Arts and Activities: The wooden manikin is an age-old feature in art classrooms. This presentation by Larry Withers features “Manny” the manikin and demonstrates how useful a manikin can be in teaching figure drawing. The manikin is an art tool accessible to most art classes, saving the cost of a live figure model, the arrangements needed to provide one and overcoming the fact that live models get tired. The level of figure drawing presented in this DVD is clearly intended for older students, high school and up, as it references human anatomy, particularly muscle groups and bones, in a very specific manner using detailed vocabulary. The drawing skills that are introduced are also best suited to students with a command of their pencil use. The materials required to accomplish these drawings are typical items found in an art class—pencils, erasers and paper, specifically tracing paper. The tracing paper works well to layer the different aspects of the lessons, and builds in some security for those learners new to drawing figures. The manikin is used as a model for drawing the front, back, side and action views of the human figure. Withers breaks these lesson down into five parts: posing the manikins, drawing it as it is, adding circles and ovals, outlining the form, and filling the landmarks and surface forms. The presentation is designed in such a manner as to make it easy to follow along with the demonstrations. A “special considerations” part of the DVD focuses on hands and feet. An additional add-on to this package is the ability to download pages depicting diagrams of the figures used in the lessons.
School Arts Magazine: Drawing From The Manikin introduces viewers to figure drawing through the use of a wooden manikin. Artist Larry Withers demonstrates how to draw a series of oval and circles to create the anatomy of the figure and the outline of the form. He also demonstrates adding contour lines to show the curves of the muscles. A sequential demonstration features Withers describing the names of the different body parts. Withers then shows viewers how to shade figures to create a sense of realism. A list of chapters shows the different poses, and each chapter describes a different perspective of anatomy. Included with the DVD is a collection of PDF files containing photos of the manikin in different poses, which can be printed for later preference. This DVD is recommended for upper-grade levels.
The traditional artist’s wooden manikin is more than a benign studio prop. It’s a great tool for practicing figure drawing, while testing your knowledge of human anatomy.
In this video Larry Withers shows you how to pose and render the manikin, and then to transform your drawing by smoothing out the contours, adding muscle groups and landmarks to create a life-like figure drawing. This program features demonstrations on drawing the human form from several angles, and creating action poses using the manikin.
You can learn a lot about anatomy from a dummy!
Host: Larry Withers
Running time: 77 minutes
Artist Figure Drawing Resource