Tutorial #2: Hands

I’ve always avoided doing tutorials before because I felt like if I made one, it was like trying to declare that I know best. And I don’t. Art is beautifully subjective and everyone draws differently. Which is why art is so COOL. Nothing I say here is something you must go by. And you may enjoy working in a way completely contrary to me. That’s totally cool. But these are just my observations, the types of things I look at and keep in mind while I’m drawing. And I hope you find it interesting!

Also, I know the -normal- way that everyone does a tutorial is to draw a million pictures for you to look at and reference. Well, I’m not going to do that. Because there are a million other tutorials for you to look at for that. I’m going to teach you to observe and do this on your own. Mostly I’m just trying to point out the kinds of things I keep in mind while drawing, and that I think it’s important people notice while drawing certain these subjects. 

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Well! You guys had a lot of interest in different subjects for tutorials, but Hands was high up on the list so I’ll start with that! (You may regret getting me started on the subject)

First, I’d like to say how much this pleases me. I hope this means that you guys enjoy the way I draw hands. I LOVE drawing hands. As you probably know since I often sit around rambling about how much I love hands. This is not to say I always draw them perfectly. I’ve drawn my share of wonky hands and you know what? That’s okay, I’m only human. That’s life, that’s art. So get that into your head because that is my number one lesson: You can not, and will not, always draw everything perfectly. Don’t beat yourself up about it! I certainly try not to. 

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The thing about hands is that they are beautifully expressive. Five digits that can move independently. That can stretch out, curl and make infinite gestures, hands are wonderful! If you know what you’re doing, you can show a character’s emotion through their hands alone. A girl is nervous, so she twists the hem of her shirt between her fingers. A boy is angry, so he clenches his hands into fists. A man is impatient, so he taps his finger on his desk. If you saw someone doing any of these things with their hands, would you even have to look at their face, to know how they felt? Probably not.

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And you know what else is awesome about hands? You have them. You have two perfect models attached to your very own wrists. You can stare at them all day while you draw them. Don’t forget to check out your own hands and see what poses are or are not natural for them.

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Now, on to the actual drawing part. Things to keep in mind!

Fingernails. Really, do not skip drawing the fingernails. If you do, it looks as though your character has gloves on, or as if their fingers are oddly fleshy and bare. Fingernails are not hard to draw, and you dont even have to draw them in any detailed fashion. Even just a little mark to indicate the nail is fine, but do acknowledge them!  

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Knuckles. We have them! Now this varies between men and women. If you are trying to draw a girl’s delicate hand, you probably will not emphasize her knuckles, but you should still show a hint of them. It’s a bit more realistic, plus, it helps show the structure of the hand. (It’s also just more interesting to look at in my opinion). Again, just small indications of the knuckles is all you need, you dont need to draw everything in aching detail. On the flip side, when drawing a man’s hand, the knuckles would be more prominant. It just looks -manlier- when you show muscles and sharp bones. (Disclaimer! These are my personal opinons, do whatever you want, it’s your drawing!) 

 

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THUMBS! The little bastard who does his own thing. I guess the thing I try to pay attention to while drawing thumbs is the fleshy bit of your palm that is affected by the thumb’s movement. (Yes, I use such technical terms.) I see this mistake made often, so just make sure when drawing the line of your palm, that it doesn’t meet the thumb exactly, it actually starts from above the thumb… er… well just look at the drawing, it’s easier to explain in pictures. 

I guess my last comment would be hands at rest. When a hand is relaxed, it’s not flat out. Just relax your own hand and see, the fingers curl themselves in naturally. So if you are drawing someone at ease, don’t draw their hand with their fingers all stretched out and palm flat, but with the fingers curling in just a little bit. (Not a fist either, that’s a sign of tension). Just… Relaxed!

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Anyway, I hope this was useful to y’all and that it will provide some help when you draw hands in the future! 

Tags: Tutorial