Top Menu

22 April 2012

An alternative to Life Drawing

I always hear how important it is to draw from life. I agree with this. But it is not always possible. I have few opportunities when I can draw people, except for clandestine sketches in public places. These are usually of people sitting down on the train. Very limiting.

Attending a life drawing class would be ideal. But again, is not an option available for us all. A great website for gaining an understanding of the anatomy and muscle definition of the human  body in a multitude of poses is Posemaniacs.

Another alternative is the use of a figure mannikin. They are cheap and easy to find these days. They are supposedly correct proportionally, and you can even get male and female versions. The females are slightly shorter. You can twist and turn their limbs in a variety of poses. Unfortunately they are not fully human flexible but are  a great starting point. It's also nice to practice at home in privacy until you become more confident.

Here are some quick sketches I did the other day. Don't forget to try different angles and views, lay them down, prop them in different ways, take a birdseye view... experiment and have some fun. You'll probably be able to get lots of poses you wouldn't come across in public.


  1. Good sketches of the mannis. I have to pick on up. It is good practice when you don't have life figures to sketch from.

    1. And they are so cheap now. I want to get a hand one, but they are still around $45.