10 Best Drawing Mannequins That Hold A Pose: A Review & Buying Guide

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Below is a list of the best drawing mannequins that I put together and are currently available.  

A quality mannequin will help you to correct the right scale, pose, and proportions when figure drawing.  

What is a drawing mannequin?

A drawing mannequin (or manikin) is a human figure that can be moved to a varying degree of poses for reference while drawing.  Mannequins can also be sold for individual body parts including the hands, skull, and feet.

Common Drawing Mannequin Features

Size: varies from a few inches to 12 inches tall.  A life-size hand mannequin provides a realistic pose from multiple angles.

Gender: can be sold separately or as a male and female set.  Proportions of both genders will also vary particularly in the waist and shoulders. Child size mannequins are also available.

Material: is largely sourced from wood or PVC (polyvinyl chloride).  Wood is a traditional material and should last longer.  Plastic is often lightweight and may breakdown or weaken in poses over time.

Accessories: can include swords, computers, and even attachable hands at varying poses.  Accessories are often sold with plastic mannequin sets.

Price Point: varies depending on the material, size, and accessories.  Most mannequins will cost around $20 each.

Related: The Best Drawing Books That Should Be In Your Library

Here is My List of the Best Poseable Artist Mannequins for Drawing

1. Artists Wooden Manikin Jointed Mannequin

Award: Best Poseable Artist Mannequin

Best For: Beginner and Professional Artists

The Artists Wooden Manikin by HSOMiD is an affordable student-friendly full-body wooden mannequin that is flexible and can hold various poses.

This male mannequin is a required art supply for figure and life drawing classes.  The fixed stand allows the mannequin to hold various action poses while drawing.  At 12 inches tall, you can see and draw subtle changes in the joints.  However, the range of motion around the hip is limited which may make some specific poses difficult to draw.

Key Features:

  • Fixed metal rod attached to the pelvis.
  • Features real human proportions
  • Left and right hand available to purchase separately.

Specification:

  • Brand: HSOMiD
  • Material: Hardwood
  • Height: 12 Inches
  • Weight: 9.6 Ounces
  • Stand Included: Yes

Related: 7 Best Drawing Boards For School, Drafting & More

2. Action Figure Model Human Mannequin Man and Woman Set

Award: Best Poseable Action Figure Mannequin

Best For: Action & Comic Book Artists

The COLOR-LILIJ Action Figure Set is a well-made poseable artist mannequin that can hold a variety of action poses.

Made from lightweight PVC, this action set features both a male and female mannequin.  Included in the set is a variety of hand poses and accessories.  Whether you are drawing the human figure or creating your comic book, this set can help you get the proportions of the human body just right.  Not as sturdy as a wooden mannequin, you will want to make sure you treat these figures with care.

Key Features:

  • Features a height of 13 (female) to 15cm tall (male).
  • Comes with a detachable stand.
  • Mannequins feature a life-like muscular structure.
  • Includes 30 joints that can articulate.

Specification:

  • Brand: COLOR-LILIJ 
  • Material: PVC
  • Height: 13 to 15cm
  • Weight: 7.6 Ounces
  • Stand Included: Yes

3. TAMASHII NATIONS Bandai S. H. Figuarts Man DX Set

Award: Best Body Kun

Best For: Drawing Figures, Action, and Comics 

The TAMASHII NATIONS Figuarts Action Figure Set is a premium mannequin for professional artists that require a wide array of poses and accessories.

At 15cm tall, this action figure set by TAMASHII NATIONS Bandai S. H. Figuarts is a professional-grade mannequin set that can do many different dynamic poses for your artwork,  comic books, or graphic design work.  The stand allows the mannequins to be held in a variety of action poses including flying, climbing, sitting, and drawing a weapon.

Key Features:

  • Includes 17 attachable hands (10 right, 7 left).
  • Includes both genders.
  • Features a detachable posing stand.
  • Includes 8 different accessories.

Specification:

  • Brand: TAMASHII NATIONS Bandai S. H. Figuarts 
  • Material: PVC
  • Height: 15cm
  • Weight: 3.52 Ounces
  • Stand Included: Yes

4. Female Anatomy Figure: 10.5-inch Anatomical Reference for Artists

Award: Best Anatomical Reference Mannequin

Best For: Drawing the Female Figure

The Female Anatomy Figure by 3dtotal offers an accurate 50/50 skin and ecorche model for anatomical reference for both student and professional artists.

This high-quality anatomical mannequin by 3dtotal is helpful for artists that are mastering female figures.  Fixed to a circular stand, the figure is intended for study.  The figure also makes for a nice studio addition.

Key Features:

  • Features quality materials.
  • Made from a neutral gray resin.
  • Male figure available separately.

Specification:

  • Brand: 3dtotal
  • Material: Resin
  • Height: 10.5 Inches
  • Weight: 7.8 Ounces
  • Stand Included: Yes

5. American Educational Skeleton Model

Award: Best Anatomical Skeleton Human Mannequin

Best For: Skeletal Reference

The American Educational Skeleton Model is an adult human male skeleton that was designed for educational purposes. 

While unable to hold a pose like the traditional mannequins we reviewed, the American Educational Skeleton Model is an anatomically correct skeletal that you can confidently reference when figure drawing.  The skeleton is fully movable and able to bend at all major joints – with some creativity it can be held for a pose.  

Key Features:

  • Stands at 17″ tall.
  • Features a removable metal stand and pole.
  • The top skull cap is removable to view cranial bones.

Specification:

  • Brand: American Educational Products
  • Material: Plastic, Metal
  • Height: 17″
  • Stand Included: Yes

6. Family Mannequin Set

Award: Best Family Mannequin Set

Best For: Group Drawings

The alikeke Family Mannequin Set features two adult and two children mannequins that are helpful when drawing a group or for decoration purposes.

Rather than having to resort to several reference photos, this set allows you to see multiple figures and poses in a composition.  Made from hardwood and packaged with a removable metal stand, this mannequin set can strike several natural human poses.

Key Features:

  • Height ranges from 4.5, 5.5, and 8 inches tall.
  • Includes a removable metal stand.
  • Adult mannequins feature identical proportions.

Specification:

  • Brand: alikeke
  • Material: Wood
  • Height: 4.5 to 8 Inches
  • Weight: 5.6 Ounces
  • Stand Included: Yes

7. Human Model Craft Anatomy Skull

Award: Best Anatomical Skull

Best For: Head Studies

The Human Model Craft Anatomy Skull by airgoesin is a 1:3 ratio muscular replica of the human head muscles made for reference.

When drawing, painting, or modeling portraits of the human head, the Human Model Craft Anatomy Skull allows you to easily see muscular structure to accurately capture subtle structural features within the human face.  The head is made from high-quality resin and stands at 10cm tall.

Key Features:

  • Available in blue or white color varieties.
  • Fixed facial features.

Specification:

  • Brand: airgoesin
  • Material: Resin
  • Height: 10cm
  • Weight: 9.8 Ounces
  • Stand Included: No

8. Flexible Wooden Hand Model

Award: Best Hand Drawings

Best For: Artists studying hands from different perspectives.

The Flexible Wooden Hand Model is a well-made wooden hand mannequin that allows you to see the hand from any point of view.  

Hand mannequins make drawing the most difficult part of the body significantly easier.  A must-have if attending art school, HSOMiD makes these in both right hand and left-hand varieties.  With three joints on each finger and two joints for the thumb, you have a lot of poses available.

Key Features:

  • Wood should last a long time.
  • Life-sized.
  • Holds pose for different references.
  • Durable hardwood rating.

Specification:

  • Brand: HSOMiD
  • Material: Wood
  • Height: 10 Inches
  • Weight: 8.8 Ounces
  • Stand Included: No

9. Horse Artist Drawing Manikin

Award: Best Horse Mannequin

Best For: Drawing Horses

The Horse Artist Drawing Manikin is a wooden mannequin to be used in furthering your drawing skills.

If you are tired of drawing anatomy figures and are looking to draw animals, the Horse Artist Drawing Manikin is a great new way to challenge yourself.  Made from wood and authentic horse hairs, the several joints allow for a variety of running and jumping poses.

Key Features:

  • Features a poseable neck.
  • Nice display model when not used for reference pictures.

Specification:

  • Brand: US Art Supply
  • Material: Wood, Horse Hair
  • Height: 8 Inches
  • Weight: 15.2 Ounces
  • Stand Included: Yes

10. Budget Skull

Award: Best Skull

Best For: Structural Drawings of the Human Head

The Budget Skull by Dick Blick is an affordable anatomically correct human skull designed for you to learn the structural features of the human head.

Being able to see how the human head is put together from a skeletal standpoint allows you to make accurate drawings.  With three removal teeth and a removable skullcap, you can get a deeper and richer understanding of human anatomy.

Key Features:

  • Features a movable jaw.
  • More detailed than wooden mannequins.

Specification:

  • Brand: Dick Blick
  • Material: Plastic
  • Height: 8.5 Inches
  • Stand Included: No

Common Drawing Mannequin Questions

How do you draw people in action?

In order to draw people in action, artists like to use a mannequin.  Mannequins have an advantage over alternative methods in that they can be moved to a variety of action poses including running, jumping, punching, walking, and more.  

What is proportion drawing?

Proportion drawing is a fundamental art skill that refers to the relative size of objects.  Whether you are drawing a kid next to an adult, or a basketball next to a baseball, proportion drawing is about capturing the size of objects with each other.

What are those wooden art dolls called?

Wooden art dolls are called by several names including mannequin, manikin, dummy, figures, and anatomical models.  Mannequins can be used for reference figures for artists, modeling products, or as decorative objects.

Can you make a mannequin?

Yes, mannequins can be made if you have the appropriate tools available.  They can be made in the form of wood sculptures or as molds.  There are plenty of online guides and videos demonstrating this process (source 1, source 2, source 3).

What are some mannequin poses?

Common mannequin poses include running, climbing, jumping, walking, crouching, standing on one leg, thinking, head-scratching, stretching, and many more.

What is the difference between body kun, body chan, and action figures?

Body kun and body chan are branded names for action figures.  These figures are often set in a variety of action poses and are best suited for comic, anime, and manga-style artwork.  These figures often come with several accessories such as guns, swords, books, and more.

What is the difference between artist mannequins and regular mannequins?

Artist mannequins differ from traditional mannequins in that they have articulating joints similar to human figures.  This allows the artist to draw proportionally accurate artwork without having to rely on specific reference photos.

Best Drawing Mannequin Selection Process

The selection process of the mannequins was determined by popularity, style, the scope of artwork such as skeletal vs muscular, and price. In the end, I hope that this article on drawing mannequins helps to find the right one for your next piece of artwork. 

Please be sure to come back and read our other art supply reviews.

About Mary Fischer

Mary is a self-taught artist that has been painting for over 20 years. Mary favors traditional media including oil, acrylic, and watercolors. When Mary isn’t painting you will find her helping other budding artists to unlock their full potential. Mary started Createlet to expand on this goal and bring her teaching skills to a wider audience.