How to Draw a Thumbs up Sign

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Thumb signals, such as the thumbs up and thumbs down, are common throughout the world.

It is not known where the gesture originated. Some researchers have observed that even Barbary apes use the gesture. It could be that they learned the gesture from humans, or that they came up with it independently.

Whatever its origin, thumbs up and thumbs down were well known by the time of ancient Rome. In gladiatorial contests, the thumbs up or thumbs down of the crowds (or the referees) determined whether a wounded combatant would live or die.

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Some evidence suggests that a thumbs up indicated death and a thumbs down, life, in opposition to their modern meanings. Some ancient references refer to a “hostile thumb.” During the Middle Ages, the upturned thumb began to take on its “okay” meaning, with archers signaling that they were ready for battle. In the twentieth century, World War I pilots used it to signal that all was well with their safety checks.

Today, popular culture and social networks such as Facebook have made the thumbs up meaning of “okay” nearly universal. However, in some parts of the world, such as West Africa and the Middle East, the thumbs up gesture still maintains a negative or even offensive meaning.

Would you like to give someone a thumbs up? Now, you can draw one! This easy, step-by-step drawing guide is here to help. All you will need is a pencil, pen, or marker and a sheet of paper. This drawing consists of simple lines and shapes such as rectangles and ovals. Turn your drawing upside down, and you’ve mastered the thumbs down as well.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Praying Hands, Fist, and Holding Hands.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Thumbs up Sign

How to Draw Thumbs up Sign: Step 1

1. Begin by drawing a long, curved line. Outline an irregular, mountain-like shape. This forms the top side of the wrist and thumb.

How to Draw Thumbs up Sign: Step 2

2. To one side of the thumb, draw a horizontal oval. This forms the curled pointer finger.

How to Draw Thumbs up Sign: Step 3

3. Draw another horizontal oval beneath the first. This forms the curled middle finger.

How to Draw Thumbs up Sign: Step 4

4. Draw another horizontal oval beneath the former. Notice how the ovals appear to overlap. This forms the curled ring finger.

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How to Draw Thumbs up Sign: Step 5

4. Draw another horizontal oval beneath the former. Notice how the ovals appear to overlap. This forms the curled ring finger.

How to Draw Thumbs up Sign: Step 6

6. Draw a curved line from the tip of the pinky finger. Notice how it becomes nearly straight and parallel to the line above it as it reaches the wrist.

How to Draw Thumbs up Sign: Step 7

7. Detail the hand with creases across the palm. Draw curved lines in a horizontal “Y” shape, but do not allow them to touch. Draw another, smaller curved line at the base of the thumb.

How to Draw Thumbs up Sign: Step 8

8. Enclose a curved rectangular shape at the base of the wrist. This forms the cuff of the sleeve. Connect it to the wrist at the bottom using a curved line, giving it a three-dimensional appearance.

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How to Draw Thumbs up Sign: Step 9

9. Draw an irregular rounded shape at the tip of each finger to form the fingernails.

How to Draw Thumbs up Sign: Step 10

Color your thumbs up. Then, check out our people drawing guides. You can put together hands, hair, eyes, and more to create your own character!

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The Complete Thumbs up Sign Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to Draw Thumbs up Sign

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