Shorthand Google Reference Guide
I’m gonna type this up while it’s fresh on my mind because some of y’all don’t know how to use Google
SO YOU WANT TO DRAW
A woman sitting in the grass.
IF YOU SEARCH: female sitting
Very vogue. Very male gaze. Good for fashion or model pictures, not very good if you’re wanting to draw a natural looking pose on a woman who isn’t a model and whose camera certainly didn’t fucking turn on by itself.
IF YOU SEARCH: female sitting pose
Arguably worse, depending on the use. My experience with “female + pose” searches is that you get a lot of IMVU and The Sims pose sets, and artists making sketch compiliations that… don’t always have great anatomy and are frequently just more stiff model poses. I do use similar searches for pinup sketches, ie, “female sassy pinup pose,” though “posing for pinup photography” and “how to pose for” will give different results if you aren’t finding what you need.
IF YOU SEARCH: woman student relaxing sitting on grass crossed legs
Closer. Still kind of staged looking. Maybe we don’t want her studying. Maybe we just want her relaxing. Still, you start to see how specific keyword searches will really get you results.
IF YOU SEARCH: woman sitting under tree grass relaxing nature summer
Nice. This is only a small handful of the results, but most of them more or less fit my mental image. Mostly stock images, but good for gesture sketches or figuring out a pose. Still… we could go further, and I think I will.
IF YOU SEARCH: woman sitting under tree grass relaxing nature summer senior photography
Jackpot. Senior pictures aren’t always awkward kids in braces. Look at how much more natural a few of these look? Compare that to the “Female sitting” search. Google Search tip #1 is basically “use more and specific keywords.”
But just… one more thing I just… can’t get off my mind… what if I… just…
IF YOU SEARCH: black woman sitting under tree grass relaxing nature summer senior photography
Uh oh. So let me level with you, if you just google “dreadlocks,” expect a lot of white people. I spent over 30 minutes adding keywords to this search, and every page was still white people. Breaking it back down to “black woman sitting on grass” helped but gave me all the boring pose issues of the female sitting search. So basically, Google Search tip #2 is: Google image search is as White as the rest of the damn world. How do we find what we’re looking for now, then?
IF YOU SEARCH: black woman sitting in grass nature tumblr blackout
Beautiful, natural poses. Adding “photography” whitewashed it. Adding “summer” gave me bikini pinups. Searching for POC models using Google image search is infinitely more frustrating than finding a million thin white women, and you’re usually going to be better off supporting POC modeling blogs themselves than fighting with Google all day. Using “tumblr” and “instagram” as keywords may also get you a lot more natural, less Vogue Was Here hits. Pinterest too, on occasion.
But keep in mind that these are real people–especially using tags like “tumblr” or “blackout.” There’s a difference between referencing a pose or drawing different face shapes, and outright copying someone’s exact likeness without their permission. Maybe also consider liking/reblogging/following them if they’re a model or photographer. Use some common sense. You don’t own images found on google yadda yadda don’t be a dick.
Have fun being better at search engines and learning how to draw stuff!