Since the first drawing was made in the dust or the first painting adorned a cave wall, people have been a major subject matter in art. As such, the human hand has likewise appeared in many, many works of art.
One of the most famous paintings of a hand or hands appears in The Creation of Adam, a sixteenth century fresco by the famous Michelangelo. The painting depicts the biblical figure of Adam extending his hand to touch the finger of God. It is located in the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican in Italy.
The hand, despite its prominence, is often considered one of the most difficult parts of the human anatomy to draw, second only to the face. Hands are highly mobile body parts, and in life they take on many forms, ranging from various gestures, to grasping objects of different sizes, to manipulating objects and using tools. The hand is made up of 19 different bones, aiding in this mobility.
Did you know? Few animals – only the primates – have opposable thumbs as humans do. Humans are also the only creatures able to stretch the thumb all the way across the hand to touch the tip of the ring and pinkie fingers. This feature allows us to use hand tools and have a strong grip. The palm of the hand and the palm side of the fingers is one of the few areas of the body that does not have any hair.
Would you like to improve your skills in drawing the human hand? Doing so is now easier than ever with the aid of this simple, step-by-step drawing tutorial.
You will need only a pencil, a sheet of paper, and a good eraser. As you follow each step, note the illustrations as well as the explanatory notes. New lines added are highlighted in blue, while previously drawn lines fade to black. In some steps, lines are erased. When you are finished, color your drawing using your choice of crayons, markers, colored pencils, or paints.
Give yourself a hand and get started on this easy drawing guide. Is your hand waving, raised to answer a question, or giving someone a high five? The choice is yours.
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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Hand
1. Begin by drawing a circle. This will form the palm of the hand.
2. Draw the fingers. For each finger, draw a pair of straight lines, allowing the lines to converge slightly at the tip. Note that the fingers are of different lengths, the thumb and pinkie fingers being the shortest. Enclose each finger using a curved line.
3. Draw a curved line between each finger, crossing over into the palm. Extend the line between the thumb and first fingers to outline the curved shape of the thumb.
4. Erase the guide lines from the hand.
5. Draw a curved line across the palm, extending from the thumb. Draw another curved line beneath the pinkie finger. These lines add detail to the fleshy parts of the palm.
6. Draw a curved line beneath the pinkie, cleaning up the outline of the side of the hand. Draw two curved lines beneath the palm, forming the wrist.
7. Erase the guide lines from the hand. Note that the palm now opens up into the wrist.
8. Draw curved lines across the fingers, two across the thumb and three across each finger. These lines indicate the joints of the fingers.
9. Draw a pair of curved lines across the palm beneath the fingers, further detailing the palm. Draw a vertical curved line across the wrist, indicating the tendon found there.
10. Color your hand.
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