how to draw holding hands

Holding Hands Drawing – A Step-by-Step Beginners Guide

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Hands are a great drawing topic because of their unique composition, and there are many ways to draw hands. In this tutorial, we will be creating a holding hand drawing which will provide us with the challenge of placement, positioning, scale, and structure. A holding-hand drawing is a great way to enhance both your detailing skills as well as your shading. This particular drawing can also provide you with a skill set that can easily be utilized for various other topics in your drawing practice.



An Easy Guide to a Holding Hands Drawing

In this tutorial on how to draw holding hands, we will be working with a source image to assist us in the drawing process. This particular drawing topic is quite challenging, however, like most challenging experiences, all we need to do is break it down into a set of a few simple steps. We will find that as we go through each step for this hands-holding drawing, the drawing will slowly develop into a realistic hands-holding drawing.

hands holding drawing


Necessary Materials

We will be working with a set of simple tools to make the process digestible and uncomplicated. We will be working with a pencil to establish the early sketching stages, and then move on to using the pen for a more refined contrast and detailing. We will want to make sure that we have an eraser for the early sketching steps as well as a sharpener. Once we have all the materials, we can prepare the source image and we will want to start preparing a space where we can engage in this drawing tutorial. All materials can be found through the links below:

  • Pencils
  • Ballpoint pen
  • Eraser
  • Sharpener
  • Good paper (200 g/m – 250 g/m recommended)
  • Source image



Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Draw Holding Hands

We will begin with a simple holding hands sketch, working out the shape, scale, and placement. We will want to spend time on the early sketch, making sure we have the size and positioning as accurate as possible. From there we will proceed to add in some light shading, slowly enhancing the shadow and light within the drawing. We will then move on to adding in some more refined shading, making sure the hands-holding drawing has a good amount of contrast between shadowed and lit areas.

Now that we know what to expect, we can go through this tutorial on how to draw holding hands.


Step 1: Drawing a Light Sketch of the Hands

Let us begin with a simple sketch of the hands by first demarcating a general area on the page where the hands will be placed. Referring to the source image, we want to start lightly sketching in the fingers on each hand. We want to keep our sketch light so in this first sketch, simply place the hands. From here we will start working with our erasers to tweak and change the hand drawing. We want to consider how the larger hand on top is placed over the smaller hand.

holding hands drawing 03

This is where we start looking at finger placement and how the larger hand’s fingers wrap around the smaller one. Try to use the reference image to see how larger fingers are on each hand compared to one another. You will find that this process will require a lot of erasing and redrawing, but this is ok as it will slowly develop a better observational awareness every time you redraw fingers and hand details.

holding hands drawing 05

In the source image, we can see how the larger hand’s thumb is placed around the smaller fingers, we can also see how the index finger wraps around the smaller hand’s pinky finger. We want to consider details such as these whilst sketching.

holding hands drawing 06

Making sure the fingers are sized correctly is essential for a holding hands drawing. We want to make sure that it makes sense to look at the larger hand holding the smaller hand.

holding hands drawing 07

There are various little details you can use to help assemble your drawing accurately. For instance, if you work from one side to the other, you can start to compare each finger to the next as you go, ensuring that your finger sizes are accurate for each hand. You also want to make sure that the smaller hand’s fingers have a slight overlapping as seen within the reference image.

You can see that they are squeezed together a little bit, causing a little overlapping.


Step 2: Adding Light Shading

Once you have established a general holding hands sketch, we can now move on to adding in some light shading. Using between a 3B and 4B pencil, we will now proceed to add in some shading. We are going to want to work from one side, slowly working our way to the other side of the drawing. This way we are less likely to make any silly mistakes.

holding hands drawing 11

Try to focus on the knuckles of the larger hand, as these are very subtle shaded features of the hands in the drawing. We can also see how the shadows start to faint flow down each finger of the larger hand. Try to work on the larger hand at first, making sure you capture the subtle shadows within the knuckles and top of the fingers.

holding hands drawing 13

We can move into the smaller hand’s fingers, making sure that we draw in the nails and add shading to each finger. We will also notice that each finger has more shading in its lower half due to the upper half being more bent and therefore more exposed to light.

holding hands drawing 14


Step 3: Adding Darker Shading

Once we have added in some light shading, we now have a guideline for where to shade the drawing darker. We want to make sure that we still use the reference image to assist us as we add in some darker details for contrast. A good suggestion is to go from one side of the drawing again, slowly working your way through to the other side of the drawing.

This will enable you to make note of details you have shaded before and to slightly enhance them with darker marks.

holding hands drawing 16

We can see that on the top hand near the knuckles the shadows are slightly darker whereas the shadows start to become slightly fainter as they drift and flow into the upper features on the top hand.

easy hands holding drawing

Try to take your time with blending your shadows, you want to make sure that there are seamless transitions between the darkest and lightest areas within your drawing.

holding hands sketch

With the smaller hand, the fingers have a slight bend which exposes the fingertips. This makes the lower section of the fingers flow into the shade, making the knuckles slightly darker than the fingertips area.

holding hands drawing


Step 4: Adding Pen Shading

Then lastly, once we have completed our second layer of shading, we can move on to adding in a last layer of shading to emphasize the contrast a little further. We can do this with a darker tool such as a pen, slowly going over the shading again. We want to make sure we take our time with shading in the drawing with a pen as it is quite easy to make mistakes when using a pen. Make sure you use pencil shading to assist you in your pen shading process. We simply want to enhance the details that are already there, which have been established by pencil. This is an opportunity to give the drawing a little more contrast, further enhancing its shadowed and light moments.

hands holding drawing

With a ballpoint pen, you want to consider how much pressure you apply to the pen as this will have a direct implication on the amount of ink that comes out. Try to approach your pen shading process with a light hand. It is better to build up light layers of the pen in different areas of the drawing until you have reached a particular desired tonal value. We want to make sure that the shadow placement is well established within all areas of the hand, especially around the fingers. This is particularly true for the smaller hand’s fingers, where there are shadows as a result of subtle overlapping.

Make sure you take your time working through the drawing with your pen and you should be done. And there you have it – how to draw holding hands in a few simple steps!



Tips to Remember

  • Take your time with scale and placement. It should take a little while to place and shape the hands, so be patient with this part.
  • Keep your drawing light. This is especially true for the early stages of sketching the hands, as this way we can rectify any silly mistakes, if need be, before adding in pen details.
  • Build layers of shading. It’s always better to build layers of shading from light to dark, as this way you have more control over the outcome.
  • Take your time. Drawing takes time and hands are complicated, so take your time with the process.

how to draw holding hands


Learning how to draw hands is always a great topic for drawing because of how unique they are as a structure. This tutorial demonstrates a unique way of drawing hands that describes how the process of a complicated subject matter can be broken up into a few simple steps for an effective result.



Frequently Asked Questions


How Do You Draw Fingers in a Holding Hands Drawing?

When creating a holding hands drawing, you will find that there is an overlap of fingers, which means that the fingers on each hand are not entirely visible. The intention should be to draw a pair of hands where the finger placement makes sense. In the case of this tutorial, we can see that there is a smaller hand beneath a larger one, which allows only half of each finger on the hand to be visible. The hand placed on top is seen from above, which means we see the upper features of the hand and the fingers. Once the placement is correct, you can then spend time on the nails, creases, and shadows present within each set of fingers.


How Do You Shade in Hands?

The most important aspect of shading a holding hands drawing is the awareness of a light source. Whichever side the light source will be most present will develop shadows on the opposite side. We will want to make sure that shadowing is mostly present on a single side of the drawing to establish a realistic effect of light and shadow. Once we understand which sides of the hands would have more shadows, we can take our time with building up layers of shading to give the drawing contrast. We will also want to consider smaller features within the drawing, such as nails, creases, and overlapping areas where the fingers cross over. These areas should be approached with caution so that you don’t overdo your shading by accident. This is why you want to always slowly build up layers of shading from light to dark.

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