A Figure Model’s (Brief) Guide to Poses through Art History

Larissa Pham at The Paris Review:

A figure drawing session frequently starts with gesture drawings—quick, thirty-second poses, which allow the artists to warm up with looser, broader marks, filling up the page. For quick poses, emphasizing vertical and horizontal lines, one might draw on some early examples of figurative sculpture: Egyptian funerary statues, in standing and seated poses, like this one of Hatshepsut at the Met. The ancient Egyptians believed in life after death; the statues were intended to be images of the body that the immortal soul could return to. As such, they’re made to last forever: sturdy, straight-spined, shoulders and hips in perfect alignment. The funerary and religious statuary of the ancient Egyptians wasn’t dissimilar to that of the Archaic Greeks, whose kouros sculptures depicted beautiful male youths, their backs straight, weight evenly distributed, one foot extended aristocratically as if midstride.

more here.