Yep. That's right. I had to draw nudes when I was in college. All you Southern Baptists...look away!
I can recall the first day I had to draw a nude. Not only was she naked but there was a lot of her. (C'mon...you know what that means) For the first few seconds I paused, not sure what I should do. I finally began to draw. I can't tell you when the transformation from uncomfortable to comfortable took place but I can tell you that after a while, you just sort of view them as you would a still life. It's just something to draw. Heck, during breaks, we'd all just hang out and chat with the models. We got to know the ones that did it alot. It was no big deal.
For some odd reason, I only had to draw a male once and he wasn't nude. 99% of the time we had females. The first girl I drew was the big girl I was talking about earlier. She modelled for us so much, we got used to her and we could draw her blindfolded. Our instructor figured that out and threw us a major curve. She brought in this very athletic gal and it totally threw us all for awhile.
I do recall that I did get uncomfortable one other time. We were drawing the girl that is pictured to your left above. Well it was all going fine when out instructor brought out a ladder. The model put one foot on the floor and the other she planted way up...like on the 4th rung. Well, as you can imagine, it afforded some of us quite a unique view. I had to move my easel to the other side of the room.
The only other time I got uncomfortable was during my first nude photo shoot. The instructors brought in a model for the class and for a while she posed in various costumes with props. After a while, she asked what we wanted next and someone suggested nude. (I'm sure it was one of the guys) She stripped and we all began to take pictures but after a few minutes I sensed that the atmosphere we a little too sexual. The guys in the room (except for me and the male instructor) were giving the model instructions as if it were a Playboy shoot. I started packing up my stuff. The female instructor asked if I was leaving. I answered in the affirmative and explained that I thought things had gotten out of hand. The next day I found out that she stopped the session right after I left.
I really miss figure drawing. It's great exercise. It keeps you limber and your chops fresh. If I had the time I would find a class in town and try to go once a week. Perhaps when I move beyond the collage stage that I'm in now, I will pursue a class. It would certainly be a good way for me to get back into top drawing form.