RAM Guidelines on Timing and Rests for Life Models - Register of Artists' Models
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Guidelines - Timing & Rests

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Consultative Guidelines

6. TIMING & RESTS << Guidelines Main Page

i). Timing

A surprising number of tutors are unable (or unwilling) to time poses accurately.  Some don't even possess a watch!  Experienced models vary the 'dynamism' of their poses to suit the required length.  This becomes quite critical in the case of poses of ten minutes or less.  There are two ways of dealing with a situation where the tutor repeatedly goes over the stated time.  One is simply to strike less ambitious poses that can be held for longer, but this doesn't do the model's reputation much good.  The second resort is to time the poses oneself, for which purpose an electronic timer is very useful.  Some tutors object strongly if a model stops poses immediately upon the bleeps of a timer.  However because of the generally bad situation with timing, RAM asserts the right of any model to insist on the use of a timer to time short poses.

ii). Rests

With regard to longer poses, there are so many variables that successive RAM meetings have failed to come up with any formula for breaks.  In the case of either 'stretches' during a pose or main tea breaks, it is probably a matter of negotiation, common sense and experience.  For standing poses, there used to be a rule that there must be a five minute break after every twenty minutes.  This is still the rule in some parts of the world, but now tends to be thought too 'soft' in the UK.  In any case, there is no easy way of dividing poses into standing, sitting and lying.  Poses that don't quite fit into any of these categories can be the toughest to hold.  Experienced models should be able to tell the tutor when the stretches are going to be, new models should not be too ambitious with their poses.  Even so, there is sometimes no alternative to learning the hard way. Finally, it needs to be said that life modelling is very far from being the soft option that too many people still imagine it to be.  It is simply not reasonable to expect to be comfortable and free from pain all of the time.  This would require so many rests that one would never be posing at all!

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