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How to Draw Hands
The Easy Way

Learning how to draw hands presents a real barrier for many people. They seem to struggle with achieving the correct place to put the joints of a finger and the size of one finger compared to another.

And where does the hand really finish and the wrist start ?

By following this simple 'how to draw hands' tutorial, using basic shapes to get everything in the correct position and proportion, you'll find it's really quite straightforward. 

The Number 1 Secret to Improving Your Artwork

How to Draw Hands Tutorial

Look at the picture of these red and blue hand shapes.

It's merely the imprint of a child's hands which have been covered in paint then pressed down on paper.

But see how it shows where the joints of the fingers are. And notice that there's some gaps in the images.

This gives a clue to where the joints are and that some parts of the finger are fatter or thinner than others.

Now let's move on to the first stage of drawing.

How To Draw Hands - Stage 1

Here, I've superimposed simple oblongs and a few small ovals over the photo to represent the main shapes.

Everybody's hands are different - you can get short, fat hands or long slender hands. Some people have quite a difference in length of the middle finger compared to the others, giving almost a triangular shape to the hand, whilst many people have a much 'squarer' profile to the overall outline of the hand.

How to Draw Hands Stage 1

When learning how to draw hands, you'll soon realise there is as much variety of shape as there is in the size and shape of the human body.   

How To Draw Hands - Stage 2

Moving onto stage 2 of how to draw hands I've now removed the photo and we're left with the basic shapes.

Even though they're unsophisticated at this stage, there is an unmistakeable hand shape to work with.

How to Draw Hands Stage 2

How To Draw Hands - Stage 3

Now I've started the 'filling in' process and developed the more rounded shapes of the fingers and palms. Notice how the tip of the thumbs only reach about a third of the way up the fingers.

Now, if you look at your palm, you'll see that each finger is divided more or less equally into three section between the knuckle and the tip.

However if you look at the back of your hand, you'll see that the top section to the tip is actually quite a bit shorter than the bottom section nearest the knuckle.

How so?

The clue is obvious when you look at the side of your hand. You can clearly see the finger joints are hinged.

For you to be able to close your fingers properly, taking the thickness of your finger into account, the distance between the joints on the inner part of the finger (on the palm of your hand) has to be shorter.

Look at the sketches below to see what I mean.

I've included four photos/sketches of the back of the hand to show the subtle differences, even though the actual drawing process is exactly the same.

How to Draw Hands Back View
How to Draw Hands Back 2
How to Draw Hands Back 1
How to Draw Hands Stage 4 Front View

How to Draw Hands - Stage 4

Now we've added more detail to the front of the hands so they look more realistic.

If you look at the lower completed sketch of the back of the hand, you'll see it's been produced in exactly the same way as the palm.

How to Draw Hands Stage 4 Front View
How to Draw Hands Stage 4 Back View

The thing to remember when learning how to draw hands is that there are a thousand and one poses and gestures that they can take.

Clenched fist, shaking hands with someone else, holding a pencil, pointing, front, back or side view and so on.

With practice you can learn to draw hands that impart a great deal of character, not only of themselves, but more importantly about their owner...

The beauty of this how to draw hands tutorial is that whenever you pick up a pencil, you automatically have the subject matter, right there in front of you.

ou can use your non-drawing hand to adopt a variety of poses, which you can copy for as long as you want. All of these can easily be copied from your own or a friend's hand.

Incidentally, if you find it awkward to draw like this because you normally use your free hand to hold you paper, get into the habit of taping the edge down with masking tape or similar, to your work surface.

I promise you, you'll get so much satisfaction from accurately drawing your hand in different gestures. All it takes is a little perseverance and practice. Go on! Try it. You'll be amazed at what you can achieve!

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