If you are an artist, you know that practice makes perfect, and this can be said even for figure drawing. You can’t always get a model to pose for you so you have likely turned to the internet in the hopes of finding some figure drawing reference sites. Try the ten listed here, and leave a comment for the one you feel is the best. Be warned that many of these images may include nudity as any artist can tell you it’s easier to learn how to draw the anatomy of a figure if that figure is unclothed.
This particular website offers more than just full body references, but you can also get references for just body parts. There is also a section for animals. The images vary depending on the options you choose – gender, clothed or unclothed, a specific pose, and more. Currently, the body parts section only offers hands or heads, but if you need extra practice with one of those two body parts, this is a great site to find different pictures to use. The animal section includes birds, fish, reptiles or amphibians, bugs, and mammals. You can also choose whether you want the animal to be alive or skeletal. The full body section offers 1,670 images, the body parts section has only 35, and the animals section has 248.
Pinterest is an excellent website to use for figure drawing reference because you can find others who have pinned specific images, like Jordan Gribble’s pins, or you can create your own board from your favorite images that you find online either on Pinterest or other websites. A quick search on Pinterest offers up a large array of images and also some tutorials to help you draw. Just remember that your beginning sketches might not look like some of the drawings you see on Pinterest because you are still a student. Learn to draw with confidence with this online course.
Good Reference Gallery
This gallery, though small, can offer you a great number of excellent photos for reference. Most are unclothed, and there is also a gallery of heads to use as well. Freshdesigner also offers how to blog posts and other tips and tricks. There are videos available and workshops. You can also sign up for access to a private reference library. Chris Legaspi, the creator of the website, also gives advice for finding your own figure drawing reference images by offering suggestions on what to avoid in images. If you need more help with drawing anatomy for figure drawing, try this online course.
This particular website offers a great number of different poses to try, and you can give them your email so they can track your drawing progress and give you a certificate. The idea behind this website is to improve your drawing skill by practicing. You click on a specific category to work with, set your desired time limit, and click “start drawing.” The idea is to draw the basics of the pose and work on detailing later; the image will change after your set time limit has passed. You can discover the seven secrets to figure drawing with a quick online course.
Figure & Gesture Drawing
This gallery, like SketchDaily, offers more than just figure references. There is a gallery of animals, hands and feet, and even faces and expressions. Like SketchDaily, there are options you can choose, but Figure & Gesture Drawing offers an added option of a standard drawing session or a class mode session. The class mode session offers simpler references to draw before easing you into the longer poses, and it also includes built-in break times. This website also offers additional resources so be sure to check them out if you need more help with your figure drawing.
Neofox’s List of References & Resources
This deviantart artist’s page offers more than just reference images. Neofox offers advice on her Tumblr, tutorials for drawing and painting, and she also encourages budding artists to practice because there is no way to improve at something without practice. Neofox offers reference images for heads, hands, legs and feet, expressions, and she also gives a list of full body poses that can be used as reference. Be sure to check out Neofox’s tutorials if you need extra help in a specific area.
This site, though not in English, is still a great site for figure drawing reference images. In a box entitled, “Thirty Second Drawing,” you can select a time limit for each image to be displayed, and the little Flash application will display random images from 40,572 available. The images are mainly muscle, sinew, and bone so if you have difficulties viewing that kind of material, you might want to avoid this site. If you need that extra help with anatomy, however, this can be a great asset for you. There is no need to translate the page unless you are truly interested as the Flash program is written in English.
Figure Drawing References
Another Tumblr website, Figure Drawing References offers a great number of images to choose from. Unfortunately, there’s no way to choose a specific pose or anything, but if you’re just looking for practice, this is a great gallery. This website also offers links to other references, and you can check them out if you need them. This Tumblr links to portrait references, female references, and male references. The portrait references link is a separate Tumblr website filled with only portrait images. The links to female and male references will bring up references tagged male or female on either the figure drawing references Tumblr or the portrait references Tumblr.
Character Designs Photosets
This particular site offers 39 photosets of different poses, both male and female. There are also action shots included, and some of the images involve costumes. So, if you’re looking to practice drawing to eventually create a comic book, this might just be the site for you.