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How to Draw Hands: Basic Construction

What do most people have trouble drawing? Hands! And I don’t blame anyone because I do too! I have researched and experimented with different ways to draw hands. Hands down (I couldn’t resist),  this is the most effective way I have found to draw a hand. I always start with the basic shapes that make up the mass of the hand, mainly the palm, fingers, and the thumb mass.

 

BREAK THE HAND DOWN INTO BASIC SHAPESbasic shape
The two basic shapes I use are a square-like wedge and the cylinder. If you break down the hand into its most basic shape you will notice that the palm is basically a wedge and the fingers are a series of cylinders. When I draw hands, I try to see the most basic shape. Why? It is a lot easier to change the position, size, and proportions of a geometric shape then a fully rendered hand. This is the stage in the drawing process where the artist checks all of those important details before moving on: proportions, positioning, angle, aesthetics, etc.

basic shape2

 

If you look at the hand in its most basic shape you will see these two dominant forms: a square-like wedge and a cylinder. Practice drawing these shapes. Place the wedge in different positions in space and try to draw it.

Also, find a cylindrical shape in your house and practice drawing it in different positions in space. Once you get good at drawing those two basic forms, put them together to draw the basic constructive forms of the hand.

ASSIGNMENT

Download the following worksheet and practice drawing the hand in it’s most basic form. When you get confident enough continue drawing using your non-dominant hand as your model and draw the hand in as many different positions as you can. Practice!

practice-hand-positions

practice-hand-positions

 


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A New “How-to-Draw-Hands” Video!

I have several different series on my YouTube channel to help with drawing and, of course, one of them is hands. Hands are very important to drawing because they are so expressive. You can really add to the body language of your character using the hands. Regrettably, they are also one of the most difficult body parts to draw. How does anyone get better at anything? Repetition.

In this video I demonstrate penciling, inking, and coloring the hand in two different positions while holding a pencil. So go get your sketchbook and follow along. A little practice goes a long way!

sketch end