Seeing-Drawing the ‘gesture’ is a fundamental skill in being able to draw a human figure. I teach drawing at Emily Carr and elsewhere and developed a sequence for correctly scaling a gesture so as not to ‘go off the page” in life drawing. Here are some pix of an 11 inch aluminum wire sculpture armature I made to create poses for drawing without needing a live model or manikin. I also include a handout I give my classes.
To create your own wire manikin: Draw a stick figure on 8 1/2 x 11 paper first. Bend wire on top of your drawing to get a proportionate figure. Aluminum sculpture wire from an art store is best, and use a pliers to bend accurately for the initial figure. You can photo about 10 or 20 poses to create a library to sketch from for practice.