Day 23 // How to Draw a Standing Pose

Play Video

We’ve learned how to draw the body; now it’s time to put it into action! For the rest of this week, we’ll be studying the body performing different actions.
In this video, I’ll help you create a poseable body structure that we’ll use in conjunction with reference photos to make meaningful observations about depicting actions.
The action we’ll be studying for today’s lesson is Standing. We’ve drawn quite a few standing bodies already, but let’s learn how to draw a more interesting and natural-looking standing pose.

If you wish skip ahead to the STANDING poses section, go to 9:25 in the video. 

But be sure to watch the first 7 minutes of this video to learn how to create your skeletal structure.

Let's learn about standing poses

My Observations

These are the observations I made when studying people in a standing pose. You can make these types of observations by completing the steps in today’s homework. These generalizations can help give you a foundation for drawing your own standing poses freehand.

People are mostly upright

At least one of the feet needs to feel grounded – look for the body’s center of balance

Each foot pointing in a different direction

If one side of the hip is up, the body weight is on that leg

What else do you notice? Be sure to make your own observations as well!


Set up a Skeletal Structure

Watch the video tutorial to help you learn how to set up a skeletal structure you can use in your pose studies.

Get some Reference Photos

Collect as many reference photos as possible of the particular action you are studying, in this case, standing. I’ve provided the images I use in the tutorial below, along with some tips for finding your own.

Superimpose Skeletal Structure

Use Procreate to trace over the photos to create a posed skeletal structure. Repeat this for as many photos as possible. This process has three important benefits:

  1. You will become more familiar with how to set up the body in a standing pose
  2. You will make essential observations about how to depict someone standing
  3. You will create a “Page of Poses,” a library of ideas you can reference whenever you need to draw a person standing
Draw the Pose Freehand

After making observations about walking from your page of poses, sketch out a standing pose freehand. If you want, refine and finish your sketch with all the details, including facial features, clothes and hair. 

Photo References

Two great resources for free-to-use stock photos are and Below are the photos I used in the tutorial. I’ve linked each image to its source. I encourage you to find even more reference photos. You can even take pictures of yourself or your friends!

Keep researching, observing and learning! I’ve made a Pinterest board full of additional resources to help you learn more about drawing bodies and poses.

This lesson is a part of a month-long series that will get you you familiar with the basics of drawing humans, and help you develop your own people-drawing style. To learn more, check out the People Skills Intro, or continue on to the next lesson below.