How to Draw Hand Poses Step by Step

This tutorial demonstrates how to draw various hand positions. These examples can be used to draw in anime, manga, and traditional styles.

How to Draw Hand Poses Step by Step


Hand poses drawing

If you are not familiar with this tutorial, you might also like to check it out:

Step by step Drawing Manga and Anime Hands

Please note that you must draw the tutorial with a pencil and paper. You should only make the first few steps for each hand pose. As you go through each step, parts of your drawing will need to be erased.

Step-by-step guide on how to draw a hand reaching

Hand-reaching drawing step by step

This hand pose is used when the person you are drawing is reaching out for something. This could be reaching out for help or grasping at a ledge to climb.

The vertical width of the hand tilted inward will make it appear narrower than if it were viewed with your palm facing towards you. This is important to remember when drawing.

Step 1: Draw the outline of the palm

Hand reaching palm drawing

Begin the drawing by sketching the outline of the palm. With just one curve, you can give a hint at the thumb’s base.

The palm will be generally wider towards the thumb, and narrower towards your pinky finger.

Step 2 – Draw Fingers & Thumb

Hand reaching fingers drawing

Add the thumb and outer fingers to the palm. The fingers should be drawn straight, with the thumb slightly bent. The thumb can be slightly bent.


Do not worry about being exact at this stage. The goal is to just establish the size of the fingers.

Step 3 – Draw the smaller bends & curves

Hand-reaching shape drawing

After you have finished the outline of your hand, you can add the curves at the base and bottom of your palm. See the image below to see how the joints are placed. Make sure that the thumb bends and some fingers bends are correct.

Hand reaching joint placement

In the above example, you can see the approximate position of the thumb and finger joints. This is useful for estimating the bends and posting some of the smaller wrinkles.

Step 4: Finish the Reaching hand drawing

Hand reaching drawing

Finish the drawing by adding lines and wrinkles along with your fingers and palm.

The wrinkles will usually be located around the joints between the fingers, as previously mentioned. If you flip your hand over, the two lines at the top of the palm are generally in the same place as the knuckles. Beginner artists make the common mistake of drawing fingers that bend directly from the palm’s top, when in fact they bend from between these lines.

Step-by-step instructions on how to draw a hand casting

Hand casting drawing step by step

This pose can be used to indicate that the character is casting a spell, or encouraging someone to move. This could be used to signal an army or cast a fireball.

Step 1: Draw the outline of the palm

Hand casting palm drawing

Begin by drawing a rough outline for the palm. This particular example will be tilted at 45 degrees and pint towards the viewer. Draw a hint of your thumb’s bottom part inside the palm.

Step 2 – Draw Fingers & Thumb

Hand casting fingers drawing

The outer fingers should be drawn with the thumb pulled back and the fingers spread out evenly. The pinky and the middle finger should be bent inwards towards your palm. This effect can be achieved by cutting the fingers into the palm of your hand.

Step 3 – Draw the smaller bends & curves

Hand casting shape drawing

Add the smaller curves to the palm, and wrap the fingers around.

Hand casting joints drawing

In the above example, you can see how the estimated location of the joints in this hand position is shown.


Step 4 – Finish the Casting Hand Drawing

Hand casting drawing

Add the lines around the thumb and fingers to the larger wrinkles. Remember that the thumb can be pulled back to smoothen out some wrinkles. You can remove some wrinkles that are still visible to emphasize this.

After you have finished adding the details to the hand, you can add darker lines to your drawing.

Step-by-step instructions on how to draw a peace sign hand

Hand peace sign drawing step by step

One of the most popular hand gestures is the peace sign. This is a common gesture seen in manga and anime characters when they are having their picture taken.

Step 1: Draw the outline of the palm

Hand peace sign palm drawing

Similar to the previous examples, start by drawing your thumb and palm. The palm will be squeezed so you can draw narrower than usual.

Step 2: Draw the stretched-out fingers and thumb

Hand peace joints fingers drawing

Draw the thumb’s outer shape and the fingers sticking out. This pose will see the thumb flipping over from its natural position.

Simply draw the two fingers folded together to create this stage.

Step 3 – Draw the folded fingers and smaller bends of your hand

Hand peace sign shape drawing

Add both the individual shapes of your two folded fingers and the smaller curves to the hand. These will be located between the two other fingers and along the bottom edge of the hand. You can erase the extra lines in the previous step to make your drawing look like the one above.

Hand peace joints shape drawing

Below is an estimate of where the joints will be for the peace sign pose. To avoid confusing the drawing, the joints that are overlapped by other parts of the hand are not shown.

Step 4: Finish the Peace Sign Hand Drawing

Hand peace sign drawing

Finalize the drawing by adding details like the fingernails and wrinkles to the hand. As the thumb is viewed from an angle, the nail on your thumb should be drawn smaller. Pinky is the only visible nail. The ring finger can be seen with a very small amount of light.

The fingers will hide most of the lines in the palm, but you can still draw small hints on each side. A large wrinkle can be added in the middle of the thumb. The rest of the wrinkles will appear around the finger joints.


Step-by-step instructions on how to draw a hand pointing away

Finger-pointing away hand drawing step by step

When you want your character to point towards something, this hand pose is a good choice. An example would be an airplane in the air.

This pose is easy to draw, as most of the fingers are hidden.

Step 1: Draw the outline of the palm

Finger-pointing away hand palm drawing

Begin by sketching the rough shape and contour of the palm. The thumb is not necessary to be indicated as the thumb in these examples.

Step 2 – Draw your index finger and thumb

Finger-pointing away hand fingers drawing

Add the thumb’s outer shape to the index finger.

The hand should be viewed from an angle, with the index finger pointing towards the viewer. This will create the illusion that the hand is pointing towards the distance.

Step 3 – Draw your Knuckles

Finger-pointing away hand shape drawing

Add curves to the hand to refine the shape. It should be the knuckles, with a hint of bone at the wrist.

Finger-pointing away hand joints drawing

You can also see the location of the joints in the visible areas of the hand.

Step 4 – Finish the Pointing hand Drawing

Finger-pointing away hand drawing

Add the fingernails to the thumb and small wrinkles at the joint of the thumb/finger. Similar to the previous pose, draw the thumbnail narrower so that it can be viewed at an angle.

Step-by-step instructions on how to draw a hand with a claw-like grip

Hand claw drawing step by step

If you need to draw someone who is trying to grab something, the gripping or clawing hand may be helpful.

Step 1: Draw the outline of the palm

Hand reaching palm drawing

The outline of your hand should be drawn with the thumb at the base. They will be drawn horizontally in this instance.

Step 2 – Draw your Fingers & Thumb

Hand reaching fingers drawing

This tutorial’s most difficult part is drawing the fingers to create this pose. Before you begin drawing this step, it is worth taking a look at the joint illustration further down.

It is easy to draw the parts of your fingers, starting at the knuckles and ending at the first joint. These fannings can be drawn from the hand in the same way as the previous examples. Next, draw the sections facing the viewer at an extremely sharp angle. This makes them appear short or almost invisible. If you want to draw a convincing pose, this is something that you will need to consider. Each section is clearly visible from the tip to the tip. The index and thumb should be drawn slightly inwards, pointing towards one another. The angles of the two other fingers can be drawn at almost identical angles to their “knuckles-to-first join” sections.

Step 3 – Draw the smaller bends & curves

Hand-reaching shape drawing

Add the curves at the bottom and the wrinkles at each end to the palm.

Hand reaching joints drawing

In the above example, you can see where the visible joints are for this hand position.

Step 4: Finish the Claw/Gripping hand drawing

Hand claw drawing

Finish the drawing by drawing lines along the palm and fingernails. Similar to the previous posts, the thumbnail should be drawn at an angle.

You can help ensure that the fingers are at an angle from the tip to the last joint. To do this, move the fingernails a little further away from the tips. This will create the illusion that the bottom of your fingers is angled towards the viewer.

Step-by-step instructions on how to draw a hand-pointing finger at a viewer

Finger-pointing hand drawing step by step

This is an “in your face” pose, which basically points directly at the viewer. This is how “tsundere” characters are drawn in manga and anime.

You can find different archetypes for anime characters at:

  • Tutorial Drawing Anime Characters
  • Step by step Drawing Male Anime Characters

Step 1: Draw the outline of the palm

Finger-pointing hand palm drawing

To create this pose, you will need to draw the outline of the palm and thumb together. This view shows the palm at a very sharp angle, almost at its top. It will appear narrow.

Step 2 – Draw your Thumb & Index Finger


Finger-pointing hand fingers drawing

The tip of the index finger should be drawn larger than usual. This will give the index finger an “in your face” appearance. Next, draw the thumb and combine the shapes of all the fingers.

Step 3 – Draw your Fingers & Smaller Bends

Finger-pointing shape fingers drawing

Add up the shapes of each finger, as well as the smaller bends and wrinkles around your thumb.

Finger-pointing hand joints drawing

Above, you can see where the visible joints are for the finger-pointing hand pose.

Step 4: Finish the Finger Pointing Hand drawing

Finger-pointing hand drawing

Finish the drawing by adding the tiny wrinkles around your thumb and index fingers, as well as one wrinkle to the middle finger. The thumbnail can be drawn (once narrower because of the angle).

Finish your drawing by adding details.


Manga and anime depict hands very much like real hands. They may be simplified depending upon the style or detail of the character, but their overall proportions are generally the same or slightly exaggerated. If you need to draw different hand poses, you can always refer to real hands. This also means that, unlike real hands, manga and anime hands are generally quite difficult to draw.

You can find more tutorials on drawing manga/anime hand-drawn characters at the following link:


Step by Step Drawing 3DVKARTS Poses

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