Drawing Hands and Feet | 01 |How to Learn Hand Drawing Basics

Hand Drawing Basics

Learning hand drawing basics is a great way to get started with character designs, cartoons, or portraits.

After all, drawing hands and feet is one of the things that give a lot of people trouble, even professional artists.

The trick to becoming good at drawing these features is to keep practicing until they become second nature and always push yourself out of your comfort zone as an artist so you are always working and improving on your weaknesses.

As you go through this lesson series you should have a much better idea of how to construct these areas of the body.


Drawing the Base of the Hand

When learning hand drawing basics, it’s a good idea to think of the base of your hand like a deck of cards or other rectangular sized object.

This generalization of the shape will allow you to easily draw the hand in many different positions without having to focus in on all of the little details.

Thinking of your hand as a deck of cards is good in another reason as well because the deck of cards is able to fold a bit in on itself just like your palm can fold and curve in on itself a bit.

draw hands easy arm position

Sketching the Hand and Arm

When you are first working out your drawings it’s a good idea to just sketch things in lightly. Working this way will help you get a pleasing pose for the arm and hand.

To save time while you are learning hand drawing basics, try this:

Instead of drawing all of the individual fingers you can just draw in a ‘mitt’ shape for the hand which will give you a good representation of the hand, while still being quick and easy to draw and revise as needed to try different poses.

simple hand drawing techniques cartoon hands

More examples of the Simple Hand Drawing

Here are a few more example of this ‘mitt’ hand to give you a better idea of what it look like and how you can use this technique for learning how to draw hands and feet.

You’ll notice that they are detailed just enough to give you a pretty good representation of the hand without being a finished piece.

If you are just starting out with hand drawing basics, then this is a good way to let yourself get into drawing the major forms of the hand and start to gain confidence here before moving onto the individual fingers.

drawing a hand hand poses

Going from Sketch to Polished Drawing

In this last example image on how to draw hands, you can see how the mitt shape can be taken into a full blown hand with fingers fairly quickly and easily. Just to recap, here are the steps to go through:

  • Draw your ‘Deck of Cards’ for the base of the hand
  • Add in rough ‘mitt’ shapes to define the main shapes of the fingers
  • Draw in the detail for the fingers over top of the mitt shape and the deck of cards 

draw a realistic hand finger position

Drawing Finger Positions

When you are learning how to draw hands in different positions, it’s a good idea to keep in mind how the fingers will either flare out, or come together in a compressed form.

In the example picture here you can see the open palm hand’s fingers are flared way out, while when the fingers are curled into a fist they become compressed on each other.

Both of these hand shapes are very common in cartoons, so if you think a bit about how open or closed the fingers are then you will know how compressed or flared you should be making them to help with the pose of the character.

drawing hands tips finger joints


Understanding Knuckles & Joints

Lastly when you are learning how to draw hands and feet it’s a good idea to draw through your outlines to show where the knuckles and joints naturally occur.

This is a good habit to help you learn anatomy as well as have correct proportion in your characters because you will always be able to see and work with the underlying bone structure.

We hope this blog post has helped you learn about hand drawing basics.

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