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Free Alternative to Use as a Drawing Reference Model

January 3, 2022 - By August van de Ven
Use the free reference model:

Why use reference poses?

If you've ever drawn human poses, you probably know how hard it is to do it all from memory. This is why many artists use reference poses. Reference poses are pictures, videos, or 3d-models that display a specific pose. Artists can use these poses as a reference for their work. Reference poses are used to better understand the way the human body moves and changes based on movements. You can use this side-by-side while you're drawing your subject to get better at drawing human subjects. Using a reference pose, you'll have an easier time learning more about some of the most important components of drawing like anatomy, shadows, and the way clothing and different objects interact with the body.

What is

One way of creating reference poses is to create them using a reference mannequin. A reference mannequin used to be a physical doll that artists could change to their liking but these days, you can also use digital reference mannequins that offer a lot more functions and variations. One of the most popular reference mannequins is a website called offers a lot of functionality for free but has a lot of features that are only available to paid subscribers. The site is also more geared towards people who already have a lot of drawing experience and experience in working with 3D software. This is because the models can only be changed using traditional 3D software controls which can make it harder to quickly create a reference model, especially for beginners. is another digital reference mannequin just like SetPose is a great alternative to as it is free to use, offers similar features, and has much more intuitive controls. If you've used before, you've likely realized that it takes quite a while to adjust each body part and to get used to the controls. Adjusting the reference model in SetPose is quite a bit simpler and easy to understand. To adjust a body part, simply drag it to your desired position. In the top left of the screen, you can find the only four buttons that you'll need to use to create every kind of reference model you can imagine. When you've gotten used to using the controls, you can start using the keyboard shortcuts to switch controls and create your desired model even faster!

Use the free reference model:

A screenshot from the reference mannequin website