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Submitted on
July 12, 2008


30,363 (12 today)
371 (who?)
  • Mood: Helpful
  • Eating: noms
  • Drinking: caffeine !

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 RobynRoseHead Turnaround - Front to Side by RobynRoseHead 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 acidlullabySome skin swatches. Algunas muestras de piel by MarinaSchiffer.:Free to Use : Skin Tones:. by InkHeartPawSkintone Swatches by Xadrea

Tutorial: Human Figure by kitten-chan

Tutorial: Hands by kitten-chanArms and Hands Tutorial by SnigomHand Tutorial 2 by Qinni

Tutorial: Feet and Shoes by kitten-chan

Guide to Movement1:Flexibility by MajnounaBringing Drawings to Life by GoblinQueeen

:bulletgreen:Human Types
Catalogue of Human Features by MajnounaGuide to Human Types part 1 by MajnounaGuide to Human Types part 2 by MajnounaGuide to Human Types part 3 by MajnounaHand 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
How I See Color - A Tutorial by purplekecleon

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:
JackofallGenres Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013  Hobbyist
MegaShinigamiWolf Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013  Student Traditional 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
MegaShinigamiWolf Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2013  Student Traditional 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..
Add a Comment: