Mark Stephenson

Visual artist and designer

Mark, March 20 2020

Alternatives to drawing the figure from life 

This post contains nudity 18+. Life drawing sessions are being cancelled everywhere as we social distance and quarantine ourselves to avoid the spread of Covid-19. But this doesn't mean you have to stop drawing the figure. Here is a list of alternatives to drawing the figure from life.

A note on copyright, even thought you find an image or video online it doesn't mean you can use it in the creation of  your own art. Please take the time to look at the copyright and license the image if need be, here is a helpful article I found online, Artists and Copyright: Painting From Reference Photos

Online videos

Timed online videos are a great alternative. With some you have the opportunity to see the model get into position, a timer and some slight natural movement from the model. It's amazing how you miss that when working from photos.

If you know of a good source that I don't have listed here please let me know.


The Croquis Cafe is a figure drawing class recorded in real time, featuring models in artistic poses. The models, lighting and video quality is very good.

For more check out and subscribe to the CroquisCafe YouTube Channel 

New Masters Academy

The New Masters Academy has both a series of nude and non-nude timed videos. These use photos instead of live action video but are also a great options and are high quality.

Nude series

For more check out the nude series playlist

None-nude series

For more check out the non-nude series playlist

Friday Evening Figure Drawing from Draw this

Draped drawing poses with live models, not photographs. I don't think they are producing any new content but the existing videos are nice.

Form more check out Draw This on Youtube

Artists References

3Dsk - Photo Reference for Artists provides a video playlist of timed life drawing sessions based on photography. They also provide an extensive collections of reference images that can be licensed, see and

For more check out the Artists References Drawing Sessions playlist on YouTube

Photo reference

There are a few sources where you can access and purchase high resolution poses intended for artists. In some cases you can get an entire 360º views of a pose which can be great for getting a better understanding of the figure, also great for sculptures.

If you know of a good source that I don't have listed here please let me know.

Fantasy Artists Reference

A growing collection of creative figure reference photos. You can see a sample of the images on Tumbler but you would need to subscribe via to Fantasy Artists Reference on Patreon to receive non exclusive commercial license to use the photos in creation of their own artwork.

Reference Pictures

Reference pictures has a several sets of premium content that you would need to purchase. They do however have some free samples you can download.

Pose Space

A large collection of poses from many models. There are a couple free collections and many more that you can license . They have a pose tool that you can use if you are looking for something specific. Here is a link to their list of models.

Live virtual model sessions

Some life models have started to do live virtual modelling sessions. Check with your local, and non-local models, perhaps this is an option for you.

Hope this helps you to continue drawing the figure.

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