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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:…
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:……

: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:…

: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.
Head Turnaround - Top to Bottom by RobynRose Head Turnaround - Front to Side by RobynRose Head Turnaround - 360 From Below by RobynRose

: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:…
:bulletgreen: Suits:………
:bulletgreen: Birds eye perspective:…
:bulletgreen: Sword poses: takuminanashi-stock.deviantart…………
:bulletgreen: Crouching: (top of deviant's gallery)…
:bulletgreen: Upper male body tone:…
:bulletgreen: Assorted dynamic female poses:…
:bulletgreen: GOOD turn around assorted body references


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

Guide to Movement1:Flexibility by Majnouna Bringing Drawings to Life by GoblinQueeen

:bulletgreen:Human Types
Catalogue of Human Features by Majnouna Guide to Human Types part 1 by Majnouna Guide to Human Types part 2 by Majnouna Guide to Human Types part 3 by Majnouna Hand Tutorial -Tips+Reference- by Qinni

Emotions and Facial Expression by Majnouna

: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

Giant Shading Tutorial by TamberElla Let's Draw Lighting Angles by RobynRose Head Turnaround - 360 Backlighting by RobynRose

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..
Add a Comment:
TwelveStoryMountain Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks so much, this is an invaluable resource! :)
JackofallGenres Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013  Hobbyist
MaiKeehl Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Hiya! Was wondering if you could get something for Group Hugs? Like with three people?
neofox Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I suggest checking out *SenshiStock
They have many many good ref pics
MaiKeehl Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2013  Student Digital Artist
SalienCat Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome :la: Thanks a lot :D
Do7anii Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for this! I love you :happybounce:
Roesn Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013
this helped at lot thank you so much!
Linstock Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2012
Thank you so much for this encouraging, practical and link rich guide. This novice thanks you.
dreag2121 Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love this, could get some male head shots? and the " Upper male body tone" isn't up anymore.
Kashykoi Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much, this will really help me to improve..
spartical-7 Featured By Owner May 15, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
One word "bookmarked" very usefully referance page thank you
neofox Featured By Owner May 24, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
You are very welcome :D
Nawaf8 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
THANK YOU! this is the MOST helpful thing i found on the internet ^_^ defiantly bookmarked :) thank you again!
neofox Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
:D you are very welcome
SleepiPanda Featured By Owner May 14, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
if you want more references on eyes, check out *moni158. they have good references.
Lenighma Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
DAMNIT! Why can't we favorite journals?! Thank you SO MUCH! I just got into drawing after two years...this will help so much!!
friendbynote Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2009
Oh my god... You have no idea how much this helped me!! Thank you so much... Commissions seem a lot more fun now. xD
nayruasukei Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2008
Holy WOW you're useful with all of this. O_____O

-grabby hands- LETS HUG.
heartless7 Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2008
Holy shit! 8D I doubt you'll respond to me, and that's alright but I'd like to say anyway that this is an AWESOME journal and very, very helpful to artists all around. Thank you muchly Neo.
skullmuffin Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2008  Professional Artist
You're my hero. Srsly.
joaniedark Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2008
Wow, thanks for collecting all these in one place! *_* This is great
ATeenageWitchling Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2008  Student Filmographer
If there was something to fav journals, i'd do that now.
neofox Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
c: There is, it's called bookmarking
ATeenageWitchling Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2008  Student Filmographer
LOL true, true.
Nothing-tra-la-la Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2008
wow thanks I really needed cool of you!
RavenclawProngs Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2008
You are awesome.
Fhulhi Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2008
Waaah! This makes me happy. You rock.
littlechihuahua Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2008
X_X I wish I could fave journals. This is radtastic.
Kaye-Kioku Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2008
This is awesome! You're the first person I've seen do something this comprehensive. *Bookmarks this journal* Thank you so much! ^_^
neofox Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
c: Glad to of helped enough that you'd bookmark <3 Feel free to share the url.
I'd like to make this more detailed, so, if you have anything in particular you're looking for or you think others would, feel free to suggested or ask.
PREQUAL-the2nd Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2008
I've always found since I learned anatomy my art advanced in leaps and bounds. I suggest everyone uses anatomy as much as possible, no matter what art style you use.
neofox Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Amen bruddah!
BaconShinobi Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
:iconnotimpressedplz: i think i'll start usin' some'a these..
contorting for self-reference is getting lame.

neofox Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Glad to be of help BUFF DRINK LOTS :iconimhappyplz:
xSkissorsx Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2008  Student Traditional Artist
these are some awesome stock photos
Aemi Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i use stock photos all the time. there are some really good ones out there.
I find another good way to learn to draw people is to take a sketchbook into a busy mall and doodle people in the crowd. no one stands still for very long so you need to hurry. Plus someone is eventually gonna notice you drawing and ask to see so you get the ego stroke on top of it ^_^
sharosudo Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
AHHH thank you :D
Bloodbabe2003 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2008
Thats all fantastic. Thanks a whole bunch for the feet guide.
GhostCamelion Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2008
Holyyyyyy crap, thank you o_o
Neo-Tori Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2008
You just... win. I'm going to art school in September, but most of my anatomy knowledge flew out of my brain over the last couple months. And it's impossible to find really good anatomy books... You saved my ass, I can look like I don't fail at the game of life now =3
neofox Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Glad I could help save your ass c: I'm like Spiderman of the art world. WOOSH.
pinstripedkid Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2008
Thanks for posting this, I'm always struggling with feet.
neofox Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
x8 preaching to the choir. Feets are made of evil. And it's always hard to find good references for them.
typehere Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Neofox, I love you.

Been searching on my own references like this for a while but while I found a few interresting sites, that's more like what I was looking for.

Well, it's exactly what I was looking for. :3

The pose maniac stuff is made of awsome, good stuff to practice with while I'm out of a proper anatomy drawing class untill the next winter semester.

*goes on doodleing*
neofox Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
c: You're majorly welcome.
This is the whole reason I made an entry like this <3
Yeyana Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
hey, neat<3
Fizzlepuff Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2008
oh, this is useful.
thanks for putting that up! c:
RedDove Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2008
Thanks. This is really cool and nice of you.
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