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On Pinups and the S Curve

You’ve seen it before. Actually, if you’ve done pinups, you more than likely already done it many times.

The S Curve was first used in the West by the Ancient Greeks. Here’s The Venus de Milo by Alexandros of Antioch. The statue depicts the Goddess of Beauty – Aphrodite herself.

Imagine what that statue must have looked like back in the day. No pieces broken off. Fully painted. (Yes, those statues were painted).

The Greeks were the masters of beauty. So much that even today thousands of years later, we’re still taking notes. Heck, right now, you’re reading this article that I wrote in 2019 on something that was literally made several thousand years ago. We share their standards of beauty even to this day!

Venus de Milo by Alexandros of Antioch
Venus de Milo depicts the classic S curve

If you don’t know what the S curve is, just imagine your model’s body making an S. You can clearly see the S in the statue.

The S curve is pleasing to the eyes and could never be overused when it comes to pinup art. If you’re working with a newer model, make sure she knows how to contort her body into a lovely S shape. If she doesn’t, then it’s your job to teach her.

Experienced models will know this, especially ones who have modeled for pinup art. Experienced models know that this is the most beautiful curve on the planet. They’ll readily be able to get into poses that emphasize this curve.

Roxy and the S Curve

Roxy is my brunette model. She’s great to work with. She has a pretty face and a most lovely, shapely body. When she curves into an S, we have absolute perfection.

Here’s a classic example. Note how much the curve resembles Venus de Milo. Roxy did this without even any instruction. She just did it.

Opium Tales Roxy and the S Curve
Roxy knows how to model the S Curve

Note that you can do this sitting down (look for Bettie Page for instance) or standing up. I’m a huge fan of Gil Elvgren’s work. A lot of his models were really good at both sitting S curves and standing S curves. Or he was good at instruction. I’m assuming it’s a bit of both.

Let me know if you have any questions. If you want to study this further, look up Bettie Page images and also Gil Elvgren images. Specifically look for those curves in the pictures. You should be able to see them right away.