Nude models turned away as role is so popular

Johanna in a class member's work from the popular session
Johanna in a class member's work from the popular session
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ORGANISERS of a city-centre art class have revealed they are having to turn away people full of a naked ambition to bare all.

All the Young Nudes, a life-drawing class which is open to artists at any level, has been gaining popularity since launching in Edinburgh six months ago.

However, although the door is open for those who’ve never picked up a pencil or paints before to get involved, they are having to turn away people who want to pose nude – because they lack experience..

Joanna Susskind, who first began the events in Glasgow after taking part in life-drawing classes at the School of Art, explained: “I have a book with about 300 names in it, and every week more people get in touch to ask if they can have a go.

“It’s great that there is so much enthusiasm. but a lot of people admit they’ve never done nude posing before, and I have to ask them to apply again once they have some experience.

“Posing isn’t as easy as it looks, and I need to make sure the models know what to do or it ruins things for the artists.”

Even with these requirements there is still no shortage of people eager to remove their clothes for would-be artists.

And though the class may be called “All the Young Nudes” Joanna assures us that age doesn’t really come into it.

The 28-year-old said: “I have a staple group of about twenty different models of both genders, in all ages and sizes, who we rotate so there’s a brilliant mix of subjects.”

One of her regulars is Johanna Samuelson, 30, right, who lives in the West End of the city and has been life-modelling for about three years. She said: “It did take me about two years to build up regular work as most classes do just want experienced models, but now I pose for artists all the time.

“I really love the ‘All the Young Nudes’, it has such a laid-back, friendly atmosphere, but you can also tell that people have come there to work and that they’re taking it seriously. It’s great.”

But Johanna admits it can take a while to get the hang of posing: “Even if you’re just doing a short pose, anything that involves flexing your legs or feet will lead you to start shaking, very quickly. I made that mistake when I first started and also began sweating quite profusely, which isn’t ideal for the artists.

“I’d also advise against sitting on your legs for any length of time, as it can end up being quite painful. And if you’re doing a long pose make sure you have a back rest, and that you’ve had enough to eat and drink beforehand.”

Lauren Donachie, General Manager of The City Cafe, where the classes are held every Tuesday night, said: “We’re really proud to be involved in the ‘All the Young Nudes’ project, they’re a great and growing group of people.

“It’s wonderful to add another regular evening to our calendar of events, that makes inventive use of our downstairs venue – we can’t wait until the next night!”

Joanna added: “I really would encourage anyone who’s ever wanted to give drawing or painting a try to come down. It’s only £4.50 to get in and you can even buy materials here if you don’t have your own.

“We also have a unique playlist created for each event, which have proved really popular online and give people at the class an excuse to get chatting to each other.”

For more information about “All the Young Nudes” visit