Quick Tips: On Referencing Anatomy
|8 min read
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squeedgemonster's avatar
By squeedgemonster   |   Watch
1K 183 63K (1 Today)
Published: November 13, 2011


Reference from real life whenever possible.

When you reference or copy from another artist's studies/sketches/art, you may be copying their mistakes as well. Furthermore, an artist's studies are their notes and --just like with history or chemistry notes-- copying someone else's notes will not help you fully understand the material. To completely understand anatomy, you must take your own notes and build your own understanding through observation.

This is probably a no-brainer for many artists but... scruffynerfherder and I were talking about this last night, and with the increase of "anatomy studies" showing up on dA's front page, it's been on my mind. DA's resource category has some great material, but I also feel like there is a lot of misleading information taught by amateurs who really probably shouldn't be teaching things like shading or anatomy, because they have a less-than-stellar grasp on it themselves. I'm not trying to knock anyone here, but it's a bit troubling to know how many deviants follow this information and learn from flawed examples instead of learning from the real deal themselves. Of course, there's nothing wrong with picking up pointers and tips from others (I encourage it!), but building your own knowledge based on your own observation and experience is key.

Nothing can replicate the experience of drawing from life (which, if you have the opportunity to do so, TAKE IT BY THE HORNS), but since many artists are without access to a live model aside from themselves, here are some links and resources to help you out.

:pointr: Some great stock photo accounts:
:bulletgreen: mjranum-stock
:bulletgreen: SenshiStock
:bulletgreen: HumanAnatomy4Artist
:bulletgreen: Tasastock
:bulletgreen: Voivodess-Stock
:bulletgreen: justmeina
:bulletgreen: chamberstock

:pointr: Some very useful links: (Warning for tame nudity on most of these)
:bulletgreen: ArtsyPoses.com Models (thanks Izene!)
:bulletgreen: Athletic Body Diversity References
:bulletgreen: Pixelovely Gesture Drawing Tools
:bulletgreen: Lovecastle Gesture Drawing Generator
:bulletgreen: Posemaniacs - USE WITH CAUTION & OTHER REFERENCES ON HAND! Figures have no weight/are lifeless, but it can help with poses and angles.
:bulletgreen: CharacterDesigns.com
:bulletgreen: Human Anatomy for Artists
:bulletgreen: Quick Poses

:pointr: OR you can always just Browse dA's "Stock Image" Category!

Also, remember: always follow the rules of the stock you're using! And keep in mind that many photos you find on dA or Google are copy written or do not give permission for usage, so if you use them for drawing keep it to your sketchbook for learning purposes only.

OKAY, THAT IS ALL. :heart:

Addendum: It has come to my attention that I may have come off as trying to completely discredit anatomical studies as a reference tool. This was not my intention, and next time I do a "quick tips" journal I will be sure to share some real quality anatomical studies and the like, as well as book recommendations. I guess my main point here is: Refrain from using other's studies as a crutch, use a variety of sources and make effort to find out information for yourself, not just seek to be told what to do.

:icondahrplz::icondahrplz::icondahrplz::icondahrplz::icondahrplz::icondahrplz::icondahrplz::icondahrplz:
Shut up and DRAW by sexpizza :thumb186248050: Feraligatr Stamp by NoNamepje
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Thankyou to all those who shared their stories and opinions on my last journal, I haven't gotten around to replying to everyone but I have read every comment. Another topic I want to discuss? A bit of a dead-horse? but then again I haven't really had a chance to talk much about this issue and I would like to hear other peoples opinions and whether or not they agree or disagree. Overtime I have noticed an attitude regarding artwork and peoples means of determining how talented and skilled an artists is. By this I mean people have an attitude that if an artwork doesn't feature correct anatomy or the artists doesn't practise realism then they
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Comments183
anonymous's avatar
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AliceSacco's avatar
AliceSacco Digital Artist
Finally.
Years ago comic artists suggested me to copy from other artists more than from life, and I answered 'yes, in this way i will learn also their mistakes' and they answered 'if you see their  mistakes, fix them!'

I look at tutorial as tips, but I don't follow them.
roxanna456000's avatar
roxanna456000Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for this. Anatomy has been frustrating me lately. No idea how to approach it! For me, it's like continuously pulling on a push-only door, until you get that "ah-hah!" moment and push.
ASnowyDay's avatar
ASnowyDayHobbyist General Artist
Ahh, this helps a lot~! Thanks so much for compiling all this useful info!
ClaydynRaita's avatar
ClaydynRaitaHobbyist Digital Artist
This is incredibly helpful, thanks for providing it for everyone :thumbsup:
JasperK-StoneKing's avatar
thanks for all this useful info.
prechoco's avatar
prechocoStudent General Artist
Thank you! I really want to work on anatomy as a whole. For a while now, I've been studying only the head and torso (for portraits) so this'll be good for me!
Torekzzak's avatar
TorekzzakHobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks a lot. For anatomy, I'm able to control it but for shading and shadows, that was another thing...
geey0u's avatar
Wow, I never thought of that in my entire life! I have always felt stuck and incapable of drawing and always took other art as reference, including anatomy study and tutorials. You took me to a whole different perspective! I will try to follow your advice and see If I feel more confident about my art.

Thank you.
Kotovaska's avatar
KotovaskaHobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much!!!
kmnfive's avatar
kmnfiveProfessional Filmographer
preach it
everfae's avatar
Thanks so much for this!! :D
7amze's avatar
7amzeProfessional Digital Artist
Thank you for this post. :)
dotcoem's avatar
I just add this site to my favorites. I really like your work. Thank you!
Charlene-Art's avatar
Charlene-ArtHobbyist General Artist
Featured here! [link]
Dagger-Kitsune's avatar
Thank you for doing a "quick tips" journal on anatomy. It's fantastic.
Lweeling's avatar
LweelingHobbyist Traditional Artist
I just would like to know if you know any good book about anatomy, because sometimes it's easiest to see the different parts decomposed /divided.
And well is this tutorial ok : [link] ?
I find it rather intersting myself, but I'm not the best to judge, as I'm not very good myself I guess.
abibuu's avatar
abibuuStudent Traditional Artist
Amen!
Lweeling's avatar
LweelingHobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for taking the time to reference all these links, it's very usefull. ^^
Feyoran's avatar
FeyoranHobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow, these links look really helpful. Fav'ing so I have this as a reference, and thanks for the reminder.
MarkyVigoroth's avatar
I never had actually understood the purpose of stock art until I read this...
Either way, I thank you so much for the resources in this entry! I had been wishing for a realistic style, yet my art is very poor, especially with humans. Your guide would be a great help to me.
fantasio's avatar
fantasioProfessional Digital Artist
I´m surprised you havn´t Andrew Loomis listed here, its THE reference for drawing anatomy : [link]
You find some new editions on Amazon as also some book preservation sites on the net.
Other than that great and useful post!
squeedgemonster's avatar
Totally agreed, Loomis is great! I have some of his books, but this link is fantastic! Next 'tip' journal I make I'll be sure to pass it around.
anonymous's avatar
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