How to Draw Hands from IMAGINATION – Step-by-Step

How to Draw Hands from IMAGINATION – Step-by-Step

Hey guys, my name is Stan Prokopenko Welcome to Proko. So we already learned the bones, we learned the muscles, and we learned about the surface details to make your hand drawings realistic. If you missed those lessons, check out the
links in the description below. In this video I’ll show the process that has
helped me to draw hands accurately from imagination. It’s also a great process if you’re drawing
from reference. I’ll be using it in my upcoming narrated hand
demos. Half of those will be available for free and
the other half will be for my premium proko people. Keep in mind, even though the process itself
is quite simple, drawing hands is never gonna be easy. There’s prerequisites that make it challenging,
like anatomy, perspective and shading. If you want to draw simple hands, rather than
learn a simple process to draw real hands, I will have a lesson on drawing Cartoon Hands. But all this stuff ties together, so let’s
get started… The idea The first step is to get a clear idea of the
hand you’re gonna draw. Don’t jump in blindly and start drawing. Figure out the angle we’re looking at the
hand from. Can we see the back of the hand or the palm? How much of the front are we seeing? Or are we looking at it from the back? What is each finger and thumb doing? What about the wrist? Imagine this clearly in your mind before you
make a mark. And you always have your own hand that you
can use to figure it out. And dont draw boring hands. Push the gesture. Push the story of the pose. If the action is the fingers spreading, think
about what happens when you spread them farther. When I try to spread my fingers as far as
I can, my wrist flexes a little and my fingers bend back. That makes the pose a bit more interesting. Hands are extremely expressive. When youre drawing hands you have to be an
actor. Just like when youre drawing facial expressions. You gotta feel the expression of the hand
pose you’re drawing. With that said, it’s still important to still be able to draw the forms correctly. After you have a clear idea. Once the idea is clear, we’ll start constructing
the hands using simple forms. I’m gonna say it a lot in this lesson… it’s
important to step back and think about the simple forms. The complicated collection of bone, muscle,
tendon, fat, and skin of the palm becomes a simple box. The wrist is a narrower box, which bends at
the carpals. The fingers become cylinders or boxes. With the hand simplified like this, it becomes
much more manageable to pose, add anatomy, and to shade it. The palm I mentioned that the palm areas can be simplified
to a boxy form with equal height and width. That’s a good place to start, but if you want
to be a little more precise, it’s good to start thinking about the nuances. Notice that the bones on the pinky side are
slightly shorter. So, we should curve that front plane. The middle finger area should be longest. Later on we’ll add the muscular tear drops
on both sides. For now, let’s ignore the muscle masses and
just keep the palm as a simple concave box. We’re looking at this box from the top. We can see the right side and the front plane
of the knuckles. This is the sort of thing you need to figure
out early on in the drawing. The proportions and perspective of all the simple forms. This applies no matter what you’re drawing. Until you’ve figured out all the basic stuff,
you shouldn’t draw any details. It will be harder to notice and correct mistakes
once you have details like fingernails, creases, and shadows crowding the drawing. Not to mention, all your wasted time and effort! Let’s rewind. Before we add the fingers, let’s split that
front plane into 4 parts. That way we know where each finger extrudes
from. Don’t forget about the foreshortening! If you can do that, you have a really good
starting point and you’re on your way to drawing an awesome hand. The fingers At this point you can start extruding the
finger segments, but it helps me to start with some kind of gestural or wireframe guideline. I’m gonna give you 3 options that you can
choose from. Everyone has their preferences and different
poses might call for different approaches. If the fingers are grouped together, you can
try to imagine a mitten shape for all of them. If one or more of the fingers is separate
from the group, draw it separate. Group the ones that you can and decide if
they’re bending. Another way is to throw down some lines and
dots for the knuckles. This can help figure out the position and
length of each segment with minimal lines that are easy to adjust. The third option is to draw the gesture of
each finger. Don’t worry about separating each phalanx. Ignore the joints and just identify the motion
of each finger. Do this very lightly. As I said, different poses will call for different
approaches or combination of them. And, everyone has their preferences, so try them out and see what you like. A good tip is to start with the pinky and
index finger. It’s easy to figure out the middle two once
you get the pinky and index. They’re either distributed evenly between
or grouped in some way. Personally I like to look for ways to group
some fingers together, unless the expression in stronger without grouping, like in this
case. Which fingers to group together is up to you. Whatever results in the best expression. Alright, now let’s add some structure to the fingers. Usually I like to use cylinders for each segment. Cylinder because they’re easier and quicker
than boxes. And it’s pretty easy to turn a cylinder into
a box later, if I want to indicate the rotation of that cylinder. An indication of the box at the joint is enough. There’s 12 segments in the fingers, and that
doesn’t even include the thumb. That’s a lot of cylinders and boxes to think
about. It’s tempting to rush through them, but fight
the feeling of urgency. Get them in the right spot, with the right
proportions and perspective. As you’re working and correcting your mistakes,
you might notice that your line are getting darker and darker and darker… This makes it hard to work on details later. Do your best to keep your lines light and
clean throughout the construction process. Don’t scribble and create a mess. Think through the drawing. The thumb In the hand bones lesson we learned about
the triangular box for the base of the thumb. This triangular box can be stretched, squished,
and rotated depending on the position of the thumb’s metacarpal. Look at your thumb and see all the different
ways it can move. Sometimes I imagine the metacarpal bone to
make sure it’s position is believable and the length relates correctly with the others. The gap between the thumb and palm is filled
with muscle and skin in a triangular shape. Thus, the triangular box. Or just a long gesture through the bones and
then an indication of the skin between the knuckles. Up to you. From that triangular box, extend a cylinder
for the first phalanx. And then a triangular scooped wedge shape
for the end of the thumb. Kinda like a trowel. And from profile, remember it will look like
a dog head. The wrist On the surface, the wrist curves to fill the
gap between the palm and forearm. So, a good place to start is the 2×4 form
of the forearm bones. The wrist would be a transitional plane when
there’s a bend. Look at Bridgman for inspiration when designing
the wrist. Here’s a few different poses so you can see
how the wrist behaves. Notice how he puts a little step down from
the forearm to the hand. It’s a nice design that can make your drawing
more interesting and dynamic. Instead of putting the hand and forearm on
the same level, put the hand lower than the forearm. That step gives a nice flow through the wrist. At this point we have the hand posed. From here we just develop the forms of the
muscles, and the details like skin folds, fat, veins and tendons. If you think the process has been kind of
meticulous so far, you’re right. As you get comfortable with the process, you’ll
be able to skip some steps or just throw quick indications of the forms instead of constructing
all the meticulous boxes. The thing is, to get good enough to do that,
you have to practice the meticulous way first. That gets the forms engrained in your head
so that you can draw accurate indications of them later. Drawing quickly and loosely is a skill developed
by drawing slowly and carefully. This tutorial is intended for those that are
in it for the long haul. The students that are willing to put in the
time now to become one of the best. I hope that’s you! The muscles In the first hands lesson we learned about
the 3 muscular forms of the hand. Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear.. The Papa Bear on the thumb side of the palm
is the biggest. I always think of it as a drumstick. A thinned stretched out drumstick if the thumb
is pulling away from the palm. A thick round drumstick when the thumb is
squeezing against the palm. Either way, it’s always better with some ranch… Not that kind of ranch… Nevermind. The muscles on the pinky side are also a teardrop,
but they’re mostly covered with a thick layer of fat on the palm. I include the fat and draw the form as a convex
box. When the pinky is flexing or abducting, the
crease between the fat and muscle appears. I’ll show the corner of the fat pad, and the
round form of the muscle belly. If the the pinky was relaxed, I would round
out this edge. When the thumb is squeezed in, these two forms
are separated by a crease. Otherwise, don’t force a crease in there. Remember, hand butts… So, in this pose, since the pinky is abducting
away from the others, I would see a crease here between the fat and muscle. Shading and details At this point, I like shading in the primary
forms. I pick a light direction which I feel works
best with this pose. To watch me shade and invent all details for
these hands, check out the premium anatomy course. There’s so much to learn about human anatomy
and if you’re ready to dive it, go to Drawing from imagination is good paired with
drawing from life. If you’re drawing from imagination and you’re
really struggling with a certain pose, take a picture of your own hand in that pose and
study it. When you study from life you learn more about
how the hand works and how the shapes look in various poses. You can use that knowledge to improve your
work from imagination. So lets do it. Your assignment is to follow this process
and draw 5 hands from imagination. Post them in the Anatomy Group at I might critique your drawing in the next
critique video. Btw, I just published a new hands reference
pack. These should help you guys practice sketching
hands, study the anatomy, and could be reference for your illustrations. There’s a bunch of different poses. And Marshall Vandruff is one of the main models. If you want it, go to Alright, go have some fun. You have to get feedback on your work, if you want to improve quickly. So go to And check out our Facebook communities And if you want a little more Proko in your life, subscribe to the Proko newsletter. To get new videos as they come. And some free figure model photos.

100 thoughts on “How to Draw Hands from IMAGINATION – Step-by-Step

  1. to draw from imagination "not only hands but the whole body or just a part of it" you need to study from life as much as you can, for me i can't go into a workshop for figure drawing because they cost a lot, and drawing from reference image is good but not enough, this is really tricky situation don't you think guys?

  2. I want to register on your website to learn your premium course. But I can't find how to register. Should I purchase your premium course before I register (i.e.., before I receive my password)?

  3. I suck at hands. I mean I can draw hands, but I'm bad at making them proportionate to the body, I think. Or maybe my mind hates whatever I draw I dunno.

  4. This is so helpful, thanks so much stan!
    You guys should do a whole course with marshall dandruff on animal anatomy!

  5. proko please do a review on posetool 3d app created by Alienware
    I already emailed you about putting muscle on skelly app but I guess you can see for yourself in the app mentioned …
    thank you

  6. I've noticed that in Jessica rabbit drawings, her spine anatomy is quite curvy compared to how you modeled it in a previous video. Do you think that this is not possible for human anatomy to make that shape? And if you want, draw an anatomically correct version if it isn't already. Thanks

  7. You explained the construction process perfectly. One of your best tutorials by far Stan. Keep up the awesome work. -Clayton

  8. Until minute 4 i thought:
    "Ok i can learn this!" 😊
    Then minute 4:03 started:
    "o-oh ok! ok! calm down!" 😳

    cries in corner (╥﹏╥)

    Your shading is so impressive! Drawing hands is no problem for me but coloring them realistic is one BIG issue for me! I need to work on that x.x"

  9. Proko with all your skills you must have considered making character design or concept art cause you can easily go in that direction also . I guess those things don't interest you as much as painting and the stuff you are doing now , which is great and extremely valuable to us all. Thank you

  10. О боже, до мене тільки що дійшло, що ти з України, у тебе настільки чиста вимова, що й не здогадаєшся. Але, дивлячись на обличчя, я зразу подумала, что ти міг би бути словьянином, на прізвище навіть не звернула увагу і тальки зараз вирішила чекнути. Це просто дивовижно, ти дуже гарний художник та викладач, дякую тобі за речі, що ти робиш!

  11. Excited that you're doing a lesson on cartoon hands. One of my favourite things about this channel is that you teach us not only what things look like in reality, but how to translate those things into appealing, well-designed drawings.
    It would be great to see a course on drawing for cartoons and comics, that teaches you how to draw in a semi-realistic but simplified style…

  12. Thank you! Everyone decides for themselves how much to take from a lesson. I tried sketching some 1-2 minute hands with these tips and they are indeed very helpful. I think I should print the phrase "Drawing quickly and loosely is a skill developed by drawing slowly and carefully" and put it above my desk!

  13. I love this guy! such a good communicator and good video quality. I recommend this channel to all my drawing students.

  14. I'm trying to start with the pelvis but I just can't get it. I'm trying to imagine a cup and which way the liquid would spill. but I can't seem to get it T.T

  15. It took me less than an hour to turn my drawings of terrible hands, to drawings leagues better than previously. WHAT WITCHCRAFT

  16. Excellent ! Perfectly taught – just what I've always looked for in art instruction – wish I could study from you personally . You reference Bridgeman !! OMG ! Rockwell ?? Love it .

  17. LOL, premium Proko people, popping up made me laugh. random. sporting a crown and scepter. genius funny. love your channel.

  18. I hate how learning art works cause I spend like 2 years with almost on improvement drawing hands and then I watch a couple 10 minute youtube videos and I'm instantly 1000% better than before like wHAT.
    Thank you Proko for my life

  19. Thanks for this Proko! I think it helped me.
    Also, I think maybe you also look a bit a like with Tom, from "Toms chokolade"
    Haha, or am I wrong? :'D

  20. Isn't it ironic that our hands can draw many faces, bodies, objects, and such, but always have hard time to draw themselves?

  21. hey just want to say that..

    i've been frustrated with drawing ever since I knew that i was drawing inaccurate proportion all the time. it didn't matter to me because of how satisfied i am with my incorrect work simply because they looked good. i came across your channel and ever since then, i've been trying to draw more accurately and correctly but im frustrated because i can't do it right. drawing used to be my past time but now.. thinking that I've been sketching wrong the whole time, makes me really sad that im not gonna do like you do or what other artist do. i fear mistakes, i fear blank papers and I fear that i'll never be skilled enough to draw accurately.
    do i have a chance to understand ?

  22. I still can’t draw hands bEcuase he explain and show how to draw hands in this way at 2:42 but then he show other WAYSS ARGH 🙁

  23. Very good channel!! I knew it yesterday and already improved a lot my drawings!! I'm loving it!! Thanks, Proko!!

  24. Proko please make quick silver form Avengers Infinity. I am trying to make but can't please help me 😭😭😢

  25. can you recommend something for me?I've been trying for couple of years now but i see no improvement on my drawings

  26. You’re name is Stan…

    🎵 Good morning USA! I have a feeling that’s it’s going to be a wonderful day! 🎵
    🎵 the sun in the sky has a smile on his face! 🎵
    🎵 and he’s shining a solute a to the American race! 🎵
    🎵 Oh boy it’s swell to say! Good morning USA! 🎵

    I couldn’t help it

  27. Holy shit proko, ur videos are so good and funny, it’s clearly visible that you love what you do and you put a lot of passion in it
    I’ll save money to take one of ur courses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *