What do you do when you can't find the exact pose you're looking for?

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Lawrence17 4 years ago.

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    I'm still a beginner when it comes to drawing, and I'm not at a point where I can draw right out of my head, or mentally turn a reference so that it matches up with what I'm trying to draw. In other words, unless I have someone to hold my hand through the entire thing, I can't draw a given pose or gesture unless I have an exact match of what I'm trying to draw. Even for simple poses, you'd be amazed at how difficult this is. Even googling "sitting on bed profile" has turned up way more possibilities than I ever could have imagined, and none of them are what I'm looking for.

    What do you do when this happens? Do you just try to draw it yourself, and hope that it works out? Do you look for something close, and draw that instead? Do you give up?

    I feel like there's something else I'm missing that I should be doing.

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    You have a bed. You have a you. You probably have a phone camera. So you either need a tripod or someone to hold the camera and you’re all set for the classic artist trick of being your own model.


    My body type is completely different from that of the character I'm trying to draw. I'm short and fat, he's tall and thin. I can't really *see* my body the way I would see his; there's too much fat in the way.

    ETA: Sorry, I don't mean to be difficult. I have tried the method you suggested before, and I think I also had trouble because, well, I'm going for a nude drawing, and I...wear clothing. I kind of have to, because the only people I have to take my picture are my parents. But that would indeed help with at least posture and proportions, since those tend to be the same no matter what your body type is.

    That was still very helpful, so thank you! I'll try to remember that next time. For now, I actually did manage to find a good drawing.

    • journalsbridle edited this post on May 19, 2019 2:15am. Reason: I don't know, I just thought I sounded snippy and whiny.

    It’s not a classic trick because it works for every character. But it gets you an actual human in the pose you imagine. And it’s actually pretty easy to imagine poses that are physically difficult, or that don’t make sense in the setting, or that aren’t possible to hold for as long as would make sense.

    It lets you check if the idea is a sound one.

    If it is a good idea, then you can decide what to do next to pursue it.

    And yeah, I’m only just starting to be able to adjust body types. It takes a lot of practice for that to get easy I think. But it’s a lot easier than making up lighting or making up a pose from scratch. Life would be a lot cooler if I could draw myself the body I want.


    I try to not imagine a exact pose, I try to have a vage idea, so, when i go look for a reference, it's easier to find one I like, also, don't use just one reference, use many, like, one for the body type, one for the pose, one for the background. And pinterest is amazing when it comes to references, check it out!

    • MSart edited this post on July 23, 2019 1:17pm. Reason: Spelling mistakes

    Tip one with Googling: Try different words, Maybe word 'Bed' isn't needed and just look up sitting profile.

    Less words the better. Try alternative words for the look in mind, like reclining, kneeling, leaning, etc. Instead of Profile try side view or even silhouette.

    Tip two if you have a Photoshop like program. Just merge multiple photos into one. Take the head you like from one and the legs from another and arms from a third.
    If no photoshop, print them out and play paste together.

    Tip three, find Royalty free for commercial use Stock Images sites, Some users on DA are such, and some websites are such database. One I can think of is morguefile.com by Artists for Artists. (all these options do not have as good keywords as google so less or alternatives more important here). So this requires more patience and browsing.

    Tip four, try a 3d modeling program for the pose you want. There are some free ones and there is a learning curve. Design Doll I find pretty easy to use in comparison to other 3d art programs and it's free though it does have pay options but I find them unneccessary. Just discovered this in browser 3d for free called Just Sketch Me.

    Or alternatively, pay the dough for toy model (or live model) that you can pose, good ones are pricy. I reccomend sticky bones. I had recieved mine this year and they are working hard to fufill all orders right now.

    Later when I'm not at work, I'll give an example of how you can translate a pose from different body sizes. So it'll be posted later.

    • Anne Hijme edited this post on July 23, 2019 5:40pm. Reason: adding another option
    • Anne Hijme edited this post on July 23, 2019 5:42pm.
    • Anne Hijme edited this post on July 23, 2019 6:57pm. Reason: adding program

    So first I highly reccommend this DA chart (cc Phobos-Romulus) to go over Female and Male body types how to add fat vs muscles.

    If you're taking a model with more weight and wish to slim, main way is to look for the bone landmarks. That shows where their core structure is. From there you just trim or add as you like. Example using this (cc Senshistock)

    Adding Fat to a thinner model is just knowing which areas tend to build up fat first on the human body. Using another image from SenshiStock cc

    Same thing can be done with muscle tone. That I feel is usually more obvious to people.
    Hope this helps some.


    If I were to pitch in my perspective here......

    Don't stunt yourself with just drawing from photos. Make sure you put in some time for free drawing poses without reference. Andrew Loomis actually talks about this. This website is great but it won't give you everything you need to know when drawing, it should only serve as a stepping off point so that you can keep yourself grounded with solid form.

    The point of reference is to refer to it. If you only draw from photos than you will oftentimes run into this very same problem over and over. The internet is abundant but it won't have everything you're looking for.

    I understand that it may feel awkward to draw without reference at first, but you won't be able to remember the human form as well otherwise. Get loose and try to understand these shapes in your own way. Next time you look at a reference photo, try to understand the fundamental shapes that make it up and see if you can manipulate them into your own pose. This is how characters and stories are made. Don't get caught up in copying what's already there.

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