Figure Drawing Reference 7 Best Sources in 2022

14 min read

Best 7 Figure Drawing Reference Sources In 2021

You're still looking to find the perfect pose to practice your figure drawing art?

we've collected the best 7 drawing reference sources you can find online free and paid, let get into it:

An artist has to learn in-depth knowledge of anatomy, gestures, perspective, lights, and shades, but also, he has to be extremely specific in putting all those proportions on paper.

Figure drawing is considered the most complex subject under the category of art, and no doubt mastering such difficult skill is another level struggle.

Figure drawing is not a piece of cake, nor can you learn it overnight. It requires lots of practice and hard work. If you are rich, then you can go and hire a model. 

Here we have listed each and everything that you will need in your art journey in this quick guide.

From reputable websites to useful apps and e-books, you will also learn about new places to get the proper knowledge in figure drawing. 

Let’s deep dive in.

1. life figure drawing with human art models 

In art, a Model Is a person who lets himself be observed by one or more artists or students with a view to producing a work on all or part of the human body. Schools of fine arts or visual arts often employ models for teaching.

The artistic disciplines which most often call upon models are drawing, painting, photography and sculpture.

The model can be called a "live model" as opposed to the inanimate model, often a drawing, painting or sculpture, "nude model" to indicate that it is not a question of posing in costume, "art model" for affirm membership in this area.


Posing for a typical figure artists' group (wikipedia images)


Everyone is an artist. But some people excel in the field and leave others surprised with their creativity.

Of-course, despite the fact that personal skills matter a lot, a soothing environment with the right people who follow the same passion also impacts positively.

That is why schools were created so that every student gets equal opportunity to polish their skills.

And in the case of real-life models for figure drawing, there is no confinement either. 


2. best free figure drawing references websites

As you take a deep dive into the realm of art, you realize that everything you draw leaves a substantial impact on your personality.

Art changes you! Whether it is character development, animation creation, or figure drawing, practice matters a lot.

Attending art classes is impressive, but chances are you might want to get additional help too.

Here, you will learn about these websites that will help you a lot in your figure drawing journey!


You can download the free model sample pack but what makes proko be at the top of the list is that you can also get free classes other than the free poses!

How amazing it would be to select a pose you want to draw and then watch a step by step tutorial!

Other than that, proko also offers a premium package for those who want to step up their game.

 Quick poses

Another fantastic website that gives you free figure drawing reference! Quick poses have a lot to offer, including many poses, such as those of hands, feet, animals, and even landscapes.

You can also choose between the gender, both with the clothing and bare references.

Quick poses also offer a timed practice schedule to sit and draw within the adjustable time.

In a nutshell, this website is excellent for those who want to polish their skills in a fast and effective way!

Line of action

Like quick poses, line of action also focuses on figure drawing. The difference comes at the availability of features.

You can decide, and in some way, create your model. Before the session begins, you have to answer a few questions regarding what type of models you want to draw, and the options are available in a wide range from a baby to adult figure.

Other than the timed session, there is also plenty of learning material to help the beginners!

Sketch daily

As the name suggests, this figure drawing source Allows you to go through a broad spectrum of models and sketch them.

Next, the best thing that you will find on this website is that you can choose the perspective and the pose! Both the action and stationary models are available, and you observe them in front, side, and back views.

Not only that, but you can also “pause” the image in action to observe deeply. Time intervals are also available to let you practice figure drawing within short periods!

Character designs

Last but not least, character designs is a well-known name in the art industry! High-quality images are available for free without any watermark.

The options are divided into headings and subheadings, which include everything from clothing to bare references as well as models and events.

The only thing that you’ll find missing on this website is that there are no timed-sessions, which means you can only see and draw the figure.

3. best drawing figure references mobile apps

    While real-life models can get tired within a few minutes, and traditional models can loosen their stiffness over time, drawing by looking at your phone is the best way to create a masterpiece!

    Well, buckle up because all your stress will be relieved with these wonderful mobile apps that offer human anatomy in such deep way that you will eventually forget about those traditional figure drawing models!

    Let’s have a look!

    Pose tool 3 d

    You must be wondering why it is on the top of the list?

    The reason is simple: this app is incredible! By using it, you can create any pose without any distractions. The best thing about pose tool 3 d is its touch controls.

    Also, there are no confusing options, and the user-friendly environment lets you create anything from animation to comic books and illustrations.

    The only drawback is that it is paid, but at the same time, it is worth it!

    Art pose

    Pose app serves those who use i phones.

    The 3d atmosphere of this fantastic app lets you rotate, pan, and zoom around the figure, as well as there, are lots of other options such as changing hairstyles, muscle structure, and hands pose. Moreover, you can view the figure from different perspectives as well!

    Despite that art pose is also paid, it is exactly what you need to take your figure drawing to the next level!

    Easy pose

    Here is another fantastic app that can help a lot in the journey of finding models for figure drawing.

    Easy pose features are limitless and you can even create extremely complex poses such as those of yoga and exercises.

    Besides, you can create poses with more than one model.

    Though there is both a free and the paid version available, you can still let your imagination grow with the free features available!

    3d anatomy for the artist

    A free skeletal app for those who love to draw figures, but their wallet doesn’t allow them to get the premium one.

    The highly detailed skeletal system with high-resolution textures in the 3 d space makes this app a must-have for all the artists.

    You can create poses with minute details and then draw them instantly.

    You can hide any bone you want to get the desired pose and even save it for future use! If felt great, you can also upgrade it to the muscle level.

    4. best free images & photos source for figure drawing reference online

      No question, being an artist is not an easy task.

      Even though you follow what your heart desires, you still have to make a lot of effort to strengthen your skills.

      Especially when it comes to figure drawing, you can be either an expert or rich.

      While in case you don’t belong to any category, at times, you would find yourself struggling, and that is why practice is a must.

      But even before that, a great drawing reference model is also a necessity.

      Therefore, here are the best free sources to search and draw figure drawing of your choice!

      Google images

      Yes, you are allowed to be surprised.

      We all use google for our searches, but most artists out there have no idea how excellent google can be when it comes to images and photo sources.

      At this platform, you can find both free and copyrighted images.

      Since google is the most popular search engine on the web, there is no doubt you’ll not find your desirable pose!


      Without a doubt, it is evident that pinterest has no comparison.

      An image library where all you have to do is search your fancied imagination can be nothing but perfect.

      All across the globe, artists link and upload their artwork on pinterest.

      That being said, you can see what others are doing and get great inspiration from them! And above all, it’s completely free!


      Shutterstock is a type of platform that you would not want to miss! More than 300 million stock images are available, and more than one million people have joined this community.

      One search, and you will be overwhelmed with the outstanding content it offers! The only drawback is that the photos are downloaded with a watermark.

      Otherwise, shutterstock is by far one of the most prominent figure drawing sources that let you visit the images for free!


      Unsplash is another fantastic source where you can find free images. The next best thing about this platform is that there is no copyright.

      Voila! Unlike other sources, unsplash is a figure drawing source that lets you view as well as download images without any watermark on them.

      There are tons of images waiting for you to explore, and you can even visit the profiles of other artists to seek more inspiration!

      5. best e-books and magazines for figure drawing references

        Throughout the centuries, books have always been the best friend of humans.

        Though the lifestyle has changed now with the incorporation of the internet in our lives, books are still there to cherish humans in both ups and downs of life.

        The technology has also brought new facilities to life, and one of them is the accessibility of e books and magazines.

        Now you can download these words of wisdom from anywhere in the world in no time. Let’s explore them!

        A handbook of anatomy for art students by arthur thomson

        No matter how hard you try, if you do not have the proper knowledge of human anatomy, you can never master figure drawing.

        What you’ll find in this book is not only the in-depth description of human anatomy but also the tips and tricks to learn fast and effectively.

        It is considered as the most exceptional information wrapped most concisely.

        You’ll also find detailed information on certain aspects of the human body including their functions, insertions, origins, and surface forms.

        American artist – drawing

        As said by the name, this magazine is indeed intended for those who are into drawing and sketching.

        Grow your passion for figure drawing by taking inspiration from here.

        This monthly magazine comes with plenty of illustrations and drawings of drawing models that you can take as inspirational references.

        You’ll find a broad spectrum of artists showing their talents, and if you become an expert, you can also publish your work!

        The anatomy and philosophy of expression by sir charles bell, alexander

        The authors of this book have focused on making figure drawing a piece of cake for beginners.

        The type of artists they want to teach are the ones who just don’t follow the rules, but break them and come up with their own!

        By studying this book, you’ll capture not only what sees in the view, but also what you imagine in the eye of mind!


        The central theme of this magazine revolves around the talents captured by artists.

        Though it also features other things such as culture, events, and food, there is a whole lot of figure drawing poses that you can find here.

        There is also a complete course available on chronogram that teaches figure drawing in the best ways possible.

        No doubt, if you want to learn the actual ways to draw people, you should grab this one!

        Figure drawing for all it's worth by andrew loomis 

        In last, we have this fantastic book by andrew loomis. It is filled with illustrations that help artists in their figure drawing creations.

        Detailed information on handy tips and profitable bits of advice makes you an expert in no time.

        Even if you are a beginner, you’ll find the information accessible and exciting.

        From comic books to animations, and figure drawing, this book is exactly what you need to polish your skills!

        6. drawing figures mannequins

          Now it’s the time to understand mannequins deeply and break the myths associated with them.

          But let’s first learn mannequins are. they are simply a dummy figure of the primary human body without the illustration of flesh.

          When learning figure drawing, mannequins hold an important place because they let you draw a basic human shape in 3d space.

          Here are the two most common types of mannequins, one the traditional one, and the other are modern mannequins.

          Old wooden figure dolls

          It is said that the first thing man learned on this planet was the expression of his thoughts, and each expression is called art. in ancient times, people used wooden figure dolls for figure drawing.

          Though they were very useful in those ages, they also had some negative features.

          Firstly, they were made of wood, which made them hard to move, and thus, it was not easy to get the desired pose with them.

          Secondly, wood wasn’t easy to mold, so the expression of facial as well as bodily features was also hard to draw.

          In a nutshell, they were not quite good models for figure drawing.

          Since the basic rule of figure drawing is to get the highly close human expression on the paper, the lack of the same feature in the wooden dolls caused them to fall out of the art industry over the centuries.

          The complex human body is not easy to draw, and thus when people wanted to draw a masterpiece, they felt the absence of a much better drawing figure.

          Real-life models were also used, but the result was still not satisfactory.

          With time, technology arrived in human life and changed everything.

          Now artists still use mannequins, but not the wooden ones, but the ones that are more effective in every term related to figure drawing!

          Body kun drawing figures

          Given the defects ancient artists observed in wooden dolls, they are not used in the art industry of today’s world. Instead, artists of this day prefer drawing figures which are sturdy, highly-detailed, and flexible.

          All these premium qualities can be found in the drawing figures offered by body kun!

          Since the art cannot be called perfect unless what has been drawn is captured with the minute details, body-kun dolls come with highly realistic expressions.

          Here are some of the best features of body kun drawing figures, and how they are better than the traditional mannequins!

            • Strong and durableUnlike wooden mannequins, which were highly prone to damages, body kun models are strong and don’t break when the joints are moved.This makes them the top choice of any artist because they can be used for longer terms. A one-time investment in body kun mannequins never proves to be a wrong decision!
            • FlexibleAs mentioned above, the drawing figures offered by body kun are not easy to break. This highly relates to the fact that the joints are easy to move, and thus, you can shape the mannequins in any pose you like without the fear of any loss!
            • AccuracyNow, this is the point that stands out the exceptional qualities of body kun mannequins. One of the reasons why old wooden dolls fell out of fashion was the difficulty of “carving” human expressions. While, in the case of body kun, there are no limits. Each detail is highly visible, and once this perfect reference for figure drawing Is right before your eyes, there’ll be nothing to stop you from creating a magnificent artwork!
            • Perfect sizeSince mannequins are used right in front of the artist, it is a must that they should come in sizes that give comfort rather than the pain. As far as body kun drawing figures are concerned, they are not very large nor tiny. You can place them at any desk and draw comics, stories, or whatever your heart desires!
            • Gender choiceThis is another best thing about body kun figures. There is not just one figure available, but the options vary from both genders to other styles. Body-chan portrays the female mannequin, while body-kun is the male drawing figure. The deals are also available where you can get both in one package!
            • Additional accessoriesYou don’t only get the figures, but also a whole lot of additional accessories. This includes extra hands, swords, laptops, cups, shields, arms-crossed, folded legs, etc. think about it; you can create a complete scene with all those accessories! And what’s best than getting them for free with your drawing figures!
            • Cost-effectiveThe material used in the manufacturing of body kun mannequins gives them next-level strength. However, the price at which they are available, surprisingly astonishes artists. If compared to the wooden dolls of ancient times, or other mannequins of modern times, body kun drawing figures stand out as the most cost-effective ones with premium quality as well!

          7. videos as drawing figures sources solution

            Of course, videos like these don’t make you an expert in a single night, but with highly detailed graphics, proportions, gestures, and shadows, you can create whatever you want!

            The daily life drawing section Offers a lot of benefits and opportunities for figure drawing.


            Advantages of using these videos

            The features of this excellent figure drawing source have no limit, and with all the options available, you can be an expert in lighting, figure drawing, and texturing.

            Even the minimal body parts such as hair, nails, and skin details are highly graphical.

            It helps to draw different human figures in different poses and add a great detail in the figure without putting much effort into it.

            The high-quality graphics combined with an outstanding workflow lets you master 3d painting, sculpturing, animation, and surface modeling without any hurdle.

            If a person is a passionate artist who learns to draw different figures more efficiently and conveniently than these videos will fulfill you’re all needs.

            One of the most interesting features of this source is that you don’t need any specific learning to run it.

            It will not disappoint you ever and makes your figure drawing learning more enjoyable and funny If you are an artist and want to polish your skill to help you greatly.

            Express Sketches, gesture drawings, or human figures in the simple form, action, and pose that you can learn quickly.

            Learning figure drawing by this source means with figure drawing experience, it will increase your observational skills, problem-solving ability, and learn how to simplify things.  


            Hopefully, this quick guide has helped you define the right type of figure drawing reference for you! Though there are plenty of options, all lead to the same place: mastering figure drawing.

            You can get admission in any international institute to jump into the practical world of art, and if not, there is also nothing bad in becoming a self-taught artist!

            Whether you are an amateur or a professional in figure drawing, it is always good to publish your work. And that’s why magazines exist!

            Not only follow them but also see what other artists are doing and join the community to polish yourself!

            Get new ideas and blend them in your imagination to get the best out of your creation.Books have always helped humans, and they will serve their purpose without asking for anything in exchange till the end of this world.

            Explore them and see what professional artists are telling you! You can get free figure drawing poses From websites and platforms, or download free mobile apps for that.Once you successfully start running on the track, there is no loss in a little investment too, and what better investment can be other than modern body kun mannequins!

            They are sturdy, flexible, and come in the perfect size for your creation.

            While on the other hand, you can also get premium versions of 3d software to step up the game.

            Whatever you go for, make sure to follow your passion with the purest of heart, because that’s precisely where the art is born!

            And remember, practice is what makes an artist perfect.

            All in all, it’s all about how much hard work you put in your artwork.

            The more effort you do, the sweeter fruit you’ll get!

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