How to Draw Hands (Beginner + Advanced) Hand Drawing Tips (2024)

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  • Last Updated:September 21, 2022
  • Written by:Elisabeth Larson Koehler

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How to Draw Hands (Beginner + Advanced) Hand Drawing Tips (1)

How to Draw Hands (Beginner + Advanced) Hand Drawing Tips (2)

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Learning how to draw hands can sometimes seem intimidating at first. However, once you break it down it won’t seem so difficult! To learn something more complicated you just need to start with the simple elements first and build from there.

How to Draw Hands (Beginner + Advanced) Hand Drawing Tips (3)

This article will help you to get a basic start in understanding everything to do with the drawing of hands. Before we delve much further though, we first need to understand the basic structure of hands and how the bones and muscles work.

Basic anatomy of hands

There are 27 bones in each hand, not counting the sesamoid bones. These bones give the hand its structure and form. It is helpful to see and understand the muscles attached to these bones as they are what form the structure that we see on the surface of the hand.

The intrinsic muscles are those that are found within the hand itself and attach to the bones of the hand. Fortunately for the artist these are not visible on the hand surface so we don’t need to concern ourselves much with them. These intrinsic muscles allow us to move our fingers in a very precise way-such as when we are doing delicate tasks such as threading a needle.

The extrinsic muscles are those that attach the hand to the forearm. These muscles allow us to open and close our hand as well as move the hand from side to side. In babies and young people these tendons are hidden. However, they are much more visible in the hands of adults and the aged.

How to Draw Hands (Beginner + Advanced) Hand Drawing Tips (5)

Here you can study a simplified drawing of the muscles that are on the hand. You can do a drawing study yourself of the muscles of the hands. It helps to know what is beneath the surface of the skin – so you can understand the structure of the hand better.

Block structure of hands

We want to simplify and understand the basic structure of hands if we are to draw them well. This helps you to achieve a realistic and dimensional quality in the hands you draw. It also helps the whole process of hand drawing become approachable and less daunting.

How to Draw Hands (Beginner + Advanced) Hand Drawing Tips (6)

The basic block structure of the hand can be seen in the drawing above. You can see how it progressively builds off of a simple shaped line drawing and becomes more three dimensional. This method is a good way to start when you are learning how to draw hands.

How to Draw Hands (Beginner + Advanced) Hand Drawing Tips (7)

You will notice that each part of the hand has been broken down into a more simplistic form. This makes it much easier to understand how to place the parts

How to draw hands from a block structure

Once you have the basic structure of hands down, it is time to start refining your drawings to make them look more realistic. As you refine a hand drawing more, continue to visualize it in terms of blocks. Notice in the drawing below how the hand is more refined but still has a strong 3 dimensional quality about it. Doing this lays a good foundation for the rest of the hand drawing.

How to Draw Hands (Beginner + Advanced) Hand Drawing Tips (8)

Of course you don’t need to keep the ‘blocky’ structure of the drawing. In fact, I recommend for you to refine it even further in such a way that it feels more real but still retains a strong 3 dimensional quality. In the drawing below we can see an example of a hand drawing that is taken quite far past the ‘blocky’ stage.

How to Draw Hands (Beginner + Advanced) Hand Drawing Tips (9)

Drawing hands in different positions

Now that you have the basic structure and form of hands down, you can start practicing drawing them in different positions. This is important as it helps to further your understanding of how the hand works. It also helps to increase your repertoire as an artist.

How to Draw Hands (Beginner + Advanced) Hand Drawing Tips (10)

When you draw hands in different positions use the basic block structure first to figure out the angles and general form. You can see an example of this in the diagram above. Notice how basic shapes can be used to figure out various different hand positions.

Once you have the basic form of the hand down, start refining it to look more realistic. Remember to think about the different planes that make up the hand as you draw.

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Developing your hand drawing skills

As you draw hands more you will be able to visualize them mentally as a block structure and can forgo drawing the block structure out first. So you can go straight into drawing real natural looking hands. Getting to this place requires consistent and deliberate practice.

Start observing and drawing your own hands

How to Draw Hands (Beginner + Advanced) Hand Drawing Tips (12)

One of the very best ways to develop your hand drawing skills is to observe and draw from your own! Also, training your mind to visualize different hand positions will help you to develop your hand drawing skills faster.

You can also always ask your friends to model their hands for you to draw from. Observing different kinds of hands will help you to understand them better.

Also look at other artists drawings of hands and study how they have captured the hand in line, tone and form. You can learn a lot from studying the drawings of other artists.


Hello! I'm Elisabeth Larson Koehler

Art Studio Life exists for you to be able to stay inspired, learn, and improve your skills.

How to Draw Hands (Beginner + Advanced) Hand Drawing Tips (15)
How to Draw Hands (Beginner + Advanced) Hand Drawing Tips (16)


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4 thoughts on “How to Draw Hands (Beginner + Advanced) Hand Drawing Tips”

  1. How to Draw Hands (Beginner + Advanced) Hand Drawing Tips (17)


    September 24, 2022 at 5:07 pm

    Excellent guide as always!


  2. How to Draw Hands (Beginner + Advanced) Hand Drawing Tips (19)


    September 23, 2022 at 3:51 am

    My congratulations for your nice lesson of anatomy. Despite the fact that I am doctor in medecine it was a pleasure to read your article
    Thank you very much


    1. How to Draw Hands (Beginner + Advanced) Hand Drawing Tips (20)

      September 23, 2022 at 6:57 pm

      I am so glad you enjoyed this article! Thank you for sharing Helena 🙂


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How to Draw Hands (Beginner + Advanced) Hand Drawing Tips (2024)


How do I get better at drawing hands? ›

Always use a reference. It's important to use reference images, no matter your illustration skill level. Whether you look at a photo, take pictures of your own hand, or ask a friend to model different hand gestures, have a guide at your side.

Why is it so difficult to draw hands? ›

Why are hands so difficult to draw? They're a very intricate part of our body. You're so familiar with hands that even the smallest mistakes can make them look off, especially when trying to draw them in proportion with a body.

What is the hardest thing to learn to draw? ›

What are the hardest things to draw? Some of the most challenging things to draw include facial expressions, foreshortening of the human body, drapery folds, drawings based on your ideas instead of a direct reference, hands, movement, and gestures.

What is the first thing a beginner artist should learn? ›

An essential skill to learn as a beginning artist, whether drawing or painting, is perspective. If you want to achieve three-dimensional art, knowing perspective is key, including how to find the horizon line, determine the vanishing point and an overview of linear perspective.

How do you draw a perfect hand? ›

Sketch a box to serve as the main shape of the palm and add a wedge on one side to serve as the base for the thumb. Sketch a circle for each finger that will connect to the palm. Sketch cylinders and spheres to build the shape of each finger. Sketch the shape of the hand using the basic shapes as a guide.

How can I improve my hand coordination for drawing? ›

7 Hand-Eye Coordination Exercises for Artists
  1. Use it as a mouse.
  2. Circle the dots.
  3. Cross hatching.
  4. Play snake.
  5. Tutorials for children.
  6. Colouring book.
  7. Tracing.

Is drawing a hand skill? ›

Yes. Drawing is a hand skill.

How do I get better at freehand drawing? ›

A Guide to Free-Hand Drawing for Total Beginners
  1. Tip 1: Loosen up your mind and imagination. ...
  2. Tip 2: Make your observations your biggest inspirations. ...
  3. Tip 3: Always have your sketchbook and pencil with you. ...
  4. Tip 4: Concentrate and always improve on your proportions. ...
  5. Tip 5: Make your drawings more realistic with depth.

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