Figure Drawing is one of the most fundamental skill-building activities for artists. It’s impossible to represent a character correctly, human or not, without practice! So here are a couple websites to help get you started on the road to excellent character art.
Like pretty much all of the websites in this series, the tools provided are absolutely free to use. There are a ton of awesome tools on PIXELovely specifically for practicing not only human figures, but animal figures as well!
The drawing tools also come with different modes, timers, and gender options which let you narrow down exactly what you want to practice drawing right from the get-go. Each tool has photos added on a regular basis, so there will always be different poses and expressions to perfect.
This one is an oldy but a good-y. Posemaniacs, as the name implies, has a TON of poses to draw inspiration from. There is a timer built in to this website too, just like PIXELovely, so it’s easy to do those 30 second or 1 minute gesture drawings.
What makes Posemaniacs special is all of the images on the site, with the exception of the Hands for Drawing tool, are made using 3D models with no skin! While it’s not 100% accurate, being able to see where the different muscles on the body are is extremely helpful for getting those forms in the right place in a drawing. The pose tool is run in flash as well, so it includes a handy line tool for finding out what angle the hips and shoulders are at.
All-in-all, while not the best for perfect anatomy or placement of fat, Posemaniacs is really great for getting ideas for poses without the hassle of finding images of human models online.
Maybe you do want some real models though, and you’re tired of looking at still images. Then I’d check out onairvideo! The YouTube channel features tons of real models set up for both figure drawing and for 3D character sculpture!
Each figure drawing video, for example, is set up classroom style, with the length of time available for drawing increasing every time the model switches poses. It’s the next best thing from going to a figure drawing class in person.
… and more!
There are a TON of great resources out there for figure drawing! Don’t stick to just the tools that are made for it! Scott Eaton has an awesome gallery called bodies-in-motion which has a ton of great action poses that you can’t get from static model drawing.
And if all else fails, get some friends to pose for you (clothed hopefully) for 30 second figure drawing. If you have a mirror or a camera with a timer, you can create your own reference images too!