Anatomy Resources for Artists: Human body


Human Anatomy is a valuable skill for anyone who wants to depict the human body believably. It’s also a very complex subject, and you can’t learn it from practice alone.

Over the last 10 years or so, I gathered a bunch of helpful art resources. Here are all the best ones to help you dive into human anatomy and master it!

Free resources

Anatomy for sculptors

Anatomy for Sculptors is a great resource selling several good books on the topic. But their real treasure is a free 3D model of a muscle man and separate body parts that are color-coded and have a great detail definition. Amazing for studying human anatomy (at least on a male body)

They also have an interesting tool that I haven’t seen anywhere else. Human proportion calculator! It calculates correct proportions based on sex, height, and life stage. Amazing!


Posemaniacs is a free anatomy reference resource. They provide a huge collection of male and female 3D poses with all muscles visible. Of course, it’s not the same as a living human because muscles are shown in one relaxed default state, but it’s good enough, to begin with.
You can also find a big collection of face references on the website.

Moving anatomy videos by Paul Smith on Vimeo

Because the shape of our body changes a lot depending on the movement, it’s important to study real human beings in movement. Here are several videos that show different body parts from different angles in different movements. Amazing to see what muscles are working and alter their shape. Unfortunately, the author made only 8 videos, but they are great for studying anyway,

Paid resources (with freebies)

Bodies in motion

Bodies in Motion is a premium anatomy and gesture learning resource for artists and animators. They have frame-by-frame references to see how the human body behaves in motion. Absolutely mindblowing. They also have a reference library for facial expressions and 3D scans of different bodies and body parts.
They also have a timed drawing session tool, free with basic functionality. But for full access, you have to pay. Their prices range from 25$ to 195$ per year depending on how many of their resources you need.


Proko is a website containing a lot of great online art courses, mostly about anatomy or drawing people in some way. Aside from courses, they also sell reference packs of amazing quality. They have both nude models and costumed models. Great for using together with your timing drawing sessions app of choice, which I was talking about in my previous post. Different studios and artists produce the packs, so if you have made your own model packs, you can also sell them there.

Grafit Studio

Grafit is an art outsourcing studio based in St Petersburg. They are also producing and selling high quality reference packs (only with people) for artists. They are releasing new pack every week.

New Masters Academy

New Masters Academy, which I mentioned earlier, also provides reference photos and 3D references as a part of their premium subscription (priced from 59$ to 149$ yearly), together with many premium drawing courses. I personally find it worth the price.

Anatomy 360

Anatomy 360 sells packs of 3D scans, and I find it far superior to just photo reference. Still not as good as life, but good enough for understanding the form better. Also, these scans are way better than the figures provided by Posemaniacs because the shape of our body changes depending on motion and gravity.

There are also some free references, so check them out.

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