Hands and feet: Get the right proportion
Most beginners draw hands and feet which are incorrect. Surprisingly,
it's a common fault with even some experienced artists. Here is a
helpful tip to overcome this problem. Remember that a hand, from palm
base to fingertips, is as long as a face.
A foot is bigger still. It measures slightly more than the length of
the entire head. Most beginners don't spend enough time to study their
proportion properly or practise drawing these parts.
Hand and feet may seem difficult to draw, but they are no harder to
draw than other parts of the human body.
Sketching gloves is a simple way to start learning how to draw hands.
They are easy to draw. Observe Figure 1. Women's gloves are usually made
to fit more exactly over their fingers and hand than those of men. Note
how strongly the gloves resemble hands and also the fine lines of Figure
Practise these examples until you get them accurately. You could use
your 'non-drawing' hand as a model.
A mirror will enable you to get several angles to draw.
Study the female hand of Figure 2. The back of the hand is gently
curved like the exterior of a sphere or circle. The fingers follow a
shallow curve from the top of the palm.
There are three finger joints which are marked as lines, but these do
not correspond exactly, because the fingers have different lengths. Each
fingertip varies from person to person and knuckles may be prominent or
Hands of old people have wrinkles on the fingers and also on the
backs of the hand. However, it isn't necessary to put them all in the
drawing. By now you should be experienced enough to know, the idea is to
suggest rather than attempt to get down every tiny detail on paper or
There is a big difference between the soft, usually beautiful hands
of girls and the rough, blunt fingered hairy hands of men. Study the
illustrations in Figure 3 - men's hands. Then copy them in pencil or pen
The human foot is constructed in the form of a series of arches which
make it super strong, flexible and able to withstand constant shock.
Ankle joints project from each side, the inside knuckle being lower than
its outside partner.
The ball of the foot is quite large, and the heel is not small
either. You can practise drawing feet by using your own or those of
friends. The foot seen sideways is wedge - shaped as are most boots and
From the front, the toes appear to be broad. However, viewed from
above, those seem to be pointed or narrow.
This is an important point to remember when sketching them. Study the
sketches on Figure 4 from different angles. They will help you to draw
with simple lines.