Drawing Hands From Scratch

Jaysen Batchelor
A free video tutorial from Jaysen Batchelor
Illustrator & Designer
4.6 instructor rating • 13 courses • 667,610 students

Lecture description

In this lecture you will be learning how to draw hands from scratch. After this lecture you will know how to draw the hand form without any reference. Understanding this form will allow you to change and exaggerate it to create your character designs.

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23:57:12 of on-demand video • Updated December 2019

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English [Auto] In this lecture, we're going to be learning how to draw the hand, so let's go ahead and begin. So the hand is probably one of the most complex things that you can draw in the human body. But we're going to break it down into some simple shapes and forms that really make it much, much easier to draw the hand. So first, let's start with the palm of the hand. So I want to just draw a hand that straight out like this. We're going to start with this part right here, the Palm. So the basic shape for this is basically just going to be. Kind of a rectangular type of trapezoid. And what we're looking for is something around that size, that shape, but you'll notice that down here, this line is straight and that's going to be down at the wrist and up here where the fingers start. We actually kind of slant this line a little bit. So it's not just a perfectly straight line coming across that's going to make her hand look a lot more accurate. So that's the first mistake a lot of people make because I think the fingers are just on a straight line across, but they actually kind of angle up like that. Next, what we want to do is we want to work out where the longest finger is going to be, which is going to be the middle finger. And so the way we do that is we basically take this distance right here in the middle of the palm and the middle finger should be the same distance. So where we can work that out is if we just use our pencil, we can go like this and then we can just go ahead and kind of work that out like that. All right, great. Next, let's go ahead, just kind of sketch some lines coming off right here and right here for the wrist and the arm, then we'll start to sketch in the thumb so the thumb will come off this side. So the index finger will always be on the longer side of the shape. And we're just going to kind of sketch in a triangle as the base of our thumb. And we'll come back to that in a second. Next, let's go ahead and draw in our fingers. So let's start with the pinky. So I'm just going to draw the outside line for the pinky and then I'll do the index finger like this and then we can go ahead and I'm going to go ahead and divide this in half. So the distance from here to here, we want to divide that in half. So that'll be between the two middle fingers. And then I'll go ahead and divide that space so that it basically all gets divided into quarters, and that will kind of give us a rough idea of where the space should be for our fingers. So you'll notice that the pinky finger in the index finger are kind of pointing out opposite direction. So this is pointing out like that and that's pointing out like that. And that's what we want our fingers spread when we have them like this. And you'll see that how my fingers point out a little bit in opposite directions if we want to make sure we draw that and that will make our hands look more accurate. That's another mistake that if you make sure you draw it that way, your hands will look much better. All right. So our middle finger is right at that height. So this is going to be our middle finger right here. So what I'm to do is I'm just going to go ahead and sketch in kind of two lines like this, just very lightly. They're going to slightly taper in towards the top, but not too much. And then I can go ahead and I can sketch in my index finger. Just like that. And you can see that I'm leaving a little bit of a gap between each finger, you can see that there's some gap in between each one of my fingers. So I want to make sure that we kind of leave that in there. Then our ring finger is going to be a little bit shorter and then our pinky finger is going to be the shortest. OK, that. Then we can go ahead and sketch the Thomond, so for them, we're just going to have it kind of come off like a rectangle like this, a little tapered, and then we can angle upwards like that into kind of a trapezoid. You can kind of point that out a little bit. All right, so there's our basic breakdown. This could actually probably be just a slight bit whiter than. All right, great. And then from here, we can start darkening in and figuring out where our final lines will go. I want to go ahead and start with my fingers so I can just kind of sketch like this. These are straight fingers. So we're not going to really have any bends in them or anything like that. So you can see that it's basically a straight line for the most part. There's a little bit of curve down here at the bottom. So kind of curves and then back out and then it kind of tapers back up towards the front like that. And then I just round the finger off, do the same thing for this one. And we can kind of connect these with kind of a wedding in between each finger like that. And then right here, we're going have the figure come down like that and there's going to kind of a crease there and some between the thumb in this point, your finger and go ahead and draw the thumb in. Kind of smooth that area out a little bit more. And actually, let's have a look at my hand as reference, you can see that the pinky is much shorter and so this is looking kind of weird. So when we draw our fingers, we want to kind of follow kind of a shape or a line like that. All right. So we probably need to actually make the pointer finger shorter and the pinky finger shorter, and that's going to make it look a lot more natural. So it's going to make the pinky finger about that short and we'll shorten the index finger down to about that length right there. And that looks much more accurate. Maybe shorten that time a little bit. Perfect. Now we can go ahead and draw the fingernails for the fingernails. I'm just going to have them go right out to the edge of the finger. So I just need to draw a line coming down that side and that side and then around shaved down there. Same on this one. So it's just slightly curved line and a slightly curved line at the bottom. And for the thumb. Just going to get a shape like that. Perfect, and then let's go ahead and kind of draw some lines in just to kind of represent the knuckles, so right up here we're going to get a little bend and the finger so we can draw a quick little line like that across there. And then right about in the middle of each finger, we're going to get a little bit of a line so you can draw those in as well. And then we can go ahead and kind of just lightly draw some ovals to represent the knuckles. And based off of those, we can kind of add some lines in there just to kind of show that those are the knuckles. And then we kind of get some tendons in between each finger that. You can even kind of sketch in. A little bit of the. Wrist bone right there. Get some more spinning over here as well. And during these lines, and just so we can see it a little bit better. The. Kind of curve the side of that and a little bit more now, especially when you dry hands, I definitely recommend that you look at reference. Luckily you have hands right there on you. Sometimes will be angles you can't look at when you are looking at your own hands. You might have to use some photograph reference, but definitely look at reference because hands are very difficult to draw on, even for me. I sometimes need to look at a little bit of reference. All right. So there's a front facing here. And the reason why we drew this hand is just so I could kind of demonstrate to you the proportions and just general information about drawing the hand. But usually you're not going to be drawing a hand like this. So let's go ahead and break it down into its form so that we have a better understanding of how to draw this. So this shape right here is not just that shape, it's kind of more of a shape like this. So we're drawing it from this angle. We kind of have that front line that we see from this view. But then it kind of is like that. Maybe maybe it can actually angle this down a little bit more for the pose that I'm going to draw so much going to angle to shape down more like that. So that's the basic form of the palm of the hand. It's just something like that, right, and then off that you can kind of draw your risk coming off that, which would kind of be a cylinder or it could have more of a square shape, but something like that coming up. And then for your fingers, you're just basically drawing cylinders so you could just draw a cylinder right here for that finger and then for the next part of the finger, the next joint. Go ahead. Just draw something like that. And draw something like that for that finger and basically all of these fingers, I want sketch them all cylinder's, but you can just imagine that they're all cylinders, right? That I'll go ahead, draw the pinkie in there, so the pinky would also be just kind of a cylinder moving back and then another cylinder, another cylinder. Right, and then you could just really draw that out, finish the hand out. All right, so there's the basic form of the hand. Another thing to mention is when you're drawing the fingers, if you're drawing a straight finger. So let's say we're looking at the finger from the side like this. You're going to get the first knuckle, or I guess that's kind of the last knuckle, and then you'll get a knuckle in the middle and a knuckle down here at this part of the hand. And so for each one of those where the finger bends, you're going to get a slight kind of bump out in the skin. Right. So just kind of like that for each one. And when that finger bends, so if we go ahead and we draw a more bent finger. Could. Then what we get is these bumps really become exaggerated and we get more creases in between them. Right. So like that. So here they're a little bit more straight and there they're going to kind of sort of squish up a little bit more. So we want to make sure that when you're drawing the hand and it's going like that, that those bumps become a little bit more squashed and make them kind of squish out a little bit more. All right. So another common hand form that we're going to be drawing is the fist. When you're drawing characters, a lot of times you might want to be drawing a fist. So let's go ahead and draw that. So we're going to go ahead and just start by sketching out the basic shape. Something like that, and then we'll have the risk coming off of there, and then what I like to do is I like to kind of sketch out where my fingers are going to be. So we're going to be facing the fist is going to be face like this. And so what we want to do is we want to kind of draw each individual finger being clamped down. So what I'll do is I'll just kind of sketch out about where the bottom of those fingers are going to be. Something like that, and then I'm going to draw a line like this, so I'm just kind of sketching out this kind of a shape right there, and it's going to actually be kind of more like a form. So what we get is something like this or kind of dark in these lines a little bit more so you can see better. But on top of this, we kind of get this form going on where we have this top surface up here and then we have the surface right here. And that kind of makes this plane right there. That's kind of more of this plane and this plane is more at the top of my hand. And so that's what we're basically blocking out right there. Then we can go ahead and kind of sketch out the thumb. So kind of do that triangle that we did before kind of engulfed in like that and then do the top of the thumb like that. Again, just look at your reference, look at your own hand, and you'll kind of see the same shapes going on in there. And then we get the palm of the hand right here, so we can just kind of draw that in like that, let we get the other half of the palm right here, just kind of draw that. And like that, you can see it kind of almost looks like a boxing gloves, and that's perfect. That's exactly what we want. So next we want to do is we want to start breaking these up in different fingers. So if you remember, the fingers are supposed to angle out like that. But when you're drawing the hand, actually, they're going to angle inward or when you drawing the first angle inwards, you can see when you look at mine, my pinky angles, angles inwards and my pointer finger angles inwards rather than when I open it. The angle outwards is because I kind of get inverted as they close. So we want to make sure that our lines are slightly angled inward. So my pointer finger right there is kind of angled just the slightest bit inwards. And then my pinky I actually will draw off of this edge. So angle inwards like this, and then I'll go ahead and divide that last space in half for the rest of my fingers and our fingers will fit into each one of those little sections. So I'm going to go ahead and draw those and. So I'm just kind of dividing these up into their own separate fingers, and you see, when I look at my reference, I kind of get these round shapes there and up there. So I just kind I want to copy that in. It's important to notice that this angle right here for this front plane is kind of angled downwards more than the top of the fingers. So you want to make sure that you kind of capture that in their. Know, go ahead and draw this finger in. Something like that. Now, what I'll do is I'll go ahead and kind of erase this a little bit so it's not so dark, but I can use it as a guide for my knuckles are going to be. So these knuckles right here, go ahead and just kind of draw those in that. And actually, this is looking kind of funny, so I'm going to kind of rework some of this. If you make that pinky a little bit thinner. And maybe I'll bring the top of this down just a little bit, I might have been a little bit too ingold. And go and shake this and just to kind of help with the form a little bit more. Kind of the tendons in the rest going on right there. I think each one of these fingers just needed to be rounded out a little bit more, just a little bit more real. All right, great. So there you go. There is a fist. So that's basically how you draw a fist. Now, another common hand pose is going to be kind of the hand hanging down to the side of your character and their hands will just kind of be relaxed with their fingers out like this. So let's go ahead and let's have a look at how to draw that. So if we want to draw that, it's very simple. We can just go ahead and start by kind of drawing this trapezoid shape for the forearm and then we'll just draw the hand coming off that. So we're just going to draw a simple triangle. So we want to keep this straight line coming across here like that and we'll go ahead and draw that triangle in. And then off of this, we can go ahead and we can sketch out the thumb. So I'm going to start by doing one triangle like this just coming off like that, and then I'll do the next joint of the thumb coming off like this. Right. So just very quickly, just using some triangles, we're able to draw the thumb and then we'll do the same thing for the finger. So one finger just kind of hangs off like this. Right. And we just can use a triangle to kind of make that. And then another the next joint kind of hangs off like that. We can do the same thing for the other finger. So the other fingers are going to be mostly covered up. So we just have to kind of draw a triangle there and a triangle right here like that. And you can see that it already starts to look like a hand. We just have to kind of go in there and finish it off and make it look a little bit more accurate so we can go ahead and have this line right here. We can go ahead and. Draw the armon. So we'll just kind of smooth this out a little bit more, maybe add some more definition into the muscle, and this is going to go across the front of the hand, which is going to have a slight bump. Like that, and then we'll get the knuckle right there and then we can go ahead and kind of connect all of these triangles together, at least in this first finger, to kind of make it look a lot more like a real finger. That's kind of starting to look like a cloth's, I'm going to kind of reshape the end of that finger right there. And then this skin right here is just going to kind of wrap around right there from the index finger into the thumb. Kind of smoothed the shape out right there. Nothing is actually looking a little shorter and extend that out just a little bit further. And then we can go ahead and draw this finger here. It's like that, and you'll notice for my fingers, I like to keep it straight on the top and on the bottom, I like to do that round shape like that. And I think this finger needs to actually be a little bit thicker. I'm going to go ahead and kind of thicken that up a little bit. I think that'll look more accurate. Perfect. Now, we could go ahead and add the fingernails. It's just going to draw them in like that's nice and simple scene for the thumb. We could even shoot in these back fingers if we wanted to kind of help them tell the story of that form a little bit more and the depth. Perfect. Now, lastly, let's go ahead and draw one more hand, so the lesson it's going to be it's called the Renaissance Hand, and this is a very common hand that was drawn in a lot of Renaissance paintings and stuff. And what it is, is it's kind of a pose like this where the two middle fingers are touching each other in the other two are angled outwards. And it's just kind of a very relaxed and almost dainty type of hand pose. So usually you'd want to use this on a female, for example. But this is a very common pose as well that you'll probably want to use in some of your characters. So let's go ahead and let's learn how to draw it. Sharpen my pencil really quick. So since this is going to be a female hand, it's a good time to tell you about the difference between the male and the female hand. Obviously, the male hand is going to be a little bit stockier, a little bit thicker. But not only that, but the shapes in the male hand tend to be a little bit more square and the shapes in the female hand tend to be a little bit more round. So, for example, let's go ahead and let's draw the forearm like that and make it a cylinder and I'll go ahead and we'll draw. And the basic shape or the basic form for the palm. But you'll see that I'm going to kind of round it out. So rather than just being kind of square, it's actually more of a round form like this, so you can draw those construction lines in there and you'll see how round it is. All right, perfect. So then based off of that, we can go ahead and kind of sketch in the fingers. So if you remember, we want the pinky to kind of be angled outwards. So this is the pinky and it's going to go out like that. And then for the pointer finger, we want to kind of angle out in the opposite direction so as to draw it like this. I'm also going to go ahead and take my measurement for how long my middle finger should be. So I should be about that long. So extend that out to there. That's how long my middle finger should be. So I actually kind of want to rethink the length of some of these fingers and it should kind of curve around like this. All right, so I'm gonna go ahead and raise my pinky and I'll redraw the sense that they're more like the actual length I need them to be. Something like that for the Pinki. Something like that for the pointer finger. Another thing I like to do is I don't just like to draw a line like this out here to help me guide me on how long my fingers should be. But I like to do the same thing for the middle knuckle. So I'm going to go ahead and draw one of these for the middle knuckle just like that. So that'll give me a good idea of where that middle knuckle should be. And then for my two middle fingers to go ahead and just kind of draw them together so they'll bend down just a slight bit like that for that finger. I'll draw the other finger like this, I don't know, overlap this index finger a little bit. You can see they go together and you can see automatically how cut of more dainty and relaxed that looks. And then the thumb is going to be back here behind the finger, kind of sticking out like that, so because it's back there, we wouldn't really see it. So we're not going to worry about drawing it. All right. So then we can go ahead and we can just finish drawing this out. I'm not going to extend the middle finger a little bit more than maybe shorten the pointer finger a little bit and then we can go ahead and start darkening all the sentence. So we kind of get that curve there, curve there, kind of bumps in the fingers. The next finger. So kind of a bump right there, a bump right there. What kind of get a crisis going on right there and a little bit right there as well. Go to the Michael Engelhardt's downwards that. And then we'll do the pointer finger, just kind of keeping it sort of straight. And right here, the hand will kind of go into the palm here, which will kind of be a little bit puffy like that. Then we can kind of connect this whole line together, just kind of smooth it into each other like that, we could do a little bit of a bump out here just to kind of indicate that's out there where the thumb is. We could also go ahead and kind of draw in the knuckles. What kind of little bumps like that? And also drawing those fingernails. I actually want to bring those all the way to the end. Realistically, your fingernails have a little bit gap there, but it actually looks a lot better if you just kind of bring it to the end. So make sure you draw my fingernails like that. Draw a line for the knuckles as well. All right, great. So there you go, there's the Renaissance in that point, your finger could actually be a little bit shorter, but that's OK. Yeah. So there you go. There's a couple of Campos's. So now I'm going to give you an assignment because hands are really tricky to draw on, even if you drew all these along with me. It's going to take a little bit more practice and there's more hand poses than this. So what I want you to do for this assignment is go to the resources of this lecture and download the two pictures of hands that I have. And then I'm going to have you just draw them like a study like this so you can break it down into form and you can make as detail. There is little detail as you want to. If you want, you can just worry about the forms. Typically when you do a character design, you're probably not going to draw a hand in this much detail. But I want you to take those two pictures and draw them so that you have an understanding of those poses and then go ahead and post them to the Q&A section of the course so that we can see your progress. That brings us to the end of this lecture. Thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next one.