The World of Reference Pictures

Drawing is hard – especially when there are so many things you have no idea how to draw. Even with things you’ve seen and drawn a lot, such as the human figure, there’s tons of poses or details you’re unfamiliar with.

When I started drawing and ran into one of these impossible things (learning to draw hands, for example), what we used to do was take really bad, low quality photographs using ancient cameras to try to get a decent enough picture to serve as a guide. Or we’d ask the nearest person to stand very still for a few minutes – or a couple of hours. With the arrival of internet and a proper online community, things got easier. People would upload reference art of themselves for you to use with the proper attributes and thank you notes attached to your finished art piece.

These days my favourite references are found at the aptly named Reference.Pictures, which let you use their pictures in any way you want (except reselling them, of course). At their site you can find reference picture ranging from humans, shapes, castles, folded fabrics and everything in between.

Reference Examples

Even if you’re not doing fine art, reference has a purpose for all types of drawings. That’s true for pixel art too! I’ve had to use references countless of times, or I’d have no idea where even to start drawing certain things (gramophones… I’m looking at you)!

What sort of reference do you guys use, and where do you find it? 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *