Nude drawing is more than its stereotype

Junior Sonia Lepoudre works on a nude painting. Lepoudre and junior Eva McCouley both feel more comfortable drawing nude women.

Junior Sonia Lepoudre works on a nude painting. Lepoudre and junior Eva McCouley both feel more comfortable drawing nude women.

Haley DeParde, Photo Editor

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While some people shy away from the human form, junior Eva McCauley is no stranger to it. Two years ago she began a nude drawing class called Live at Blake where models pose for participants to draw.

“It’s a really chill environment,” explained McCauley, “There’s soft music playing and everyone is calm.” This class meets once a week for two hours. The students begin by doing one minute and five minute drawings, then move into longer 20 minute drawings.

The first time McCauley attended Live at Blake she was understandably nervous, having never drawn a nude model before. “The first time my biggest fear was that I was just going to start laughing,” admitted McCauley, “but I didn’t because it’s a really calm environment.”

After the past two years in the program, McCauley has noticed that it is easier to draw women, not only because she is a woman, but also because the female form is portrayed in the media more frequently. “It’s harder and a little awkward when it’s a man,” expressed McCauley.

While some may see nude art as sexual, McCauley disagrees. “I’m careful about who I tell because sometimes people will laugh at it and think that somehow it’s like a turn-on, but it’s really, really not,” shared McCauley. “It’s one of the least erotic things ever,” she added.

“It’s a great learning environment, you just learn from yourself,” reflected McCauley on the benefits of Live at Blake. “You get better at it every time, and I’ve definitely gotten better at drawing.”

Junior Sonia LePoudre has also had experience with nude art. She enjoys drawing silhouettes of the human form whether it’s a doodle in her notebook or a piece at Studio Seven, where she began classes in seventh grade.

“The first time I did [a nude drawing] was when I was really little and I got in trouble for it. It was really creepy and weird,” shared LePoudre. Now she feels that her art is much more accepted.

“A lot of people think it’s really cool, but then sometimes people think it’s weird,” said LePoudre. “It’s kind of just a matter of if they appreciate art or are very involved in art.”

“If people do have misconceptions about nude art they’re probably really stuck up prude people,” added LePoudre, “because almost anyone can acknowledge that there’s beauty in the human body.”

What attracts LePoudre to drawing the human body is its pure nature. “I don’t really like to draw man-made things, so it’s more natural that way and the human is just really interesting,” expressed LePoudre.

“I just think it’s really beautiful, especially the [female] human body,” she added.

Whether she is at her studio or in an art class at South, LePoudre feels comfortable expressing herself.

“Often times when I draw, I’m just drawing silhouettes of women so there wasn’t anything that was too provocative for school,” said LePoudre about her experience in South’s art program. “When I draw nude people it has nothing to do with sexual organs, it’s just the human body,” added LePoudre.

McCauley and LePoudre both feel that, generally, it is acceptable for them to create nude art. “I think it’s a lot easier to draw naked people as a girl,” shared LePoudre. “When I think of famous artists who draw naked women like Gustav Klimt, he was a really big pimp and creep and weird pervert, but being a girl it’s pretty easy,” she added.

“If you’re a female it’s easier to draw a female naked because you’re more familiar with it,” said McCauley. This is one reason why she feels more comfortable drawing female nudes as opposed to male nudes.

However, this comfort is not the case for everyone. Junior Kai Peterson has been criticized for creating female nudes.

“I’m alright with male nude art, because I’m a male so I have the perspective,” shared Peterson, “but with drawing naked women-I’m not uncomfortable doing it, but I’m uncomfortable with the reactions from people.” Peterson has found that, “a lot of the time people think it’s a little bit perverted.”

Peterson has created female nude art in the past and showed it to his friends. “People joked, ‘Kai you’re a pervert, you drew a naked woman,’” said Peterson. This was discouraging to him.

“It kind of made me feel like I didn’t want to continue doing it,” he admitted, “because I am uncomfortable being criticized for being a pervert, because that’s not something that I want to be.”

According to these artists, what they create is not a perversion. “There’s something that you can’t really capture when you’re drawing or painting someone with their clothes on,” said Peterson. “Because you don’t get to see all of the muscles and the complete human figure.”

Drawing muscles is one of Peterson’s favorite parts of depicting nude forms. “I draw a lot of really muscular men because it’s cool to draw all those muscles,” explained Peterson.

Peterson is still interested in drawing and painting female nudes. “[I have] just as much of an interest [in drawing females] as I do drawing the male form, but I feel like it’s taboo,” Peterson expressed.

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