How to Draw Hands Step by Step

How to Draw Hands Step by Step
How to Draw Hands Step by Step

Drawing is a form of expression one which most individuals embrace wholeheartedly. However, drawing some aspects of the human form can be hard to pull off, especially if you are drawing them for the first time. For instance, it’s hard to draw a realistic hand that people will appreciate your first attempt at drawing it.

When it comes to drawing the human form things can become a little tricky, especially when it comes to representing complex aspects of the human body.

How to draw a Hand? To draw a hand from observation, you will need to complete the following steps.

  • Draw and Develop the Shape of the Palm
  • Draw the Five Knuckles
  • Measure and Draw the Fingers
  • Drawing the Finger Joints
  • Draw Circles to Represent each Joint
  • Draw the Thumb
  • Draw an Outline of the Hand

If you follow this guide, you will learn how to draw the most amazing realistic hands just like a professional. There are various techniques used in drawing hands all to make the hand more realistic.

How to Draw Hands Tutorial

How to Draw Hands? The simplest and most proficient way to drawing hands is by understanding proportions and borns structure first. You must have the image of the skeleton structure before proceeding to the whole hand.

Pieces of equipment you will need.

  • HB Pencil
  • 4B Pencil
  • Tissue paper for blending
  • Drawing Pad or Sketchbook

Step One: Draw and Develop the Shape of the Palm

Using your HB pencil start by drawing a rectangle which should be more vivid to make your sketch visible. Then make a slope from the top left corner to the right side of the triangle. Ensure that the right side of the slope dips down lower than the left side when drawing the back of the right, the opposite applies for the left hand.

Please look at this drawing and sketching video course I have createdUse this link.

Step Two: Draw the Five Knuckles

Since you are dealing with five fingers, you have to draw five circles to represent the position of each finger. Four circles should be drawn along the curve, while the last fifth one should be lower. The fifth circle indicates the thumb that is why it has to be isolated from all the rest. Once you have the circles well placed, you can move to the next step.

Step Three: Measure and Draw the Fingers

Each finger has a different height, which is what one must consider when drawing fingers. To determine the length of each finger, the measurement should be done for the wrist to the knuckles. The middle finger is the largest; hence we can use it to find the height of the other three fingers beside it. Using the curve technique draw another curve from the tallest finger. It should resemble the one illustrated in step one.

Step Four: Drawing the Finger Joints

Each finger must have joints, that’s what makes it more real. But how do you add joints to the fingers?

First, add 2 ticks on the middle finger which are quarter of the way down. Using the ticks draw 2 more curves from the ticks to indicate joints for each of the 3 fingers.

Step Five: Draw Circles to Represent Each Joint

On each joint you have created, you should add new circles ranging from small, medium to large.

Step Six: Draw the Thumb

When drawing the thumb first draw a curved line coming from the bottom left of the circle. Depending on how the thumb is spreading out, you will consider the height of the thumb first. Ensure you have measured the height of the thumb then draw a circle at the halfway point then add another circle halfway for the joint.

Step Seven: Draw an Outline of the Hand

Once you have completed coming up with the sketch for the hand its time to draw the outline. You can start by increasing the fat between each finger joint to make it more chubby or decrease the fat and make the joints strick out to make it more skinnier. Incorporate some webbing between each finger to make it more human-like by connecting each finger with webs.

Once you have mastered this basic form of hand drawing, Then you are ready to advance to more complicated levels.

Using the techniques above you can draw different hand gestures and use them in your drawing to bring out a more realist structure of the hand.

This is just the first technique you can use in your quest. Let’s move to the second one which is more straightforward and easy to master.

How to Draw Hands for Kids

This is one of the techniques people often incorporate in their drawing since its fast and simple to use,

Step One: Place your hand on the sheet and draw the outline using your pencil. Then mark seven points and later connect them.

Step Two: Using your pencil connect the points using a single line connects the straight line to one another. Bringing out the general appearance of the hand.

Step Three: Using a ruler or something that can draw straight lines based on your imagination of how the real hand might appear.

Step Four: Once you have drawn the actual hand, you can erase all the line you hand drawn, leaving your hand with joint and some outlines.

Step Six: After the hand looks more realistic you can spice up the hand by adding a little detail. The more detailed your hand drawing is, the more realistic it appears.

Making a detailed hand ( going beyond structure )

Understanding the structure of the hand is one step in making the best out of your drawing. What if you want to do more than the structure.

Once you have master the art of drawing a realistic hand, then you can proceed to draw a real hand. Imagine how amused your peers will be when they see how advanced you have grown in such as short time.

However, it’s not a guarantee that you can manage to pull this off within a short period, but with more practice, the sky is the limit to the level how much you can draw.

To draw a hand beyond is structure means adding more details. For instance, you can show the age of the individual’s hand. The big question is how do you do this?

Following this guide, you will be able to draw a hand beyond its structure. Meaning you will be able to draw a child’s hand, masculine hands, feminine hands and even or even add more details on the health issue of the individuals. You can communicate different messages using a simple hand drawing.

We shall have a look at what characteristics make a hand appear young, Sick or healthy. Covering the skin tone, nails, wrinkles, folds and so on.

Drawing Elderly hands


The first part is getting the structure right. Using the methods provided above, all this should be a piece of cake. When drawing the structure consider elderly people have low body fat hence the joints but be vivid. Also find the length of the fingers, to show female or male Elderly hands.

2. The Skin
Using a 0.5mm HB mechanical pencil create layers of circles with the same pressure . While doing this avoid shading the nails, you can also use 2B or even 4B for darker areas between the bones and around the tendons. Using this technique will help you come up with a more realistic skin structure. Avoid smudging or blending; otherwise, you will lose the realistic appearance.

3. The Veins, Wrinkles and Folds
Using a blunt 2B pencil should be the key to drawing lines where there are folds, wrinkles, and veins. Afterward, you can use the shading technique on each.

When drawing fingernails consider 3 main areas, namely the lunule, body of the nail and the free edge.
In real life when you look at your nails, you will notice many lines stretching across the nail. This leads to light getting reflected off from the nail surface. This means you will have to draw a line to a section of the area you need to be highlighted.

Proper shading brings out a realistic appearance.

Drawing Masculine Hands

1. Structure
To draw masculine hands, the lower joints must be enlarged. This takes us to the first part where you must expand the lower joints of each of the four hands. The smaller joints to the thumb will also appear to be more prominent in the dominant hand.

2. Skin
By incorporating a blunt HB pencil, you can use circular motions to draw the skin, using a blending tool to smooth out the texture. To make the surface skin more realistic use lines and shapes and avoid using intense pressure on the drawing.

3. The Veins, Wrinkles and Tendons
Masculine hands tend to have lots of veins, you can use a real male hand while drawing to avoid overdoing it.

4. Fingernails
Use short fingernails with a more rugged look, considering most masculine hands are used to hard work it hard to find one with long nails.

How to Draw Feminine Hands

1. Structure
The feminine is among the simplest to draw, given the fact that you don’t need a lot of emphasis on the joints and knuckles.

2. The skin
The skin of a feminine hand is drawn similar to that of the male texture where you make circular motion and blend, but for the female hands avoid the harsh lines and shapes. It should generally appear smooth.

3. Veins, Wrinkles, Tendons
Unlike the masculine hands, feminine hands have less vein, it’s hardly visible.

4. fingernails
The fingernails should be longer, but not too long .You don’t want to scare people with your drawing. However, all you want to draw the nails, consider they grow curving inwards.

How to Draw Baby Hands

1. The structure
When drawing baby hands add thickness between each joint and making the tips appear round. Also, ensure that they are beautiful and plump and don’t modify the bottom two thumb joints.

2. The skin
Naturally, baby hands are smooth and attractive, hence use you a 2B pencil to gently make light circles blending them using a tissue paper. To make a cute chubby hand use gradual shadows where necessary.

3. Dimples
One distinguishing feature about baby hands is the dimples. Every child’s hand must have a dimple especially when the fingers stretch. Using a 2B pencil, you can draw this dimples highlighting the space around it. Ensure you have placed the dimples correctly to avoid odd appearances.

4. Wrinkles and Folds
Wrinkles are common in all hands even baby hands but are very few in baby hands. When drawing wrinkles in baby hands ensure they appear thick (achieve by gradual shading ).

5. Fingernails
To portray a healthy baby its best to draw smooth, shiny nails. This show that the baby is in great shape.
Drawing a realistic hand is no easy task most people have tried and end up giving up. The same saying goes, practice makes perfect. It takes time to master the art of perfection and accuracy but once you have all that in your fingertips you are invincible.

Why are Hands so Hard to Draw?

  1. There is a time when you want to draw a lady's hand, and you end up with male hands. Here is where all the trouble begins. Most beginners tend to cling to the idea that hands are not that important focusing on the facial aspects forgetting the hands.
  2. The second reason why hands are hard to draw is because of the techniques used to draw the hand. Most people start by putting to much detail on the drawing when they can draw a simple outline of the hand, then processed to the more complicated step. Most people who don’t start with the outline end up drawing irregularly shaped hands. But you will be surprised by how much you can achieve following the steps.
  3. Hands also need some time to master, following the methods provided above. You can draw your own hands to draw a full body with amazing hands or even opt or portray a message with elderly hands.
    Add a little fun to the task, by drawing different gestures when practicing to draw a hand.

Sketching the Hands

It is a common belief among artists that hands are the hardest part of the human body to draw. And also given the fact that those hands are incredibly expressive, the artists need to have a vivid idea of what would he like to draw, before drawing it.

  • It starts with the palm, by drawing a rectangle that needs to be a little bit longer than a square with slop at the top. The right side will be a bit more down than the left, this needs to be done when drawing the back of a hand.
  • Fingers can be drawn by starting with the drawing of five circles at the top with an even amount of spacing between them. These circles represent the knuckles. The fifth circle is supposed to be drawn last, and this one represents the thumb, which is located at the bottom left side.
  • The next step includes the measurements. The more natural way to determine the length of each finger more accurately is by measuring the distance from the wrist to the knuckles and to duplicate it.
  • Finally, when all fingers have been drawn, it is time to draw the joints. It can be done by adding two more ticks on the middle finger, that is almost one-quarter of the way down, and using then after to draw two more curves.
  • Two draw the thumb, you need to first draw a line that comes out of the bottom left circle.
  • The final step includes drawing an outline around the structure. If you want the hand to be chubbier or skinnier, you just need to increase or decrease the line that represents the fat on the hand.
  • While making yourself a pro when it comes to drawing hands, you can also use another hand drawing and sketches as guides or references.
  • With enough practice, you will be able to draw one by yourself really easy. And as stated before, make sure to visualize the hand before drawing it, and also make sure to pay attention to even the smallest of details.
  • After the sketching of the hand has been all finished, the next step to take is to add some color and shade to it.
  • Adding color can be natural, but adding a shade can be harder and trickier than most people think.

How to Shade The Hand

  • Shading is the process that comes after drawing and sketching, and it means applying various levels of value to produce a more lifelike subject matter, and to give it more depth and form.
  • The development of correct shading techniques is essential if you are seeking to create a realistic-looking drawing. You will find a great advantage in improving your understanding of lights, contours, and planes are crucial. They are vital when you want to give life to your drawing and make it more realistic.
  • First of all, to get to the basics of shading, you will need some basic knowledge at least, of pencil types of pencil grades and later find the right one that can be used for the drawing.
  • A typical set of pencils includes 9H and; labeled as the hardest and 9B and; labeled as the softest.
  • For example, If you are drawing elderly looking hands, you need to keep in mind that they have less body fat, so the outline that represents the fat needs to be decreased.
  • For the skin, it is preferable to use a 0.5 mm HB pencil to create the layers of circles with even amount of pressure. 2B or 4B can be used to darken the areas between the bones or around the tendon if you want the hand to look skinnier.
  • To keep the realistic view and look of the hand, you need to avoid blends and smudges, but if you have to do it, use an HB pencil to add some extra layers of circles.
  • For veins, wrinkles and folds should be used the 2B pencil to draw cleaner lines. A different technique is used for each of them.
  • Veins need more gradual and soft shading, wrinkles need less continuous, darker valleys and more extended highlights opposed to the folds which needlessly extended highlights.

The last step is to get the Fingernails Right

  • For making it easier to draw them, you should start off by drawing three main areas. On a fingernail you can notice lots of lines, stretching along the entire nail.
  • These lines can cause the light to break, which means the nails are going to be mixed with darker and lighter shades.
  • If you want to draw a hand that is more masculine looking, you need to enlarge the bottom row of joints and to illustrate the thumb you need to widen the bottom two bones.
  • To make the skin look more realistic, you can do it with drawing circles with a little blending to smooth the texture. As for the veins and wrinkles, the lines need to be narrow and shallow.
  • Fingernails need to be short with a lot of texture and a more rugged look.
  • Hands are expressive, and you can draw them holding together, holding something, pointing to something and lots of other positions.
  • Each and every one of these positions requires a different technique, not just for drawing but also shading it.
  • It looks hard and yes, it is hard, but if an artist does his or her homework at home, with enough practice they can get to the point where the hand is perfect looking.

They will encounter lots of difficulties while doing it, but in the end, all of the hard work will pay off.

Tips for Drawing a Hand

  • Use real images when practicing to draw, to learn to shade your hand efficiently.
  • Use different types of pencils to bring out the realistic image of the hand.
  • Avoid using a lot of pressure when shading to keep your work clean and attractive.
  • Use the correct outlines for different hands to bring out the best end results.
  • Only you can dictate how good you can get in hand drawing. Even the best start from somewhere, feel encouraged with your drawing and learn from your mistake.
  • In case you don't get it correct, make a reference to the guidelines provided above maybe you missed a step.
  • Remember every step is ideal for making you work a masterpiece.

Create Art With My Favourite Drawing Resources

General Drawing Courses. I like Udemy if you want to develop your knowledge of drawing techniques. Udemy is an excellent choice due to its wide range of creative courses and excellent refund policy. They often have monthly discounts for new customers, which you can check here. Use my link.

Sketching and Collage. Take a look at this sketching resource I have created. Use this link.

Proko. Is one of my favorite teachers who surpasses in the teaching of Anatomy and Figure drawing. Prokos course breaks down the drawing of the human body into easy-to-follow components aiding the beginner to make rapid progress. For this, I really like Proko.

Art Easels. One of my favorite ways to draw is by using a drawing easel, which develops the skill of drawing on a vertical surface. The H frame easel is an excellent vertical way to add variety to the style and type of marks you create when using a drawing board.

To see all of my most up-to-date recommendations, check out this resource I made for you.


I hope you have enjoyed reading this post. This post has informed you about the many ways in which you can draw your hands. All the ideas are equally appealing and give different results. You only have to choose what method you want to use to illustrate hands.

The drawing style you use will be chosen according to the requirement of your drawing. Afterward, it is straightforward to get that fantastic drawing of hands with your pencil. So what are waiting for? Grasp a piece of paper and pencil and create your own drawing now.


Ian Walsh is the creator and author of and an Art teacher based in Merseyside in the United Kingdom. He holds a BA in Fine Art and a PGCE in teaching Art and Design. He has been teaching Art for over 24 Years in different parts of the UK. When not teaching Ian spending his time developing this website and creating content for the improvedrawing channel.

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How to Draw Hands Step by Step