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!

Dereck Turner

100 thoughts on “How to Draw HANDS – Muscle Anatomy of the Hand

  1. Proko says:

    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. Trench Man says:

    How can skelly feel pain if he has no nerves?

  3. the bloodstorm says:

    I got to hand it to you this is a really well done tutorial.

  4. iCaliver says:

    Although this is an old video post very helpful. 👍

  5. Joseph Arceda says:

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

  6. cu says:

    Poor skeleton lol

  7. Yoshikage Kira says:


  8. manda-chuva aqui mesmo says:

    I cried to laugh at this skeleton. kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

  9. Aidan D. says:

    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. Avi Mendoza says:

    0:56 i just wanted to draw hands

  11. Tea Sisters says:

    0:59 what did i just see

  12. sochyvonn nora says:

    The skeleton is very anoying

  13. Eric Johnson says:

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

  14. MC_Creative says:


  15. Beniek says:

    No to Skelly abuse!

  16. Tyler Rea says:

    Proko is by far the best Illustration instruction video source on youtube, Thanks Stan

  17. V H says:

    1:00 What did I just watch?

  18. Nirali M. Patel says:

    who else used to draw a human figure and then put the hands behind the back when they were kids? lol

  19. BeatNazty says:

    Hey Stan! You kinda look like Charlie Day😀

  20. PURPP-esque says:

    0:58 Spank me, Proko.

  21. Ryan says:

    The whole comment section is about the skeleton being spanked

  22. tuscuanilly barticus says:

    0:59 kinky

  23. YAHUSHA KING says:

    Nice looks like a mouse

  24. RÆPčHæ TųłÅđhaŘ says:

    I have litter bit problem to make ears. So please can you make the video about ears

  25. Ryden Williams says:


  26. literally dead says:

    I will never be able to draw hands oof

  27. Jared Queiroz says:

    Some things you explained just don't happen in my hand ;-; god should watch more proko.

  28. Dr. Poison II says:

    0:58 thank you prockopancake, thats what I like to see x3

  29. Hestius Pan says:


  30. crazy person says:

    I watched the video but I didn't do the assignment :C NO WIPPING ME THO. :/

  31. Darko Dacovic says:

    Spiderman hand at 1:02

  32. Dennese Akira Nicole F. Medina says:


  33. Killer Queen says:

    Kira Yoshikage will be pleased.

  34. Satya Sarkar says:

    thanks proko

  35. denis says:

    I am so happy for not doing the assignment.

  36. camilo caceres says:

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

  37. Stuff3 says:

    I remember when proko was just a sweet boy

  38. Twanted Vivianne says:

    the intro never fails to make me dance

  39. handsomefatboy says:

    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!!

  40. Abigail Millsapps says:

    0:59 skeleton abuse

  41. Alex Pacheco says:

    1:46 AAAAAH!

  42. Mannama Dectos says:

    That skeleton is really fucking obnoxious and not in a funny way

  43. Laurence Dobson says:

    0:58 looks at screen for first time – with no sound – and wonders WHAT THE HECK is going on? lol

  44. Critstix Darkspear says:


  45. Jenny Song says:

    clear your shedule

    Me while having 2 essays due the next day and a project.


  46. Romek Dubczek says:

    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

  47. oh yea oh yea says:

    Hands down get itxddxbdhsgssjsbkze

  48. creamy0bear says:

    BDSM Proko?!!

  49. Grass Soda says:

    Daddy Proko's gone whoop yo ass

  50. Miguel Lavariel says:

    Haha I had to laugh so hard ;D

  51. Sarah says:

    I'll stick to my mitten hands

  52. oh sangwoo says:

    He is spanking a skeleton

  53. Bob Bobson says:

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

  54. MKY Hunter says:

    😂😂😂😂😂 amazing video!
    Thanks, proko!

  55. Kevin Start says:

    Can that skeleton be my best friend?

  56. Clovis Astaire says:

    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.

  57. Roberto Vidal says:

    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.

  58. theblackphenom says:

    That was hot

  59. Eduardo Amaral says:

    0:58 Cursed

  60. U Fone says:

    Are we really gonna ignore the hand butts flatulating?

  61. Zoltan says:

    7:54 You can't fool me Proko, that is obviously a drawing!

  62. Chase Paul says:

    poor bones

  63. Mustafa Civelek2 says:

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

  64. Denwer Brugol says:

    Proko you are best)

  65. PiKira says:

    People who make puns in this comment section will be needing to dodge these hands.

  66. TACO MAN says:

    If you don't do the assignment he will come to your house

  67. MR. CRIZOM says:

    Guys proko is so cool. If I look up a tutorial that I think won’t exist proko has it.Thanks man

  68. Soft3a says:


    proko: i will beat you sO quick-

  69. Abby Saddoris says:

    "Hard and Boney"
    rasies eyebrows

  70. Gear says:

    번역기 자막ㅋㅋ 뭔소린지 모르겠네

  71. Lore4697 says:

    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!!!"

  72. TehProTrollBoi says:

    when he rotates the model twice

    oopsie doopsie, now i don't have to pay premium

  73. Cowsly says:

    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

  74. Amas Bansal Art says:

    For a sec, I thought I was watching Honest Trailers…

  75. Iggy is the name says:

    4:48 GoT eM!

  76. Kaiwan Abbasi says:

    Love his jokeful tutorial❤💟

  77. Shubhs K says:

    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.

  78. Skaffen says:

    Too bad you got the humor of a 8 year old child. Farts, really ? Spanking a skeleton ? This is so cringy XD

  79. Weeb says:

    enough internet for today-

  80. Y O I N K says:

    0:57 And that was when my entire highschool art class watched a grown man spank a CGI skeleton with a belt

  81. Пиз Дюк says:


  82. Kassandra Carrettini says:

    very cool anatomy video. I wish you didn't have the scene hitting the skeleton, because I cant show this to my students.

  83. caique oliveira says:

    thanks for the help, im brazilian drawer, and your lessons help me make better, thanks for everything

  84. Raccet Kun says:

    0:58 I did not do my assignment
    Proko: omaiwa mou shindairo (idk how to spell this)

  85. Mari Henderson says:

    what did the skeleton do to deserve such abuse

  86. Kino -Imsure1200q says:

    1:51 4:17 0:58 0:59

  87. Kino -Imsure1200q says:

    0:58 minecraft 12000T

  88. Kino -Imsure1200q says:

    4:17 Boy Scouts

  89. Yume Sekai says:

    Woah I just watch one of your lessons, my drawings improved a lot! This is amazing!

  90. Jordan Richards says:

    Great video, but your skeletons voice makes me what to go find a different one.

  91. Dibyoshree Sarkar says:

    Why does my had have absolutely no muscle definition? I'm so sad!! I can't use my hand as reference cuz I have baby hands 😭

  92. Funny Sounds says:

    Strong Russian spanking

  93. Willket says:

    he's gettin more and more memey then ever

  94. zimnomel says:

    Come for the lessons, stay for the skeleton BDSM.

  95. Denzl Hdrian says:


  96. Re: Azawrath Archaos says:

    A question:are you also a doctor cuz the way I look at it.It seems youre really knowledgeable towards body parts.To be exact youre knowledge about body parts
    is as equal at your skills at drawing haha.Or im wrong.Anyways I really learned from your tutorials not just from drawing skills but also in body parts😅 thanks a lot dude.

  97. キョー says:

    It's a bit funny that you called the thenar eminence group 'papa bear', when in Japanese it's called 母指球筋, (母 means mother)

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