How to Start a Drawing of your Hand

So, hopefully you have checked out How to Start a Drawing by beginning with simple guidelines. Now let’s apply similar steps to begin a drawing of our hand, and then finish the drawing up with some simple shading.

Don’t freak out yet! Yes, hand are complicated, but everything is made up of simple forms, like the cylinders we began last lesson with. We work with the hands a lot in 10 Steps to Drawing, because they can be so expressive and architectural at the same time.

Those First Few Marks

Look for Big shapes First, then Small shapes… 

Step 1: Begin with the End in Mind: What scale are you drawing? (large or small?) Where will this fit on your page? (top, bottom, middle?) Is there room to grow in case you have to adjust the proportions as you draw?

Step 2: Find the “aura” of your hand, imagining it has a light shape surrounding its outline. Use the air-drawing technique to practice the curves, then commit to lightly drawing a guiding shape on your page

Step 3: Find the biggest shape or curve in the hand that pops out to you. Here it is the rounded rectangular shape of the thumb. Less is more at this stage. I’m using pen but I’m still drawing lightly.

Consider also the curve between the fingers. Imagine a light arcing line connecting them, and lightly draw it in as a guide your fingers will fit within later.

use guidelines…

Step 4: What is the next biggest shape that pops out to you? (Avoid details!) Search for the Negative Space (between and around the fingers and around the hand) and draw those “shapes” to maintain proportions. .

Don’t worry if you have to adjust away from the original guidelines your put in. They’re only there as a suggestion

Step 5: Begin to find the areas which are shaded on the hand, and for now evenly cross hatch lightly in a value-map.

Step 6: Start to add variety to the quality of your lines. Where should the lines be thicker? Thinner? What kind of hatching or blending can you use to create a full value scale (a range from light to dark?)

Step 7: Now that you’ve got your hand’s architecture in, go for more detail: texture and shading. Remember to consider your light source as you shade.

Step 8: Emphasize the core shadow in the fingers and palms to get the cylindrical quality of the fingers. I went ahead and darkened some of the edges of the hand, but not everywhere.  Sometimes it’s nice and lends a sense of a highlight to have a very light or disappearing segment of your outline.

So now we’ve got another take on how to begin a drawing with guidelines and marking out big proportions on the page BEFORE moving on to details.

Now it’s your turn 🙂

Take a minute to sketch your hand on a piece of paper near you and comment below on what you though was the hardest part of the process. Extra points if you add a photo of your sketch!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below