How To Draw Realistic Hands: A Drawing Tutorial
Hands are said to be the hardest thing to draw. Honestly, I don’t think they’re any more difficult than drawing drapery. Like anything you want to be good at, it just takes practice. I look at this subject as nothing more than shadows and highlights. My goal in this tutorial is to de-mystify hands.
*Note : the drawings below may appear distorted depending on the camera angel.
You will need drawing paper. I like to use a Canson sketch pad. You will also need a 2H, 2B, and a 4B pencil. You will need a blending stump, a white eraser, and a kneaded eraser.
I used a reference picture for this drawing. When drawing hands I like to start with an out line of the basic shape. I used a 4H pencil to draw the outline of the hand and nails. Remember to press gently on the paper. This will make it easier to erase when you make a mistake.
Then I took my 2B pencil and shaded in the beginnings of shadows, veins, and other details. I use these as landmarks for further refinement. Its okay if they don’t look exact.
Here you will see I have begun to shade in the joints, and creases. My shading is done in circular strokes. This will give it a more organic appearance. The 3 dimensional qualities of a hand are beginning to emerge.
At this point I took my blending stump and began to soften the lines. I also used it to blend shadows and to add subtle details of the hand.
Here, I began to focus on the veins and joints. I’ve mapped out where my highlights are going to be.
I take the blending stump and add even more shadows of varying shades. I love to draw using the blending stump. You should have enough graphite on the stump, to fill in the hand.
I then take my 4B pencil and concentrate on the darkest shadows. I try to make these areas blend seamlessly with the rest of the hand. The trick is to get rid of most of the lines.
Next I take my kneaded eraser and clean up the edges and smudges on my paper. I go back to any areas that are too dark, and gently remove the graphite.
Now I take my kneaded eraser and add highlights to the hand. Highlights are the whitest part of the drawing. They show the sheen of the skin and give the drawing a more realistic quality. This is my favorite part of a drawing.
And lastly I use the kneaded eraser to clean up the nail and add more contrasting highlights to the drawing.
And finally you have a hand. I hope this has helped make drawing hands easier.
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