Gesture Drawing is an amazing exercise for learning how our bodies move and how to draw human figures fluently. But sadly, it’s hard to go to life drawing classes as much as we want (and definitely not as much as we need).
When you don’t have access to classes with live models, you can always practice with the help of the mighty internet. Here are some links that might be helpful for you.
Warning: Some of these links contains nudity!
Timed drawing session tools
GestureDrawing! is a great little program that lets you create timed drawing sessions from your own reference library. It costs just 15$ (one-time payment) and is constantly improved by its creator. I personally use it from time to time. If you just wanna try it before buying, they are providing a free demo (in the shop description).
Quickposes is a website with a big library of references and a built-in tool similar to GestureDrawing! program mentioned above. Great for sketching practice. It’s free to use! They even have a desktop app for 15$ that you can use offline and with your own reference library.
Line of action
Line of action is a photo reference website complete with a forum where everybody who is learning drawing is welcomed. They have their own free online timed drawing practice tool that uses their whole huge library. That is way bigger than Quickposes btw.
They also have a subscription that gives you a lot of useful benefits like goal tracking, even more references, and more. Feel free to explore their website because it has so much more to offer.
SketchDaily is another timed drawing session tool that has a pretty small reference library. But it has free access to its landscape photo collection, whereas Quickposes and Line of action have it behind a paywall.
AdorkaStock (formerly SenshiStock) is a content creator that has been creating reference pictures for artists since 2007.
They have a free web-based timer for drawing sessions that uses their huge reference library.
Croquis Cafe used to post free videos with their models for gesture drawing sessions on YouTube. But later, they were banned from there because of nudity, and they moved to Vimeo. Sadly they removed their free video library from there as well, and now they are providing all of their content (that is updated weekly) for 36$ a year. They have a built-in timed drawing sessions tool that uses their huge library.
A pretty cost-efficient way to get access to so many references for your learning if you ask me (not sponsored)
Warning: contains nudity on the front page
Gesture drawing videos
New Masters Academy is a huge learning resource for artists. They have a youtube channel where they have both nude and clothed gesture drawing videos that are roughly 30 min. Perfect for daily practice.
Shops with anatomy photo reference
There are a lot of shops based on various marketplaces such as ArtStation, Gumroad and Cubebrush that are selling awesome reference packs that you can save and use with GestureDrawing! or Quickposes app that I wrote about in the beginning. Or use in any other (even commercial) way.
Here are some creators that I found to be valuable:
Proko is a learning resource that specializes on Anatomy created by Stan Prokopenko. He is a great teacher with a great sense of humor. Proko is also providing some reference packs for gesture drawing. Both on Cubebrush and on their website.
Obscura 29 is an art studio based in Turkey that creates and sells amazing reference packs with people both nude and clothed. They have shops on ArtStation and Cubebrush, so choose whatever resource you like the most.
Mr August is an artist or a studio based in Vietnam, and they are selling a lot of great ref packs, some of them are Asian-themed, both nude and clothed.
Howard Lyon is an American illustrator that is also creating high-quality reference packs. Most of them are costumed based on different themes, mostly fantasy. He has shops on ArtStation, Gumroad and Cubebrush.
Mels Mneyan is an artist based in Armenia. He is creating reference packs with very dynamic poses and often with some interesting props or costume details. I found his shops on both ArtStation and Cubebrush.
AdorkaStock (formerly SenshiStock) I mentioned earlier, is also providing a ton of reference packs for free on the Deviant Art and selling some other packs on their KoFi (there are free packs there as well).
The Pose Archives is another Gumroad shop with models for artists. Not as high quality as the others packs I’m mentioning here, but maybe you are going to find something that is missing from the other ones.
Grafit studio is an art studio based in Russia that creates a lot of reference materials and releases new packs every week. Their packs have a lot of different models, props, and costumes and are very high-quality. They are selling their packs on all the major platforms and also have their own website.
Rachel and Tom Bradley are an artist couple that is creating a lot of various reference packs, mostly with people. Here I’m listing all of the shops I could find.
Bonus: body diversity for your studies
If you are looking for reference photos of overweight people and want some diversity in your learning, you might want to ask for permission to get access to this website. Fat Photo Ref is a volunteer-submission photo reference website for artists. The quality of the photos is sometimes bad, but the website is free and unique.