Montgomery Art Association

My Experience Working from Models via Zoom

4 May 2020 8:29 PM | Anonymous
by Ellen Yahuda

During this time in quarantine and solitude, I decided to try something different and challenging in my painting. I noticed on the MAA Members Facebook group a schedule for models. I have tried on several occasions to arrange for a get together with models and fellow students, and it worked only once.

To me, these new Zoom-based sessions provided a fantastic opportunity to have it all, at my “doorstep,” with no driving and no organizing of others. And, there was plenty of time to meet a new challenge.

I emailed Gazelle, the first model whose date for posing suited my timing. Her reply was helpful and encouraging. The cost was only $5.00 per hour, and about an hour before the time for the class, a Zoom ID and password is sent to your email address.

In that first reply, Gazelle explained the details of the arranged poses and dress of the model in the time allotted. Gazelle also helpfully sent me the calendar for the whole week for all of the models.

I did two sessions this past week with two different models. During the sessions the model and other students interact both before class and during the breaks. For instance, yesterday I asked what each person was using, whether it was charcoal, pastel or pencil. It turned out I was the only one attempting oil painting and was cheerfully told I was brave. That art community out there is so friendly.


These sessions are under the auspices of the DC Art Model Collective. My experience is that the sessions are professional, with attention paid to lighting, background, dress and pose. The models are all supportive of each other, announcing the next model’s session at the end of their session. There have been 3-5 participants and some models in the sessions I have attended. Art friend have been in sessions with up to 10 artists.

I have already decided which sessions I will do next week. It’s really good to have a choice to do one-, two-, or three-hour sessions. With both models, there were 5 and 10 minute warm-ups.

The models ask kindly that you don’t take photos and if you want, they will send you a photo depending on the quality for either $5  or $10 I am still working on two oil paintings and asked for photos to be sent to me.

It was all so smooth, serious and exhilarating. I highly recommend these events.

If you are interested in participating in a Zoom-based session, with the DC Art Model Collective, look for details on the group's calendar, Facebook page or Instagram page.

Sketches courtesy Ellen Yahuda

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