Drawing Cartoon Hands

Welcome to another exciting drawing lesson! In this lesson, we'll learn to draw the basic cartoon hand. Hands are very easy to draw, and involve only a few shapes.

In most cartoon characters, you'll notice that the hands are larger in proportion than on a regular person. Cartoon hands are very simple, but very expressive, similar to the face, because they show the character's feelings and emotions.

To help keep cartoon hands simple, most cartoonists draw them with only three fingers and a thumb. The three-fingered hand was popularized with Mickey Mouse, and continues to this day. Three-fingered hands are thicker than the normal four-fingered ones, and the fingers are larger. Using only three fingers for your cartoon hands is not required; many cartoonists still draw them with four fingers. I personally prefer the three-fingered style, but you can decide for yourself.

1. Begin drawing the hand with a basic "skeleton" of a circle with sicks for the fingers and thumb. Next, draw "sausages" over the fingers and thumb sticks.

2. Once you have the basic shape set the way you want it, trace the outline of the hand with a pen. Once dry, erase your pencil lines. Voila! The basic hand.

If you look closely at people's hands, you'll see that the hands of men and women look a little different. Women's hands tend to be smaller than a man's, more dainty, sometimes with longer fingernails. The above hand is the one I use when drawing cartoon men.

Children's hands also look different, but they are simply smaller versions of the basic hand.

Use the same two simple steps to draw a cartoon woman's hand:

Now ink your drawing and erase the pencil lines.

Notice that the fingers are all pointy; since I leave the fingernails off the cartoon character's hand to simplify things, the pointy fingers stand in for long, feminine fingernails.

See how easy that is? Sure it takes practice, like everything else in life, but there isn't much to it. After a few hands, you'll have the process down pat!

Even though we're drawing cartoons here, I look at real people for ideas and references. Study the hands of the people around you and in pictures, and pay attention to the many different poses they make. Every pose you can imagine can be made using the simple method I've outlined.

So take your sketchbook, open your eyes, and draw several pages of hands. To see some examples of different hands in different poses,

click here.

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