Nude Drawing?!?!?


Hey everyone…

its been a super long time since iv properly hung out at the boards.
but i have a random sorta question -

Im currently in my first year of uni and next sem, i have to take a subject called ‘Drawing’. This is unfortunately a core subject, although my degree focuses on film, sound, web design and photoshop. Yes, its wierd, that i have to take this subject even though it has no relevance 2 my degree!

However, this subject entails, the use of NUDE models for some of the classes. some of my friends told me that there are 3 nude people who come into a class - one guy, one old lady and some other random. I’ve talked to my friends about it, and the teacher apparantly asks at the start of class - does anyone have an issue with sketching the models…? and no one ever stands up and says they have a problem with it. mm… and i highly doubt in this subject u can get extra credit, if u dont do the sketches. also, i seriously dont want to have 2 re-do the subject - if i do choose 2 not attend the classes where nude models are present…!!!

but i was wondering, is this wrong…? is sketching nude models wrong, even though, I seriously dont want to sketch people’s ummm… private areas. I mean, i no in science it is justified. But this is freaking art… so would it be justified in this case…?

also, at the end of the day - I want my eyes to be for my husband’s body and his alone. and omgosh… i was trying to explain this to my friend but it could put me in an ‘occasion of sin’, even if i dont think badly of the subject… correct…?

ok… seriously, im at a lost cause for this… what should I do…? or what can i say to the tutor to get out of it, if i can?



No, it’s not wrong.

The Sistine Chapel is filled with pictures of nudes, and many of the classical works of art, including art of holy subjects, include nudes.

The human body is one of God’s most beautiful creations. If you can learn to draw it in such a way that glorifies God, you will do a good, redeeming thing for the world.

I am not an artist, but I believe that learning to draw nudes will help you to draw better clothed people. You have to know how the body works and articulates (under the clothing) in order to draw people who breathe and speak on the canvas or paper or computer screen.

I’ve known several artists, and all of them, including the men, say that they experience absolutely no sexual arousal in the “nude” drawing classes. To them, it’s technique, work, all very clinical, just like a doctor.


I was an art major at a Catholic University and we sketched nudes. It’s no big deal really. Honestly, the nudes we had weren’t really something “special” to look at. They were ordinary looking, some fat, some muscular, no “playboy model” types. You spend so much time trying to concentrate on getting your renedering correct with regard to pose, angels and correct form, that you don’t have time to think of anything sexual.


No, there is nothing wrong with this at all. It is not porn, which is meant to stimulate you in a sexual way. It is simply learning to draw the human body, and is more like anatomy than anything. I work in a college, and life study (that is what it is called here) is part of the core curriculum for the visual arts. If you can’t learn to draw the human body, you would be missing an essential element of what artists do.


I took a nude drawing course too. A tad disconcerting because none of the students knew what to expect when the model arrived in a bathrobe. You aren’t conditioned to spend the next hour looking at someone else’s body. but, like the previous poster said, you get lost in what you are doing and your embarrassment evaporates.

It is no more an occasion of sin than a medical student or nurse examining a body.


Here’s something to think about.

If/when you get married, how do you think your spouse will feel to learn that you spent hours and hours staring at the nude body of the opposite sex. The danger is especially the “private parts” obviously, which you cannot just ignore.

My girlfriend was in this same situation though. Thankfully they never had a male model because it didn’t work out, which I am very thankful for. If they had a male model, I would have been very upset to learn that she was pressured to stare at the nude male body. Obviously it is possible to do this without feeling temptation, but I personally feel the nude body is something that should only be for your spouse. The thing that frustrated me most was that the art department at our university said there were no exceptions for religious reasons. They used to do that, but don’t any more. I have told my girlfriend that it’s lucky for both of us that we were not dating at the time she took that class because I would have been incredibly upset.

oh and don’t try to say “oh well there’s nude paintings in chapels, etc.”. There is a huge difference between seeing the painting of a nude and seeing a nude person in front of you.

I realize a lot of people will disagree with me on this, but it is how I feel and no amount of logic or references to Vatican statements on the issue can change my mind. Trust me, i’ve tried to convince myself that these things are ok, and I just can’t. I really feel that taking away the mystery of the human body from people is a terrible loss. Imagine how much greater it would be for you to get married and have that be your first experience of really seeing someone of the opposite sex naked? I think it would make the act all the more glorious and make the bond between the spouses stronger as it is one more thing that they share.


I respect your right to make this decision for yourself, but I don’t think that everyone will need to make the same decision.

According to what you are saying, a medical student, nurse, or any other health care professional who is in contact with nude bodies of the opposite sex will not find marriage as special. Sorry to be blunt, but that’s just nonsense.

It is very different when you are with your spouse and when you are bent over the body of a patient (or art model). Being with your spouse is a mystery and glorious act even when you have been married to them for 30 years and have seen them naked not only during lovemaking, but during times of sickness, showering, trying on new clothes, etc.

Being with a nude patient or art model is just a job. That’s it.

BTW, I think that it is a good thing for a person to be familiar with the anatomy and physiology of the sex organs of the opposite sex before coming to the Wedding Night. A lot of husbands who have no idea what a vagina and clitoris are like make a royal mess out of foreplay and intercourse and cause the woman unnecessary pain and/or discomfort, and a woman who is unfamiliar with the sensitivity of a male penis and scrotum can cause some her new husband some pain.

There is nothing indecent or immoral about studying human sexuality and being at least clinically familiar with what everything looks like and how it all works. Believe me, you’ll enjoy sex more if you know how everything works.

Usually this study is done through books, but if you have the opportunity because of job (medicine, art, physical therapy, etc.) to study real sexual parts, it’s a bonus. The real thing is always easier to work with than a plastic model or a picture.


The nude model in my class came in a bathrobe and was positioned before removing his robe with the private area kept covered.

Of course, I cannot speak for all women but I think the majority would agree that men are wired to be influenced by visual stimulation. Women aren’t. That is why pornography is 98% a male thing than a woman’s. Look at it another way. A woman wears skimpy clothes in a red light district, she gets customers. A man flashes and he gets arrested.

I think you assume that a woman sees a male penis she get aroused. As I previously stated, women are nurses. Touching is involved and they do it every day. Would you be worried if your girlfriend was a nurse?


It is a bit odd that you can go to a university and learn something artistic and think that learning drawing, the basis of art, is not important? Art is art. Porn is porn. They are worlds apart.

I also wonder, from your use of letters in place of words, are you very young and have not had a formal education in the past?


*The human body is a beautiful thing…created by God. Porn and such industries have taken that beautiful art ‘form’ and made it a tool of lust for many. God never designed the body to be considered a lustful tool, but mankind tainted that. So, to me, I see nothing inherently wrong with visualizing a human body, and drawing its likeness. *


I think what we are seeing here is a detrimental consequence of the prevalence of texting and IMing. Some people, like me, spelling out everything, but many others do not.

I edit adults who write reports for companies, and many of these adults submit what are supposed to be FORMAL reports with text speak in place of proper words.


I think that even though the human form is beautiful, great art has depictions of the nude body, and drawing a nude person is not the same as watching pornography, (all good points) if a student does not feel comfortable participating in this activity she or he should not have to do it. Especially if it’s for a core art class that is required of non-art majors.

Years ago, I was an art major and didn’t want to do it then. I was fortunate to never have it come up, before I changed majors. Even now I don’t think I would want to sketch a naked person. I have modeled for artists with clothes on, and sketched clothed models. There isn’t much to be learned from focusing on drawing the private parts. If you can draw an arm, a shoulder, a foot…well, you get the idea!

The professor may or may not realize the pressure being put on students in the class to go along with this. I know modesty is all but dead in many places, but I’m sure that many students have not spoken up because they felt they would be the only one, and didn’t want to be a prude. Maybe you could speak to the professor in private before the discussion comes up, and come to some deal where you could do an alternative project.

Again, it’s not whether it’s okay to sketch a nude person or not, it’s about whether you are comfortable doing this. I just want you to know you’re not the only one who isn’t!

God bless you! :slight_smile: Good luck and I hope you enjoy the class! (Art *is *important!)


p.s. You didn’t tell us exactly what your area of study is, but if it involves design and photoshop, it absolutely makes sense that you should take a drawing class for it! Learning to draw is about seeing, focusing on details and getting them right, which you will definitely be doing a lot of in this area! :smiley:
just another 2 cents




well im going to just comment on the stuff that really sticks out to me, that was said by all you lovely posters…

honestly, i would feel uncomfortable sketching people who pose nude for me, especially if they are guys. Not because, I think its porn or something like that. But its what I do with the images implanted in my mind afterwards. (yes, unfortuately i do have an active imagination…) Maybe, a week later or maybe even 2 years later. >< and yup, i do agree… i no that the body is not something dirty and tainted. and that would be a heresy if i believed that (yes, saw chris west speak about this). But in general, I dislike most NUDE art! and i feel there is a difference between looking at art that is of a nude person and looking at a nude person.

and also another reason why i do not want to go through with this is because of the mood and atmosphere that im in. Most of my friends who do my degree are non catholic. I know some one will probably make some dirty jokes about the human body or later, talk about it or whatever. so really, i just want to escape that occasion of sin.

I guess, the only time where i would agree to actually study a person in the nude. Is if i was doing a science degree. because, thats justified - because at the end of the day, scientists and doctors are trying to better people in society. While, what art seems to do is nothing… Its really just there for pleasure…?! am i thinking incorrectly on this??!

btw - Last sem, i had a design theory subject - where the professor would always talk about sex in every lecture and tut. Even, though it was irrevelent to the topic. I then decided to miss all the lectures after the first 3 wks + miss the max amount of tuts. because, i didnt want to hear about more feminist, freudian and other sex driven theories.

Even this sem, I have an art history/theory subject. It is on Postmodern Art. I also have chosen to miss all the lectures and so far missed one tut. but plan on missing the max number of tuts, coz i dont want to hear about some artist who decided to paint about their interpretation of sex. or something related to that.

I dunno, maybe from this you’ll get the sort of person that I am. I guess, Im just trying to stay innocent and avoid the near occasions of sin. But the nude model thing - im not sure at this point… coz my spiritual director said, if i can get out of it. I should try. but if i cant, that its not a sin, and it should be ok! so im seriously at a lost cause…

< ah! life is difficult! lol…


ok… well in the future. I want to do film, animation and web design. Im not to fond of fotoshop! >< so we’ll have to see about that…

but seriously, nude modelling…?! it doesnt make sense… coz i mean, they could technically wear tight clothes… then it’s at least covered up?! or give us a dog to sketch… or sumfin different?!..


**Please, if you are in a college, at least attempt to spell correctly and use basic grammar. **

It does seem the problem is immaturity. If your friends are so immature they cannot take a life drawing class without being crass, then, find mature friends. Cultivate friendships with educated and thoughtful people. People from your Parish or your College Campus Ministry should be your chosen peer group.


ok… thing is… i am friends with the people in my uni who are apart of the Catholic Chaplaincy. but none of them study my degree which is unfortunate. and often - the people who do talk crass, are often not what i consider as my close friends. I cant get away from them. I mean, I do my best with ignoring comments or trying to stand up. But often, it’s hard to do that. but i do try!

but honestly, this isnt about who im friends with. coz at the end of the day - none of these people will get me my Bachelor. Its me, who will get it. but its the way i do it.

I dont mean to get feisty but not everyone in my class thinks or ticks the way I do. :slight_smile:


If nude art is ok, some artist had to look at a nude model to make it.

Drawing nudes is not sexy, it just doesn’t have that feel when you do it. It is quite impersonal and there is a definite etiquette involved. In fact, the models t artists like the best are often especially un-sexy.


I’m thinking that you are going to have a hard time of it in this career.

Almost every artistic field will involve working with people who are “crass,” as you put it.

I suppose there are Catholic or non-Catholic Christian places where you will be able to work without coming into contact with these people.

But I think that if you can’t learn to tolerate some of the more far-out arty types, and if you are judgmental of things that they say and do, you will have a very hard time finding work.

Christians called to an artistic career generally seem to have an amazing God-given ability to hold onto their faith, keep a strong testimony, and yet get along and be friends with other people who are not Christians in their beliefs or behavior.

I hope it all works out for you. Like I said, I respect your right to follow your conscience when it comes to drawing nudes. But I’m not so sure that you have chosen a good career for yourself.


There have been studies done that show that pornography is becoming increasingly more popular among women. Do not try and say women are not affected by it.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit