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. Some great stock photo accounts
: mjranum-stock SenshiStock HumanAnatomy4Artist Tasastock Voivodess-Stock justmeina chamberstock Some very useful links:
(Warning for tame nudity on most of these) ArtsyPoses.com Models
!) Athletic Body Diversity References Pixelovely Gesture Drawing Tools Lovecastle Gesture Drawing Generator Posemaniacs
- USE WITH CAUTION & OTHER REFERENCES ON HAND! Figures have no weight/are lifeless, but it can help with poses and angles. CharacterDesigns.com Human Anatomy for Artists Quick Poses 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. 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.