How to Draw HANDS – Muscle Anatomy of the Hand

How to Draw HANDS – Muscle Anatomy of the Hand

Hi, I’m Stan Prokopenko, and this is Proko. I get a lot of tutorial requests, but today’s
topic is hands-down the most-requested. Today, we learn how to draw hands. My previous hand lesson explained the bones. Even if you’re not interested in drawing skeletons… uuh! no… …the bones determine the proportions and
range of motion. For the hand in particular, a lot of the forms
of the bones are visible on the surface, so you gotta know them. If you didn’t watch that lesson yet, it’s
there waitin’ for you. If you watched the lesson but didn’t do the
assignment.. So, we already covered bones, in the next
few lessons, we’ll cover everything else about hands. We’re gonna do it in four parts. Part 1 is about the muscles of the hand and
how they should inform your drawings. Then, I’ll teach you how to draw the surface
details of the hands, like fingernails, skin folds, and fat pads. In Part 3, I’ll show you a drawing process
for drawing hands from reference or from your imagination. And part 4 will be a series of step-by-step
drawing demos. It’s gonna be good. If you’ve been wanting to get better at drawing
hands, clear your schedule. And tell your friends… So, welcome to Part 1, the Muscles of the
Hands. this is the most boring… Most of the muscles that control the hand
are located in the forearm. Remember those? They’re called the extrinsic muscles of the
hand. It means they’re located on the exterior and
send long tendons to control the hand. Now we’ll study the intrinsic muscles of the
hand. The ones located in the hand itself. These muscles can be grouped into three teardrops:
The thumb gets two teardrops and the pinky gets one on the palm side. Here, here and here. Their teardrop-shapes are wider at the wrist
and taper towards the fingers. The one on the palm side of the thumb is the
biggest. They’re like the Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and
Baby Bear.. Noo, not the bears again! But what about fingers? Mehmet asked “do we have just fat at fingers
or is there anything else except tendons?” You’re right, the fingers are made up of bones,
tendons and fat… no muscle fibers in the fingers! All muscle bellies end before the metacarpophalangeal
joint, here. That goes for the thumb, too. Remember, the thumb only has two phalanges. As you can tell from it’s shape, the thumb
is different from the others. There are a lot of muscles surrounding the
thumb and it has a much larger range of motion. Let’s start with the thenar eminence. That’s a fancy word for the thumb mass on
the palm side. It’s the biggest and most important muscle
mass on the palm. It emerges from the wrist and attaches along
the thumb bones. It stretches out when you stick out your thumb,
but even then you can see how thick it is. It’s even more obvious when the thumb is brought
towards the palm, and all the muscles bunch up into a big mass around the base. Papa Bear has a fat pot belly. You can think of it like a cone or a chicken
drumstick on the thumb’s metacarpal. It changes shape as the thumb moves, which
makes it a little tricky, but as long as you know its origin and insertion, you know the
area it fits into. To fully understand it’s form, you gotta
know the layering of the muscles. I’ll explain all the individual hand muscles
in-depth in the Premium version of this lesson. Was that a plug? Hypothenar Eminence Next up, the pinky muscle mass, technically
called the hypothenar eminence. This one is long and narrow, not quite as
thick or wide as the thumb mass. It may look like these two masses meet in
the middle of your palm, but the muscle fibers actually stop a little short with a tendinous
gap between. It’s the fat sitting on top that blends them
together. Don’t go overboard with the hard edge between
them or you’ll end up with hand-butts! In general, it’s better to shade it with tone
than mark it with a black outline. Unless the palm is squeezed together, bringing
Papa Bear and Mama Bear in for a hug. In that case hand butts are totally acceptable. The pinky mass starts at the base of the hand. It actually travels over the side of the hand
and attaches to the outside of the pinky metacarpal. It makes this mass. This is why the ulnar side of your hand is
kind of squishy when you poke it, while the radial side is hard and bony. This pinky mass has a weird muscle on top
of it that’s kinda unique. It runs perpendicular to the other muscles
of the pinky. This muscle is called the palmaris brevis. Sound familiar? There was that palmaris longus muscles we
learned in the forearm lesson that had the wide palm aponeurosis at the end of it. Well, the palmaris brevis originates on this
palmar aponeurosis. It inserts on the skin along the pinky border
of the palm. Ok, interesting… What does this muscle do? It pulls the skin inward and helps to improve
grip. Go ahead and try it. Squeeze your hand together like you’re gripping
something. Notice that interesting indent it creates
along the side of the hand. That’s the skin being pulled. The skin and palmar fat bunch up. Under the crease you can see that large abductor
digiti minimi. I bet you’ve seen that indent a gazillion
times, but never really understood it. Now you know. First Dorsal Interosseous The final teardrop shape is the first dorsal
interosseous. It’s the Baby Bear teardrop on the dorsal
side of the thumb. It creates this egg-shaped bulge between the
thumb and index finger metacarpals, filling that v-shaped gap between the bones. Since it’s between the two bones, the dorsal
surfaces of those bones are still subcutaneous. That means you can feel the back of the bones
and the soft squishy muscle between. Go ahead and find it on yourself. When the thumb is out, this muscle mass is
stretched out. Look at the overlap between this muscle, on
the dorsal-ulnar side of the thumb, and the muscles and skin on the palmar side. There’s a lot of depth to this area. Beginning artists often draw a simple contour
and accidentally flatten it out. Instead, focus on the overlaps. Draw overlapping lines so it’s clear what’s
in front and what’s behind. It will add depth to your drawings. This is why anatomy is helpful – now you know
where this mass is coming from, so you can draw it with more context. When the thumb is squeezed in, it pops out
as a big round egg form. It’s not as thick as the palmar thumb mass. It’s shorter, too. The dorsal thumb mass only reaches the metacarpals,
while the palmar thumb mass starts way up at the wrist. So, you can see in this photo the dorsal thumb
mass ends here at the metacarpal bone. The palmar thumb mass peeks out down here,
much closer to the wrist. Remember there’s a lot of loose skin around
this area too. When the thumb and index fingers spread, the
skin is pulled tight in a straight line between the knuckles. As they come together, that line loosens into
an inward curve. When they get really close together, the skin
gets pinched and bunches outward. Ok, so those are the muscles of the hand. There’s 2 more lessons and a few demonstrations
coming soon, so keep your eyes open. To make sure you don’t miss any new lessons,
sign up for the proko newsletter at! Assignment It’s time to get your hands dirty! Your homework is to draw hand quick-sketches. Focus on the three fleshy masses I talked
about today. Your goal is to create drawings with good
gesture and simple 3D form. Make sure you use a good balance of straights
and curves. Identify the superficial bony areas and check
to make sure your muscle forms attach to the right spots on the bones. Be sure to post your drawings in the Facebook
Anatomy Group so that you can get feedback and possibly included in the critique video. Alright guys that’s it! I hope you liked this lesson. This 4 part hands lesson is by far the most
complex lesson I’ve done so far. If you can please give me a like below and
share this video with your friends. I really appreciate all the support. Alright, next video, coming soon!

100 Replies to “How to Draw HANDS – Muscle Anatomy of the Hand”

  1. Do you guys have any questions after watching this lesson?

    Btw, if you're planning on doing the assignment, you can find the photo reference at

  2. I like how informative your videos are, but I can't tell if they're catered to adolescents or adults, or just both. Either way, it seems catered to children with that skeleton, but then I'm thinking of these complex lessons, but then I think of the "homework". It doesn't mix well for me 🙁 sorry Proko. Also your intro is kinda long. Besides my negative nancy comments, it was a great video, very thorough and everything was extremely easy to understand. For one of your free videos I didn't feel ripped off of content and I'm kinda tempted to pay and see what else you have hiding! Thanks for that.

    Ps I didn't think drawing hands could really be all that complex :3

  3. Oh my god. I forgot how to breath when I saw Skelly being whipped. I think I was close to crying from laughing so much.

    Thanks for that. This just made my morning. X'D

  4. Meanwhile my college art teacher be like: You gotta be more expressive, show their personality and shit… Bitch I don't know the basic anatomy!

  5. You are SO FUCKING GOOD at drawing, holy shit. Your mastery over the basics of anatomy and rendition are so flawlessly demonstrated in your simple sketches, it drives me insane. Thanks so much for making these!!

  6. Bridgman's A Hundred Hands has been a pain in the butt, but these videos are a real lifesaver for making more sense from those books. Thanks a lot!

  7. Im new in your channel
    Im struggling at the body i mean the torso,arm,neck(maybe not) and legs and also feet

  8. I really thank you Proko for helping me to master all these techniques. Because of you I know how to draw better.

  9. the thing I struggle with most when comes to hands would be drawing them tensed, like say a character were clenching his fist, or tensing them up in a clawed position, I can't get that down right a lot of the time, it takes away from the action shots in the drawings i do because the hands end up looking limp or awkward

  10. Anyone know what kind of pencil he uses? It looks like charcoal maybe.. but it's sharpened unlike the charcoal pencils I use.

  11. I really like the explanation in depth of the anatomy . This clearly shows the structure of the hand. Thanks for the humor as well.

  12. Alright this video helped my drawing technique into another level. But that random clip on 0:58 caught me off guard hahaha. Thanks for all the help and knowledge by the way!!

  13. Interesting the lesson about the bones and muscles but then when it comes the drawing part is in speed motion. Let's see if I find the second part

  14. Whenever he says phalanges, I just here flangies and it sounds like some kind of dessert, like pancakes with cherries or something.

  15. Do you have a video comparing Male vs Female vs Child vs Older Hands? I seem to not find it in your youtube channel? I struggle distinguishing male and female hands while drawing.

  16. Re watch this video with no volume, it takes away the context and it looks like Proko cut away to discipline a skeleton for letting him draw a hand. Then proceeds to show his obsession with hands and draw more of them. The skeleton retorts and proko threats a feverish 🥵 belting again.

  17. Vay be bir yabancı videoda hele ki sanat içeren eğitici bir videoda Türk yorumu görmek mükemmel bir duygu Mehmet Akın Sarıca seni ayakta alkışlıyorum.

  18. 0:58 "This is a house of God, and there will be absolutely no "spooky" shit in this house!!!! No son of mine is going to celebrate some evil satan day and look like that!!!"

  19. I wanted to learn how to draw hands but instead I saw a man spank a cgi skeleton with such intense fury that I'm scared, Disturbed, and uninterested

  20. By far one of the best online course in studying human form. Great tips and keeps you hooked. Love the funny side of your videos too Proko.

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