Eric Velasquez created this image to illustrate Houdini: World's Greatest Mystery Man and Escape King, a picture-book biography by Kathleen Krull. It shows the young Erich Weiss working on his acrobatic act. Where could an artist find a visual reference for that unusual activity?
At right is the watermarked comp of a stock photo credited to Jupiter Images, distributed on a CD by ThinkStock. In fact, it's the image on the cover of that CD.
As a writer, I'm always intrigued to get such a peek at how some artists work. I knew illustrators had such resources available for common poses, but what about the uncommon? Stumbling over this resemblance led me to looking up resources on more extreme poses and personas.
For example, there's Buddy Scalera's Visual References for Comic Artists, three CD-ROMs of beefy men and whippety women acting out various physical melodramas. Or The Fantasy Figure Artists Reference File copyright-free book/CD, "allowing illustrators to swipe them directly and paste them into their own computer art projects."