Thursday, October 13, 2016


The hand is one of the most complicated features to draw on the human body. However, the hand is essential to visual story telling. In addition, the mark of an experienced artist is often judged by how they use hands. Hands can seem scary, but they don't have to be.

I have heard the joke a million times, "I do art, but I can draw stick figures." My reply is if you can do stick figures... you can draw. We need to approach the hand as a stick figure drawing. Think of every joint as a circle and the bones connecting the joints as stick figure lines. 

Below is a sample of basic hand shapes and anatomy. 

Again keep thinking of the hand as basic stick figure shapes and lines. 
Male hands tend to be more angular. Think boxes. You should start with male hands because they are more forgiving in regards to making mistakes, and can be easier to draw initially. Start with trying to use the most basic shapes possible.

Note not all fingers are the same size. Look at your own hands. Always look at yourself for reference when you are trying to draw people. Notice that not all your fingers are the same size.

See how you can use stick figure drawing and basic shapes to help you create a complex image. Think of these lines as bones. Everything thing has an inside structure... and an outside structure. When you look at a house you see the outside not the support beams inside the walls. Without that support your house would collapse. So draw your supporting lines and create your "contour" walls around them,

See how the guidelines are used! Use them for yourself and will be surprised how much easier drawing will be and accurate.

The hand simplified. 

When you move your hand different position how does the anatomy react?  Think of Isaac Newton's 3rd law: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Look how the pads of the hands respond to the movement of the fingers.

Find shapes that are familiar to you to assist in your drawing. 

As fingers curve when they are extended they also do so when in a fist.

When drawing women's hands start with ovals or ellipses instead of blocks. Women's hand tend to be smaller and more nimble. 
Start with circles. Next connect rough contour lines over your stick figure lines. Lastly, refine your outline (contour.)

When grasping objects your fingers tend to overlap.

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