It’s really usual and accepted for artists to use models; not just to practice drawing the human face and form, but as ‘characters’ within their paintings and other work. I guess I do the same – I see someone, a stranger and use their face, or their expression, or the sound of their voice or the way they move, and that face, expression, voice, movement becomes part of a character within my writing.
However, I sometimes feel a little… not exactly guilty, but a little… something. My characters are pure fiction, not a single one is based on anyone I know… apart from aspects of me, maybe, but for example, the four brothers in my Radwinter stories, who have developed and changed as the story-lines have developed, were originally based on the faces of actual people – three of whom I have never met or seen in real life, and one who I don’t know but have seen. I know nothing about my models characters, and I daresay they are completely different from my characters; however my characters are all handsome, intelligent, interesting men, loving and loyal to their families, strong in times of crisis, brave in extreme circumstances, so why do I feel a little not exactly guilty but something, about having used real faces? When I occasionally see the person I have based one of the brothers on, I always have a little twinge as if I’m thinking it is a bit of a cheek to have just ‘borrowed’ his face… would he mind if he knew? Probably not, he would most likely just be a bit puzzled!
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