Drawing Tutorials: Top 10 Tips To Learn How To Draw Hands

It has happened to you: you've been trying to draw a person you know, a movie character or someone out of your own imagination; they look great, you are almost done but, you must face the ultimate challenge... drawing their hands.
It could be frustrating to finish a really promising piece with poorly drawn hands, but you must have in mind this is only logical given the fact that hands could be considered to be the hardest elements to draw in the human anatomy. You don't need to worry anymore, here we have a new drawing tutorial for you; this time, on how to draw hands so you don't have to draw your characters with their hands inside their pockets, or behind their back, or even holding big objects to hide them.
In order to learn the complexity of these human elements, you must first dedicate some time to study hands. Observation is always the key when learning how to draw a real object; this fact is even more relevant when you are trying to learn how to draw people and animals. Anatomy has some complexity, bodies have mass, muscles, shades, and textures that look different depending on the angle from which you are observing the object of your study. Many artists use a preliminary basic outline of the muscular structure of a body before drawing a person, this can also be done when drawing hands and feet.
Another valid point to consider is the size of the entire picture in relation to the hands, one thing is to draw hands alone on a big medium and another is to draw smaller hands on a person in a big piece. Besides all of this, hands are really expressive and there are almost endless ways to communicate with hands through gestures, it could be positivity, negativity, anger, happiness, fear, sadness, excitement, celebration, mourning and so on. You already know the answer to the question: how do I master all of this? and that answer is practice; it’s just as simple as that. Observation and practice will make you an artist one way or another, sooner or later.
Let’s begin! for this FIRST STEP draw a rectangle and use four curves as guidelines for the knuckles. When you are drawing anything, it is always useful to begin with the outline of their shapes and then go on from there. You might find it useful to draw a rectangle or circle to initiate your drawing. Then you can make slopes and curves to add details to the palm and help you visualize further details you will be adding. From this point you might begin to define how you are going to draw the fingers, you can make them like thin rectangles, cylinders or circles for closed knuckles. Whatever you decide, just do the outline first with a hard pencil that you can easily erase later on.
Learn How To Draw Hands - The Outline Of The Hand
Don’t know how to draw at all? That’s ok, we all need to start somewhere. Try to take a look at this: How to draw: Tips and advice for beginners to make cool drawings - Once you learn a new thing, you are forever smarter than you were before.
SECOND STEP would be to draw four circles under the last curve and add a guideline for the thumb.
Learn How To Draw Hands - Draw Circles And Add A Guideline For The Thumb
Hands have bones. Who would have known? If you take a close examination of your hands you'll see how every movement and gesture you perform with your hands will obey to this bone structure inside them. A simplified view of these bones will help you understand their basic shape and how they work, with this knowledge you can make a more accurate portrait of hands and this will help you determine how they should look while doing certain gestures.

Now for the STEP NUMBER THREE we are going to draw the remaining knuckles in the following two curves.


Learn How To Draw Hands - Draw The Remaining Knuckles In The Following Two Curves
And the FOURTH STEP would be to draw the outline of the entire hand with the elements we already have. Fingers can be tricky. We recommend simplifying things into basic and simple shapes you can later on style and detail. This way, instead of drawing the entire finger at once, you could divide it into little cylinders and draw circles to represent each joint. Be aware, the fingers’ joints are not perfectly aligned; remember tip number three.
Do you want to try something simpler? Perhaps a rose would be better for practicing drawing before you adventure into the world of hands. Take a look: How to draw a rose: a drawing lesson with a step by step guide.
Learn How To Draw Hands - Drawing Joints
Take notice of fingers’ length This is an important thing to have in mind when you are drawing hands, you don’t want to end up with weird looking fingers. A fair trick to try is to measure the length of every finger from the knuckle to the wrist and then double that length. Remember, the middle finger is the longest one, use this as a guide to draw the remaining fingers in proportion to this one.
Fingers save some space between one and the other, so try not to draw them completely conjoined; and when you do, remember there is a little fold of skin that connects them, similar to what birds have, but obviously in way less proportion, so don’t exaggerate. Once again: your own hand is your best guide, use your observation powers to draw these details the best you can.
As the STEP NUMBER FIVE we’re going to draw another circle to represent the joint of the thumb with the palm of the hand. We’re also going to finish outlining the thumb and we’re ready with the entire outline. Now, in order to draw the little, chubby and most useful guy in your hand, you might want to start by drawing a curve. Pay attention to the location of the starting point of this curve, observe your own hand and try to keep proportion as much as you can. Thumbs have one joint less than their fellow fingers and they’re oriented towards a different direction.
Learn How To Draw Hands - Drawing The Proportions
Now we can finally erase those extra lines and begin to see how pretty our drawing is going. Try using a darker pencil to outline once again. This is the STEP SIX. Fingers are not perfectly straight, so don’t try to draw them with straight lines. Fingers always preserve some curvature, even a slightly bit, just look at yours and you will realise how they curve towards one side or the other depending on each one of them.
Learn How To Draw Hands - Draw The Outline With A Soft Pencil
STEP SEVEN: Once you have a clean drawing you can begin to add those details that make hands look like real hands. Nails, ridges, marks, shades. Use your own hands as subject of observation to add as many details as you can portray. When you draw them, fingernails look best when you have a closer view of the hand; otherwise it is better to avoid them. They are not squared, instead, try to draw them with curves at the top and the bottom in a tile-shaped way. The top curvature will depend on how long you want to draw these fingernails.
Learn How To Draw Hands - Draw The Hand Clean And With Good Proportions
Pay attention to details, this is where a regular drawing becomes a great drawing. In order to draw more realistic hands you must pay attention to details. Your hands have lines on the knuckles you might want to emule with a couple of curves; remember they are not perfectly lined up. Your fingers also have lines on the palm side that you can represent with curves to give your drawings a more complete representation; in the palm of a hand there are usually three lines: the heart line, the head line and the life line that you should not confuse with the contour of the thumb while you draw. Finally there might be some veins in the back of the hand, but that is a little harder to portray if you are a beginner.
Once you finish adding all the details and shading it the way you want it, you are done! congratulation!
Learn How To Draw Hands - Complete The Hand
Are you looking for adding details to your drawings with style? Shading is a great way to add depth to your pieces and make them look amazingly cool. If you want to learn how to shade why don’t you click here: Step by Step Drawing Tutorials: Learn How to Shade Your Drawings.
Final tip: Observe and practice
Yes, this is almost always the final tip/step on our “How to draw” tutorials. What can we say? This is proven to be the best advice we can give you. There’s no better way to learn how to draw hands than observing your own and others’ hands and practicing... a lot. There are a bunch of details you might only see while looking by yourself: folds that you didn't see before, hair patterns, nail marks, variations on texture, even fingertips if you want to go there. There is also the fact that you can move and make different gestures with your hands that will give you unlimited material to watch, practice and learn.
So give it a try. Practice first with simple hand positions like an open hand saying “stop” and practice the basics with it; then allow yourself to go further and add the details you wish and draw the hands in the positions and motions you like: a closed fist, a pointing finger, a special sign, two hands tangled together... whatever you want. As long as you practice there’s no way you won’t become the great artist you dream to be one day. Luckily, right there to help you, you should have two beautiful models at hand…
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