In this lesson you will learn how to draw hands. They say that the hardest things to draw are faces and hands. But why? What is it about faces and hands that makes them such difficult subjects for an artist? I have my own theory about this. After many years of teaching drawing, I have noticed one common feature that is common to all. We think in abstract concepts and images, simplifying them in our memory, and we can only remember the most important things – general outlines for example – and most of the details tend to fall out. We are left with a very simplified impression of what we have seen.
How to draw hands from a photo
To get an accurate outline of a photo, you can use a grid. Laying a grid over the photo breaks the image into parts that are easy to reproduce. Putting a light pencil lines on a sheet of paper and then drawing in each cell what you see in the cells of the photo, you get a more accurate image than drawing “by hand”. It makes you see the object you are drawing in a distracted way, more as a set of outlines than as an image formed by them.
Each of these cells with a pattern inside has a number. None of these patterns means anything by itself. In each cell of the empty grid, draw what you see in the corresponding numbered cell with the pattern. Don’t try to figure out what you’re drawing, because then you’ll necessarily tend to draw from memory instead of copying what you see. When copying these patterns, be as accurate as possible.
When you are finished with this puzzle, you should turn the work upside down. If you don’t want to draw in a book, you can make a photocopy of this puzzle.
One of the most common mistakes when drawing hands is to make them look too small. No drawing will look convincing if the proportions are not correct.
I find that the easiest way to remember the size of something is by comparing it to something else. To remember hand size, look at your face. The distance from your wrist to the tip of your middle finger is the same as the distance from your chin to the top of your head. If you put your hand to your face so that your palm rests on your chin, the tip of your middle finger will be near the hairline above your forehead.
How to draw hands step by step
Drawing hands from a photo step by step using a grid. Now it’s time to use the information you’ve learned in practice. You have seen that decomposing an object into separate small contours helps you accurately represent its outlines.
Total Time: 15 minutes
Step 1 – How to Draw Hands
Let’s start by drawing the hands, slightly shortened by perspective, using a grid to make it easier. I want you to focus only on outlines at this stage, not on light and shading. All in good time. Now study how all these outlines come together. Look closely at the angles formed by the bones and joints of your fingers. See how the light and shadows themselves form whimsical outlines.
Step 2 – How to Draw Hands
Start by easily drawing a grid on the paper with a pencil. Use a good ruler and the squares are sure to be perfectly straight and square. If you want to keep the same size as in my drawing, use the same size squares. Or you can make the drawing bigger by using larger squares, just as long as they are the right squares.
Step 3 – How to Draw Hands
Cell by cell, redraw the outlines you see inside until you have a finished drawing similar to mine. Later, you can go back to these outline drawings and work them out in tone for practice.
This is my outline drawing. Take a close look at how I draw the outlines, especially the outlines of the light and dark areas on my fingers.
Step 4 – How to Draw Hands
Look how short the thumb seems to be, but the length of the others is fully visible because of their positioning.
Step 5 – How to Draw Hands
It’s always easier to draw from an enlarged photo than from a small one
Step 6 – How to Draw Hands
- Pencil, eraser
- Pencil, grid, photos, eraser
Materials: Grid, photos
As you could see, this technique can be used to depict any object! Drawing a hand is no more difficult than drawing a tennis shoe or a barge when viewed as an outline, light and shadows. Follow the drawing “recipe” exactly, and you can draw anything you like. It will take only a firm desire, diligence in learning, work and work again.
Share your hand drawings in the comments.