Here is a simple easy step by step tutorial for beginner artists on how to draw hands.
Learning how to draw hands was something I always tried to avoid when it came to drawing human anatomy.
I always had a lot of trouble making them look natural and effortless – So here is a simple overview of hand drawing tips I’ve learned over time.
I’m not an expert at drawing hands. I know I don’t draw hands perfectly but I hope that a few of these tips in this blog post can help anyone else struggling with drawing hands, as a beginner artist.
Also, as this tutorial is geared more towards beginner artists, it will only cover how to draw the basic structure and shape of a hand, not how to make them realistic through shading.
1. Use Reference
When first learning how to draw hands, it is imperative to use reference.
The best reference to use are real-life hands, whether you use your own hands or someone else’s. You can also use photo references.
Hand-drawn examples of hands can also be helpful to give you a rough idea of the overall hand shape, as well as the angle of joints.
* * I have included reference drawings throughout this blog post so that you can practice drawing hands in different poses.
Make sure to use the correct hand (whether left or right) for reference. Using the wrong hand can cause incorrect angles or anatomy.
As a general tip, if the hand is facing down, the thumb will point towards the body. If the hand is facing up, the thumb will point away from the body.
The reason using reference is so important for beginner artists is so that you can start off drawing correct angles, proportions, and shapes.
If you practice and keep drawing wrong anatomy from the beginning, it can be difficult to break the habit later on. It can also affect the way you draw everything else.
This is why it is so important to practice drawing what you see, and not what you think you see.
2. Sketch Guidelines
Below is how I would sketch my guidelines for hands. I have also included some tips to help with proportions.
I first start off by drawing the palm in the shape of a quadrilateral. The top of the quad is wider than the bottom and there is a slight incline upwards towards the side of the thumb.
After drawing the guidelines for the palm, I draw the skeleton structure (lines) and the joints (circles).
The size of the hand (length) is approximately the height of the person’s face. It can be slightly smaller or larger according to your reference or preference.
Also, the middle finger is about the same length of the height of the palm.
The pinky finger length should come to about the top knuckle of the ring finger.
The ring finger is slightly longer than the index finger.
3. Draw the Hand Outline
Using the guidelines you’ve initially sketched out, begin to draw the outline of the hand.
The key to drawing a good hand outline is knowing where to use curves and where to use angled turns.
If you look closely at these hand drawings and examples, wherever there is a joint, there will usually be a turn in the line rather than a gradual curve.
Also, the skin on the top of a hand is more taut than the underside of a hand. Keep this in mind when drawing hand outlines – There will be more curves when working with the underside of the hand than the top of a hand.
The process of drawing the initial outline of a hand isn’t always perfect so I always end up adjusting the hand shape accordingly. Sometimes I’ll see that the thumb is not right or a finger needs to be longer.
Feel free to change your hand to your own drawing preferences or according to the reference.
Depending on the character you are drawing, you can adjust the hands to be small, large, slender, or wide.
4. Add Fine Details
Add as many fine details as you’d like to your hand drawing, such as fingernails, wrinkles, shadows, etc.
Below is a simple overview on how to draw fingernails.
Another detail I will add when drawing the back of a hand are the knuckles and bone ridges.
The bone ridge radiating below the middle finger is the longest and most obvious one.
As for drawing the palm of a hand, I will often add major wrinkles and lines.
In order to become better at anything in life, it’s important to keep practicing!
The reasons hands are so difficult to draw is because there are so many small bones and joints located in the hand. It is very easy to mess up on an angle or bone structure, causing the hand drawing to look awkward.
The best way to get better is to continue practicing and honing your eye to be able to see when your hand drawing looks wrong – And correct these mistakes.
Below are some drawings of hands to try practicing yourself.
I’ve also included different hand poses to help with visualizing hands in different scenarios.
I know drawing hands can be difficult, but take it one step at a time. I hope these examples help.
Here is a simple hand drawing pose to try out. I will often simplify the guidelines as shown in the drawing above for a faster drawing process.
Here is a collection of various hand poses to try drawing.
Here is an example of how to draw hands in a relaxed state or with fists clenched.
Try practicing drawing hands as if they are holding something.
Here are some examples of how to draw hands being held.
6. Study How Other Artists Draw Hands
Just as important as practicing how to draw, it is also important to learn from other artists who draw human anatomy well.
Art isn’t all about drawing reality.
A great artist will be able to incorporate expression into their art, which wouldn’t be visible in a drawing replicated from a photograph.
They may exaggerate certain angles, features, or values to bring out a certain feeling or intention in their work.
So study the works of other artists and their drawings.
See what aspects of art you enjoy in other’s, and see how you can bring those elements into your own drawings.
Thank you for stopping by this blog post and I hope you could find something helpful here for drawing hands.
Drawing hands can be a complicated process, but the more you practice, the more easier it will become.
I hope you have a wonderful day and above all, have fun drawing! Until next time!