Art Guide: References + Tips

A collection of resources to help you to learn how to draw ✏️

how to draw
human drawing
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Art Guide: References + Tips

A collection of resources to help you to learn how to draw ✏️

art, guide, how to draw, human drawing

Art Reference Collection

Last Updated: 15 September 2020



Just plainly copying muscle diagrams won't be able to help you with understanding how the body works. Usually I'd recommend Proko as a starting point to understand different sections of the body, and slowly work your way up to more advanced videos of his while also referencing specialised books such as Andrew Loomis' anatomy book collection.

* Proko:

* Andrew Loomis (figure drawing): (this is extremely text heavy, i'd recommend you skip to pages with pictures and reference from there first, and move on to text heavy pages if you have the time and interest)

Afterwards, you can try doing gesture studies to strengthen your drawing speed, observational skills and general feel for anatomy using sites such as and

which are both websites specially catered to gesture and figure drawing in general.

The Anatomation is a Photo drive collection of both 2d and 3d references, including animation for certain body parts such as moving arms, muscle twists and etc:

Relevant TWT artist recommendations:

* Taco is an artist who does stylised anatomy tips:

* Pigeon also occasionally posts anatomy studies of their own:

* TB Choi also does drawing tips on her twitter:

* MangaMaterials is an extremely useful resource account managed by one artist in Japan

Specific Tweets only (Not Tip/Art guide-centric accounts):

* Anion - Specific muscle details in certain poses

* SOLRAKA - Going from Simplified form to Complex (Upper body)

* SeoNaWon - Male muscle studies

* ATO - Male Body Types, Pecs and Nipples (NSFW)

* Kelp - Arm muscles

* K Nong - 3 Male Body Types

* libs920 - Colouring the Hand

* GY ANIFORCE - Angles of the Head and Face

* Kadeart - Abs study

* TooruJJL - Reference thread

* Zol - Reference thread

* JaneMere - Angles of the head

* Meow - Legs, Hips and Muscles

* Little_MoDao - Arm muscles

* SAP - Male Torso

* Miyuli - Varied

* EU03 - Common mistakes in shoulders

* Yuto Sano - Hands and Mouth/Teeth

Avoid copying references without having a basic understanding of muscle structure. Remembering muscle names is generally not as important, taking note of landmarks of the body and how movement changes the shape and direction of tendons etc will be more helpful.

Anatomy is a pain and it will take you a long time to fully grasp it. Even now I can’t say I'm an expert, and neither are any professionals godly at anatomy. What you see as perfect could involve stylistic choices as well as hiding mistakes in smart ways. Don't be discouraged if you can't get it right away. Practice is always what we tell everyone to do, but don't practice blindly. Do smart practices and learn from mistakes so you don't make the same errors again.

Relevant YT artist recommendations:

Useful for references other than anatomy; includes painting, colour, drapery and etc.

* Ahmed Aldoori

* Angel Ganev (explicit language)

* Sinix

* Ethan Becker (explicit language)

* Sycra

* moderndayjames

* Jazza (no longer an anatomy/drawing tutorial specific channel)

* Marc Brunet

* mikeymegamanga (stylised/anime; also has borderline nsfw content sometimes)

* Mark Crilley

* MangaMaterials (JP/EN)

* Akihito Yoshitomi (JP)

* Aarang (KR)

* Coax Illust (KR/EN)

* Dirge (JP)

* Seunghee Lee (KR)

* Can King (CN/TW)

* Ruan Jia (CN)

At this point, I'm guessing you know the theory side of things but you’re not sure how to apply them properly. Try doing studies and then drawing it freehand again without referencing and comparing side by side to see how much you really understood from your practices.

Constantly practicing isn't helpful if you haven't applied it to see what you actually know/got wrong.

Additionally, perhaps try applying what you’ve learned on a new piece of work! See how much information you’ve retained and managed to make use of in your new drawing.

(My own) Tips:

Line Quality


Before all of that line quality is an important factor in having clear, readable artworks and studies. If you have a lot of repeated strokes in the same area, it makes your studies unclear and hard to read. It's also not the best habit to have while drawing, so try doing line exercises to improve line confidence!

This way, when you draw and do studies it will be much cleaner, faster and readable. You will also not focus on the same spot constantly and waste time unnecessarily.

Video References:

* Art of Wei

* Draftsmen

* BaM Animation

Get used to drawing longer faster strokes and future drawings may get easier and more time-efficient for you. Of course you can choose to continue using your current method if that's what you're most comfortable with. However, you have to be aware of the difference between style vs crutch. Don’t enable yourself to use art style as a justification to avoid going out of your comfort zone.

The best rule breakers don't get caught easily as they know the rules best and how to bend it to fit their needs.

Values and Lighting


Affects contrast of a piece, and thereby changes the readability and flow of the composition. Lighting and values work hand-in-hand, in this case it would be easier to work in monochrome or grayscale to practice. As always, learning fundamentals will strengthen your foundational skills and provide better support for future pieces.

Video References:

* Marco Bucci:

Essential Values for Painting, Lighting and Design (Beginner)

Light and Shadow - 10 Minutes to Better Painting (Beginner)

Character Design Mini-Series Pt. 2 - Value, Light, Flesh, Colour (Intermediate)

* moderndayjames:

DIGITAL PAINTING: Understanding values (Beginner)

MARKER RENDERING I: Assigning Values, Rendering Primitives and Casting Shadows (Beginner - Intermediate)

* Proko:

Shading Light and Form - Basics (Beginner)

The Illusion of Depth - Contrast, Aerial Perspective and Form (Beginner - Intermediate)

* Love Life Drawing:

Artist Eye Training: Seeing Light and Shadows in daily life

* Mr. New’s Art Class:

Understanding val

Art Guide: References + Tips
Tags Art, Guide, How to draw, Human drawing
Type Google Doc
Published 18/03/2023, 20:59:18


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