realness and “liveness” that artists might enjoy. It reminds them that it’s a REAL person doing those poses, not some lifeless prop.

    I’m sure you were wonderful on Tuesday – just imagine doing intimate duo-sessions in that type of heat!

    • artmodel says:


      Oh my god, yes! I have done “sweaty doubles”! It’s quite a scene.

      I appreciate what you said about us models being “real” people who, on occasion, perspire. They want “life” modeling, they’ll have to deal with a little sweat! 😆

      Thanks for your nice words and terrific comments.


      • ColdSilverMoon says:

        Heh, reminds me of a double with a female model at an all-night draw-a-thon a few years ago. It was June, very hot, and there was no air conditioning. It was about 3 am, and most of the 30 or so artists were a bit tipsy, along with the female model I was posing with. We decided to push the envelope a little bit and try some “acrobatic” poses. We were both hot and sweaty, and I held her in my arms like a baby for one of the poses – it was all I could do to keep her from literally slipping out of my hands!

        For the next pose I was on my hands and knees and she sat on my back – my bare back and her bare butt. The “squish” sound that came out when our skin initially made contact still haunts me! I’m all for intimate poses, but that was a bit much!

        Ah, what we models do for our craft!

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