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Drawing Lesson 21, Part 1 – How to Draw a Hand

How to Draw a Hand – Hand Bones

Video Lesson Description

In this video lesson, you will discover How to Draw a Hand and a human hand anatomy, the knowledge of which is so necessary to draw hands realistically.

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Bones of a Hand

When it comes to a subject of “How to Draw a Hand“, many fine art students admit that drawing hands can be a challenging task, especially for beginners. To understand the hand’s structure, the fine artist must first know what is inside.


How to Draw a Hand
In this video part you find out how to draw a hand with full understanding of its anatomy and proportions.

The hand has two surfaces – anterior or palmar side and posterior or dorsal, also called the back of the hand. The following info on the hand’s anatomy will help you understand how to draw a hand.

There are 27 bones of the hand:

– The wrist has 8 carpal bones;

– The hand block is constructed of 5 metacarpal bones;

– Each finger has 3 phalanges – proximal, middle and distal;

– And the thumb has 2 phalanges – proximal and distal.

The eight wrist or carpal bones are:

– triquetral

– pisiform

– hamate

– capitate

– lunate

– scaphoid

– trapezoid

– and trapezium

These bones form the wrist channel through which the tendons go from the arm to the fingers.

Five metacarpal bones are located between wrist bones and phalanges of fingers.

Each of the four fingers has three phalanges. The thumb however has only two.

When you consider how to draw a hand, remember that the middle finger is the longest. The second and the fourth fingers have similar length, which may vary slightly depending on the individual and gender. The fourth finger ends where the nail of the middle finger starts. The little or the fifth finger is the shortest. This finger ends at the joint between the middle and distal phalanges of the fourth finger.

There are several groups of hand joints. They are named after the bones they connect:

– (CMC) Carpo-metacarpal joints;

– (MCP) Metacarpo-phalangeal joints, also known as the knuckles of the hand;

– (PIP) Proximal inter-phalangeal joints;

– (DIP) Distal inter-phalangeal joints;

– (MCP) Metacarpo-phalangeal joint of thumb;

– and (IP) Inter-phalangeal joint of thumb.

The thumb’ proportions can be defined as follows: the length of the thumb aligns with the metacarpo-phalangeal joint of the index finger.

The inter-phalangeal joint of the thumb is on the same level as the knuckle of the index finger.

The metacarpal bone of the thumb is quite short compared to the other fingers’ metacarpal bones. The thumb can be abducted quite widely to enable a good grip.

The knowledge of the hand’s anatomy and the relationship between its bones, joints and muscles can be used for drawing hands accurately without the model. So next time when you think how to draw a hand, use this knowledge for drawing a hand from memory.

Body Language in Fine Art
The ability to depict hands with confidence is very important, especially for a figurative artist. Hands are very expressive parts of the human body. Many hand gestures mean various things in body language. The subject of “how to draw a hand” is closely related to the knowledge of body language, which can be used for portraying the internal thoughts and emotions of a person.

If you want to learn more about body language and how hands contribute to such non-verbal communication, you may read my book titled: BODY LANGUAGE IN FINE ART: How to Read Old Masters’ Paintings – Secrets of Body Language In Figurative Fine Art. This book is available as a Kindle edition on Amazon.

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