Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login

:iconsqueedgemonster: More from squeedgemonster

Featured in Collections

News I Support by Hardrockangel

Journals n News by snipetto

Journals, News, Blogs by FullMetalMono

More from DeviantArt


Submitted on
November 12, 2011


47,207 (6 today)
1,977 (who?)

Quick Tips: On Referencing Anatomy

Sat Nov 12, 2011, 9:54 PM

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.

:pointr: Some great stock photo accounts:
:bulletgreen: mjranum-stock
:bulletgreen: SenshiStock
:bulletgreen: kristinkk
:bulletgreen: Tasastock
:bulletgreen: Voivodess-Stock
:bulletgreen: justmeina
:bulletgreen: chamberstock

:pointr: Some very useful links: (Warning for tame nudity on most of these)
:bulletgreen: Models (thanks Izene!)
:bulletgreen: Athletic Body Diversity References
:bulletgreen: Pixelovely Gesture Drawing Tools
:bulletgreen: Lovecastle Gesture Drawing Generator
:bulletgreen: Posemaniacs - USE WITH CAUTION & OTHER REFERENCES ON HAND! Figures have no weight/are lifeless, but it can help with poses and angles.
:bulletgreen: Human Anatomy for Artists
:bulletgreen: Quick Poses

:pointr: 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. :heart:

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.

Shut up and DRAW by sexpizza Shark Week by skinnyveestamp Feraligatr Stamp by NoNamepje
Add a Comment:
roxanna456000 Featured By Owner May 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for this. Anatomy has been frustrating me lately. No idea how to approach it! For me, it's like continuously pulling on a push-only door, until you get that "ah-hah!" moment and push.
ASnowyDay Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Ahh, this helps a lot~! Thanks so much for compiling all this useful info!
rashuvast Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013   Digital Artist
This is incredibly helpful, thanks for providing it for everyone :thumbsup:
JasperK-StoneKing Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013
thanks for all this useful info.
prechoco Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Student General Artist
Thank you! I really want to work on anatomy as a whole. For a while now, I've been studying only the head and torso (for portraits) so this'll be good for me!
Torekzzak Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks a lot. For anatomy, I'm able to control it but for shading and shadows, that was another thing...
geey0u Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013
Wow, I never thought of that in my entire life! I have always felt stuck and incapable of drawing and always took other art as reference, including anatomy study and tutorials. You took me to a whole different perspective! I will try to follow your advice and see If I feel more confident about my art.

Thank you.
Kotovaska Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much!!!
kmnfive Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012
preach it
A-Fattori Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2012
Thanks so much
Add a Comment: