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Learn How to Draw Realistic Hands



Drawing of hands by Ken Goldman

In order to draw realistic hands, you must understand what lies beneath the surface of the skin. We will study the anatomy of the hand in the open palm position from both the front and the back.

How to Draw the Front of the Hand

Bones  

The hand contains 8 wrist (carpal) bones: 

The hand also features 

5 metacarpals (9) and 14 phalanges (10).

Muscles  

The flexor tendons (A, B, C) from the forearm muscles (see page 12) extend into the hand. The teardrop-shaped muscle masses, the thenar eminence abductors of the thumb (I, J) and the hypothenar eminence abductor (D) and flexor (E) of the little finger, are known as the "palmer hand muscles." The adductor of the thumb (G) lies under the flexor tendons (F). The visible creases of the palm result from the way the skin folds over the fat and muscles of the hand.  

When you draw a realistic hand, you are drawing the shape of the muscles beneath the skin.

How to Draw the Back of the Hand

Bones

From this view of the hand, all the same bones are visible, but the carpal bones appear convex rather than concave. From this angle, the bones have more influence on the shape of the fleshed-out hand

Muscles  

Whereas the palm side of the hand is muscular and fatty, the back of the hand is bony and full of tendons. The extensor tendons of the thumb (A) are visible when con-tracted, as are the other four extensor tendons (C). The first dorsal interosseous (B) is the largest of the four dorsal interosseous muscles, and it is the only one that shows its form through the skin's surface; when the thumb is flexed, this muscle appears as a bulging teardrop shape.

When you learn how to draw the back of the hand, remember to pay attention to the bone structure. This is how you will make your drawing realistic.

In order to draw realistic hands, you must understand what lies beneath the surface of the skin. We will study the anatomy of the hand in the open palm position from both the front and the back. 

Download: Learn How to Draw Realistic Hands




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