When starting any creative endeavor, it’s essential to have a strong foundation. And for artists, one of the most important foundations is gesture drawing. Gesture drawing is the process of capturing the essence of a pose or movement quickly and efficiently. It can capture the feeling or emotion of a scene or help you study the human form.
But to do gesture drawings, you need good references. And finding quality references can be challenging, especially if you’re starting.
Table of Contents
What is meant by a Good Reference in Gesture Drawing?
A good reference in gesture drawing is any image that can help you understand the gesture and energy of a subject. It could be a photo of a person or animal, a drawing or painting, to a video.
The important thing is that the reference captures the feeling or movement that you’re trying to convey in your drawing.
You should also know how to use them. It would help if you understood how to simplify the reference pictures to capture the essential gesture without getting bogged down in details.
What are the challenges of getting a good Gesture Drawing Reference?
Drawing the human figure can be a daunting task, even for experienced artists.
One of the challenges is finding a good reference. If you’re relying on your memory, it’s easy to get proportions and details wrong. And while there are plenty of images of people available online, it can be hard to find ones suitable for Gesture Drawing practice.
The ideal reference would be a photo or video of someone in a dynamic pose, with a clear view of all the major muscles and joints. Unfortunately, such considerations are often difficult to find and posed models can be expensive to hire.
Getting references for figure or gesture drawings can be time-consuming to collect and sort through. Getting into too many details or being overwhelmed with too many options is easy. As a result, many artists struggle to improve their figure-drawing skills.
However, with a bit of ingenuity and perseverance, it is possible to find high-quality references that will help take your drawing skills to the next level.
How to Use Gesture Drawing References?
You’ll have to remember a few things regarding gesture drawing.
First, figure drawing sessions typically have a time limit, so you’ll need to work quickly.
Second, depending on the type of pose, you may want to use different references. For example, for female models, you might want to use photo sites like Google Images or Pinterest. And for body types other than female, you might want to use an artist reference site like posespace.com.
Third, it’s essential to interval your drawings; that is, don’t draw the same pose all the time. Instead, try to mix things up and draw a variety of poses over time. This will help improve your drawing abilities and reach your goals.
Finally, don’t forget to use suitable materials. Some good drawing materials (like a pencil or charcoal) and some decent paper will go a long way.
Here are some tips on how to use gesture drawing references:
Look for Different Types of Poses
When you’re looking for reference images, try to find a variety of different drawing poses. This will help you practice drawing different types of gestures.
Set a Time Limit
When you’re gesture drawing, it’s essential to work quickly. This will help capture the subject’s feelings or movement without getting bogged down in details.
Don’t Worry About Perfection
Remember, gesture drawing aims to capture the subject’s essence, not to create a perfect replica. So don’t worry if your picture is not perfect. The important thing is that you’re practicing and getting better.
Now that we’ve gone over what gesture drawing is, how to use gestures in your figure drawing exercises, etc., let’s move to where you can get references.
Best Websites for Gesture Drawing Reference
Some of the best websites are listed below, where you can get free gesture drawing references:
Line of Action
Line of Action is a website that offers free reference photos and videos for artists. The site has various static and motion poses, making it an excellent resource for gesture drawing.
The website offers different options, including cover, clothing, ages, and session duration. You can set a timer for the period you want to draw, and Pose Player lets you play back reference videos at different speeds.
The tool is flexible, straightforward, has various options, and is easy to use, which is suitable for those new to gesture drawing.
Quickposes is another website that offers free reference photos and videos for artists. The site has various static and motion poses, making it an excellent resource for gesture drawing.
The website offers different options, such as angles, genders, and body types. You can set a timer for the duration you want to draw, and the site also offers a mirroring tool that lets you flip the image so you can practice drawing both the left and right sides.
The tool is flexible, straightforward, has various options, and is easy for those new to gesture drawing.
If you want to track your progress, the website also offers a premium membership to access more features, like the ability to save and share your drawings and progress tracking.
They also offer options like Non-time limit mode, Random Images, Challenges, and more.
Posespace is a website that offers free 3D models for artists to use as references. The site has various static and motion poses.
The website offers different options, such as angles, genders, and body types.
The website offers 360-degree views of fantastic models, making it easy to find a good reference for your drawing.
It also provides a download option for the 3D models in various file formats for those who want to use the models in other software.
Posemaniacs is a website with a vast collection of figure drawing references also used for gesture drawing. Multiple language options are available and are an excellent resource for both beginners and advanced artists.
The website offers different options, such as different angles, genders, and body types. You can also set a timer for how long you want to draw.
They have a great collection of poses and an excellent website for beginners and advanced artists.
It’s useful for artists who want to improve their gesture drawing skills.
The poses are arranged into categories, so it’s easy to find what you’re looking for. The images are high quality, and the poses are varied, making it an excellent resource for anyone who wants to improve their gesture drawing skills.
Proko is a website that offers free video tutorials and reference photos for artists. The site has various static and motion poses, making it an excellent resource for gesture drawing.
The website offers different options, including cover, clothing, ages, and session duration. You can set a timer for the time you want to draw, and the site also offers a mirroring tool that lets you flip the image so you can practice drawing both the left and right sides.
The videos are high quality and offer great tips for those who want to improve their gesture drawing skills.
The website is easy to navigate, and the videos are well organized, making it an excellent resource.
These are some of the best websites to get free gesture drawing references.
What is a Pose Reference Generator?
A pose reference generator is a tool artist can use to get pose ideas. Various pose generators are available, and they all have different features.
Some pose generators allow you to set a timer to get a new pose every few minutes, while others have a library of characters or high-quality pictures you can choose from.
You can also find pose generators with a commercial license, allowing you to use the poses in your artwork. Most pose generators also have a gesture slideshow option, which can be helpful if you’re trying to get ideas for hands or action poses.
There are also pose generators specifically for people, which can be helpful if you’re looking for poses for professional artists or photos of people.
Finally, a library of images contains high-quality free images of human models in various poses. These can be helpful if you’re starting and need some inspiration.
Importance of Gesture Drawing References
As an aspiring artist, it is essential to have a variety of gesture drawing references at your disposal.
You can practice different drawing techniques and styles by having a wide range of gesture reference photos. Additionally, frequently changing reference images can prevent creative burnout and keep your excellent drawings fresh.
There are a few different ways to source gesture drawing references.
However, plenty of online figure drawing resources are available if you don’t have access to art models or want to expand your repertoire. One option is to take photos or videos of people posing. Many sites offer extended versions of their poses for artists, which can be helpful when looking for more of a challenge.
Another great way to find gesture drawing references is to search through Creative Commons image libraries. These libraries are full of high-quality images that are available for free use. For example, the site fg-a.com offers a library of over 24,000 images that categories, such as anatomy drawings or fashion figure drawings, can sort.
No matter how you source your gesture drawing references, it’s essential to have a variety that you can refer back to repeatedly. By having a wide selection of poses and figures to choose from, you’ll be able to get yourself up for success as you work towards your drawing goals.
Gesture drawing references can be a great way to improve your figure-drawing skills. However, getting good references can be a challenge. We shared some of the best websites for finding gesture drawing references. We also discussed using these references and tips on getting the most out of them.
Have you tried using gesture drawing references? What has been your experience? Let us know in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do people use gesture drawing references?
Gesture drawing references help artists improve their figure drawing skills. You can practice different styles and techniques by having a wide range of reference photos. Additionally, frequently changing your reference images can help prevent creative burnout.
What is a pose reference generator?
A pose reference generator is a figure drawing tool artists can use to get pose ideas. Various pose generators are available, and they all have different features. Some pose generators allow you to select the number of people in the pose, while others offer a slideshow of different gestures.
Do you think gesture drawing reference is necessary for artists?
While gesture drawing references can be helpful, they are unnecessary for every artist. Some artists prefer to work from memory or imagination, while others find that connections help them capture the essence of a pose more accurately. Ultimately, it is up to the individual artist to decide whether or not to use references in their work.