Learn How to Draw Hands with These 22 Ideas and References

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If you’re looking for hand drawing ideas and references, I have a collection that will help you practice drawing hands.

Drawing hands can be one of the most difficult challenges artists face. Many artists have stories of putting their characters’ hands in their pockets or behind their backs to avoid drawing hands.

A few tips to remember when drawing hands is that the basic shape of a hand is square-ish. It’s also important to note that the fingers are not straight, but bend slightly. Drawing hands from references is a great practice that will eventually lead to you being able to draw from your imagination.

Check out these 19 hand drawing ideas and references for inspiration and practice drawing hands. I’ll also be sharing some tips for drawing realistic hands.

PRAYER HAND DRAWING
Credit: ashi_force
HAND POINTING DRAWING
Credit: dianetics_art

Start By Drawing a Glove

If you can’t draw the fingers right away, it helps to draw the shape as if you were drawing a glove. You can add the details later. Go ahead and give it a try. You’ll see how this makes drawing fingers so much easier.

When you’re ready to add the details, start with the thumb. It’s the easiest finger for me to start with. The other fingers are variations of the thumb, so once you understand how to draw the thumb, you’ll be able to draw the other fingers as well.

The most important thing to remember when drawing hands is that they’re not symmetrical. So don’t draw them as if they were mirror images of each other. Each hand is unique and has its own proportions.

HAND HOLDING STICK DRAWING
Credit: dobb.art
FINGERS TOUCHING DRAWING
Credit: hands_and_snakes
HAND HOLDING NUMBER SIGNS DRAWING
Credit: happy_digest

Use Your Own Hands for Reference

Whenever you draw hands, it’s a good idea to look at your own hands and use them for reference. This will help you capture the nuances of the hand.

Your fingers aren’t perfectly straight (naturally), they bend and curve in different ways. Realizing this will help you draw more realistic hands.

HAND TOUCHING RING DRAWING

Credit: lemon_oh5
HAND IN DIFFERENT POSITIONS DRAWING
Credit: lensleychristophart

Don’t Think of Fingers as a “V” Shape

Animator Island recommends that you not think of fingers as a “V” shape. Instead, think of the fingers as individual shapes and connect them using webbing.

This might be hard to understand at first, but using the webbing techinque will make your fingers look more realistic. Which is what you want when learning to draw hands.

HAND IN THREE ANGLES
Credit: nemaiza
FRONT AND BACK HAND DRAWING
Credit: portraitsandmore.nee

Learn the Anatomy of the Hand

Along with using references, it’s important to learn the anatomy of the hand. The human hand has 27 bones: eight in the wrist, five in the palm, and 14 in the fingers and thumb.

The better you understand what hands are made up of and the functions of our hands, the better your understanding will be of how to draw them. Be sure to learn all your can about hand anatomy.

FINGERS AND FIST DRAWING
Credit: rosebeamz
SIMPLE HAND SKETCHES
Credit: sherinachin

Draw Hands in Different Poses

The more you draw hands from different angles and making different poses, the better you’ll get at drawing them. For example, the photo below features hands holding up three fingers, making a fist, and more.

Make sure you also peace drawing your own hand from different angles. I recommend taking a picture of your hands to use for reference.

HANDS HOLDING SKETCH
Credit: Get Drawings
HANDS HOLDING SKETCH
Credit: Get Drawings

Pay Attention to Proportions

One thing that some artists get wrong is they don’t pay attention to proportions. Understanding hand proportions will not only help you draw hands accurately, but it will also help you create more variation when animating fingers.

Each finger has three joints: proximal phalange (this joint connects with a metacarpal bone), middle phalange (connects with the distal phalange), and distal phalanx (ends at the fingertip). The length between these joints can vary by individual and each finger may be longer or shorter than others.

hand holding heart
Credit: Get Drawings
holding out hand
Credit: konstnej

How to Draw a Hand

This hand guide shows you how to construct the hand step-by-step. It includes a bunch of helpful tips for drawing realistic hands. The artist states that their anatomy isn’t perfect either. However, just like you and I, they’re always learning.

HOW TO DRAW HAND GUIDE
Credit: Angel Kite
PRAYER HAND WITH BANDAGE DRAWING
Credit: srvntz

Ask a Friend to Pose for You

Along with searching online for reference photos, you could also ask your friends to pose for you. This will help you learn how to draw hands in real-time.

Once you’ve practiced drawing hands in different poses and from different angles, you’ll start to see the same shapes and lines over and over again. This will make it easier to understand how each part of the hand is structured and what it looks like when positioned in different ways.

HAND MAKING FISTS SKETCHES
Credit: theunnoticedwild_flower.92
HAND EXPRESSIONS DRAWING
Credit: varvaryundus_art

Don’t Forget About the Fingernails

One of the other tricky parts about drawing hands is depicting fingernails, knuckles, and dimples. Fingernails can be drawn using a simple curved line at the end of each finger.

Knuckles are typically represented by small circles or ovals. Dimples add some extra visual interest to hands and they can be created by drawing two short lines that meet at a point on the backside of your hand.

HAND HOLDING PINKY FINGER OUT
Credit: victoria.art.26
HAND POINTING DRAWING
Credit: whitee.gr

I hope you were able to find some inspiration with the hand drawing ideas and references in this post. Remember, keep practicing and learning if you want to perfect your hand drawing skills.

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