9 Free Pose Reference Sites To Practice Figure Drawing Online (2024)

I’d like to share 9 FREE Pose Reference websites, that will help you improve your figure drawing skills.

Every artist who wants to master their skill NEEDS to practice figure drawing.

Even if your desired art career won’t be focused on drawing realistic figures, it is still an absolutely essential skill you can’t just brush off!

Table of Contents

Why Practice Figure Drawing ONLINE?

When I first went to an art university in 2015, I didn’t know what to expect. I just wanted to draw pretty pictures so I could put all of them up on Instagram and get a lot of likes!

But the truth is, once you get more and more into the art world, you might not even want to share your pieces!

You will learn that art is a powerful communication tool, and you will create many wonderful pieces that speak to many people.

But first, you will have to build a foundation for your skilland continue improving it every day by PRACTICING.

And some of your figure drawings will look amazing and ready to share, but others… Well, let’s just say that 10-second and 1-minute drawings are not always the best for social media!

And yet, you still need to practice! A lot!

My first ever class in university was, guess what? A Figure Drawing class! And I had one every semester for all four years!

All professional artists understand that you NEED this skill.

Even if you end up working as an environmental designer, a cartoonist, a colorist, or in any other profession that doesn’t focus on the realism of a figure.

And so I went to these classes not always with much inspiration (mostly because I had to). I practiced.

Sometimes my art sucked!

But that’s just part of the process…

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Now, as I don’t have these classes anymore, and I realize the importance of improving my figure drawing skills, I started looking for LIVE figure drawing sessions I could attend.

I got pretty upset when I realized that the price of attending sessions a couple of times a week adds up like crazy! And at this point, it is a bit out of my budget…

Here is where the Internet comes in!

As not just a place where I can check out what my childhood friends are up to, but an awesome learning platform where I could practice sketching figure/gesture drawings FOR FREE!

Pretty awesome, huh?

Best 9 Free Pose Reference Websites To Practice Figure Drawing Online

Because I think Figure Drawing is SO important for any aspiring artist, I created this list, which you can bookmark and always refer to in times of need: Best 9 Free Pose Reference Sites To Practice Figure Drawing Online“.

You can use it to practice Figure Drawing and Gesture Drawing or simply use it as a reference for your own character’s pose.

But just before we get started on the list, I wanted to let you know about some other relatable articles I have created in the past that relate to this topic:

  • “14 Best Figure Drawing Books for Beginners” is acollection of the best books on the market that will help you get started with Figure Drawing;
  • “Gesture Drawing Tips And Things To Avoid” is a short overview of what gesture drawing is and the DO’s and DONT’s of it;
  • 20 Best Tips For Figure Drawing is a printable 23-page PDF you can reference when practicing + 4 other freebies.

* Below the list, you will be able to find some Figure Drawing courses that I recommend (in case you decide to take your skills to the next level) as well as a freebie figure drawing tips PDF from me! 🙂

And now, onto the list:

1. Proko

I wanted to start with Prokofirst, because I honestly think this is a great resource for reference photos and beyond!

This site offers aFree Model Sample Pack available for you to download immediately!

You can choose from censored or not-censored versions and immediately receive 28 high-quality figure drawing reference images.

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As well as FREE LESSONS, among which the titles include:

This way, you get the lessons and the pose references at the same time! And after watching their videos, you can go ahead and start implementing them right away 🙂

If you like their sample pack but feel like it’s not enough and want more of them – they offer poses for artists that you can also purchase.

They are surprisingly affordable, with over 60 different packs that include classical figure drawing poses and people dressed up posing as different characters.

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2. Line Of Action

Line Of Action is a freeonline website with a variety of pose reference photography.

Once you select the class mode the “time interval” option will change to a “How long a class?” option, and you can then pick from 30 minutes to 6-hour long class.

They mainly focus on Figure Drawing, Animal Drawing, Hands & Feet Drawing and Faces & Expression Drawing.

Which is awesome if you decide to practice more than just figure drawing!

Also, their figure drawing tools are made to resemble a live session – you get to pick:

  • Nude, Clothed or both models.
  • Female, Male or Non-Binary models.
  • Baby, Child, Teen or Adult models.
  • All the same length sessions or class mode.
  • And time interval (how long one photo will play for before automatically going to the next.)

That’s pretty similar to a real-life drawing session.

Also, the timer resembles the timer models usually have – once it beeps, your figure changes position, and you can do NOTHING about it!

Well, you can always press the “backward” button to go back, but what’s the fun in that? 😉

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Just turn to a new blank page and start on a different pose because the timer will beep again soon!

I think it’s the best idea to work with the time intervals because essentially figure drawing is all about the gesture and learning to communicate a pose quickly!

And once you practiced that enough, you can go ahead and get the free sample pack from Proko I talked about above.

Because they are downloadable pose references, you’ll be able to zoom in, and work on each for a long period of time to really hone in the details, shading and forms!

Before we go to the next source, I just wanted to briefly touch on the “Class Mode“.

Once you hover over one of the time options, it will give you an overview of what to expect during the class session.

For example, I usually like to do 2-hour long sessions – and that gives me:

  • 6 poses (photo references) that are 30 seconds each so I can warm up my hand and get into the mode of working.
  • 3 poses, each 1 minute long – excellent practice for gesture drawing!
  • 2 poses 5 minutes long;
  • 1 pose 20 minutes – where I get to double-check all the proportions and do some basic shading;
  • Then, a 14-minute break to go grab a snack or sip on some coffee 🙂
  • The final pose is 50 minutes long, which is enough to bring a drawing to a semi-finish and get into adding some details and shading.
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* Side Note: When doing the last pose, try to start it off as if you were doing a 30-second pose: Get that gesture! Don’t overthink and have fun 😉

This tool (and the two below) have the options to pause and go to the next image.

This is really awesome in case you don’t like the reference photograph shown to you, or you love it so much that you will want to spend more time working on it!

3. Quick Poses

QuickPoses isa pose reference website similar to the one above, with slightly different customization options.

Here is what their home page looks like:

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Now, let me walk you through some of the options they have on the left menu – Challenges and Timed Practice.

Challenges: (from the image above)

  • Challenges always have 20 images in one session;
  • You can select from 6 different topics for the theme of your figure drawing session: Chiaroscuro, Female Silhouette, Femme Fatales, Lying Distortion, Please be seated and Warriors.
    • It is awesome if you have an idea in mind of something specific you want to practice.
      Let’s say I’m not the best at perspectives; then I will select “Lying Distortion” to really practice more and improve that skill. Or Warriors – for some exciting action poses.
  • Choose your own time interval (in seconds).
  • Choose an option to show images upside down (also a great way to practice drawing!)

Timed Practice:

  • Select the type (pose, face, hands, animals, landscapes, urban), gender, clothing and time interval.
  • Choose how many images per session you want to draw (10/20/30/40).

I love this for practicing specific things – like hands! Truly great for time-limited practices.

In the Library menu, you can select an image to draw from without any time limit.

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Note:All images are copyrighted and are only allowed to be used for practice or inspiration. Do not use these images in your work unless it is so heavily modified that it is not recognizable anymore.

Get Your QP Certificate – you can register on the site and it will track how much time you spend figure drawing. Once you reach a specific threshold, they will issue a QP (Quick Poses) certificate for your time and efforts 🙂

It’s a nice little incentive for you to keep practicing drawing every day!

The certificate has a couple of stages: Beginner (10 hours), Improver (30 hours), Intermediate (70 hours), Advanced (200 hours), Expert (500 hours) and Master (1000 hours).

Other Features:

  • You can share your work;
  • Learn from some tutorials;
  • Get their desktop App;
  • Participate in competitions;

This website also has the ability to pause during your session. However, unlike Line Of Action and Sketch Daily the image disappears from the screen, and you can go back!

So you can’t really “cheat” and spend more time on one drawing. Which I find to be an awesome restriction to have.

4. Sketch Daily

Sketch Daily isa very similar figure drawing pose reference website to the two above.

It lets you choose between five main topics Full Body, Body Parts, Animals, Structure and Vegetation.

Each category has specific customization options for you to select from.

Since we are focusing on Figure Drawing, the options we have here are:

  • Gender: All, Female, Male.
  • Clothing: All, Clothed, Nude.
  • Pose: All, Action, Stationary.
  • View: All, Front, Side, Back, Above or Below.
  • Time: 30 seconds, 1-60 minutes or no timer.

Depending on your selection, the number of available images changes, and you can see it right above the “Start” button.

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On the other side, if you pick all options as “All”, then there are (at the moment of writing this article) 1971 images available!

Now, that’s a pretty awesome library to work from! 🙂

The “Time” option works like the “time interval” in the Line Of Action website. So you pretty much decide for how long one image will be on the screen before it moves to the next.

As I mentioned previously, you can always pause an image and spend longer periods of time working on it (not like I’m telling you that you should).

Here is what the tool looks like when you choose all the options and click Start:

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5. Posemaniacs

Posemaniacs is an invaluable resource for artists to practice figure drawing with anatomy in mind!

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As you can see from the screenshot above, the pose reference images are not of real humans (though they have some), but of human muscle models!

You can go to the “Search” section and look through their full library of poses, and filter them by many categories, such as gender, action, mood, etc.

Their “30 Sec Drawing” section, offers a similar to other websites I mentioned interface options.

As the header suggests, it will randomly display 3D poses based on your chosen options.

  • Interval: from 10 seconds to unlimited.
  • Repeat number: 10-100 poses.
  • Models: unisex, female, male.
  • Difficulty: easy or normal.

And if you press the gear icon, there are more options, such as displaying grid, floor, shadow, texture, etc.

Also, if you open a singular pose, you’ll be able to rotate it and view it from different angles.

Even more impressive than that is the ability to apply different lighting scenarios to each pose and change between male and female-type muscles.

Extraordinary, don’t you think?

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6. New Master Academy

New Masters Academyis one of the best online course platforms for artists, in my opinion (check out my review).

But it’s also a YouTube channel that, among other great videos, often offers 1+ hours-long LIVE figure drawing sessions!

  • Long sessions.
  • There are two views at the same time: a close-up shot and a full-body shot.
  • Pose timer counting down.
  • High-quality video.
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I think it’s quite brilliant since you are NOT looking at still photographs during your practice, but a video recording of a living, breathing, human model!

These videos are an absolute treat for an artist, you can check out one example below:

7. CharacterDesigns

CharacterDesignsis a growing collection of high-quality free references for artists.

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All the images on here are under a Creative Commons License.

CharacterDesigns has a description of this license on theirAbout Page. In summary:

  • Commercial usage is allowed with proper attribution.
  • Selling the image as-is is prohibited.
  • Redistribution for non-profit purposes is encouraged.
  • Proper credit must be given, and taking credit for the work is not allowed.
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They have many categories to choose from for your next inspired drawing or to practice figure drawing:

  • Nude Drawing Photo Reference;
  • Regular Clothes and Costumes;
  • People and Events;
  • Drawing-Painting Reference;

All of these have many sub-categories as well! I won’t list them all here, but you should definitely go and explore. I’m sure you will find many inspiring ones 🙂

The downside of this site is that there is no timer, as it is not an app but a gallery of photographs.

This can easily be substituted by setting your own external timer and sticking to it!

But what you get out of using this website – is a gallery of so many different events, people, costumes and even locations that you can practice from or use as an inspiration for your next piece.

It’s definitely one of my go-to places for character and costume drawing practice.

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8. AdorkaStock Sketch

AdorkaStock Sketch is a web-based app, that is similar to the ones we covered in the beginning.

Images provided in there primarily come from theSenshiStock DeviantArt Pageand are donated by the community.

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Options to play around with: Pause/Play, Going to the next/previous image and Timer (you can set the time delay between 15 seconds and 30 minutes).

You can also view the pose on DeviantArt and ultimately download it, as the license for these images are mostly CC (you can read more about the licensehere) or by clicking on the license icon to the right of each image inside the app.

Another awesome feature is the “Filters” option.

Their images are categorized under “Tags, and you can select which ones you want to see.

There’s also an “Options” menu with these options:

  • Mode: Cycle – cycles images at a specified duration; and Class – cycles images with an increasing duration.
  • Session: Quick-Standard-Chill (15-30-90 minutes)
  • Duration: Choose the duration for the Cycle mode.
  • Beep: a slight sound will beep for the last 3 seconds of a cycle.

Pretty awesome, right?

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Pinterest, as many of you probably know and use is an awesome platform for saving future ideas, inspiration and searching for answers!

But it could also work as a tool to practice figure drawing. 🙂

To use it, simply search for “figure drawing pose references” and a variety of images will pop up!

Or you can also follow some Pinterest boards that focus on figure drawing pose references so you don’t have to go and collect them all yourself.

One such board is “Figure Drawing Pose References” curated by me, where once every few days, I add a new photo for you to practice from 🙂

The only warning I will give you is this: please DO NOT redraw the image and sell it without permission from the model. Pinterest collects all sorts of images from different sites, and even though some of them will have these images under CC license, you shouldn’t assume.

So, do your due diligence and always check for the source of the image and the license that it is under.

To do that simply click on the image and you will be taken to a website it was originally pinned from.

Figure Drawing Tips – Free PDF

Hopefully, after going through the list you found a couple of tools you will enjoy using!

And to kick-start your improvement, I have a little freebiefor you 🙂

A FREE GIFT FOR YOU!20 Best Figure Drawing Tips PDF! ( It’s part of my secret vault of art resources!)

It’s a 23-page PDF that you can print out, or just read on your device!

After reading this guide, you’ll be able to:

✅ Learn to break down each figure drawing into simple actionable steps.

✅ Think like a true artist who has a lot of practice with figure drawings.

Figure Drawing Courses To Become A Pro

After you have decided on the tools you will use, and grabbed my freebie – you might want to jump-start your art career by gaining the skills needed to become a pro!

And, you can do it in two ways :

  1. Learn yourself through A LOT of practicing on your own mistakes;
  2. Learn fromsomeone else’s mistakes and save yourself a lot of time and frustration!

And hey, I’m all about self-education. But that doesn’t mean you can’t self-educate yourself with high-quality online courses!

Here are my top favorite online figure drawing courses:

Figure Drawing Fundamentals Course by Proko

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Remember Proko?

The website full of free tutorials and a pose references pack we talked about in #1 ?

Well, they have this super awesome course geared towards just what you are looking for – Figure Drawing.

This premium video course includes extended versions of free videos, many examples of each lesson and critique videos. Videos are uncensored.

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An example of work from one of Proko’s student BEFORE and AFTER the courseTotal Runtime: 15 hours and 30 minutes

The course covers a couple of important topics you will learn :

  • Gesture – the action, flow and posture a figure takes;
  • Landmarks – a place where a bone is at a surface. Helps you find forms and measure proportions;
  • Robo Bean – creating a representation of a body using box shapes;
  • Shading – the course discusses in depth the highlight, half-tones, core shadows etc. to make your drawing appear 3D;
  • The Bean – a tool you will learn to help you with foreshortening and twisting of the body;
  • Mannequinization – a tool that will help you draw from imagination with volume and believable perspective;
  • Proportions & Measuring–Learn how to use Dr. Paul Richer’s scientific system of measuring an average person and apply it to your own work.
  • Practice & Patience–Develop a drawing schedule and stay motivated.
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It also features:

  • Extended Lessons
  • Demos & Examples
  • Assignments & Answers
  • Critique Videos

Either you decide to figure all of it out on your own, or get serious and take a course – I wish you the best of luck on your path, and can’t wait to see your awesome drawings! 🙂

9 Free Pose Reference Sites To Practice Figure Drawing Online (2024)


9 Free Pose Reference Sites To Practice Figure Drawing Online? ›

Pinterest is an excellent website to use for figure drawing reference because you can find others who have pinned specific images, like Jordan Gribble's pins, or you can create your own board from your favorite images that you find online either on Pinterest or other websites.

Where can I find a figure drawing reference? ›

Pinterest is an excellent website to use for figure drawing reference because you can find others who have pinned specific images, like Jordan Gribble's pins, or you can create your own board from your favorite images that you find online either on Pinterest or other websites.

Where can I find good pose references? ›

The best free pose references for artists
  • Sketch Daily. Sketch Daily is one of the first websites that come mind for practicing or getting some pose inspiration. ...
  • Jen (Jookpub Stock) ...
  • Pose My Art. ...
  • The Pose Archives. ...
  • Pose Maniacs. ...
  • Pinterest.
Mar 11, 2024

What is the app for posing figures? ›

Magic Poser is the leading app for posing 3D characters, creating 3D scenes and setting up stunning lighting effects. 12+ million artists use our app to draw better and faster. Start creating poses within minutes on your mobile devices today! Magic Poser is extremely user-friendly and powerful.

Do artists use references for poses? ›

Some artists unabashedly use references, especially movement that is hard to observe, such as quick movements or action poses. Some people believe that using references is wrong! Others use it as a part of their art practice.

Is Posemaniacs free? ›

POSEMANIACS is a free website with 3D models featuring realistic human muscle textures for reference poses. The models are male or female, and can be rotated 360 degrees, allowing you to practice drawing from various angles.

What is the most flattering pose? ›

The Angle of Your Body In A Photo

To look more photogenic, turn to the Universally Flattering Angle (the UFA): 45 degrees away from the camera.

Is Posa free? ›

You can try POSA app absolutely for free - It has all the features you need to build a great photoshoot scenario.

Is Magic Poser free? ›

Free Asset Library: 50 free presets poses and 10+ free props, hair and clothing! Add 1 model per scene, plus unlimited number of props. All 3D editor features (Layers, views, colors and other useful tools.) Save unlimited 3D scenes locally.

What is the app for drawing human figures? ›

Speedraw is a simple app to practice quick drawing. In it, you will find models, from which you can directly copy the drawing to create figures in various poses. The highlight of this app is that it gives you the possibility to set the time in which you want to make the drawing, between 10 and 90 seconds.

How can I practice figure drawing without a model? ›

You can practice by making multiple quick sketches of people in public places, or draw human figures from memory and imagination. Draw ancient sculptures and casts. They are very patient “models” and have perfect classical proportions.

Which is the easiest method of human figure drawing? ›

The easiest way to draw people is with the 'Ball-and-Socket' technique, a method in which the artist sketches several conjoined ovals to form the body parts of the human figure and draft the figure's pose.

How do I find a figure drawing model? ›

Finding models

Locate a figure drawing group in your area through a local college or university, art school or arts organization. Drawing as part of a group is a less expensive way to work with models.

Can you trace a reference drawing? ›

Trace the flow and construct forms over the reference, this way the tracing becomes a guide to establish relationships between lines for you. One practice i do with tracing is i draw as best as i can by eyeballing the reference first, then i will draw another one by tracing the flow of the reference.

What is the best resource for gesture drawing? ›

So, let's get into the different gesture drawing sites on the internet and we may just find one that is perfect for you.
  • Line of Action. The first one on this list is Line of Action. ...
  • Quickposes. ...
  • SketchDaily. ...
  • Pose My Art. ...
  • Posemaniacs. ...
  • Bodies In Motion. ...
  • Adorkastock. ...
  • Proko Sample Pack.

Where can I find anatomy references for art? ›

Human Anatomy for Artist.com is the biggest online source of Hi-Res human photo references for artists. You will find here more than 193,000 photos.

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