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5 Suprising mistakes people make when drawing hands.

People often draw hands that look like the outline of a chalk drawing from a crime scene. One continuous outline around the hand. Which is nice if that’s the effect you’re going for. HOWEVER If you want to draw hands that look like human hands please, do your self a favour and read on. I get it, we have all been there. I remember when I started drawing, I actually used to just… not have hands in the picture. I evaded hands and ears at all costs. I did portraits of people from the armpits up. They had hair to cover the ears. Simple and efficient. No one ever knew that should they have asked me to draw the hands, they would have ended up with something that resembled fried eggs. AKA blobs.


So how do you level up on your accuracy? Draw your own hands. I draw with my right hand, so, I draw my left when practicing. The image above is a quick sketch i did in about ten minutes while I was battling artists block. I gets my brain fired up because i really have to think about what I am doing; the placement of the fingers, defining where shadows originate from, and determining the proportions of each individual component. Mistake number 1: Fingers are drawn in one continuous line Traditionally, I will define the whole shape and hone down on the features utilizing negative spacing. I actually do the opposite when I sketch out hands. In the picture above I started with the main focus point, which, for me, was the center of the hand. I marked out the main shadow shape the fingers curled around. Then I drew the flingers extending out from that central space. By doing so, I am able to accurately draw the fingers on the right angles and towards the right direction. As i am drawing a 3D object, I also work from the front of the hand to the back of the hand. This also helps my brain to process that not every finger will be 100% in focus. Parts of the fingers will be hidden as they move further away. The lines of the fingers should never have to compensate due to their position. If you are drawing a hand that is in a different gesture, try to find the point at which the fingers extend from. You will find the hand structure is portrayed more naturally. Mistake number 2: The fingers are drawn as one continuous line. The fingers are a 3d object that have segments that need to be recognized in the sketch. The fingers are made up of three segments. -From the knuckles to the first joint -From the first joint to the second joint -From the second joint to the tip of the finger elaboration beyond this includes the finger nails and cracks in the skin on the joints. These do do sit flat on the finger. For example, the fingernail is curved around the finger. I draw all these sections separately like they are their own island and gradulaly connect them together to create a whole hand. The same goes for drawing the palm, the top of the hand and the wrist.


Mistake number 3: Fingers drawn like little soldiers that sit on the hand. The fingers are connected to the hand with webbing. Not massive webbing so we a ducks, but if you look carefully, there is actually a space between each finger that kind of slope the finger into the hand. Take note of this. Mistake number 4: Mistake number three leads me into mistake number 4, which is: there is actually space between each finger. Mistake number 5: Fingers are drawn at the same length and point in the same direction. I like to draw a fan around the area where i expect the finger to end tp give me a rough guide of the length of each finger. This technique also help me to understand the angle in which the fingers protrude out from the hand.

If you would like to improve sketching hands book a private ZOOM lesson with Samantha HERE

Well I hope this helps you in your endeavours to sketch out a hand. AND you don’t need a photograph of a hand to draw one. You already have two hands, so look at them and get to it!


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