Here is a figure sketch based on a fashion photo, in which I tried to draw in two steps, a design phase for the overall structure of the figure and a refinement phase, in which I concentrate more on the details.
It’s still a rough sketch, made in 20 minutes, but I think you can see I’ve done a few dozen sketches (short, 7 minutes long each). The drawing looks more considered, more thought-through. There’s still room for improvement, quite a bit, actually, as there always is. Still, I think I captured the idea of the pose.
I will be doing more of these brief sketches, to develop a feel for proportions. Of course, the drawing above isn’t very well suited for that, because the figure isn’t standing upright, so it’s harder to check the proportions.
One could argue why not do unclothed figure sketches? I’m surely want to do those too, but good (non-pornographic) images are less frequent than good fashion photos on the Internet. Also, it’s much easier to ask someone to pose for me with her or his clothed on than without, in real life I mean. Typical clothed figure rates are 10 euros per hour (if I go by the rates my local community college uses). My guess is that nude models are much more expensive, but I could be wrong.
I’m still not confident enough to hire models, though, so for now I’m trying to improve my skills by using photos and short candid pose sketches (people in public spaces). Alas, the rates for the figure sketching course at my local community college has gone up this year (now 16 euros per 2 hour lesson, excluding modeling costs), so I’m unable to attend those, as I had planned.