How To Draw Cartoon Hands
So you draw a great cartoon character, then you go and mess it up by trying and failing miserably to draw the hands.
For me, cartoon hands were always one of the hardest things to draw on my characters. (That and feet). So that’s why I have added an extract from my upcoming tutorial ebook: How To Draw Cartoons (That’s the current working title anyway). This section will teach you how to draw hands.
Update: I have also uploaded another How to draw cartoon heads.
Drawing Cartoon Hands
Hands are an essential part of your cartoon character. They can help determine moods, hold things, point to places and much more. In that respect, hands are just as important as the face.
You can often relate your cartoon character’s facial expression to their hands. For example, if your character were enraged, they would display a facial expression of gritted teeth and lowered eyebrows, with clenched fists of anger.
On the other hand (no pun intended), your character could have a smile on his face with his thumbs up, suggesting everything is ‘okay’.
Hands can be drawn as simple or as complex as you like.
Many cartoon characters have three fingers and a thumb for each hand, although Manga-style characters tend to have the full human form of four fingers and a thumb. There is no exact rule for this though, so draw as you please. The same goes for thumbnails. Most cartoonists prefer not to draw thumbnails (me for one), but feel free to put them in if you so choose.
Below are some examples of three-fingered-hands and four-fingered-hands.
Tip: Women’s hands are longer and more slender. Sometimes the ends of the fingers are slightly pointier too.
Below shows different hand styles used across different types of cartoons. You may recognize some.
The best method for drawing hands is to start off with a simple cup shape that represents the palm. Next, you build on this by lightly sketching in ‘sausage-like’ shapes around the circle to represent fingers. Finally, you add in the thumb, just below and to the side of the fingers (the side depending on which hand you are drawing).
Once you have completed that, you can start shaping the hands into a curvier hand-form. Again, sketch this in lightly in case of mistakes. Once you are happy with the result, sketch in the hands properly.
Another method for drawing hands is to use the stick method, as shown below. Start by drawing a circle this time as a guide, then place your sticks where you want the centre of your fingers to be. Then sketch around the sticks so that it makes up the fingers (and thumb.) Once complete, sketch it fully.
The final method for drawing fingers is to use circles as joints where necessary.
This is the trickiest and most time-consuming method, but always delivers the best results if executed correctly.
So first draw your oval shape to represent the palm. Then add in all the circles which represent the joints. Ideally your joints will be the same width as the fingers/ thumbs themselves.
You will also want to include finger tips as ‘joints’ otherwise you won’t know where the finger ends. Then sketch around all the joints to create your hand. Once completed, sketch in fully.
Thank you for reading..
There is more to this section…. Hands holding objects. But I’ll leave this as a taster. I hope this tutorial is helpful. Suggestions for improvements are welcome.
In the meantime, here is the How to Draw Cartoon Heads snippet from my upcoming eBook..