I have been a member of Posespace.com for almost three years. I found the site while searching online for reference images for my anatomy drawing practises, and fell in love with the site from day one. The site provides high resolution images of nude models for artists; you can purchase and download individual poses, or get their books in digital and/or printed form, which offer beautiful and varied selections of images from their many models and pose collections.
This year, they offered artists and bloggers to review their upcoming book, Art Models 10; I jumped right at the opportunity, and was so fortunate to be chosen by Douglas Johnson, the site’s editor, to be one of the reviewers. I hope this makes very clear that I was NOT paid in any way to do this review in any way, and that I do not get any share from the sales of this book. I was a user and lover of this site before this review, and this is a totally honest opinion – you will never, ever, see paid sponsor reviews on my blog!
Reference images are a true treasure for an artist, no matter which style they belong to, or which technique they use. Reference images bring true life to a drawing or a painting – when you’ve been drawing for many years, you can clearly see which artists use reference pictures, and which just invent their way through the painting. When drawing only from memory, characters look stiff and lifeless, usually standing in stereotyped poses that communicate nothing.
The best solution, of course, it is to hire models and photograph them, or to attend classes with live models – but this is an ideal situation, and more often than not, a not very realistic solution for many artists. Hiring and photographing models takes money, time, and photographic material and skills. Classes with live models are not available everywhere, artists may have a full time job that keeps them from attending them, or they may be a financial sacrifice that not everyone can make. Just so, artists with any kind of disability may find these solutions extremely problematic.
Art Models 10 (and the whole offer of Posespace.com) offers an affordable and extremely easy to use solution. The images of Art Models 10 are tasteful, inspiring, extremely detailed, and made clearly with making the artist’s work easier in mind. For a beginner, these poses are the perfect solution for more natural and powerful art; for the experienced, it is a perfect reference library that is always at reach. The images include many full body poses, plus extra chapters for head and hand/feet poses, which I think would make excellent drawing practises, even for the most experienced.
The fact that they are royalty free is also extremely relevant for the artist, as most times galleries, contests, and exhibitions, will not allow to show or sell work that contains copyright infringement of any kind. Not having to worry about this at all makes our work so much easier, and again, it shows how much the artist’s needs are always taken into consideration. Unless you are an artist, you will not believe how many hours we can spend searching for the right references, so the usefulness of this ebook, and of the whole site, is really invaluable.
I think that comic artists, fantasy artists and Pagan artists could benefit greatly from purchasing this book, no matter their level of expertise. There is a great variety of ages, races and body types, and I can see a lot of the images being used for great illustrations and comic scenes, as well as many that could inspire beautiful paintings in more classical styles – the balance between the modern poses and the more conventional, established ones is really remarkable.
The book also includes a chapter written by artist Butch Krieger that beginners will find particularly useful, as it is focused on working with the pictures in the book to improve drawing, shading, modelling and composition, as well as directions on using a grid. As a completely self-taught artist, I cannot stress enough how important these kind of exercises are for improving your skills, and how much benefit they can bring. You can be sure that I use these methods all the time!