If you’re unsure of what pose to draw, ran out of pose ideas, or are just looking for a different pose than usual, I’ve got the list for you!
Here you can find a bunch of fun and different pose ideas to take your figure and anatomy drawing to the next level.
So keep reading to check some of the best pose ideas to draw!
Table Of Contents
Crossed Leg Sitting
This is not an easy pose to draw. We’re used to drawing the body in more of a standing position. Legs and arms mostly unfold.
However, when we sit, our body folds over itself.
When someone sits down on the floor with their legs crossed, most of their lower body disappears. The body parts stack together and go in front of each other.
For that reason, this position can be a bit of a challenge. At the same time, it can be a good kind of challenge. A way for you to perhaps leave your comfort zone and try something new.
Tackle these challenging poses in more of a fun way. Don’t be scared of them.
There’s this technique I always recommend my students to do, on my drawing courses: Break everything down into smaller, basic shapes!
Everything is made out of shapes, even our bodies. Once you realize this, you’ll see that any pose is doable without frustrations.
Sit down, pick up your reference image and draw shapes on top of it. Don’t be afraid to do this!
Whenever you’re in doubt or are drawing something new, go into your reference image and look for the shapes by drawing on top of it.
This is a great way to learn! Maybe looking at an image and imagining the shapes is enough for you. And that’s great!
But there’s nothing like being 100% sure you’re using the shapes and proportions that make sense to you, then trying them out first before going for your actual drawing!
Also, if you feel that this pose is way too overwhelming for you right now, don’t worry. There are other sitting poses for you to try, that are easier to tackle.
You can draw someone sitting on a bench with one less crossed over the other, for example. The legs don’t even need to be crossed! Just two legs, next to each other. You can draw someone sitting on their knees as well.
There are always many options, so if you feel one pose is too advanced for your right now, look for something similar but simpler!
Dancing poses are always so much fun to draw! Generally, they’re full of movement and are very dynamic.
Not only that but there are also many types of dances, meaning you can find so many different poses, all very interesting to draw!
If you’re looking into improving the fluidity of your pose drawings, then dancing poses are definitely the way to go.
Search several poses, then focus on the line of action first. Like before, you can even draw it on top of your images.
But focus only on the line of action for now.
That line that evokes the whole pose. Personally, I think that dancing poses can create very beautiful lines.
Practice only that line. Feel its movement as you trace it. You can even fill a few sketchbook pages just with this.
When you’re ready, start drawing the body, following the line of action you drew!
Remember to go through the process of drawing, step by step. If shapes are too complicated right now, then focus on simple lines that evoke the whole pose.
And one last thing: exaggerate! Dancing poses are perfect to practice exaggeration in your drawings. You don’t need to follow the limits of the human body when drawing.
By exaggerating certain movements, you’ll create a much more interesting and dynamic pose. So have fun with that!
These never fail.
Pin-up poses are actually one of the most popular poses that beginner artists use.
The reason for that? These tend to be very simple, while still feeling interesting and tasteful. Not only that, pin-up poses grab very standard poses (standing up, sitting, lying down) but exaggerate them a bit.
We don’t stand like that, but it’s much more fun to draw it that way than a regular standing pose.
It’s much less boring.
The body parts in these kinds of poses are also very well presented. You can see everything very clearly, so it’s easier for your to find shapes and then replicate them.
Everything about these poses is not only beautiful but very accessible for a beginner to draw!
So, if you’re a beginner and are looking to draw dynamic, but still simple poses, this is a good starting point.
You can look for some references on Google or stock photo websites like Pexels, Unsplash, or even Pixabay. But personally, I really enjoy going on Pinterest and looking up poses and saving to boards the ones I enjoy the most.
This way, whenever I want to practice or draw something new, I can just go there and look around my boards for new poses to draw!
If you’re up for another challenge, draw two people together! It might not look like it, but sometimes drawing more than one person can be very hard.
When we draw just one person, everything (or almost everything) is very singular. Not only that, the body parts aren’t in contact or don’t interact with something else.
With two people, however, you have to think about the whole composition.
There are also more arms, more hands, legs, and feet to draw. The body parts intersect with each other. Some you can see clearly, others not so much!
Of course, there are many different kinds of couple poses for you to draw. Some are easier than others.
For example, a couple holding hands or sitting next to each other is easier than two people hugging or kissing.
If you want to start slow, choose something simple so it’s not as overwhelming for you.
As you get used to drawing two people interacting with each other, you can go one step further and draw more complex poses!
As always, go step-by-step. This goes both for the actual drawing activity and the complexity of poses you’re drawing.
If you’re just starting to draw, go for simple poses. Add complexity as you get more comfortable with art and drawing the human body.
This way, you’ll avoid most art frustrations and will enjoy the whole learning process much more!
Just like dancing poses, a fighting stance is usually quite actionable, especially if it’s something mid-move.
And even if it’s a more static pose, it can still be very interesting to look at and draw. You can search for specific sports or even action movies packed with fights.
Lookup for fighting games and observe the poses from all the different characters. They usually have many different styles and their poses change accordingly.
Some are more fluid and full of movement, while others are more static and stoic.
All of them are worth taking a look at and trying our hand at drawing them.
Not only that but if your goal is to draw hero characters, fighting side by side against powerful villains, then action and fighting poses are something you want to practice… a lot!
They are not easy to convey, at least not with the fluidity we sometimes want to. The best way to excel at that is to practice as much as we can and learn with other artists, movies, games, or even from real life.
Personally, I really like looking up martial arts images, because I think they can have very beautiful stances.
But even if you don’t know a whole lot about fighting sports, you can always make a quick search, learn something new and see what kind of poses are the most interesting for you!
I love drawing yoga poses! They’re always so weird at first, but at the same time beautiful.
They’re also very good for beginner artists to draw. A lot of the positions are very clear and you can see where each limb is.
However, just like practicing yoga itself, there are many levels of complexity to the poses.
You can find very easy positions to draw like the warrior, the tree, crescent lunge, or the downward-facing dog pose.
Or you also have some way more complex like the crane or eight-angle pose.
The difficulty grows as the pose becomes less clear, when limbs start to jumble together and when it’s very unusual.
We’re used to drawing the body in certain ways, as we practice human anatomy, it gets easier to draw the most common poses because we already know more or less how the human body works and moves.
However, yoga poses sometimes seem almost impossible to conceive! So it can feel as we don’t know anything about drawing anatomy after all.
But that’s actually all part of the fun!
Start with something simple and easy first. Then add more complexity to your pose drawings as you get used to drawing the first ones.
Really, it’s just like practicing yoga.
As a beginner, you start with easier poses, that don’t rely much on the elasticity of the body.
But as you learn and become better, you go for more difficult poses. Do the same with drawing, start small, and grow from there!
Another kind of pose that can be quite different from what we usually draw. Even though we lie down all the time in real life, it’s not as common to draw it.
So it’s a nice change of pace!
It can also be a new challenge. We’re changing the perspective of the body here, so we have to rethink our shapes all over again.
So if you’re feeling like drawing something a bit different as far as body poses go, try drawing people lying down.
The fun thing about it is that there are many different ways the body can be posed.
The model can be lying on their back, belly, or even to the side. Their legs can be crossed or folded.
Not only that, but the person in the photo can be performing an action: they can be reading a book, drawing, writing, scrolling through their phone, or even eating!
The places where the pose is taking place can also differ. The model could be lying on the floor, on a bed, on the beach, and so on.
This can change the pose a lot or just how the body will interact with the surface is laying on!
These are all things to have into account when drawing any kind of pose, so it’s a good practice as well!
Another kind of pose that is very actionable.
There’s always lots of movement here, the hair goes everywhere as well as the clothes.
This is something that is good to practice from time to time. Depending on the kind of movement the body does, everything will behave accordingly.
In a very static pose, nothing will change or move too much. Sometimes not even at all!
The hair stays in the same place, the clothes hang towards the floor, and each limb is mostly in its right place.
However, when we jump, our feet leave the floor, so we got new feet positions to draw here.
The hair will move towards the movement and the clothes as well.
Depending on the kind of fabric, clothing might also behave very differently from each other.
So, you’re learning a whole lot more than drawing a pose here. You’re learning about drawing a pose involved with the environment around it!
Again, if you’re looking to draw something with lots of movement, a jumping pose is perfect for that!
Alright, this one is a bit different from the others, since it very rarely involves the rest of the body. But I still think it can be a fun one to draw.
When we take selfies we act different poses, as well as expressions. If you draw these from the perspective of the phone, you’ll have to work with just that: perspective. This can be a bit more of a challenge as well!
There are also many possibilities for the kind of pose you’ll draw. As I said, you can draw this pose from the phone’s perspective, but you can also draw it as if you’re a person watching from the outside.
There are full-body poses as well.
People often use a mirror to catch a full-body selfie, so you can draw that!
The fun thing about drawing a selfie pose is that instead of looking up references… you can make your own!
All you need is a phone, yourself and a mirror. Maybe invite some friends into the photoshoot!
You’ll end up with different kinds of references, some with more than one person, acting out different things!
The great thing about making our own reference images is that we’re the ones in charge, so we get to choose the poses that are more comfortable with or are the most fun for us to draw!
Don’t Forget To Use References
Whenever drawing something new it’s always a good idea to have a reference image.
I did mention these a few times throughout the article, but I really wanted to emphasize how important they are in your growth as an artist.
Even when you already have lots of experience, references will always be your best friends.
Relying only on our memory to draw something can lead to some accidental mistakes and these can be avoided if you always have something right beside you to look at!
But how do you find good references?
Well…you can always take your own pictures, but some poses can be hard to pull off or take a photo of.
So alternatively, you can always make a search on the internet, go on Pinterest, look up stock photo websites, or even find reference photo models.
If you’re looking for some inspiration on poses, I wrote an article about the 7 Best Free Pose Reference Websites For Artists, so check it out and start drawing!
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Patricia Caldeira is the main writer here at Don Corgi. She's an art teacher with over 20.000 happy students across many platforms and courses!
Enjoy your stay and as always:
Keep on drawing!