How to

How to draw hands part 1 – Construction


Drawing realistic hands example gestures

Our hands possess remarkable expressiveness and can convey a wide range of emotions, such as fear, anger, sadness, and happiness. Considering their complexity, it comes as no surprise that drawing hands can be quite challenging. However, with practice and guidance, you can overcome this obstacle. So, let’s put our fears aside, grab our pencils, and embark on a journey to master the art of drawing hands together!

In this tutorial, we will start by gaining an understanding of the proportions and bone structure of a hand. Although the bone structure is abstract, we will focus on constructing a hand accurately. If you’re interested in viewing a skeletal diagram of a hand, you can click here. Additionally, stay tuned for part 2, where we will cover nails, skin, and wrinkles. For updates on new tutorials, follow me on Facebook.

Update: Click here for How to draw hands part 2.

New!! For more detailed instructions, check out my new video tutorial here.

Construction Steps

Step 1: Shaping the Palm

How to draw a hand step 1

Start by using an HB pencil to draw a rectangle slightly longer than a square. Create a slope at the top, but keep in mind that the right side of the curve should dip down lower than the left side, as we are depicting the back of the right hand. Taper the right side of the rectangle as well.

Step 2: Drawing the Knuckles

How to draw a hand step 2

Next, draw four circles at the top with equal spacing between them. These circles represent the knuckles. Additionally, add a fifth circle for the thumb, located on the bottom left, approximately 4/5ths of the way down.

Step 3: Measuring and Drawing the Fingers

Draw Hands Step 3

To determine the length of each finger, measure the distance from the wrist to the knuckles and replicate it. The dotted line indicates the maximum height of the fingers. As our fingers vary in length, we can use the middle finger as a reference to determine the height of the other three fingers. To do this, draw a curved line similar to the one in step 1.

Step 4: Locating the Joints

How to Draw Hands Step 4

With all four fingers drawn, it’s time to pinpoint the joints. Add two additional marks on the middle finger, each approximately one-quarter of the way down. Then, connect these marks with two additional curves. These reference points will guide us in placing the joints. Please note that these measurements are only approximate for the sake of simplicity.

Step 5: Drawing the Joint Circles

How to Draw a Hand Step 5

For each finger, draw two more circles. Each finger should have three circles, progressively increasing in size from top to bottom.

Step 6: Drawing the Thumb

How to Draw Hands Step 6

To draw the thumb, start with a curved line extending from the bottom left circle. The length of the thumb will vary depending on how far it is spread out. Measure the thumb’s length and draw a circle at the halfway point. Then, add another circle halfway up from there.

Step 7: Outlining the Hand

How to Draw Hands Step 7

Outline the structure of the hand, considering various factors such as the thickness between each finger joint for different hand appearances. For chubby hands, increase the thickness, while for slender hands, minimize it. Additionally, ensure that you connect each finger with webs, as there is a natural webbing between the fingers. However, keep the webs positioned above the knuckles (drawn in step 2). Now that we have covered the basic construction of a hand, let’s practice drawing various hand gestures.

Drawing realistic hands example gestures

Hand Images for Drawing Reference

Feel free to download and utilize the hand images provided below as references while drawing. For certain gestures, using the measurement system may prove challenging. In such cases, you can estimate the measurements and remember to incorporate curved lines when drawing fingers. With enough practice, you will be able to sketch hands without the need for guidelines or, better yet, visualize and draw any gesture effortlessly! Understanding muscles, tendons, and fat tissue will add a layer of realism to your hand drawings. For an interactive 360-degree model, click here. You can view different layers by clicking on the thumbnails at the top.

Hand Images for Drawing Reference 1 Hand Images for Drawing Reference 2

If you have any questions or requests, please leave them in the comments below, and I’ll respond as soon as possible!

Alexia Young

Hello and welcome to the world of Alexia. I am a passionate and dedicated artist who loves to create beautiful, mesmerizing art for everyone's walls. I believe in the importance of encouraging people to express their creativity and be happy.

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