How to Draw Handcuffs

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Handcuffs of various types have been used to restrain prisoners since ancient times. The earliest was the "figure eight" handcuff, which was often made of twisted ropes tied around the wrists.

Later, metal rings connected by chains were used. These were called swivels, gyves, shackles, shackbolts, or manacles.

Today, police around the world use steel handcuffs which ratchet to adjust to a person's wrist size. The cuffs may be connected to one another with a short chain, a metal bar, or they may be molded as a single piece.

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Sometimes, single-use nylon handcuffs are used; these are disposable, lightweight, and allow an officer to carry several pairs.

Toy handcuffs have likely been around as long as have actual handcuffs. Push-to-release handcuff toys dating to the 1950s can readily be found. These were often paired with pop guns for play as "cops and robbers" or "cowboys and Indians."

Would you like to draw a strong pair of handcuffs? Now you can, with the help of this easy, step-by-step drawing tutorial.

All you will need is a pencil, a sheet of paper, and an eraser. You may also wish to color your finished drawing.

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

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing Handcuffs

How to Draw Handcuffs: Step 1

1. Use a long curved line to outline a shape like a letter "C." Notice that the top of the "C" has a bulge and that it is thicker than the rest of the shape. This forms one side of the handcuff, called the double strand. Use a curved line to enclose a curved shape on each side of the bulge, giving the handcuff a three-dimensional appearance.

How to Draw Handcuffs: Step 2

2. Draw a pair of curved lines to connect the ends of the "C" shape. This is called the single strand.

How to Draw Handcuffs: Step 3

3. Draw a long curved line from the middle of the "C" shape to its tip, mirroring the shape of the "C." This adds to the cuff's three-dimensional appearance.

How to Draw Handcuffs: Step 4

4. Detail the handcuff. Draw several small circles within the bulge of the "C." These are known as pawl pins and cheek rivets. Then, add shadows and depth with a hatching technique. Hatching uses many parallel, narrowly spaced lines to shade a drawing. Use hatching around the rivets, along the curve of the single strand, and along the three-dimensional sides.

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How to Draw Handcuffs: Step 5

5. Use a curved line to enclose a small "L" shape on top of the bulge. This is called the swivel, and it allows the handcuffs to be connected. Shade the swivel with hatching.

How to Draw Handcuffs: Step 6

6. Draw an oval around the end of the swivel. Then, draw a smaller oval within the first. This forms the first link of the chain that holds the handcuffs together.

How to Draw Handcuffs: Step 7

7. Draw an oval around the end of the chain line, erasing guide lines as necessary. Enclose a rounded shape at the opposite end to form the swivel, and shade it with hatching. Finally, enclose a flattened oval within the link to indicate the opening.

How to Draw Handcuffs: Step 8

8. Outline a "C" shape with a bulge on the top to form the double strand of the second cuff. Draw a curved line parallel to the inside of the "C," and shade the enclose shape with hatching. Draw small circles within the bulge and at the end of the "C," indicating pawl pins, cheek rivets, and the single strand rivet.

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How to Draw Handcuffs: Step 9

9. Connect the ends of the "C" using three curved lines, completing the single strand of the handcuffs. Shade with hatching.

How to Draw Handcuffs: Step 10

Color your handcuffs. Most cuffs are silver, black, or grey. Then, check out our people drawing guides, where you just might find a criminal to catch.

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The Complete Handcuffs Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to Draw Handcuffs

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