Question What’s the key thing to remember when drawing arms and hands? Ollie Smith, England
Hands can be difficult to draw for novice artists because they’re complex parts of the human anatomy. A lot of professional artists tend to photograph references when working with the human body: this not only saves time but also helps to capture some of those awesome skin and joint details!
Drawing hands and arms is not, however, dependent on shooting reference images. The two most important things to remember are the proportions and the form. To help me get the proportions right, I usually break down the body parts into very simple shapes. Once this is established, it becomes an indispensable guide for the rest of my painting.
The form, in this case, means how threedimensional your illustration of a hand or arm looks and how it would fit in a real environment. To understand this, it’s important to define a light source from the beginning. Once your illumination is in place, you can easily determine how the shadows will appear and be cast by elements in your image. From this, a form will naturally emerge!
Proportion and form are the two crucial things to keep in mind when drawing hands.