How to Draw Praying Hands

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Prayer is an act that is universal to all religions, throughout human history. The Encyclopaedia Britannica describes prayer as “an act of communication by humans with the sacred or holy,” usually a god or gods.

In many religions, prayerful adherents assume certain postures during prayer. These may including bowing with the face to the ground, raising the arms toward the sky, bowing the head, closing the eyes, or “folding” the hands in prayer – typically, by placing the palms and fingers together.

The origin of the praying hands is uncertain. Some sources cite ancient religious use of this gesture, from ancient Babylon and later from the Jews. Other references cite it as a symbol of servitude, arising from the practice of shackling the hands of prisoners so that they could not grasp a weapon and retaliate. Similarly, a medieval pope references the custom of placing one’s joined hands into the hands of a feudal lord, as a sign of respect and obedience.

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Hands in a prayerful stance have often been the subject of the fine arts. One famous drawing is known as “Praying Hands” or as “Study of the Hands of an Apostle.” The drawing was made by painter Albrecht Durer in the year 1508. A 60 foot tall statue, also called “Praying Hands,” stands on the grounds of a university in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.A.

Would you like to draw a set of praying hands? This easy, step-by-step drawing guide is here to show you how. All you will need is a pencil, a good eraser, and a sheet of paper. You may also wish to use markers, crayons, colored pencils, or paints to color your finished drawing.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Eyes, Nose, and Ear.

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​Step by Step Instructions for Drawing​ ​​​​Praying Hands

How to Draw Praying Hands: Step 1

1. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Begin by sketching the shape of the hand. Use three curved lines to form three sides of an open, roughly rectangular shape.

How to Draw Praying Hands: Step 2

2. ​​​Use a series of curved lines to flesh out the top side of the hand. Notice the overlap and bulge that represent the knuckle. Use an upside down, roughly “U” shaped line to enclose the thumb.

How to Draw Praying Hands: Step 3

3. ​​​​​​​​​​​​Extend the wrist using a curved line. Then, use a long curved line to connect the sides of the wrist. Use additional curved lines to craft the folds of the fabric of the sleeve.

How to Draw Praying Hands: Step 4

4. ​​​​​​​​Draw three long, curved lines extending from the hand. At the tips, increase the curve so that the lines intersect. These form the fingers.

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How to Draw Praying Hands: Step 5

5.​ ​​​​​​​​​​Draw another long, curved line, forming the third finger.

How to Draw Praying Hands: Step 6

6. ​​​​​​​​​Draw another long, curved line, slightly shorter than the rest. This forms the final finger.

How to Draw Praying Hands: Step 7

7. ​​​​​​​Erase guide lines from the hand, leaving a clean outline.

How to Draw Praying Hands: Step 8

8.​​​ ​​​Sketch the second hand behind the first. Begin by extending a long, curved line from the wrist to the tip of the pinkie finger. This encloses the side of the second hand. Indicate another fingertip by drawing a short, curved line between the pinkie and ring fingers. Below the hand, use several overlapping curved lines to form the draping folds of the garment. Finally, use short, curved lines to detail the hand on the palm and the knuckles of the pinkie.

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How to Draw Praying Hands: Step 9

9.​​ ​​Detail the hand. Enclose small, rounded shapes on the fingertips to indicate fingernails. Draw short, curved lines to form the curvature of the knuckles.

How to Draw Praying Hands: Step 10

10. ​​Color your praying hands.

Would you like to draw more parts of the human body – eyes, noses, and ears, perhaps? Check out our people drawing guides for more informative drawing fun.

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The Complete Praying Hands Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to Draw Praying Hands

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