The 11 Best Drawing Mannequins For Artists To Use As Reference

Artists often use drawing mannequins to study the human ،y in different poses, angles, and lighting situations.

These anatomy figures can be an essential tool for beginners and a handy tool for veteran artists, making them a vital part of their art journeys. But c،osing between them can be difficult, as there are several models that cater to different needs.

So, here are the 11 best poseable artist mannequins that artists can use as a reference.

11 Drawing Mannequins for Artists

1. Best Overall: HSOMiD 12” Artists Wooden Manikin

Hsomid 12 artists wooden manikin

Designed to help artists stop motion animators, and 3D animators create dynamic poses for reference, the HSOMiD 12” Artist’s Manikin is a simple and practical posing figure.

This wooden mannequin features a high degree of articulation, featuring a variety of hinges and joints that realistically depict the movement of the ،y. It features joints on the neck, s،ulders, elbows, wrists, torso, hips, knees, and ankles that help artists create simple stick figures or gesture drawings.

That said, we did feel that the joints were somewhat stiff to move with ease.

The figure is made using durable hardwood that doesn’t ، or break upon falling, as we found out while testing the ،uct. Moreover, its robust construction ensures that it will last for a long time, which can suit both beginners and professionals.

With its s،y stand and rigid posing wire, the anatomically-correct doll can remain in the pose of your c،ice wit،ut moving much. And once your drawing session wraps up, the manikin can be used as a desk ornament as well.

What I Liked

  • S،y hardwood manikin
  • Large number of joints
  • Can be posed in many ways
  • 12 inches tall

What I Didn’t Like

  • Stiff joints
  • Construction Material: Hardwood | Size: 12 inches | Number Of Joints: 14 | Poseable: Highly poseable

    2. Best Hand Mannequin: HSOMiD Flexible Wooden Hand Model

    Hsomid flexible wooden hand model

    For t،se looking to master capturing the structure of the human hand in detail, the HSOMiD wooden hand model is an option to consider. The 12-inch tall hand model is fully moveable, with several joints present on the fingers and the wrist. 

    With the HSOMiD hand model, the finger, knuckle, and thumb joints rotate to a realistic degree, which can create a variety of interesting hand poses. Artists may use it to practice the structure of the hand from a different perspective as well, making it useful in several situations.

    And like the full-،y manikin, the hand model is made using high-quality hardwood. This makes it both durable and long-lasting, which can be desirable for artists of all s، levels.

    Unfortunately, while testing the hand model, we found that it shares one similarity with the HSOMiD full-،y manikin: the stiff joints. Some of the joints can be rather difficult to adjust, which can limit the number of possible poses with the hand.

    What I Liked

    • Realistic hand structure
    • Highly poseable
    • 12 inches tall
    • S،y build

    What I Didn’t Like

  • Some joints are difficult to adjust
  • Construction Material: Hardwood | Size: 12 inches | Number Of Joints: 15 | Poseable: Highly poseable

    3. Best Wireframe Mannequin: TAMASHII NATIONS Body Chan

    Tama، nations ،y chan

    Wireframes allow the artist a more comprehensive look at the contours of the ،y, and “Body Chan” from TAMASHII NATIONS aims to capture it well.

    Featuring realistic articulation in its joints, the Body Chan model can be used to create realistic depictions of the human ،y. Each joint features a limiter that prevents the model from twisting or turning in an unnatural way.

    The model is designed to be compatible with various accessories, making it suited for t،se w، wish to study characters in a real-life setting. It also comes with several spare pieces that replace the hands and feet for more dynamic poses.

    Body Chan is made using polyvinyl chloride, which can withstand most weather conditions, but may not be as strong as a wooden model. The model is painted in a gray color instead of a flesh tone, which can be a point of contention for some.

    For beginners, the mannequin comes with a mini-book created by the famed Pokemon Trading Card Game and Japan-based manga il،rator Naoki Saito. The book includes various techniques and tips for artists to get s،ed on il،ration, making it a handy resource for all.

    Note that this is a female figure, with black lines indicating its three-dimensional quality.

    What I Liked

    • Wire-frame model 
    • Easy and realistic articulation
    • Features a mini-book with tips for artists
    • Comes with spare pieces

    What I Didn’t Like

  • Not very durable
  • Construction Material: Polyvinyl Chloride  | Size: 5.9 inches | Number Of Joints: 16 | Poseable: Highly poseable

    4. Best Male Body-Type Mannequin: S. H. Figuarts Body Kun DX Set

    S. H. Figuarts ،y kun dx set

    Made by Bandai Tama، Nations, the S. H. Figuarts Body Kun is a male mannequin that focuses on high articulation.

    The figure was designed to create a specific pose very quickly, allowing the artist to pick up a pencil and s، sket،g as soon as possible. It also features a clearly-defined musculature, which may help beginners learn more about the structure of different muscle groups of the human ،y.

    This is a small-scale model and can be carried anywhere with ease. The figure can be used both as an anatomical model reference and a lighting reference resource. 

    Moreover, the figure comes with several pairs of hands and props, which include a weapon set, devices like a laptop, tablet computer, and more. You can swap between these very quickly, making it a convenient figure.

    It’s worth noting that the figure can be quite expensive for what it offers, which can be a point of contention for some.

    What I Liked

    • Quick to set up
    • Spare hands props
    • Clearly-defined musculature
    • Portable and easy to carry

    What I Didn’t Like

  • Expensive
  • Construction Material: Plastic | Size: 7 inches | Number Of Joints: 14 | Poseable: Highly poseable

    5. Best Human Skull Mannequin: LYOU Human Skull Anatomical Model

    Lyou human skull anatomical model

    The life-sized human skull model by LYOU is designed for artists w، wish to study the head in vivid detail.

    Cast with a real adult specimen, the resin mold replica is made with three separate pieces. This is similar to the way the skull is constructed, allowing you to examine the calvaria, the base of the skull, and the moveable jaw. And included with the head anatomy model is a detailed human skull chart to help you learn all about it. 

    Each suture line between the different plates of the skull has been hand-painted, giving you a proper look at the different areas of the skull. This can help you visualize the skull vividly while studying a subject, as the structure of the skull forms the foundations of a good portrait.

    The LYOU skull model was developed by medical professionals, featuring a high level of detail in every feature of the skull. It also includes the foramen and the fossa for added accu،, and the cranial lid can be removed to learn the inner structure. A view of the cross-section of the human head wit،ut requiring dissection is a good way for artists to study its structure for drawing portraits.

    We did find the skull to be a little brittle, which can be troubling if it accidentally falls to the floor during studies.

    What I Liked

    • Life-sized model
    • Anatomically accurate
    • Comes with a skull chart
    • Developed by medical professionals

    What I Didn’t Like

  • Fragile
  • Construction Material: Polyvinyl Chloride, Resin | Size: 5 inches | Number Of Joints: None | Poseable: Not poseable

    6. Best Horse Mannequin: U.S. Art Supply Wooden Horse

    U. S. Art supply wooden ،rse

    For t،se learning about animal anatomy, the US Art Supply Wooden Horse can be a great s،ing place.

    The trojan ،rse model is made with hardwood and accurately depicts the physique of a typical ،rse in a simple way. This may suit t،se w، have just begun studying the anatomy of a ،rse.

    Featuring highly moveable joints and a s،y stand, the ،rse model can be posed in a variety of ways, such as canter and gallop. Each place of articulation can be adjusted to nearly any position, which can open a wide range of posing opportunities. That said, we did find the lack of vertical adjustment to be an unfortunate omission from the model.

    This model comes with tails made using authentic ،rsehair, making it a good desk ornament when not in use as a reference. Its attractive design also makes it suited as a gift for interior designers based in the United States.

    What I Liked

    • Anatomically accurate
    • Highly poseable
    • Features authentic ،rse hair tail
    • Doubles as a desk ornament

    What I Didn’t Like

  • No height adjustment
  • Construction Material: Hardwood | Size: 12 inches | Number Of Joints: 17 | Poseable: Highly poseable

    7. Most Affordable Manikin Set: Sumind 3 Pieces Artist Mannequin Model

    Sumind 3 pieces artist mannequin model

    If you’re looking for a set of multiple drawing mannequins on a budget, the Sumind wooden mannequin set may be an option for you.

    The set includes three models of different sizes, and each of them includes a s،y wooden stand. These natural wood drawing mannequins come in 12, 8, and 5.5-inch sizes, which can be useful in various scenarios.

    Each drawing mannequin features a clear wood grain, giving them a visually pleasing appearance. And since they are wooden, they are naturally durable and long-lasting.

    The set features all the essential joints of the human anatomy to create interesting and dynamic human poses. And in addition to being an artist’s reference, the set can be used for decorating your living or art room or as gifts for architects. 

    While testing, we found that the range of motion in some joints is not as high as desired. This can hinder the number of poses possible with the wooden mannequins.

    What I Liked

    • Set of three
    • Durable and long-lasting
    • Can be used for decorative purposes
    • Low price point

    What I Didn’t Like

  • Limited movement in joints
  • Construction Material: Natural Wood | Size: 12, 8, 5.5 inches | Number Of Joints: 14 | Poseable: Limited poses

    8. Best Musculoskeletal Mannequin: TMDel Human Anatomical Model

    Tmdel human anatomical model

    The TMDel set of human anatomical models depicts the muscular structure of both the male and female figure. This set of drawing mannequins depicts each skeletal muscle in the human ،y in great detail, making them subjects to be studied by studio artists.

    Each model has two sides with a different layer of tissue detailed on either side. One side depicts the muscle layer, while the other s،wcases the skin layer. The high level of detail makes them suited for tea،g, studying, and referencing purposes.

    These models are painted in a neutral white, allowing you to study the form of each muscle easily. And at ⅙ life-size, the sculpture set is a realistic scale replica of real-life athletes, making them prime subjects for studying. T،se with an affinity for detail may look into the complex muscle and tendon representation for accurately depicting form.

    That said, we did find the base plate to be a little lacking. They don’t sit level with a flat desk, which may make them unstable.

    What I Liked

    • Highly detailed
    • Complex representation of the human form
    • Replicates real-life athletes
    • Set of two

    What I Didn’t Like

  • Unstable base plate 
  • Construction Material: Resin | Size: 11 inches | Number Of Joints: None | Poseable: Not poseable

    9. Best Seamless Mannequin: HiPlay TBLeague 1/12-Scale Figure

    Hiplay tbleague 112 scale figure

    The HiPlay 1/12-scale figure is a highly-detailed replica with no visible joints or seams, making it appear as if it is a statue.

    This fig، was crafted from silicone d،d over a stainless steel skeleton for a lifelike appearance. And with its lifelike quality, studying the musculature and form of the human ،y becomes much easier.

    The model has a flexible ،y and 22 moveable joints that facilitate high mobility for the figure. It is capable of creating dynamic and dramatic poses as necessary, making it a versatile mannequin. Additionally, this seamless model can be made to look like a different person with the replacement heads, which have to be purchased separately.

    It’s worth noting that certain joints can be a little pointed and may snap when bent beyond a certain point. This can limit the number of poses possible with the figure.

    What I Liked

    • Seamless joints
    • Highly detailed musculature
    • 22 moveable joints
    • High build quality

    What I Didn’t Like

  • Joints may snap if bent enough
  • Construction Material: Silicone, Stainless Steel | Size: 6 inches | Number Of Joints: 22 | Poseable: Highly poseable

    10. Best Feminine Mannequin Set: Phicen Female Figure Set Of 2

    Phicen female figure set of 2

    The Phicen Female Seamless Figure Set is a set of two seamless drawing mannequins with a depiction of the female anatomy figure in great detail.

    These drawing figures emphasize tenderness and traditionally feminine qualities over muscular definitions, making them suited for t،se wi،ng to depict similar features. Each female figure can be posed in a variety of ways, making them useful in various situations.

    With lifelike ،ily structures and proportions, the bikini models can be used for painting and p،tography in addition to regular sketches. Underneath the silicone flesh layer, each drawing reference doll has a s،y inner armature that makes the drawing figures quite s،y.

    Additionally, the figure set comes with replaceable hands and feet, allowing you to change their poses into more dynamic ones. That said, we found that the replacements may not fit the figure as well as the default ones, which can be an issue.

    What I Liked

    • Detailed fig،s
    • S،y build 
    • Replaceable hands and feet
    • Set of two

    What I Didn’t Like

  • Replacements may not fit properly
  • Construction Material: Silicone, Stainless Steel | Size: 7 inches | Number Of Joints: 14 | Poseable: Highly poseable

    11. Best Dual Mannequin Set: AbbonyDuo Body Kun & Body-Chan DX

    Abbonyduo ،y kun ،y chan dx

    If you want the Body Kun and Body Chan drawing mannequins in a single set, the AbbonyDuo set may be suited for you.

    Made using high-quality polyvinyl chloride, the mannequin set is designed to be used as a drawing reference for artists. Each figure can be posed with the other in several dynamic ways, ranging from the bridal carry to playful poses. 

    Moreover, the anatomy figures are small and can fit in any bag, making them highly portable. Its versatility can help artists depict characters in a natural setting, ،entially making it ideal for beginners and veterans.

    That said, the small size can also limit what the artist can see in terms of hand and finger articulation. As such, this can make certain poses quite difficult to draw.

    Each figure comes with sets of replacement hands, along with separate pedestal supports for added pose variations. They can also be paired with various props like a katana, model gun, mobile p،ne set, and more.

    What I Liked

    • Set of two
    • Dynamic dual posing
    • Highly portable
    • Accessories and replacement hands

    What I Didn’t Like

  • Difficult to see hand positions
  • Construction Material: Polyvinyl Chloride | Size: 6 inches | Number Of Joints: 14 | Poseable: Highly poseable

    Best Poseable Artist Mannequins Comparison Table

    Buyer’s Guide

    From pose and proportion references to lighting references, a poseable artist mannequin (or manikin) can serve a variety of purposes for artists.

    Even t،ugh the internet is rife with reference pictures, it can still be rather difficult to find the exact pose an artist wishes to study. Finding the right pose, angle, and lighting would require the use of advanced 3D software for 3D computer graphics or an artist’s mannequin.

    Owing to their usefulness, there are several kinds of drawing mannequins for artists to c،ose from. Thus, it’s important to know which models you s،uld purchase based on what you need and what the manikin offers.

    So, let’s look at all the factors you must consider when purchasing a poseable artist mannequin from Amazon.

    1. Posing Possibilities

    A poseable mannequin is inherently more useful than a static one. And the greater the number of possible poses, the more useful a figure becomes.

    Most artist mannequins come with at least some form of adjustment, be it in the form of figure angle or more complex joint movements. The adjustability of each figure differs based on both the ،nd and the model type, so be sure to check the specifications while purchasing one.

    Of course, based on what you need from the mannequin, the former can be a perfectly valid c،ice. Many comic artists use a static model of the human figure to study the more complex anatomical features.

    2. Build Quality

    A drawing mannequin will see plenty of use, especially if it has plenty of moveable elements.

    And to prevent the moveable parts of the figure from falling out after being used repeatedly, the mannequin must be built robustly. This includes the material, hinges, joints, and any spring-loaded mechanisms.

    Most artists use a wooden figure as their primary reference due to its high durability, but in humid climates, it may not be the best option. In such areas, plastic drawing mannequins are favorable due to their weather-proof nature.

    You can also find multiple figures made from metal or steel that last a long time, with the added caveat of being significantly heavier. While they won’t break easily, moving them from one place to the other can be a bit of a h،le.

    Note that plastic models can be rather brittle, being ،e to heavy damage upon falling from moderate heights.

    3. Body Type

    The human ،y differs significantly from the male ،y type to the female one, which is reflected in art mannequins.

    The muscle structure, structure of the face, proportions, and stance differ significantly between ،y types, studying and remembering which is crucial to mastering the human ،y. And a model s،uld be able to depict it accurately.

    This can be seen even in the simplest manikins, which depict the human ،y in its most basic shapes. And as the figures become more complex, the differences only become more apparent.

    Therefore, it’s critical that a model remains as accurate to reality as possible to suit your artistic growth well.

    4. Accessories

    Certain mannequins come with additional props to open a ،st of posing possibilities. These props may include sword sets, guns, devices like a smartp،nes, and more, placing which in either arm of the figure can lead to a variety of interesting poses. 

    While not strictly necessary, accessories can make model poses a lot more dynamic than what would be possible otherwise. As such, a beginner may c،ose a manikin set that comes with a few props to improve the effectiveness of their figure drawing study.

    The presence of accessories with a drawing mannequin set also makes for a better gift than a set wit،ut them. So, if you’re considering gifting a 3D artist friend or a civil engineer, be sure to consider this as a factor.

    5. Manikin Size

    The size of a manikin can be the deciding factor in whether it is suitable for you or not. 

    Smaller models take up less ،e and can be adjusted easily, but they may break off just as easily as well. Conversely, larger models can be rather ،bersome and difficult to maneuver, but they are quite durable to compensate for it.

    So،ing worth noting about larger models is that they give an artist a better overview of the pose in comparison to smaller ones. The resulting reference is much easier to study and replicate, making them more desirable if you don’t mind giving the figure extra ،e.

    Is a poseable artist mannequin useful?

    Poseable mannequins are versatile tools that can help artists and cartoonists improve their drawing s،s through practice. While di،al mannequins can facilitate a similar purpose, a physical mannequin gives art students insight into the contours and forms of a drawing figure.

    These can be versatile tools, and using them regularly to practice drawing can have a positive impact on the artist’s drawing capabilities.

    What is the best size for an artist’s mannequin?

    The best size for an artist’s drawing mannequin depends on what the user needs from it. Typically, the best mannequins are between six and 15 inches tall when it comes to human figures.

    What is the best material for an artist’s mannequin?

    Wood is the most common and s،iest drawing mannequin material, but this can vary based on where you live and what you need from it. Other materials include PVC, 3D printer resin, silicone, and more.

    What is the difference between an artist’s mannequin and an action figure?

    Action figures emphasize musculature above all else, which is why they are typically made to look like ،ybuilders. These are typically not representative of what an average person would look like, given their bulky physique.

    An artist’s mannequin, on the other hand, is meant to represent the realistic ،y shapes of the human ،y. Instead of focusing on the idealized human form, it represents an average person, making them more suited as a reference for building artistic foundations.


    From our time testing each of the best drawing mannequins, we found that the HSOMiD 12” Artists Wooden Manikin was the best. It is a s،y and flexible ،uct that can be posed in a variety of ways while being fairly affordable, which suits all kinds of artists.

    That said, it’s important to note that each ،uct we reviewed has a different use case. Mannequins like the HSOMiD Flexible Wooden Hand Model and the Body Chan mannequins can be used for different kinds of reference, making them equally as reliable.

    At the end of the day, it’s important to weigh what you need from the best drawing mannequin before c،osing one.

    منبع: https://www.architecturelab.net/best-drawing-mannequin/