How to Draw Anime & Manga Hands Step by Step
This tutorial illustrates how to draw anime and manga hands in indifferent positions and from different views with eight examples in total (four step by step).
Hands can be a difficult and confusing part of the body to draw even in the less detailed anime/manga style. To help this tutorial provides simple drawing examples along with an explanations of the structure of the hand. It shows the placement of the joints and gives a basic breakdown of the proportions.
Unless drawing digitally it’s recommended that you start the tutorial in pencil as there will be some overlapping lines that will need to be erased in between the different steps. Also try and keep your initial lines light to make erasing easier. You can darken them once you have all of the major parts of the hand drawn out.
For anime hands holding different kinds objects you can see 6 Ways to Draw Anime Hands Holding Something.
For drawing arms see:
How to Draw Anime & Manga Arms Tutorial
Please note that the breakdown of the drawing process is only shown for one view of each of the pose as pretty much the same or simpler method can be used for the other views.
Drawing Anime Hands With an Open Palm
If you are a beginner then you should practice by first drawing the hand with the palm open and fingers extended to get an idea of the proportions. You can also look at photographs other drawings or at your own hands for reference.
Step 1 – Draw the Palm & Base of the Thumb
First draw the rough shape of the palm. Next draw a rough outline of the base of the thumb. The palm should of course be the larger of the two shapes.
Step 2 – Get the Position of the Fingers/Thumb & Joints
Study the proportions of the fingers. In the first example the lines shows their general direction and bends for this particular pose. The second set lines shows the position of the joins (where the lines overlap) and the end of the fingertips (last curved line).
Step 3 – Proportion and Outline the Fingers & Thumb
It’s important to note that the first set of joints (the base of the fingers) actually cuts into the palm.
The middle finger and the palm should be close in length. The tip of the thumb if drawn close to a 45 degree angle to the hand should roughly reach to the knuckle bone of the index finger.
Each finger consist of three parts with the distance from the knuckle to the first join being the longest and the distance from the last join to the tip being the shortest.
The first joint of the thumb is actually near the base of the palm and is nearly invisible. The first visible joint is actually the second.
When outlining the fingers the middle one should generally be the longest and thickest. The index and ring finger should be slightly shorter and the little finger should be the shortest and thinnest.
Step 4 – Clean Up & Finalizing the Open Palm Hand Drawing
Once you have the fingers outlined any extra lines form the previous steps and add a little bit of the hand to the base of the palm. Next you can draw some of the wrinkles along the palm, fingers and thumb. The fingers will generally have these along their base as well as along the second and third joint. The thumb at the third join. You can also draw a few lines along the palm as shown above.
Drawing Anime Hands Side View
Step 1 – Draw the Side View of the Palm & Thumb Base
This is a difficult view to draw but a very common position of the hand.
Draw the overall shape of the hand without the thumb or fingers and draw the shape of the base of the thumb after.
Step 2 – Proportion & Draw Index Finger, Middle Finger & Thumb
To help you better understand the positions of the fingers each one will be fully drawn out in the examples (even the parts that are hidden). You do not need to do this but it is something to keep in mind as it can help you avoid mistakes when drawing the parts that are visible. For example if you can only see the tip of the little finger but you don’t consider the length of the rest of it you can end up drawing that part too far up or down the hand.
To start draw the index finger and then the visible part of the middle finger.
Step 3 – Proportions & Draw the Ring & Little Finger
Same as step two.
Draw the ring finger and little finger next.
Step 4 – Clean Up & Finalizing the Side View Hand Drawing
Clean up the drawing and add the fingernails followed by the smaller details such as the wrinkles on the fingers and thumb.
For more on drawing fingernails see:
How to Draw Fingernails 6 Different Ways
Drawing Anime Hands Closed Palm Side View
This position of the hand would be used for something like holding a grocery bag. It’s close to a fist but not quite the same.
Step 1 – Draw the Overall Shape of the Palm & it’s Side
Draw the overall shape of the whole hand in this position. Next draw the shape of the side view of the palm.
Step 2 – Draw the Overall Shape of the Fingers & Proportion the Little Finger
Draw the overall shape of the fingers and then get the proportions for the little finger (as it’s the one in the front).
Step 3 – Draw the Individual Fingers
If you need a better understanding of how to draw the rest of the fingers (following the pink) in this view you can use the same method as in Steps 2 – 3 of the previous example.
Step 4 – Proportion & Draw the Thumb
Get the proportions for and draw out the thumb.
Step 5 – Clean up & Finalize the Closed Palm Hand Drawing
Clean up your drawing and add the details.
Drawing an Anime Fist
Step 1 – Draw the Shape of the Fist & Fingers
Draw a rough overall shape of the fist and afterwards draw the combined shape of the fingers.
Step 2 – Draw the Base of the Thumb & Get It’s Proportions
Draw the shape of the base of the thumb. You can see the placement of it’s joints for this particular pose shown in the example.
Step 3 – Draw Thumb & Proportion & Draw the Fingers
Draw out the rest of the thumb. Draw the fingers slightly thicker than normal (squeezed) to show that the fist is clenched. Also be aware that in a clenched fist the fingers fan out slightly in a direction away from the base of the thumb.
In this particular view the location of the knuckles is not very important but the position of the other finger joints is shown above.
Step 4 – Clean up & Finalize the Fist Drawing
Add a little bit of the arm at the base of the palm and clean up any excess lines. You can then add the small folds and wrinkles.
Drawing Anime Male and Female Hands
Anime male and female hands are often very similar. However, when drawing close ups there are a few differences. Female hands are usually more slender and curvy with long fingernails. Male hands are usually bigger in comparison.
Simplified Anime Hands
When drawing hands anime hands you don’t always need to include all of the details. Sometimes a basic outline of the main feature of the hand is enough. For example if you are drawing a character that is in the background you don’t need to draw the fingernails.
It takes a lot of practice to be able to draw properly structured hands in different views. Depending on your skill level as an artist your drawings may not come out the way you like at first but don’t get discouraged, hands are difficult to draw. If you do it on a regular basis you can improve.
Hopefully you found this tutorial helpful as it was very time consuming to create.
For more on drawing hands also see:
- How to Draw Hand Poses Step by Step
- How to Draw a Handshake Step by Step
- How to Draw Hands Holding Chopsticks Step by Step
- How to Draw a Thumbs Up (6 Easy Steps)