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Learn to Draw Hands the Easy Way

September 5, 2010

how-to-draw-a-handHow many times have you seen a beautiful figure drawings and the arms end in stumps?

Drawing hands is tricky, but ignoring them won’t make them go away!

The problem most people have with drawing hands is that they try to draw what they think a hand looks like instead of drawing what they see.

It’s all in the fingers: we think of fingers as being cylindrical. This is not the case! When we draw fingers that are cylinders, we end up with pudgy, sausage-like appendages.

Fingers are not round!

When you draw hands, you need to think of planes: flat areas that meet at angles. The backs of your hands are planes, and your fingers are made up of planes that meet to form cubes. Yes, cubes!

So how can we learn to draw hands the easy way? By using your own as an example.

Take a washable marker and outline the planes on each finger. Also outline the circle shapes made by the joints where the fingers meet the hand, and the fleshy pads on the palm. Now you have a reference that reflects the basic shapes a hand is made up of.

how-to-draw-a-hand-reference-2

how-to-draw-a-hand-reference-3

Using yourself as a reference, draw the hand in several different poses. You can even try holding different objects. First, focus on the outline of the cube shapes. Once you’re comfortable with drawing these shapes, start to shade them. Remember to shade each finger as a cube, not as a cylinder.

how-to-draw-a-hand-example

From here, you can begin to develop your drawing into a more detailed, realistic rendition of a hand.

The most important thing to remember when drawing hands is to look for the planes. Hands are not round, they are actually quite angular.

After using practicing this technique with your own hands, you will be able to identify the planes and shapes in other hands that you want to draw. If you ever come across a particularly tricky pose, you can always recreate it using your own hand with the lines drawn on it.

Happy drawing!

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