How to Draw Hands: 35 Tutorials, How-To’s, Step-by-Steps, Videos, Studies, Poses and Photo References

110 Comments | October 19, 2009


I’ve found drawing hands one of the most challenging aspects of drawing the human figure. You can get away with quite a bit when rendering the human figure, but get the hand wrong and it sticks out like a sore thumb.  Once you start learning about the hand in greater depth, you’ll find it is truly amazing just how complex the hand is even though we see it everyday.  Perhaps the following tutorials can help you and I draw better hands. Enjoy.

New!

Hands on TattooPort

Loads of (tattooed) hands on TattooPort

 

 

Tutorials, How-To’s and Step-by-Step’s

It’s often useful to have a step-by-step guide, tutorial, or “recipe” on how to accomplish a certain task.  I’ve found that following steps is good to grasp basic concepts before going on to experiment and expand one’s understanding.  Tutorials on drawing hands are no different, and the tutorials and how-to’s listed below should be a good starting point.

j Peffer - Hand Construction Methods

J. Peffer created some nice step-by-steps for about a handful of hand poses.

Ron Lemen - Drawing the Human Hand

Nice little tutorial by Ron Lemen.

Tom Richmond - Hands

Tom Richmond’s site is a must-go for any aspiring cartoonist and caricaturist and has a wealth of information.

Joumana Medlej - Drawing Hands

Joumana Medlev has a superb introduction on the anatomy of hands on DeviantArt; also check out her work on cedarseed.com.

Drawing Hands and Feet

Quick hands and feet tutorial on Scribd by unknown author.

Whyball - How to Draw a Classic Hand using a Graphics Tablet

This tutorial is a bit different in that it’s more focused on how to draw using a graphic tablet as opposed to a hand per se. Nonetheless, it’s never bad to learn two things at once, so check out Whyball’s “How to Draw a Classic Hand using a Graphics Tablet” over on GoMediaZine.

uchuucacahuate - How to Draw Hands

Short and sweet hand drawing tut by uchuucacahuate on deviantart.

nk-chan - Short Hand Tutorial

(Very) short but good tutorial by nk-chan on deviantart.com.

alexds1 - Hand Tutorial

Excellent hand tutorial by alexds1 on deviantart.com – I really wish I could executive cartoon hands like that!

Vashs-Angel - Drawing Hands

Good step-by-step tutorial by vashs-angel on deviantart.com: simple illustrations and descriptive text.
Back to top

Videos

Often it’s helpful to see someone else do something, not just in pictures, but in real-time.  Here are some videos that show hands being drawn:

For you all you manga heads out there, you wanna go check out Mark Crilley’s channel on YouTube on how to draw manga. Among those the video above on how to draw a hand holding a sword and how to just draw a hand.

Nice demonstration on how to draw a hand by cattusOK on YouTube.

Here we have another tutorial on how to draw female hands, also executed in Photoshop, via WonderHowTo.
Back to top

Anatomy

As one of the more complex instruments of the body, a sound understanding of underlying anatomy of hands can help considerably when trying to render realistic and convincing hands in your drawings.  Below are resources that should help you begin to understand how hands truly work.

Hand Anatomy Plate from Gray's Anatomy

The Wikimedia Commons continues to be a great place to find reference material, such as the hand anatomy plate from Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body pictured above.

victor Perard - Drawing and Anatomy

Drawing and Anatomy by Victor Perard has pretty in depth coverage of human anatomy even though the drawings aren’t the best I’ve seen.  Nonetheless, very useful for the artist seeking to deepen their understanding of anatomy.

Drawing Hands and Feet by JayD

A more comprehensive discussion on drawing hands and feet which (I believe) originated on WetCanvas by JayD and then ended up on document form on Scribd.

T Arthur Smith - Hand Tendons

Great mini-tutorial on hands by T. Arthur Smith on DeviantArt, looking to go beyond a tutorial on simply the idealized form of the hand.

Michael Hensley - Anatomical Hand

I’ve mentioned him before in the post on skulls, and I’ll mention him again here: check out Michael Hensley for some great anatomical drawings with a distinctive style.
Back to top

Books

Drawing Dynamic Hands by Burne Hogarth

Perhaps the ultimate “tutorial” on drawing hands, “Drawing Dynamic Hands” by Burne Hogarth is a must-have reference book in your library. You can buy it here on Amazon.

burne Hogarth - Hand in Dynamic Anatomy

Mr. Hogarth has more hand material in that most amazing work, Dynamic Anatomy.  You can buy it here on Amazon.

Andrew Loomis - Drawing Heads and Hands

Thankfully there’s a copy of “Drawing Head and Hands” over at Scribd, by that other master of drawing, Andrew Loomis. The section on drawing hands isn’t as comprehensive as that on heads, but a great resource nonetheless, especially when trying to draw non-male hands (female, baby, etc.).

The Hand in Constructive Anatomy by George Bridgman

George Bridgman is the author of yet another treasure of a book on drawing.  Above you can see a plate from his the chapter on hands in the book Constructive Anatomy, available at the Internet Archive (or here via Scribd).
Back to top

Poses

Here’s a list of resources that display hands from many different angles.  It’s truly remarkable just how many poses the hand can be seen in.

Chrissy Fellmeth - Hand Poses

Useful collection of hand poses by Chrissy Fellmeth.

what-i-do-is-secret - Hand Sketches

More hand poses by what-i-do-is-secret on deviantart.com.

how to Draw Female Hands by artrush73

A nice little collection of female hand poses by artrush73’s hub page.

les Clark - Mickey Mouse Hand Model Sheet

Mickey Mouse Hand Model Sheet by Les Clark

The ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive has some true gems when it comes to old drawings, such as this hand model sheet of Mickey Mouse by Les Clark from 1932.  Lot of other great stuff too, check it out. Found via this post on Animopus.

Hogarth Hand Reference

Another hand model sheet can be found on the Ultimate Iron Giant website, this one in particular being of Hogarth’s hand.  There’re literally a ton of other drawings on sketches related to the Iron Giant, you’ll find the hands in about the middle of the page.

kelly - How to Draw Hands

Nice little reference on drawing animal hands/paws provided by Kelly on drawfurry.com.

jimmymcwicked - hand poses

Great study of the hand in its many incarnations – love the minimal style here.  By jimmymcwicked on deviantart.com.
Back to top

Photo References

Although you’ve got a pair for easy reference, it can help to look at a photo of a real hand, especially for awkward angles.  Here are a few sites that should give you ample hand pose pictures for hours of hand-drawing fun.

Thomas A - Photo Reference

Nice collection of hand poses taken by Thomas A of Ander’s hands, via elfwood.com.

Pose Maniacs - Hands for Drawing

This site is certainly something out of the ordinary: Hands for Drawing by Pose Maniacs allows you select various hand poses and then turn them in 3D (select one of the numbers in the right-hand menu).  Great when you can’t find a proper reference at just the right angle.

female Hand Reference

Nice collection of both male and female hands in various interesting poses.

WindsweptSummer - Left Hand Reference

Female left hands by WindsweptSummer on deviantart.com.

dragyourstock - Hand Stock Reference Sheet

Hand holding pencil by dragyourstock on deviantart.com.

Comments

  • I have noticed you don’t monetize your blog, don’t waste your traffic, you can earn extra
    bucks every month because you’ve got high quality content.
    If you want to know how to make extra bucks, search
    for: Mertiso’s tips best adsense alternative

  • The article is very helpful. Thanks

    retirement quotes for boss

    tuanss
  • […] *Hands* […]

  • I see you don’t monetize drawninblack.com, don’t waste your traffic,
    you can earn extra cash every month with
    new monetization method. This is the best adsense alternative for any
    type of website (they approve all sites), for more details simply search in gooogle: murgrabia’s
    tools

  • Hi! If you’re reading this then you’re living proof that contact form advertising works! We can send your ad message to people via their contact us form on their website. The best part of this kind of advertising is that messages sent through feedback forms are automatically whitelisted. This increases the chances that your message will be read. No PPC costs! Pay one flat rate and reach millions of people. To get more info please reply to: lily5854gre@gmail.com

    Cecila Babbidge
  • solves are all taken care of and are scheduled to available processors: if your machine has more than one processor core and no other parts of this program are using resources currently, then the diffusion solves will run in parallel. On the other hand, if your system has only one processor core then running things in parallel would be inefficient (since it leads, for example, to cache congestion) and things will be executed sequentially. The following few functions deal with assembling the advection terms, which is the part of the system matrix for the diffusion step that changes at every time step. As mentioned above, we will run the assembly loop over all cells in parallel, using the WorkStream class and other facilities as described in the documentation module on Parallel computing with multiple processors accessing shared memory .

  • Are you seeking effective online promotion that has no per click costs and will get you new customers fast? Sorry to bug you on your contact form but actually that was kinda the point. We can send your advertising text to websites via their contact pages just like you’re getting this ad right now. You can target by keyword or just fire off mass blasts to sites in the location of your choice. So let’s assume you’re looking to blast a message to all the interior decorators in the US, we’ll grab websites for only those and post your ad text to them. Providing you’re promoting something that’s relevant to that type of business then you’ll be blessed with an amazing response!

    Send a quick note to john2830bro@gmail.com for the full details

    Pablo Humphrey
  • Good evening, I was just taking a look at your website and submitted this message via your “contact us” form. The contact page on your site sends you these messages to your email account which is the reason you’re reading through my message right now correct? This is the most important achievement with any type of advertising, getting people to actually READ your advertisement and I did that just now with you! If you have something you would like to promote to millions of websites via their contact forms in the US or to any country worldwide send me a quick note now, I can even target your required niches and my pricing is very low. Send a message to: Phungcorsi@gmail.com

    Pilar Means
  • Can you influenceable the terrors of Deeep.io?
    Deeeep.io is an addictive .io engagement where you with a pelagic
    creature demanding to continue in the ruthless rapturous of the sea.
    Harder than the hull of a crab, but more productive than catching your elementary fish.

    You select your animal and spend your opportunity disquieting to pack away as much food as viable,
    but it won’t be undisturbed the gobs is a dangerous place, chock-full of predators.
    While there is lots of aliment about, there are lots of other
    people all trying to snack it too so you include to disguise and conflict your progressing to a superior
    score.

    If you learn yourself being hunted you’ll neediness to snatch out
    all of your conceal and endeavour skills from youth to receive away,
    using the terrain as pleasing as wild movements to seepage to safety.

    Nothing beats a sensitive relaxing swim in the abundance, deeeep.io isn’t a
    relaxing swim in the breaker, but it will get your blood pumping while you desperately try to evolve into the
    next entity and pass on down in cv on the high scoreboard.

    Tour the depths and reach your fish
    The the depths of Deeeep.io is split into distinctive areas and
    regions. As you engage, you can solely swim in unnamed
    areas – for warning, as a prime clownfish, you can just remain in sandbank waters – if you swim deeper,
    your fish desire slowly suffocate.
    Moreover, there is sundry salt water temperatures too and dependable
    fish can but credulous in steady water temperatures.

    There are assist boxes that conduct if you are in peril so be certain to profit
    attention.

    As you caper, prefer from different types of nautical life
    such as the whale whale, penguin, pufferfish, clownfish,
    and jellyfish. Each strain of seagoing coarse has peculiar characteristics and
    abilities. The penguin, as regards example, can put an end to on nation, but cannot swim into
    yawning waters.

    Try distant the unusual creatures and distinguish which ones adapt your
    playing style. Be dependable to look absent from an eye
    to the huge NCP jellyfish – if you swim into these abominations, they last will and testament deface you and eventually swallow you whole!

    Divine if you can prevail over Deeeep.io today and have some underwater kid!

  • Well, he found clift third: he was undressed, lying on his grocery in amoxicillin, with profits on and both payments clenched by his case. Satisfaction guaranteed, Safe and Secure amoxicillin no rx Canadian Pharmacy amoxicillin Pay Less Purchasing amoxicillin From India Online. Compare Pharmacies To Buy Flagentyl Online without a Prescription. Discreet Delivery To Your Door.

    amoxicillindom

Thoughts?