Drawing References and Resources

14 min read

Deviation Actions

neofox's avatar

Updated: Aug 13 2012


The best way to improve is to draw from real life. That's the best way to learn. If you don't know how to draw a certain angle of a hand or an arm, you shouldn't fudge it, you should always look it up and figure out how to draw it right. Hiding the hands behind the body is a no-no, people! The proof of bsing is easy to see: neofox.deviantart.com/journal/…
But often it's very hard to weed through the crap to find good stock to use as reference. So here I am, doing the work for you and naming some helpful resources.

:bulletred: PRIME ADVICE
I've been teaching my friend Kitteh how to draw, so I'm learning first hand just what steps to take to improve.
There's one very special thing you must do to improve. With this special thing you can go from amateur to pro. And that's PRACTICE. You can get all the references and tutorials you want, buy all the books, save all the tutorials and references, but they won't do you a lick of good unless you PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.
I'm not talking about slaving over a drawing for HOURS AND HOURS. I'm talking about just taking a little time out of your busy life, fifteen minutes to an hour drawing a day consecutively. For example: take a half hour to draw a page or two full hands, and do this everyday for a week. By the end You'll be sick of hands but you'll find yourself a master at them. The practice adds up.
You can see my friend's improvement right here: 25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lvz… 24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lwy…

:bulletred: LIFE DRAWING
The best practice for anatomy, pose and perspective is life drawing. I always urge artists to find life drawing classes. Often art schools will have them, or there'll be sessions where you can pay $5 or so a certain day to come in and draw a nude model.
But for the some of us who can't find those courses, here's a helpful little website that does much the same. It offers resources and quick poses to draw up to get the feel of the human body. Remember, it's all about quick gesture drawings; getting the feel of pose and line.

:bulletgreen: POSE MANIAC: www.posemaniacs.com/pose/thirt…

:bulletred: Head
Starting at the top: the head. Deceptively simple. Angles of the face are REALLY hard to find. Fudging them can make a pic lolzy really fast. Head stock can be hard to find. Especially JUST the right angle. So give thanks to these peoples that take the time to do these in depth stocks.

:bulletred: HANDS
My favourite part of the body to draw, other people's worse nightmares. Here are some helpful hand poses, probably the most useful resource I can offer. Remember, hands are as expressive and emotional as the face itself.
Left Hand - Reference by WindsweptSummer Right Hand - Reference by WindsweptSummer P.A.'s Hand Stock by PAs-Stock Hands Reference by Pikishi

:bulletred: LEGS/ FEET
These can be as annoying and complicated as hands, but just as important. If a foot looks weird or wrong, the entire picture just doesn't look right.

Feetback pack by Essence-stock Feet Rise Pack by Essence-stock Feetfront Pack by Essence-stock

:bulletred: EXPRESSIONS
This is a harder one to reference, given that faces are different sizes and shapes. What you have to remember is that there are more than just muscles driving the expression but feeling as well, that's why they're called 'expressions'.
This is the best I could come up with, I'll definitely be touching on this one again. It's a sketchy category to help.
Package - Head Shots I by SilverMelindaStock Package - Head Shots II by SilverMelindaStock The many faces of Phil by PhillipTobin

:bulletred: POSES
Full body poses / resources.
I definitely suggest exploring the full galleries of those I suggest, not just the specifics given here. c: More amazing stuff to be found.
:bulletgreen: Couples: falln-stock.deviantart.com/gal…
:bulletgreen: Suits: cobweb-stock.deviantart.com/ar… cobweb-stock.deviantart.com/ar… cobweb-stock.deviantart.com/ar…
:bulletgreen: Birds eye perspective: syccas-stock.deviantart.com/ga…
:bulletgreen: Sword poses: takuminanashi-stock.deviantart… ahrum-stock.deviantart.com/art… ahrum-stock.deviantart.com/art… ahrum-stock.deviantart.com/art…
:bulletgreen: Crouching: (top of deviant's gallery) ahrum-stock.deviantart.com/gal…
:bulletgreen: Upper male body tone: anatomystock.deviantart.com/ga…
:bulletgreen: Assorted dynamic female poses:  senshistock.deviantart.com/gal…
:bulletgreen: GOOD turn around assorted body references kxhara.deviantart.com/gallery/


Skin Tutorial by acidlullaby Some skin swatches. Algunas muestras de piel by MarinaSchiffer Skintone Swatches by Xadrea

Tutorial: Human Figure by kitten-chan

Tutorial: Hands by kitten-chan Arms and Hands Tutorial by Snigom Hand Tutorial 2 by Qinni

Tutorial: Feet and Shoes by kitten-chan

Bringing Drawings to Life by GoblinQueeen

:bulletgreen:Human Types
Hand Tutorial -Tips+Reference- by Qinni


:bulletred: COLOUR
Colours, how does they work? Slap on some blue for sky, green for grass and yellow for sun, you're golden. NOPE. You have to think about silly things like colour theory and light reflectivity and shadows and man, now your head is exploding! No, it's cool, man. It's cool. I got you covered with some sweet tuts here to help you out.

:bulletgreen:Colour Theory


Thanks to all those who are the owners of said stocks and tutorials I've given reference to. You guys are helpful.

If you're copying a pose or using a photo for photo manipulation you should ALWAYS credit the picture used.

Hopefully this has been both useful and helpful c:
I'll try to update this journal with new resources if I find. So check back every often!

If you're looking for a particular reference or resource, something that you just can't find, a suggestion or what have you, feel free to ask via note.
Or if you have any reference pics or even tutorials that you think are worth sharing- please feel free! c: I love art and I love helping fellow artists improve.

Hoping to get more references on:

:bulletblue: COLOUR! ( SURE, why not. A deviation in topic, but still important in art )
:bulletblue: Eyes
:bulletblue: art book recommendations
:bulletblue: expressions (facial)
:bulletblue: basic drawing tutorials (proportions, bodies, hands, etc)
:bulletblue: from life to art: looking at the body then translating it to art
:bulletblue: pictures with various poses of ie: hands, feet..
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TwelveStoryMountain's avatar
Thanks so much, this is an invaluable resource! :)