Drawing Hands – 5 Critical Things To Keep In Mind

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Drawing Hands – Quick Tips And Advices

For many artists (myself included) drawing hands can be the most challenging aspect of figure drawing. The hand is an extremely complex area and drawing it is a subject of study all by itself.

There are many great books devoted to this topic and I highly recommend that you explore them.

I’ve gathered what I have learned over the years, and narrowed it down to 5 Critical tips to keep in mind to produce a more realistic hand. The items in this list are actually quite simple (and they were meant to be) but many beginners still miss them.

If you just keep these details in mind while you work, your sketches will show immediate improvement.

Here we go…

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Drawing Hands

1) Hands are NOT made up of straight lines, fingers are NOT parallel to each other, knuckles DON’T line up in a row, and the edges of the hand are NOT straight and parallel.

Instead the finger tips and the knuckles form an arch across the hand. Also the figures bend slightly toward the space between the Middle Finger and the Ring Finger. This subtle detail will add life to your drawing hands efforts.


2) The palm of the hand consists of 3 meaty parts: 1) One is at the base of the thumb, 2) the other lies at the base of the pinky. 3) And the third takes the shape of a row and sits just underneath the knuckle


3) The skin web between the fingers should be a “U” shape instead of a “V” shape or a flat line.


4) Even when the hand is relaxed, the fingers are never in a straight line, they always curve slightly towards the palm no matter how gravity is pulling on them. This is how the hand naturally behaves; be sure to capture this when drawing hands.


5) When drawing the back side of the hand, always remember to include these 3 things:

  • the knuckles
  • the veins
  • the wrinkles at the joints of the finger



I’ve done my best to outline things that you should pay attention to when drawing hands in this short article.

If you like this lesson, you can find a lot more great information in my video bonus training called, “How To Draw Hands.”

In it, you’ll learn how to break the hand down into basic parts and drawing it from scratch. Then you’ll learn how to draw the hand in various positions and angles.

Figure Drawing DVD SetThis video bonus is not available for sale, if you can get it as a FREE gift when you invest in my Secrets of Figure Drawing” course.

To learn more about the main course (as well as what’s inside the “How To Draw Hands” training), just click on the link below…

CLICK HERE To Get My “How To Draw Hands” Training For FREE!

If you liked this article…or didn’t like it…or thought I left some thing out, please leave a comment below and tell me about it and what else you’d like to know about drawing hands.

Also if you liked this tutorial, applaud by hitting the “Facebook Like Button” and Re-Tweet this post to your friends!

Thank you so much for visiting and have a great day!

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Let us know what you think! Leave a comment below...


  • Jaclyn Bartz

    Reply Reply August 25, 2014

    Thank you for these wonderful tips! It is a great refresher. 🙂

  • Meena kamani

    Reply Reply June 8, 2014

    Very easy method of teaching figure drawing and perspective drawing
    Thanks a lot .
    I enjoy watching your videos

  • Roger

    Reply Reply August 23, 2013

    Very nice tips, and easy to remember. Thanks

  • Christine

    Reply Reply July 19, 2013

    Thanks Ethan you have helped me heaps i go to taff for figure drawing but i have learnt more
    from your lessons

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply May 28, 2013

    love your videos thanks
    Christine cross

  • linda balukevich

    Reply Reply May 27, 2013

    Thanks for all the great drawing tips, every one of them will be put to good use. You are helping me become a more well rounded drawer.

  • jackie

    Reply Reply May 27, 2013

    I love to draw hands. So easy to do when you just use your own as the model..It really does take some practice to make them look real and relaxed.j

  • lisa bebi

    Reply Reply April 16, 2013

    somehow i never got to learn the basics of drawing – i skipped drawing 101 and 102 – big mistake. now because of you, i am beginning to understand some of the rules and details. thank you for being generous with your knowledge.

    • Ethan [My Drawing Tutorials]

      Reply Reply April 17, 2013

      Awesome! Your very welcome, Lisa. Hope you get a lot of the of the lessons on this site.

  • ronald

    Reply Reply April 6, 2013

    i draw the hands after i draw the shape of the hand as a mitten and just add the fingers. or straight lines then curve arround them

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