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Practising nude drawing – The ultimate guide

Long pose old master nude drawing
Long pose old master nude drawing

Learning human anatomy is an important part of the study in classical art. Drawing a nude model not only teaches you skills in patient rendering but also anatomy. In the Academy you work on one single drawing for up to 6 weeks with a total of ~50-60 hours ending up super realistic (see some examples herehere and here).

If a nude model gets paid $15/hour, that makes $750-950 for a complete drawing. Too much to hire a model on your own so attending a nude drawing class is the solution?

Wrong. There are some alternatives which you can try to get as close to drawing from a life model.

Using photo references

While photos are not three-dimensional and you have to make some sacrifices compared to a real model, it can be a convenient exercise. You are free to take and use photos of your partner, but you can get really good and specially made photos on the portal Posespace. There you can find professional photos of nude models in different poses, origin and gender. Although you have to pay to get access to all the photo templates, there are free photos that you can download in high resolution without registration (one photo) and after free registration (another two photos). At the time I am writing this article it is a scarf model so it is not a true nude model. However, the free photos change from time to time.

There is also another source for nude reference material – check it out: http://www.female-anatomy-for-artist.com/site/index

Some years ago I took the free image Posespace.com had at that time and some cheap drawing paper pasted on the backside of a wood panel, pencils grade F and 4B and a kneaded eraser. After 4 hours of work it turned out quite well. I worked with comparative measurement which means I had the image open on my laptop screen on my right and the drawing board on the easel.

20130728_101936_resized
The reference photo om my laptop screen and the drawing board plus the tools .
4 hours - F and 4B pencils Photo reference by posespace.com
4 hours – F and 4B pencils
Photo reference by posespace.com
27.7.2013
reclining-nude
Step-by-step animation
Male Nude painting
This is a half life sized painting I did from another reference from Posespace. Since it is too lang ago I can’t remember if I paid for this image or if it was a free one at that time

Nude Drawing Figures

The days when artists used old-fashioned wooden mannequins are over. Nowadays there are excellent, real-looking nude drawing figures with a stainless steel skeleton and silicone as muscles and skin. These figures are one time investments for endless hours of nude modeling for you and are the perfect alternative for long poses when drawing nudes.

Different poses of the silicone nude models

You can pose these as you wish with their numerous movable joints. They come with exchangable different hands and genitals. There are different types of heads available for you as the body comes with no head sculpt. Also there are different skin tones available.

How awesome is that?

Choose between a more slender athletic, muscular or massive figure. Male figures show the muscular anatomy more clearly and are therefore more suitable for teaching the musculature of man. The 1/6 scale figures are the ones you will need as the 1/12 are too small to work from a proper distance.

Keep in mind that the head needs to be ordered separately.

1/6 Male nude models (body only):

Phicen 1/6 Scale Super Flexible Male Muscular Seamless Body PL2016-M33*
  • PL2016-M33 stands 30cm.
  • The body do not contain head sculpt. the skin tone matches that of most head sculpts from other mainstream 1:6 scale action figure companies.
Sale (-$80.00)
Phicen 1/6 Scale Super Flexible Male Muscular Seamless Body PL2016-M34*
  • PL2016-M34 include NO head sculpt.
  • PL2016-M34 is our 5th 1:6 scale seamless male figure body with stainless steel skeleton
  • Boasting human-like skin texture, and being super flexible, posable and durable. All enjoy great popularity with clients all over the world.
  • The skin tone matches that of most head sculpts from other mainstream 1:6 scale action figure companies.
  • PL2016-M34 a perfect product, widely used in character design, cos-play, modeling, photography, painting, anatomy, or simply figure collection.
Phicen 1/6th Scale Super Flexible Male Seamless Muscle Body PL2018-M35*
  • PL2018-M35 include NO head sculpt and shorts.
  • PL2018-M35 is our 5th 1:6 scale seamless male figure body with stainless steel skeleton
  • Boasting human-like skin texture, and being super flexible, posable and durable. All enjoy great popularity with clients all over the world.
  • The skin tone matches that of most head sculpts from other mainstream 1:6 scale action figure companies.
  • PL2018-M35 a perfect product, widely used in character design, cos-play, modeling, photography, painting, anatomy, or simply figure collection.

* Last update on 2022-08-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1/6 Male head sculpts

HiPlay 1/6 Scale Male Figure Head Sculpt, Handsome Men Tough Guy , Doll Head for 12" Action Figure Phicen, TBLeague, HT DH042*
  • This is only a 1/6 scale head sculpt for 12 inches action figure body. Figure body, accessories are not included.
  • Handsome face with lively expression.
  • Made from high quality PVC material.
  • Compatible for most 1/6 scale male action figures, such as Phicen/TBLeague, HT, JIAOUDOLL.
  • HIPLAY is a global professional seller of toys and entertainment products.
HiPlay 1/6 Scale Male Figure Head Sculpt Series, Handsome Men Tough Guy , Doll Head for 12" Action Figure Phicen, TBLeague, HT (HP04)*
  • This is only a 1/6 scale head sculpt for 12 inches action figure body. Figure body, accessories are not included.
  • Handsome face with lively expression.
  • Made from high quality PVC material.
  • Compatible for most 1/6 scale male action figures, such as Phicen/TBLeague, HT, JIAOUDOLL.
  • HIPLAY is a global professional seller of toys and entertainment products.If you are not satisfied with the product, we also offer you a 100% money back guarantee without any ask.
HiPlay 1/6 Scale Male Figure Head Sculpt, Handsome Men Tough Guy , Doll Head for 12" Action Figure Phicen, TBLeague HS008(C)*
  • 1/6 scale head sculpt for 12 inch action figure body. Figure body, accessories are NOT INCLUDED.
  • Handsome face with lively expression, great for making your individual charactors.
  • Made from high quality PVC material.
  • This head sculpt doesn't has a neck part. Fit most 1/6 scale male figure bodies which has a neck, such as Phicen/TBLeague/JIAOUDOLL.
  • If you find the head connector is too small to fit the body, please try to heat the insert connector with a hair dryer. Any questions just feel free to contact us anytime.

* Last update on 2022-08-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1/6 Female nude models (body only)

Sale (-$8.01)
OBEST TBLeague 1/6 Female Super Flexible Seamless Body Suntan Action Figure (S23B) (Not Include Clothes and Head)*
  • The 1/6 scale makes the action character very flexible, 10.6 inches high, and you can change your hands and feet according to your own wishes according to different situations. This product is equipped with 3 opponents and 2 pairs of detachable feet, please note: Clothing and head shapes are not included
  • The action doll has a stainless steel skeleton with 28 pivot points, which increases the flexibility of the character. You can make different poses according to your preferences, even difficult poses that ordinary people cannot do
  • The body is made of high-quality, non-toxic silicone. When you touch this seamless doll, you will be surprised by its real skin feel, soft, smooth and elastic, you can apply these realistic characters can be used in many fields, such as artwork, sketching, photography, DIY or Just a simple collection.
  • This product contains only realistic female images, excluding head and clothes. However, you can dress up the doll as you wish and make her your favorite character,
  • If you have any questions, please contact us at any time, we will provide you with 100% satisfactory service .(Note:Clothes and Head Not Include, There may be errors in color due to individual senses)
TBLeague Phicen 1/6 Female Seamless Action Figures-Silicone Body, Plump Body Type 12 inch Super Flexible Female Figure Dolls for Arts/Drawings/Photography (S28A(Pale))*
  • AMAZING NEW BODYTYPE-This 12 inches realistic female figure is NOT A TOY for children. It is just like a real women in good shape which has been miniaturized. This new version is amazing which has realistic body proportion, bigger size, PLUMP and CURVACEOUS.
  • FULL SILICONE BODY & STAINLESS STEEL SKELETON-When you touch this seamless doll, you may be amazed at her true skin-like feel--gentle, smooth and flexible. The doll is made from high quality non-toxic silicone with stainless steel skeleton inside the body. Content: 12" female figure 1pcs, 2 pairs of replaceable feet, 3 pairs of replaceable hands. (Clothing & Head Sculpt are NOT INCLUDED)
  • SUPER FLEXIBLE BODY WITH 26 MOVEMENT JOINTS-The doll has a stainless steel skeleton in its body, which contains 26 points of articulation.You can make various postures as you wish, even some difficult poses that ordinary people can not do.
  • MAKE YOUR FAVORITE DIY WORKS-The product only contain relistic female figure, not include head and cloth. However, you can dress up the doll as you wish. Making her become your favorite star? A super hero? Or someone else you want her to be!
  • APPLICATIONS-These realistc figures can be used in many fieds, such as art works, drawings, photography, DIY, or just simple collection.
TBLeague HiPlay 12" Female Seamless Action Figures-Silicone Body, Plump Body Type-1/6 Scale Super Flexible Female Figure Dolls for Arts/Drawings/Photography (S29B (Suntan))*
  • AMAZING NEW BODYTYPE-This 12 inches realistic female figure is NOT A TOY for children. It is just like a real women in good shape which has been miniaturized. This new version is amazing which has realistic body proportion, bigger size, PLUMP and CURVACEOUS.
  • FULL SILICONE BODY & STAINLESS STEEL SKELETON-When you touch this seamless doll, you may be amazed at her true skin-like feel--gentle, smooth and flexible. The doll is made from high quality non-toxic silicone with stainless steel skeleton inside the body. Content: 12" female figure 1pcs, 2 pairs of replaceable feet, 3 pairs of replaceable hands. (Clothing & Head Sculpt are NOT INCLUDED)
  • SUPER FLEXIBLE BODY WITH 26 MOVEMENT JOINTS-The doll has a stainless steel skeleton in its body, which contains 26 points of articulation.You can make various postures as you wish, even some difficult poses that ordinary people can not do.
  • MAKE YOUR FAVORITE DIY WORKS-The product only contain relistic female figure, not include head and cloth. However, you can dress up the doll as you wish. Making her become your favorite star? A super hero? Or someone else you want her to be! (We also offer you various of doll heads, dresses and other doll accessories. Just serch what you want plus "HiPlay".)
  • APPLICATIONS-These realistc figures can be used in many fieds, such as art works, drawings, photography, DIY, or just simple collection.

* Last update on 2022-08-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1/6 Female head sculpts

No products found.

2 thoughts on “Practising nude drawing – The ultimate guide”

  1. I admire your drawing skills. Very impressive.
    Two questions though: Which measuring system did you use working from the screen? Comparative measuring?
    The second question is related to this particular approach. My concern with this plot-the-contour-first is that you become so dependent on measuring and drawing from live models or ref images, that you will have a hard time drawing from the imagination. If, on the other hand, you start learning by approaching to see and draw the figure as 3-D boxes, cylinders, ovals and cones fitting together, it becomes easier to learn anatomy, and draw from the imagination. Would you agree?

    • Hi Keith

      First question: Yes I used comparative measuring.

      Second question: yes, it does help a lot learning anatomy through generalized geometric shapes. It is especially helpful for perspective issues like foreshortening or extreme angles. Drawing fingers as three cylindes in a row makes it much easier to create a realistic hand. The same for arms and legs. The head would be created through a egg shaped sphere…

      Here’s a nice link for further explanaition:
      http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=216065&p=3094813#post3094813

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