How to Find a Beautiful Model for Figure Painting

CRYSTAL: 18x14 oil on linen. 2-hour sketch, 2008.

A group of local art friends and I, (Howie Doyle, Dawn McKelvy, Liz Hill, Marty Hatcher, Fred Hulser and Susan Sheets) meet at least every two weeks to paint the model from life.  It's a vital component to painting competently, even if you paint horses!  This week was the lovely Crystal G., a lovely, exotic young lady I found at Sephora!  You have to be careful how you approach beautiful women, but generally it helps when you're female, like make-up shops (I bought some bronzer from Crystal), and go in with a lovely daughter.  Now Fred and Howie are a little shy about asking (and so they should be!  Two middle-aged guys, one with a beard, both looking like artists a.k.a. scruffy most of the time.  I'd be leary...very leary..)  Not to say Howie hasn't managed to find us younger models, it's where he finds them that has us rubbing our chins from time to time.  All I'm saying is "Peruvian native attire".  (J.K.  You know I love you Howie and very much appreciate you setting things up for us.)  I've found fabulous models at the grocery store, horse shows, hair dressers, restaurants, (chefs and waitresses).  You just have to be nice and show them some work so they no you're not too loopy.  It's always a good idea to tell them they don't have to model nude, and tell them the address of your studio so they can tell their mums and dads where to come if they go missing!  (I'll have to tell you a funny story about the gorgeous male waiter I hired for us once and was hunted by his drama-queen girlfriend; I'll look for that painting to show you.)  Until then, by for now and have a brilliant day!  Go find those models, and if you can't go to Macaroni Grill, draw all the eaters on the table cloths.  Some of my best sketches were done while drinking Chianti!