Tutorial Drawing the Hands Animemanga Style

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"Drawing the figure" series (Anime/Manga Style) A guide on how to draw the hands.


Before we start, this tutorial owes most of its thanks to Burne Hogarth's techniques that can be found in his book called "Drawing Dynamic Hands". Though his book concentrates on drawing realistic hands and covers an array of techniques, Most of them are very applicable to artists even when drawing simple or less detailed hands (anime/manga style)

Though I may not be able to present all of his techniques in this tutorial, I’ve managed to select in my opinion are the most important elements needed when drawing the hands.


> Always draw lightly! I’m only drawing heavily on paper as you see here, in order for you to see the lines very clearly.

> Ever wonder why some comic book artists always draw the hands in a clenched fist or with fingers extended? (Or worse) why they always find a way to hide the hands behind objects or layers of clothing?

Because they probably don't know how to draw the hands very well, especially when drawing difficult finger positions.

Figure 1

> Is it really that difficult? Well... It takes a lot more planning than drawing the torso or the arms and legs, but the main reason is more likely the fact that some artists find difficultly in visualizing how the hand works and behaves. The hands were the last part we art students wanted to draw due to its numerous joints and sections, but those of who learned how to visualize the hand using basic 3-D shapes soon found out that drawing the hand was not as hard as it looks like, though it requires a lot of practice to draw beautifully in time.

And that's what I hope this tutorial can help some artists overcome this same fear of drawing the hands.


The drawing below shows the hand and finger measurements based on an actual human hand drawn realistically. You can use this as a guide to help you establish the hand, palm and finger segments, although you can always create your own proportions and measurements if you like.

Figure 2

L1 to L5 = reference lines

L1 = falls along both ends of the index and the ring finger.

L2 = falls along the 3rd middle finger joint

L3 = falls along the end of the little finger and the 2nd index finger joint

L4 = falls along the 3rd joint of the little finger, both 2nd joints of the ring and index finger, and marks the end of the thumb "I"

L5 = falls along the end of the palm and the 1st middle finger joint.


Now that we know the different lengths and measurements of the hand segments, let us visualize how the hand is composed of basic 3-dimenslonal shapes.

The hand is made up of 3 basic 3-d shapes: the box, the cylinder and the sphere.

Just to see the complexity and segmentation of the hand in 3-dimensional forms, take note of the images shown in Figure 3 below.

Figure 3

The exploded view of the hand shades above shows how the 3-dimensional shades combine to create the hand's structure.

Next step: let's try to draw and construct the hand shall we?


Figure 4

Bend the thumb wedge down up to a maximum angle of 90 degrees if necessary if the thumb is to be drawn in an angle below the side position of the thumb wedge.

Figure 5


Use the mirror when you practice drawing the hands using your own hands as reference. Then use the hand shapes to establish the hand structure before fleshing it out or adding the main details afterwards.

Remember: always draw lightly to make it easier for you to erase the guidelines when you finalize or flesh out the main details of the hand

Figure 6

You'll notice that it is much easier now to use your hand as reference especially when you now know how to visualize the hand as a combination of 3-dimensional shapes.

Begin practicing and do your best!


Posted on Jul 13, 2011
Posted on Nov 21, 2010
sharif Ishnin
Posted on Sep 16, 2010