As an artist, you will realize how immensely your art and precision can benefit from engaging in figure drawing every once in a while, irrespective of how talented you are. Attending a figure drawing class is interesting, it is fun and insightful, and a good figure drawing session is a delight for both professionals and non-professionals alike.
With the list of websites put together below, we made sure that your online figure drawing will avail you with different pictures to choose from and different personalization options like the timing of each photo so that even before you go for a real-life figure drawing session you can start growing on your journey as an artist.
Before we start with the list, don´t forget to check my Recommended Art Supplies and Gear page where you will find all my favorite gear for traditional and digital artists alike.
Scott Eaton’s Bodies in motion
This reference site with works by photographer Scott Eaton includes motion pictures, expressions, 3d scans and artworks. Scott documents pictures of athletes and dancers in motion, allowing you to see the body while engaged in different forms, creating an expressive gallery available to be used by artists.
The first thing to strike you when you go through the site is the detailing and high quality of the images on display and this is important because it exposes you to the complexity of the human body.
You can go through a collection of either
You can also time your sessions using the playback timer in view, which also includes other options for adjustments you can make.
To have full access to the materials and benefit from Bodies in motion you need a subscription. There are packages to choose from; basic, standard, and professional each of them vary in how much access you are given to the materials. Of all three subscriptions, only the professional package allows you to use the material for commercial purposes and you will have to decide between opting for single user or multi-user. Also, you join a community of other users who share their works.
Line of Action
Line of Action also provides images, lots of them from which artists can practice gesture drawing from anywhere. The images are donated by photographers and subscribers as well, although Line of Action doesn’t shoot their own images, they accept submission and filter it to only display what will be of educational value to artists.
On the website, you get to control what kind of images are shown to you because the collection has both nude and covered images of both sexes, therefore before you start you will have to select circles that represent your preferred options. For example, what gender of people you want to see, would you rather see them clothed or naked, and how long you want your sessions to be.
This is very important especially if you are sensitive to nudity or you are specific on the kind of imagery you want to improve on. The site allows you to use images and drawing sessions in classes and to display them online.
To enjoy more pictures and control of what you experience on Line of action, it is preferable to subscribe so that you can access other things like submitting photos and discussions by other members of the community.
SketchDaily is a subreddit community focused on helping artists improve their sketching skills by providing different images and updates every day as well as challenges. It is really interesting that it is run by a community and is still functioning fine despite that, even more so because of how interactive the website is.
SketchDaily contains more than just images of people, you can get images of landscape, animals, full-body images, expressions, and body parts, and is very useful if you want to work on the ability to capture a particular body part. You can also filter the images displayed based on their gender and the level of modesty.
On the homepage you see news on any new update to the gallery and on the panel where you get to customize your options, you are told how many images are available for viewing on that day, represented by a number.
When you begin to view an image, it opens the full view on your screen, and a custom bar for adjustment is placed at the top along with the timer notification. This makes it easy to flick through or stay aware of how much time you have for your work.
Posemaniacs offers artists a really great experience if you are practicing figure drawing. If what you are trying to work on is angles and being able to accurately draw out curves and understand the human anatomy, then the Posemaniacs blog is perfect.
Even though there has been complaints about people finding some of the poses displayed difficult to draw, it is important to know that you can find a different kind of poses on Posemaniacs, from easy to difficult and we suggest going at your own pace.
If you find a pose you really want to draw out, it should be a good idea to try turning it round to find the best angle for you, yes you can rotate the images. This allows you to pace yourself based on your level of expertise and allow your own preferred view and angles.
We really think Posemaniacs is rich with content when it comes to angles and body forms, and it is free to use as well so you can jump right on it. Although if you are looking for something with some clothes draped over it to add some artistic character you will not find those on Posemaniacs, also Posemaniacs representation helps to take the edge off discomfort artists may feel with nudity while still displaying the body fully.
Anatomy of the human body for artists by Proko
Any artist will benefit greatly from the videos on the account, it really goes to prove that there is almost nothing you cannot learn on YouTube these days. Videos on the account uploaded by Proko helps to provide details on anything an artist would need to know about the human anatomy. It shows joints and muscles in details as well as explaining how they work. Good knowledge of anatomy helps artists really understand where to start from when it comes to figure drawing and be rest assured that if you go through the videos uploaded by Proko, you will be walking into your figure drawing class confident even if it is your first time, just don’t forget to practice.
In addition to providing knowledge and animated videos about the human anatomy, there are also videos explaining how to go about different body parts and poses as an artist, translating what you see, starting from a single stroke to achieving more detail. We think it is handy for any artist, beginners, and intermediates, and experts, opening them to wider knowledge to help improve drawing skills, consider it a guided gesture drawing session.
All you need to do is go on YouTube and subscribe so that you get notifications about new uploads.
Also, if you wanna know more about Proko’s academy and its fantastic Drawing Courses, you can check my review of Proko’s Drawing Course by clicking here.
Deviantart is a platform for artists to connect, interact and share their creations. Places like this are especially useful for artists that are still trying to build confidence in their work or are looking for others with whom they can share ideas and experiences.
The Deviantart community is made up of different artists coming together to network, as artist knowing that there is a community of people out there that want to see your creation and will pay for it is very encouraging and Deviantart is a platform where you can make money off art.
Along with being exposed to artists and artworks that will serve as fuel and inspiration for your gesture drawing, you can also display what you have made or created and own the copyright to it, you can go as far as selling it.
Since artists decide whether or not their works will be free to the public, you can find some free downloadable content and others you have to pay for on Deviantart that will help you improve your drawing skills with your own private practice time.
We think Deviantart is extensive, the amount of reach you have, the materials you are exposed to, and so on. Being the largest social media for artists, Deviantart stands as a go-to place for any artists seeking to express themselves, expose themselves or even find inspiration from other artists. All you have to do is register and set up your profile.
Once you get the homepage, Quick Poses tells you that it is a website focused on helping artists improve their drawing skills in a few words. This stays as the primary focus of Quick Poses and you can get to it immediately you get to the website by selecting from the options at the left corner.
There is a lot to do on Quick poses, you could go straight to having a timed gesture drawing session, you can decide to get involved in the challenge on the website, you could go for non-timed drawing sessions or you can view the shared drawings by other members of the community as well as learn from the blog.
With Quick Poses, not only do you get a library of images to practice with, you also get to learn tips and to challenge yourself and be a part of a community. Before you start any drawing, you have to select the options you are looking for; gender, clothing choice and body parts or animals or landscape and the timing. This will not take up to a minute to set up before you can start your drawings, and when you are done, you could as well share what you have done.
Pinterest offers a good number of images, many in fact, that can help boost your drawing practice and help you stay fueled and improve before you hit a studio for a real-life figure drawing session.
As long as you know what to search for, you can get both nude and clothed images, you can get both genders as well as body parts and the icing on the cake is that Pinterest is free.
Because of how accessible and free Pinterest is, it is easy to get your images from here, except you will have to time yourself outside the app/website since it is not specifically tailored to gesture drawing practice.
If you are going to be using Pinterest you have to be ready to do the timing by yourself and do it honestly and also you will have to select the images you want to use by yourself.
This site, like it’s name says, is a great resource for artists looking for some high quality photo references for their character designs.
From nude, and non-nude model studio photos, to cosplays and sculptures. Characterdesigns.com is full of cool images that will help you when drawing realistic anatomy and poses. Also, you will find characters images created by other artists that will serve you as inspiration.
The site not only displays human anatomy references, also weapons and objects. I found the antique firearms photo references, from the Army Museum in Paris very interesting. You can check them clicking here.
If you are new to the website I will recommend you to visit the Gallery Highlights. This section is a great starting point. If you wanna get some ideas and also understand the quality of the references you will find stored here, I totally recommend you to visit this section( you can check the section clicking here ).
SenshiStock Sketch is easy to use and navigate and very straight to the point. The moment you open the website you start having images displayed in a slideshow for you with a 30 seconds per image default timer.
If you like what is being displayed, you can head straight to sketching but if you would rather customize your images, you can set it up from the options displayed at the top of the pictures.
Because the website is run by a community, the Deviantart link to the images is displayed as well as a link to show you that it is free by the artist. All images displayed are free and you can download them to use in an offline practice.
Customizing your images on SenshiStock is possible by using tags which is also atop of the image, a drop down menu appears when you click the tag icon, from which you select tags related to the types of image you want to see. SenshiStock is amazing for both online and offline gesture drawing.
In conclusion, these web references will help you take your drawing skills to a new level because they provide you with the right tools to practice from wherever you are. So you cant get some model to pose for you, just visit one of them and get sketching.