The 11 Best Drawing Mannequins for Artists to Use as Reference

The best drawing mannequin is the HSOMiD 12” Manikin, being sturdy, tall, and highly flexible. Other models like the HSOMiD Hand Model and Tamashii Nations Body Chan are also effective as references, based on what the artist needs from them.

Artists often use drawing mannequins to study the human body 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 choosing 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

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 body. It features joints on the neck, shoulders, 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 crack or break upon falling, as we found out while testing the product. Moreover, its robust construction ensures that it will last for a long time, which can suit both beginners and professionals.

With its sturdy stand and rigid posing wire, the anatomically-correct doll can remain in the pose of your choice without moving much. And once your drawing session wraps up, the manikin can be used as a desk ornament as well.

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

2. Best Hand Mannequin: HSOMiD Flexible Wooden Hand Model

For those 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-body 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 skill levels.

Unfortunately, while testing the hand model, we found that it shares one similarity with the HSOMiD full-body 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.

Construction Material: Hardwood | Size: 12 inches | Number Of Joints: 15 | Poseable: Highly poseable

3. Best Wireframe Mannequin: TAMASHII NATIONS Body Chan

Wireframes allow the artist a more comprehensive look at the contours of the body, 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 body. 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 those who 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 illustrator Naoki Saito. The book includes various techniques and tips for artists to get started on illustration, making it a handy resource for all.

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

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

Made by Bandai Tamashii 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 start sketching 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 body.

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.

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

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

The life-sized human skull model by LYOU is designed for artists who 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 accuracy, and the cranial lid can be removed to learn the inner structure. A view of the cross-section of the human head without 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.

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

For those learning about animal anatomy, the US Art Supply Wooden Horse can be a great starting place.

The trojan horse model is made with hardwood and accurately depicts the physique of a typical horse in a simple way. This may suit those who have just begun studying the anatomy of a horse.

Featuring highly moveable joints and a sturdy stand, the horse 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 horsehair, 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.

Construction Material: Hardwood | Size: 12 inches | Number Of Joints: 17 | Poseable: Highly poseable

7. Most Affordable Manikin Set: 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 sturdy 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.

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

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 body 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 showcases the skin layer. The high level of detail makes them suited for teaching, 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. Those 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.

Construction Material: Resin | Size: 11 inches | Number Of Joints: None | Poseable: Not poseable

9. Best Seamless Mannequin: HiPlay TBLeague 1/12-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 figurine was crafted from silicone draped over a stainless steel skeleton for a lifelike appearance. And with its lifelike quality, studying the musculature and form of the human body becomes much easier.

The model has a flexible body 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.

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

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 those wishing to depict similar features. Each female figure can be posed in a variety of ways, making them useful in various situations.

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

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.

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

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, potentially 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 phone set, and more.

Construction Material: Polyvinyl Chloride | Size: 6 inches | Number Of Joints: 14 | Poseable: Highly poseable

Best Poseable Artist Mannequins Comparison Table

Top Drawing Mannequins Construction Material Size Number Of Joints Poseable
HSOMiD 12” Artists Wooden Manikin Hardwood 12 inches 14 Highly poseable
HSOMiD Flexible Wooden Hand Model Hardwood 12 inches 15 Highly poseable
TAMASHII NATIONS Body Chan Polyvinyl Chloride 5.9 inches 16 Highly poseable
S. H. Figuarts Body Kun DX Set Plastic 7 inches 14 Highly poseable
LYOU Human Skull Anatomical Model Polyvinyl Chloride, Resin 5 inches None Not poseable
U.S. Art Supply Wooden Horse Hardwood 12 inches 17 Highly poseable
Sumind 3 Pieces Artist Mannequin Model Natural Wood 12, 8, 5.5 inches 14 Limited poses
TMDel Human Anatomical Model Resin 11 inches None Not poseable
HiPlay TBLeague 1/12-Scale Figure Silicone, Stainless Steel 6 inches 22 Highly poseable
Phicen Female Figure Set Of 2 Silicone, Stainless Steel 7 inches 14 Highly poseable
AbbonyDuo Body Kun & Body-Chan DX Polyvinyl Chloride 6 inches 14 Highly poseable

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 though 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 choose from. Thus, it’s important to know which models you should 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 brand 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 choice. 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 hassle.

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

3. Body Type

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

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

This can be seen even in the simplest manikins, which depict the human body 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 host of posing possibilities. These props may include sword sets, guns, devices like a smartphones, 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 choose 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 without 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 space and can be adjusted easily, but they may break off just as easily as well. Conversely, larger models can be rather cumbersome and difficult to maneuver, but they are quite durable to compensate for it.

Something 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 space.

Is a poseable artist mannequin useful?

Poseable mannequins are versatile tools that can help artists and cartoonists improve their drawing skills through practice. While digital 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 sturdiest 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 bodybuilders. 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 body shapes of the human body. 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 sturdy and flexible product 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 product 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 choosing one.

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