I’ll be completely honest and say that I’m not one of those artists that can just conjure anything on paper. Sure, I can draw a silly doodle or sketch from an idea in my head, but most of the time, I like to use references to help me out. Using references does not mean that you’re weak; they can help you improve your skills as an artist. I find that most references are especially great for the human body, when you don’t have a figure model at your exposure. Photo references help you study lines, proportions and how your eye sees an image.
So, here are some of the references I like to use when I draw:
Pose Maniacs– This website was one of the first ones that actually gave me 3-D models of both men and women figurines that can be rotated. There are also perspective tools and models of hands in different motions. I would say this is great for just about anyone. Check it out, and you’ll see what I mean. It’s different.
Getty Images– This stock website is great if you don’t want to search through Google Image results. The photos are high-resolution and it’s a perfect resource if you’re trying to find a reference of a landscape, animals and whatever else. Corbis Images is also a good stock resource too.
Draw in Black– This blog is a mix of everything: tutorials, news and anything related to art. I really love the Hand Tutorial that’s given, because there are different photos and videos that explain how to draw hands. I highly suggest to check it out if drawing hands is a big challenge for you.
Flickr– If you want photos taken by ordinary people, this website is it. Many users have very interesting photo shots that could be great as a reference. Not to mention, you get to see places and things that you’ve never seen before if you’re across the ocean.
Don’t forget, the best resource you can have is everything around you. If you take time to sit down and study your surroundings, you’ll discover many interesting things. Even better, if you can document them with your own camera, then you can look at your photos for hours at a time.
I’ll probably be making more posts about other resources in the future, and perhaps I’ll create my own. Of course, if you have any great resources that you think artists should know about, feel free to drop a line!