Pose References Feature Image

The best free pose references for artists

March 11, 2024

Are you a visual artist who draws body figures? Whether your style is realistic or stylized, the key to drawing different poses well is to master human anatomy. And one of the best ways to learn anatomy better and improve your drawing skills is drawing from reference.

I usually use refences for warm-up exercises, or for just having some practice time to speed up my lines. They are also great for inspiration when I’m starting a new illustration. No matter the purpose you want to use a pose reference for, you should check out these resources. Let’s go!


Pose References Sketch Daily

Sketch Daily

Sketch Daily is one of the first websites that come mind for practicing or getting some pose inspiration. 

For practice it is one of the best resources because it comes with a nifty timer feature that lets you decide how long you want to spend sketching a given reference picture. The images on the screen switch up automatically when your time is up, where you can choose an image to stay on the screen for as short as 30 seconds or leave it there for an hour to really get the details right. Moreover, you can also choose an endless drawing session without the timer pressure.

It is perfect for warming up and getting the hang of drawing from references, just like you would do in art schools or drawing courses when you have a live model in front of you who switches up poses. And the best part of this website is that you’re in control – hit pause or stop the timer whenever you feel like. Plus, you get to pick and choose your reference pool from various options for body parts, gender, clothing, or pose type.

Pose-References-JookpubStock

Jen (Jookpub Stock)

Meet Jen, the creative force behind JookpubStock, a big collection of reference images for artists. On their X (Twitter) profile, you’ll find many options showing them in dynamic action or striking stable poses. Jen’s got it all covered, using neutral-colored underwear to make it easy for artists to focus on and understand the anatomy of the human body in their reference shots. Moreover, in some of their shots, they use the perfect props or accessories for when you’re looking for a specific type of a feeling.

It is so inspiring to look into Jen’s diverse portfolio and choose the best pose for your need, although it may not be so easy to stick with just one of them!

Pose References Pose My Art

Pose My Art

My third choice is Pose My Art, where many 3D models are waiting for you. There is a world of options, with various body shapes available in unique styles like Anime Male, Chibi Female, Zombie/Alien, and more. You have the freedom to pose these models in any way imaginable, and to observe them in a 3D setting from every angle. You know how sometimes the pose you draw looks correct but the angle doesn’t feel right? Being able to see the models from different angles would really work in that type of a scenario. You can also arrange the lighting to your own liking and see which option is the best for you.

Another reason I find Pose My Art so convenient is because it also offers 3D models that are already in pose. When I first discovered it, I was amazed by all the things that artists can do here.

Pose References The Pose Archives

The Pose Archives

Meet the cool duo who are known as The Pose Archives. This power couple is on a mission to “create epic pose reference for artists” in their own words, and they are running the show together. You can catch their social media updates three times a week, featuring a large range of poses varying from warriors to more daring NSFW shots. When you investigate their archives, you will see that sometimes they are posting individual poses and other times it is all about harmonizing together.

What is so striking to me about The Pose Archives is that they present the same pose from various angles, sometimes interchanging the roles in the poses. Plus, they wear minimal clothing to make it easy for artists to observe muscles and details of their anatomy.

While most of their content is free access, they also have a Patreon page for those who want to lend a supporting hand.

Pose References Posemaniacs

Pose Maniacs

Pose Maniacs is a fantastic resource offering free pose references for artists of all levels. With a mission to provide free learning materials for aspiring artists, this small but passionate team is all about sparking creativity.

Not only can you find a surprise pose every day under “today’s pose”, but also you can explore the large pool of poses through an anatomically designed 3D model showcasing the muscles on a human body. With over 50 categories like “kicking,” “on stomach,” “crossing legs,” or “fashion,” the options are endless.

You can also check the 3D hand viewer, allowing you to examine a hand model from any angle. And if you’re up for some practice, activate the practice mode with slides of different model pictures, complete with a customizable timer ranging from 10 to 300 seconds. Great for a speedy practice session to learn drawing the human body faster.

Pose References Pinterest

Pinterest

And this list wouldn’t have been complete without it; here is the good old Pinterest as my final suggestion. It’s the one resource that so many of us can’t live without, because it is like a treasure chest for pose inspiration. In my opinion, one of the reasons that makes Pinterest so indispensable for us is that it offers a vast collection of images, with direct links to the resources, including different body types and genders. So one can argue that the beauty of Pinterest lies in its diversity, giving you the freedom to go beyond the limits of a single website. 

However, let’s keep it real. Because Pinterest is a go-to for so many artists, creating something truly unique might be a challenge. Mainly for this reason, I would stick with using it mainly for inspiration and casual practice, rather than for actual commissions. 

Conclusion

I think with these six resources under your hand, there is no pose or anatomical drawing challenge that you can’t get over. And don’t forget to show some love to all these people making an effort for artists and go follow them on social media. It is also always nice to give credit to your resources 🙂

Wanna join the artist community? Grab a Wacom tablet and start a challenge for yourself. And use the hashtag #madewithwacom when you post your drawings on social media so that we can repost them for the whole world to see. 

And before you go, if you wanna draw a figure but not sure which outfit to choose, don’t forget to check out this article series where I talk about picking the right shoe model for character design.

Happy doodling!


Author: Zeynep Alpay Zeynep Alpay is a freelance multidisciplinary artist and illustrator based in Düsseldorf, Germany. Their work encompasses illustrations, animations, paper cut-outs, and traditional artwork. For more information or to see more of Zeynep’s works, check out their portfolio https://www.behance.net/zeynepalpay

About the author:

Zeynep Alpay is a freelance multidisciplinary artist and illustrator based in Köln, Germany. Their work encompasses illustrations, animations, paper cut-outs, and traditional artwork.

For more information or to see more of Zeynep’s works, check out their portfolio, their Instagram, or their Linkedin.

Related posts:

How Wacom technology can strengthen classroom relationships, ease student anxiety, and empower learners — with Stacey Roshan

How Wacom technology can strengthen classroom relationships, ease student anxiety, and empower learners — with Stacey Roshan

Omar Gomet’s character design process — and insight into his creative career

Omar Gomet’s character design process — and insight into his creative career

Cheer up with Jacqueline Chen, also known as Chibird

Cheer up with Jacqueline Chen, also known as Chibird

The ultimate guide to cutting out images in Photoshop, with School of Motion

The ultimate guide to cutting out images in Photoshop, with School of Motion

Connect with Wacom on social media

We asked character designer @omarsharif.creates to share part of his process. Check out his reference mix and how much fun he has experimenting with textures and colors. ⁣
Head to the #WacomBlog to read our interview with Omar! ⁣
Link in bio!⁣⁣
#wacom #characterdesign #digitalart #artprocess #madewithwacom #wacomcintiqpro #cintiqpro ⁣
180 4
See you in Berlin!💫 Come celebrate with us at @weareplaygrounds this weekend!

💡 Explore artist discussions, demonstrations, film showings interactive live sketching!

✍️ Visit our Wacom booth to experience and enjoy drawing on our latest pen-displays and tablets and some other surprises 👀

📅 Berlin, DE on May 25th-26th

See you there!

#TADBerlin #CreativeCommunity
91 5
A magical midnight forest... 🌲🌙🦉🎨🖌️⁣
That's what @yingshiart was conjuring in this amazing piece #MadeWithWacom. Tayler loves using color to evoke emotion and fullness in her paintings, and liberally uses adjustment layers, filters, and gradient maps. She trusts the creative process and lets go, allowing the subconscious to put one hand on the wheel instead of micromanaging every detail. ⁣
Do you trust your creative process? ⁣
#WacomOne #digitalillustration #moodpainting #environmentdesign
997 15
Easy to pack & ready to go! 🏃🏻‍♂️

🆕 The new Wacom Movink easily fits in any bag and can be set up anywhere with a single cable. The best solution for creative professionals on the go!

Wanna get yours? Follow the link in our bio!

#wacommovink
412 7
Dive into the insightful first look of the NEW Wacom Movink by @wieger_poutsma, Digital Artist and Creative Director, working for clients like Netflix, Warner Bros, HBO and many more. 💻 🙌🏻

👉🏻 Follow the link in bio to discover all the benefits of our NEW Wacom Movink and shop yours!

#WacomMovink #CreativeProfessionals #CreativesOnTheGo
295 12
You got this! ✍️ Never stop creating. 🤘⁣
Animation made by the wonderful @javadoodles⁣
#MentalHealthAwareness #madewithwacom #TVPaintAnimation⁣
760 24
🆕 Alex Wätzel @dgtlcraft_postproduction , High-end photo retoucher & video editor with years of experience on the creative industry, also tried the NEW Wacom Movink!

Now’s your turn! Follow the link in our bio and discover all the amazing benefits of our new Wacom Movink💥

Ph: @akazie.photography 

#WacomMovink #CreativeProfessionals #CreativesOnTheGo #MovinkMakers
169 4
Mental health awareness month is upon us and we want to give a shout-out to anyone out there struggling, yet creating. ⁣
We see you and you're absolutely wonderful. 😍⁣
⁣
Art by @chibirdart 🐤💓⁣
#MentalHealthAwareness #webcomic #comic #webtoon
833 10
Meet the NEW Wacom Movink 🆕💥 first of its kind OLED pen display perfect for creative professionals on the go!

A professional device that you can easily pack and carry with you anywhere, everywhere.

If you  switch workstations, visit clients,  travel frequently or work in different locations and studios, this device is all you need.

Follow the link in our bio and discover all of the benefits of our NEWEST product: Wacom Movink

Now, get ready to Make your move! 😎

#WacomMovink #CreativeProfessionals #CreativesOnTheGo
2400 109