To draw realistic figures with shapes or in motion, most artists refer to handy tools that help them sketch a human body like a pro. A mannequin for drawing allows them to understand organic shapes and movements and find the perfect pose or gesture. There are lots of figurines on the market that may be confusing for novices. In this guide, I’ll help you discover the best drawing figures so you can choose an appropriate model for your studio. I’ll analyze each manikin in depth, focusing on its design, performance, and strong and weak points.
Top Artist Mannequin for Drawing
HSOMiD 12’’ Wooden Mannequin for Artists
This unisex human figure from a Chinese manufacturer is made of durable smooth wood, which ensures its longevity, and has a light finish. This matters much if the mannequin is supposed to be used by kids. The doll features flexible spring-loaded joints with all of the parts moving well, but it can’t be bent to shape acute angles. The full-body model offers overall balance and high accuracy in real human body proportions. It comes with a metal stand attached to the pelvis.
- A budget drawing figure
- A hard wooden construction without dents and scratches
- Suitable for kids and art students
- The articulated joints can hold multiple poses
- Perfect for drawing and home tabletop decoration
- Has problems with mobility and holding specific dynamic poses
- The legs are glued to the hips and don’t allow the model to be placed in a sitting position
AbbonyDuo Body Kun & Body-Chan Figures
It should be explained for beginners that body-kun (a male version) and body-chan (a female version) figures are highly articulated mannequins that can take almost any human pose in a very realistic way. This duo is made of high-quality gray plastic and amounts to 6’’ in height. The set includes extra hands, a pedestal support, and other accessories (toy weapons, a cell phone, a laptop, etc.). They can pose for painting and drawing, serve as photography props, or become collection items.
- Offer a wide range of realistic poses and motions
- The couple arrives with cool accessories
- The set includes both genders
- Highly detailed
- The female figure is slightly exaggerated and unrealistic, which is more suitable for manga-style art or comic books
- The plastic material is fragile and can break
- The limb sockets are loose
- The figures are too small, so you have to be meticulous when interchanging tiny joint pieces
Juvale Wood Hand Model with Flexible Fingers
It is often said that a human hand is one of the hardest parts of the body to draw. This realistic wooden model is often chosen by artists who focus on drawing hands. It is a life-sized right hand. The fingers are elegantly shaped and sectioned with secure junctures for easy manipulation. They bend at any anatomically correct joints, featuring 3 joints on each finger and 2 joints on the thumb. There is a wrist joint as well.
The statue can also be used to display bracelets, rings, and other jewelry.
- Made of attractive and durable hardwood
- A sturdy model
- An affordable price tag
- The fingers feature the outline, which is a nice touch
- It can’t make a fist
- The thumb comes with a limited range of motion
- The fingers don’t swivel side to side
- The position of the thumb is not anatomically correct, so some poses look weird
Set of Four Sketching Dolls from WANDIC
This mannequin family set comes with 4 gender-neutral dolls in 3 different heights, including 2 adults and 2 kids. The models are made of hardwood and positioned on metal stands but can be removed from their bases. This is an advantage if you want to use them in stop-motion animation. The mannequins have flexible joints (a tilting head, poseable hands and feet) that adopt spring and screw connection. When bent, the articulated limbs stay in place.
- This is a nice option for little girls and boys to use the models as a doll family and play dress-up games
- Suitable for interactive group poses
- Each doll arrives individually packaged
- The wooden surface is very smooth and doesn’t hurt users’ hands
- Can be used as jewelry stands
- Lack musculature details and anatomical accuracy
- The hip joints are glued
- Cannot sit and bend knees
Best Animal Drawing Figure: U.S. Art Supply Wooden Horse
This horse model can be used for further development of your artistic skills in drawing animals. It is very attractive and can also be displayed as a decorative piece. The mannequin is positioned on a stand. With a special knob, users can adjust the tilt angle of the animal on the stand. It features multiple flexible joints that allow you to make a variety of jumping and running poses. You may need a tiny screwdriver to loosen the screws or tighten them into place.
- Features authentic horse hairs
- The neck is sectioned and beautifully carved
- Handmade of solid hardwood
- The wood is well sanded and has no splintery edges
- The neck is not bendable
- When the horse is level, the hooves don’t sit on the ground
- Not cheap
Bandai Tamashii Nations Body Kun – Poseable Drawing Figure
The S.H.Figuarts is a breakout line released by Bandai, a Japanese top toymaker that introduces highly realistic and articulated figures that allow artists to make dynamic drawings. The DX set includes a gray plastic mannequin with a variety of parts and additional highly detailed props (17 interchangeable hands, a PC, a katana, a cell phone, and more).
The model comes with a removable support able to balance the figurine in different poses. It helps make perspective drawings for comic books and is suitable for graphic design work.
- A premium model for professional artists
- Also released in flesh and black
- Hand replacements come with 7 left-hand and 10 right-hand options
- The mannequin is available in both genders
- The craftsmanship is outstanding
- The hips lack flexibility
- Highly expensive
- Cannot do a complete leg split
Body-Chan Action Drawing Figure by Bluefin
If you want to get a female counterpart to pair it with the above-described body-kun action figure, opt for a body-chan mannequin from Bluefin, an official exclusive North American distributor for Tamashii Nations. The well-sculpted and well-engineered toy has movable joints and comes with a set of interchangeable hands and a huge number of various gadget accessories. It is gray-colored and positioned on a transparent stand with 2 different styles of clasps. The stand can be removed, but it is very useful because it allows holding the doll in a variety of poses, including flying, doing sports, climbing, dancing, standing on one leg, etc.
- The stand base serves as storage for the accessories
- Also available in a flesh-colored version
- A good-quality mannequin
- Poses well
- Similar to a male toy, it is stiff in the hip area
- Replicates the anime design, and the body proportions don’t look natural
- It is smaller than a male version, hard to manipulate, and feels a little fragile
TMDel Anatomical Art Mannequins Set
Ancient artists studied cadavers to understand the anatomy of the human body and muscles in 3D. Now, some art colleges have students focus on drawing skeletons to see geometric proportions of the person’s body. Aside from being useful for anatomy studies, this mannequin set is ideal for posing for artists. It includes 2 ivory-white naked figures (male and female) made of resin and performed half-skin/half-ecorche at 1/6 life size. The models are sculpted from real athletes and help you learn how to draw the musculature of the human body. They have a neutral pose, standing upright and being fixed on black wood bases. There are drilled holes in the bases to fit the feet pegs. The mannequins can be removed from the bases.
- Made with incredible detailing that displays underlying bones and muscles
- Have a good weight
- Good-quality figures with no seams or mold marks
- The packaging is great
- They cannot be bent and posed
- For adult artists
- The mannequins with the skin removed may seem highly specific for average artists; at the same time, their anatomy is quite subtle for medical students
If you have any questions left after reading the review, this section will help you fill the information gaps. I’m giving answers to the most typical questions that I receive from novice artists. You may also be interested in my answers.
What Are Drawing ✏️ Figures?
What is a drawing figure also known as a mannequin or a manikin? It is a figurine used as a drawing reference for artists. They are available in multiple sizes (adults/kids), styles, materials, as well as different genders (men/women), and can vary in other parameters. Some of them come with extra accessories or represent individual body parts like a skull or a hand. Most people enjoy just collecting them or using them for home décor.
What Is an Artist ?? Mannequin Used For?
Artist mannequins have multiple uses. You can move them to a varying degree of poses while drawing and mimic human movements. The manikins allow artists to render the right scale and proportions and get better and more accurate results in their artworks. Three-dimensional anatomical figures help understand the muscle structure to draw human musculature. Aside from being helpful as a drawing reference, they can be used for photography, clay animation, paintings, stop-motion animation, etc.
How to Use ? a Wooden Mannequin for Drawing?
For most artists, a wooden mannequin is their first ever drawing figure because it is simple and easy to find and buy. You can position and use it as a pose reference. It is important to master and use various drawing techniques such as lighting and shading. Being crudely shaped, most wooden models allow getting a vague and not detailed view. For more realistic poses, opt for silicone ball-joint alternatives.
Where to Buy ? Good Drawing Figures for Artists?
Mannequins for drawing can be purchased in almost any art shop. Naturally, specialized craft stores such as Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Etsy, and Blick Art Materials have lots of diverse offerings. If you are interested in a particular brand, visit the manufacturer’s official website to find a figure that you need. Huge online platforms like eBay and Amazon will surely impress you with a variety of mannequins available for sale.
Mannequin dolls are becoming more realistic. I would say even hyper-realistic. The manikins for artists differ from traditional ones because most of them come with articulated joints and look like real people. They should be in any artist’s arsenal to help create proportional, accurate, and true-to-life artworks. If you are not an artist, keep in mind that these posing dolls are a great gift idea for your artistic friends. Keep up with the latest tendencies in the artistic world and choose the best drawing figures with this post.