How to draw hands

This short tutorial is a just a small taste of a larger and much more in-depth book I wrote called The Mad Art of Caricature! The book is 175 full-color pages, lavishly illustrated and contains greatly expanded explanations of the concepts presented in this tutorials, as well and a great deal of additional material on caricaturing other facial features, posture, hands, expression and more, techniques on drawing from live models, doing caricature for freelance illustration and for MAD Magazine. This is a must have book for anyone interested in caricature, cartooning or humorous illustration. You can order it online here.

How to Draw Hands

Easily the most asked question I get is “how do you draw caricatures?”. However a close runner up is “how do you draw hands?”. I’m not exactly the king of drawing hands, but I have made a special study of them as they are very important when doing comic book type work… hands and their gestures are a big part of “acting” and therefore of storytelling.

Next to faces, hands are probably the most expressive and intricate part of the human form. In fact, humans probably spend more time looking at their hands than they do looking at anything else over their entire lives. Being that we are all so familiar with the way hands look, a poorly drawn hand sticks out like a sore thumb (sorry about the pun). Oddly enough, hands are something that most artists struggle to draw well. So, with that in mind I thought I’d do a tutorial on my approach to drawing hands.

I’m a cartoonist at heart, so the hands I draw are not realistic hands by most definitions. However my style of cartooning lends itself more to realistic representation than, say, a certain four fingered gloved mouse or other much more cartoony characters do. Therefore a lot of the information in this tutorial will apply to drawing hands realistically as well as in more cartoon form. I’ll attempt to explain the basic anatomy of a hand, things to keep in mind at all times when drawing them and common mistakes and issues that plague many artists when drawing hands.

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