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How to Draw Hands: 35 Tutorials, How-To’s, Step-by-Steps, Videos, Studies, Poses and Photo References

Tutorials, How-To’s and Step-by-Step’s

It’s often useful to have a step-by-step guide, tutorial, or “recipe” on how to accomplish a certain task.  I’ve found that following steps is good to grasp basic concepts before going on to experiment and expand one’s understanding.  Tutorials on drawing hands are no different, and the tutorials and how-to’s listed below should be a good starting point.

Tom Richmond’s site is a must-go for any aspiring cartoonist and caricaturist and has a wealth of information.

Joumana Medlev has a superb introduction on the anatomy of hands on DeviantArt; also check out her work on .

Quick hands and feet tutorial on Scribd by unknown author.

This tutorial is a bit different in that it’s more focused on how to draw using a graphic tablet as opposed to a hand per se. Nonetheless, it’s never bad to learn two things at once, so check out Whyball’s “How to Draw a Classic Hand using a Graphics Tablet” over on GoMediaZine.

(Very) short but good tutorial by nk-chan on

Excellent hand tutorial by alexds1 on – I really wish I could executive cartoon hands like that!

Good step-by-step tutorial by vashs-angel on simple illustrations and descriptive text.


Often it’s helpful to see someone else do something, not just in pictures, but in real-time.  Here are some videos that show hands being drawn:

Here we have another tutorial on how to draw female hands. also executed in Photoshop, via WonderHowTo.


As one of the more complex instruments of the body, a sound understanding of underlying anatomy of hands can help considerably when trying to render realistic and convincing hands in your drawings.  Below are resources that should help you begin to understand how hands truly work.

Drawing and Anatomy by Victor Perard has pretty in depth coverage of human anatomy even though the drawings aren’t the best I’ve seen.  Nonetheless, very useful for the artist seeking to deepen their understanding of anatomy.

A more comprehensive discussion on drawing hands and feet which (I believe) originated on WetCanvas by JayD and then ended up on document form on Scribd.

Great mini-tutorial on hands by T. Arthur Smith on DeviantArt, looking to go beyond a tutorial on simply the idealized form of the hand.

I’ve mentioned him before in the post on skulls, and I’ll mention him again here: check out Michael Hensley for some great anatomical drawings with a distinctive style.


Perhaps the ultimate “tutorial” on drawing hands, “Drawing Dynamic Hands” by Burne Hogarth is a must-have reference book in your library. You can buy it here on Amazon .

Mr. Hogarth has more hand material in that most amazing work, Dynamic Anatomy.  You can buy it here on Amazon .

Thankfully there’s a copy of “Drawing Head and Hands” over at Scribd, by that other master of drawing, Andrew Loomis. The section on drawing hands isn’t as comprehensive as that on heads, but a great resource nonetheless, especially when trying to draw non-male hands (female, baby, etc.).

George Bridgman is the author of yet another treasure of a book on drawing.  Above you can see a plate from his the chapter on hands in

the book Constructive Anatomy. available at the Internet Archive (or here via Scribd ).


Here’s a list of resources that display hands from many different angles.  It’s truly remarkable just how many poses the hand can be seen in.

Mickey Mouse Hand Model Sheet by Les Clark

The ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive has some true gems when it comes to old drawings, such as this hand model sheet of Mickey Mouse by Les Clark from 1932.  Lot of other great stuff too, check it out. Found via this post on Animopus .

Another hand model sheet can be found on the Ultimate Iron Giant website, this one in particular being of Hogarth’s hand.  There’re literally a ton of other drawings on sketches related to the Iron Giant, you’ll find the hands in about the middle of the page.

Great study of the hand in its many incarnations – love the minimal style here.  By jimmymcwicked on

Photo References

Although you’ve got a pair for easy reference, it can help to look at a photo of a real hand, especially for awkward angles.  Here are a few sites that should give you ample hand pose pictures for hours of hand-drawing fun.

Nice collection of hand poses taken by Thomas A of Ander’s hands, via

This site is certainly something out of the ordinary: Hands for Drawing by Pose Maniacs allows you select various hand poses and then turn them in 3D (select one of the numbers in the right-hand menu).  Great when you can’t find a proper reference at just the right angle.


Ah, the skull. Universal and visceral, fascinating and beautiful. Symbolic of those most basic themes: life and death. We find it in pop culture, occult ritual, on shoulders worldwide; most importantly, we find it in ourselves. No wonder we see it over and over in…

Eyes… the window into the soul as they say.  Below is a collection of resources on how to draw eyes to help you make sure your drawings have soul.  Have fun! Tutorials UPDATE 12/10/11: If you’re looking for even more eye drawing resources, check out…

Here are 7 tutorials I’ve found on the net, some better than others. If you know if any other good ones, please share in the comments! “Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth” by Andrew Loomis (PDF, 24MB)

How-To’s, Tutorials, and Step-By-Steps Books Facial Expressions Videos Online Books Drawing faces or portaits is, to me, a bit of a paradox.  It is that part of our body which most distinguishes us from others (as an identifying physical trait), but that part of the…

Man am I glad that I checked out Brian Ewing’s Flickr page.  While there are plenty of sick drawings on his website and blog, the real action is on Flickr.  Ewing is an illustrator who pumps out amazing illustrations for band T-Shirts, posters, magazines, skateboards,…


These are all quite helful but if you can believe it, the one I needed was not among them! Looking for a side view facing right, person looking up at a star (for a Christmas card) with left hand up at forhead as if looking afar at a star. It’s a very odd sort of foreshortened wierd turn of the wrist and hand pose. If I don’t find it, I’ll try using a mirror to reverse my own hand image. Thanks for any input!

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