Breaking Down How to Sketch Hands

Hands are the most ­intimidating part of the human body to draw, simply because there are so many parts to keep track of. Many beginners avoid this challenge by drawing figures with hands behind their backs. This seems like an easy solution, but you won’t learn to draw them better and your poses will end up looking the same.

Start with the basic structure and break the hand down into understandable anatomy and simple shapes. Practice sketching as many different positions as you can before moving on to details. You have the perfect reference right in front of you! Just look at your own hand and sketch away.

Sketching Hands – Anatomy

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Bone Structure
Study the bone structure of the hand. You don’t need to be able to draw all the bones or know their names. But be aware of the places closest to the skin where bones are prominent, like the knuckles and wrist. Simplify drawing the hand by turning the bone structure into simple lines.

Find reference photos or examine your own hands. Look at how the muscles move and where the bones and joints are. Try to sketch hands while looking at a reference to practice the anatomy and structure.

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The Back of the Hand
The palm side of the hand has two fleshy oval-shaped pads that start at the wrist. The more prominent one attaches to the thumb and moves with it.

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The Side of the Hand
When our arms are relaxed at our sides, our fingers are loose and slightly bent.

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Bending Fingers
When all the sections of a finger are going in different directions it can be a little confusing. With round band markers for the joints, sketch the parts you can’t see,.

How to Sketch Hands

You can sketch hands in just four simple steps when you break down the shapes. 

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1 – Start by sketching a mitten-shaped outline.

2 – Outline the palm and a small oval for the wrist. Create a slight point where the middle finger will be. Draw a small triangle jutting off the side for the base of the thumb.

3 – Sketch two arched guidelines for the knuckles. These guidelines will always be in the same place no matter the position of the fingers. Draw tendons from the wrist to the first knuckles for each finger. Then draw lines for each finger.

4 – Draw the finished hand and fingers.

Want more instruction for drawing your characters? Check out these posts then grab a copy of Fantasy Fashion Art Studio for more in-depth tutorials. 

Eye Drawing Proportion and Shapes
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Drawing Hands with Mark Crilley
How to Draw a Laughing Face 

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