Drawing Hands

If there’s anything that any artist has troubles with when he or she first
starts drawing, a large amount of them would have to say
“Hands.”  And with good reasoning–the hands look different from
almost every angle, and are so technical.   Luckily, you and I have two
good models to pose for you when drawing, your left and right hand.  (If
you don’t have two hands and you’re drawing, more power to you.)
Although for most people, drawing and looking at their hands at the same time
is pretty hard.  If you have a simple digital camera you can use that, or
you can look for the pose you’re trying to draw on Google.

of the Hand

handbig.jpg (23691 bytes)

The hand is a bit complicated in that each finger moves in
3 joints.  But even with the fingers straight, it’s a bit
complicated.  The following is an example of one of my early drawings
and what I had to overcome in only 2 years.

bad.jpg (14178 bytes) ß

Granted, that’s in pen, and my example to the left is in pencil, I have
learned many things over the years.  It is stuff that is so obvious, you
normally wouldn’t think about it when drawing.

First off, where the palm of the hand ends, and where the fingers begin is
normally the halfway point, when the bottom of the palm and the top of the
middle finger is the whole object.  So, the middle finger is about as
tall as the palm.

Secondly, each finger is a different size.  It tends to be that the
middle finger is the largest, and the pinky is the smallest.  However,
the ring finger and the index finger are different sizes depending on the
gender.  If the person is male, the ring finger is larger, though if the
person is female, her index finger is the larger.

And finally, take some time on the hands.  Try to make the fingers
look realistic.   If they look too fat, then take the time to make them
look right.  Partly, the hands take time and practice to draw right, but
that hard work really pays off.

Step by Step

When you draw hands, it’s easier to use models as your reference.
Models can be found anywhere from internet searches to your own two
hands.  The references I use below come from Wynd‘s gallery of hands.
(Thanks for letting me use it.)

Step Easy Example Harder Example
Step 1:

Find a reference to work off of.  It can be a photo, somebody else,
or even your own hands.  Pictures are generally easier to find and
easier to use.

Step 2:

Stake out the grounds.  Create the basic shape of the hand.
Don’t try for detail, but rather, proportions and size.

Step 3:

Using the sticks drawn in the previous step, extend the lines to
approximately their boundaries.

Step 4:

Build off of the base you created.  Pay close attention to the detail
of every line in the actual source and try to recreate them.  You may
end up erasing every original line, but that’s a good sign.  Spend
most of your time on this step.

Step 5:

Work off of that rough sketch.  Ink it, color it, whatever.


Take your time, and you’ll get where you want to go.  It takes a lot of
skill and years of practice to become good enough to not need a reference.
No tutorial will help you with that.  Just doodle hands every chance you
get and you’ll learn enough about hands to draw them with ease.  Just keep
a big eraser nereby.

Guy’s Head (Front)

This is an original post by The Animaster in 2003

This is a quick way to draw a boy’s head. Actually, I use the term ‘boy’ lightly here. This guy’s a guy, wouldn’t want to call him ‘boy’.
Draw the face. An anime guy is typically rougher in nature compared to the delicate anime girl. Start with a line, more or less curved, going down. Halfway, or slightly more down the center of the estimated face height, branch the line into a straight, sharp one, going to the center. A guy’s chin is usually more broad, so make a curved line for the chin like so. Then start another sharp line diagonally up, and continue the line to finish the rest of this side.
Draw the nose. A guy’s nose is more triangular than a girl’s, with less curves. Start with a rather straight line going down, then make a line branching off from that, curved or not, and finish with another line of your choice.
Draw the eyes. Start with the upper eye lines. Depending on where the nose faces (or in this case, where the shadowed area of it is), that’s where you start drawing the first line. In this example, since the shadowed area is on the character’s left side, I start drawing the upper eye line there, from the inside going out.
Draw the ears. This is a simple task, but remember that the ear should be in correct alignment with the eyes. Notice how the tip of the ears go slightly above the top eye level. So begin the line from the top eye level, going up, then curving down, slightly below the bottom eye level.
Draw the hair. But not all of it yet. Draw only the part which separates the boundary of the face and the hair/head
Draw the head line. This is a very important line, which helps in determining where to place the outer rim of the hair. This line is an extension of the face lines, sort of the ‘skull’ of the character.
Draw the rest of the hair. Now that you can see where the head ends, you can top it with hair, not so bulgy, and not too flat either. Just right.
Draw the neck. Start with the two neck lines, then the collar bone lines, the throat lines, and last, the shoulder blades
Draw the mouth. Almost forgot to? By now you might’ve already. Sometimes I draw the mouth after drawing the nose… or the eyes. You can draw the mouth between any of the steps, I guess. Touch up any other part, and you’re finished. Now you can draw the rest of the body.


Girls Head (Front)

    This is a quick way to draw a girl’s head. The girl here is someone between 14 to 20 years old. Younger anime girls have wider cheeks, and usually larger eyes. But I guess the majority of you guys and gals would probably want to draw teenagers, right? Afterall… it is the most shapely thing to draw. 
     First, draw the face lines. I usually start with the left, going to the right. Start by drawing a slightly curved line down, then, slightly halfway down the estimated height of the face, make another, steeper curved line inwards to the center of the face. 

     From the bottom (chin), start another curved line up. This will complete the chin, but not the full side of the face. The rest of the face ends with a line on the other side, going down. 

Draw the nose. Here, the girl’s nose is a little squiggly, triangular shape. The first line is drawn going downwards. Then, draw a sharp line upwards, and continue with a curved line. 
     Draw the Eyes. First, start with the upper eye lines. Usually, depending on the where the nose faces, that’s where you start drawing the first line. Here, since the nose seems to be facing (rather, shadowing) the character’s left side, I start drawing on that side. Start the eye line from the inside of the face goin outwards. Do the other eye line from the out going in. 
Continue drawing so. 
Draw the ears. You can start from either side of the face: it doesn’t really matter. But start from the top, going down.
Draw the hair… but not all yet. Just draw the part which divides the face from the rest of the head, such as this.
Draw the head line. This is the boundary of your anime character’s head. This is very helpful in deciding where to place the outer lines of the hair/head.
Draw the rest of the hair. By using the head line, you can tell exactly how much hair to put above it.
Draw the neck. If you want, you may draw the mouth first, but I usually draw the neck first… I dunno why… just instinct I guess. First, draw the two lines for the neck, followed by the collar bone line, the shoulder blades, then the throat line. 
Finally, if you haven’t drawn the mouth yet, do so now. Then you’re ready to draw the rest of the body.