Drawing Anime Hands Joint Divisions
We looked at the phalanges in the skeletal structure of the hand at the beginning of this tutorial. The phalanges define the separations or the joints between different parts of fingers.
Note that each finger has three joints, one starting at the knuckles and two more down the length of the finger. Indicating these joints in the correct place will provide solid structure to your drawing of anime hands.
Get The Head Measurements Right
Manga characters tend to have exaggerated features such as big eyes and tiny noses, but I feel that the profile of the skull should still be consistent with the measurements of the human skull. Above is a simplified drawing of a skull, with the braincase and the facial bones in proportion with each other. Compare this to a more manga head and you can see that the proportions are pretty similar. The ears still sit on the vertical half of the braincase, while the brow line lies on the horizontal half of the braincase.
How To Draw Anime Cats
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Kittens are adorable all by themselves, but drawing them anime style makes them even better. If you want to learn to draw one for yourself, follow this tutorial.
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Understanding Basic Hand Anatomy To Draw Anime Hands
I published a very detailed tutorial that covers drawing and anatomy of the hand. This tutorial can be found at the following link.
Below, lets cover the very basics we need to understand about the structure of the hand for anime and manga drawing.
The metacarpals create the palm of the hand, fingers stem from these bones.
Phalanges are the bones of the fingers, notice how each finger has three joints one at the knuckle one in the middle and one closer to the tip.
Notice also that the thumb has only two phalanges. The third joint is at the metacarpals back at the wrist area. This will become important when you draw the thumb, as it will have only two visible joints compared to the three for the fingers.
Position Of Teeth In An Open Mouth Side View
When the mouth opens like the yelling face drawing above the top row of teeth stays in the same position . The bottom row shifts along with the jaw but their position in relation to the jaws itself also does not change.
While you dont need to make a see through drawing like the above examples every time you draw its good to keep these things in mind to avoid mistakes.
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Use A Painting Approach To Sketching Heads
I paint my sketches instead of drawing them with fine lines. I use a big brush with about 60 to 80 per cent values to block in the head. Next, using a darker value, Ill outline the head and paint key features. Ill fine-tune the expression of the mouth and eyes by colour picking the grey tone and painting over the line. Finally, Ill refine the hair to get a sense of its shape, painting over lines to achieve the shape that I want.
Drawing Anime Hands Start With A General Shape Work General To Specific
In both method we will cover below to draw anime hands, the glove/mitten method and the simple form construction method, we will start with a very basic shape for the palm of the hand.
It is a boxy and concave shape. Check the diagram above, then try to make different hand gestures and observe your own hands as well, and observe how this shape changes from one gesture to the next.
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Drawing Anime Mouths Screaming Angry Or Exerting Effort
Many expressions of the mouth in anime are often interchangeable with others. As an example, above are screaming and angry drawings of a mouth as well at mouths showing exertion. It is often hard to pinpoint the expression exactly without other cues or other facial features for context. While this could seem confusing, it actually works well for the artist.
We only need to learn so many expressions to be able to draw them all. Learn to draw the ones above and you can then draw an anime character expressing anger, or one exerting physical force. You will notice, however, that the difference between those two expressions is likely to be shown in other facial features.
There are some similarities we need to be aware of.
Notice how the majority of these have rounded corners and a line indicating a break between the teeth.
Notice also that the line indicating the separation of the upper and lower teeth is zig-zagged. This type of line indicates some overlap of the jaw when the teeth are clenched together.
Create The Basic Structure Of The Face
First, you will create the general composition of the characters face. While artists have varying preferences about how to structure an anime characters head and face, they all start with the same basic principle: First draw a circle, and then draw a horizontal line and vertical line directly through the center of the circle.
Generally, you will draw the eyes on or just below the horizontal line and the mouth at the bottom of the circle, with the nose placed between the eyes and the mouth. The chin will extend down below the circle.
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Drawing Anime Hands A Step
The glove/mitten method stems from the fact that most of us can better imagine and draw a glove or a mitten than a detailed anime hand.
You dont have to worry about drawing in fingers. With this method, you only worry about the general shapes. Controlling general shapes is basis for all good drawing. That is to say, every great drawing starts with the artist having full control of the general shape of what they are drawing.
Start drawing anime hands with a simple boxy shape of a glove or a mitten. With this type of simplification fingers are indicated with one rectangular shape, then the simplified form is drawn over with more detail and by adding divisions of the fingers.
Above is a good example of how the glove/mitten method works.
When you draw the simplified form, think about the general shape of the hand, its proportions, the general gesture. Worry about the details on the second pass.
Above is an example of a very simplified form drawn for the fist. Note that, although the fingers twist down, I was able to draw that in later.
It was easier to draw because the general shape and perspective of the drawing was resolved in the simplified and boxy under-drawing on the left.
Note that all of the drawings of anime hands I made for the tutorial start with the general shape of the palm.
Below are two more examples.
Use An Arrow To Place Key Facial Features
After blocking out the head I decide which direction the character is facing. Treating the head as a 3D shape, I draw a horizontal line that curves along the surface. When I draw this line I bear in mind whether the head is tilted upwards or downwards, or facing left or right. To fix the direction of the head then Ill draw an upwards pointing arrow . This helps me locate where the nose bridge meets the root of the nose. Once this key location of the face has been identified, I can quickly paint and sketch in the centreline for the face, eyes, eyebrows, mouth and chin .
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Draw The Lower Part Of The Head
Going down from the circle add the lower part of the head. To make the character look more cute make this fairly small in relation to the upper part of the head and not very tall.
As you can see in the above example you can draw each side by first making a straight downwards line that is angled towards the middle of the head followed by a curve and another line that is angled even further towards the center. Both sides should be joined at the bottom with the small curve of the chin.
For drawing different styles of heads see:
Create Frontal Head Tilts
Try visualising the head tilt from the profile view. Using a circle and a box, I can visualise what the head tilt will look like from the side. I draw vertical lines extending from key features such as the chin, centre of the braincase, ears and the top of the head. This enables me to see what Ill need to paint when attempting to draw the head from the front. Above are examples of a manga characters head tilted up and down. Remember to draw the underside of the jaw when drawing a tilted-up head, and the crown when drawing a head thats tilted down.
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Drawing Anime Mouth Mouth Partially Open
There are certain instances that show up very often in anime and manga, where the character is speaking, or smiling or showing distaste in a situation, and the characters mouth is half-open. A similar drawing of a mouth is used in all of these varying situations.
In these instances, artists can show lots of emotion through the corners of the mouth, but no teeth are visible at all.
In the above examples, the dip created by the area between the lower lip and the chin is indicated by a single mark. If you place your index finger on your lower lip, and slide it down slowly to your chin, halfway through you will notice that your finger moves inward before moving outward towards the end of the chin. This dip in anatomy is represented here with one mark.
Try to study from the examples below, and try to identify what kind of character this expression could belong to. Can you draw in the rest of the face of the character just by looking at the mouth drawing? This could be a good exercise in invention of facial features.
In the example above, lets identify the tilt of the head and location of the mouth. In the example on the right, we can see that the head is tilted slightly to the left. We can infer this just from the drawing of the mouth.
It also appears that indication mark for the dip above the chin is more prevalent in male than female anime characters. The male faces seem to be represented to be more angular, providing the mark indicating the dip shows a change in the plane.
Position Of Teeth In A Closed Mouth Side View
Before you draw teeth its a good idea to have a rough estimate of how they are positioned in the mouth. You can see a rough estimate of this in the see through drawing above.
The importance of having an understanding of where the teeth are positioned in the head should become more apparent as you go through the tutorial.
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Drawing Thumb & Fingers
For the purpose of the tutorial I will fully draw out the structure of all the fingers for you to use as a reference. You do not need to do this but you should be aware of the positioning of the invisible parts of the fingers to avoid mistakes when drawing that parts that are visible. For example if you can only see the tip of the pinky but you dont consider the length of the rest of the finger you can end up drawing the tip too far up or too far down the hand.
Use Shapes In Your Character Designs
Whenever Ive run into a brick wall when attempting to design an original outfit for a character, my solution is to duplicate a characters head a few times and then doodle whatever shape that comes to my mind alongside each one. So Ill focus on a single shape a crescent or triangle, say and then design a costume which resembles that shape. This method works with hairstyles, too.
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Tips For Drawing Manga Faces
Create engaging manga faces with this pro advice.
Manga faces are a vital part of drawing manga. I began my drawing career by learning how to draw manga. During this time I purchased many how-to guides for creating this distinctive art style, and discovered that the drawing methods were similar to those of western comic art. Essentially, youd use a pencil to draw the head shape and then add lines to indicate the eye position and centre of the face. Once this construction sketch is complete the final line-art is created using ink.
I followed the same drawing method when I first explored digital art with a Wacom Graphire that a friend gave to me. Yet I couldnt get my hand-drawn line-art to look right and I had to use the Pen tool. The resulting line-art was clean, but it felt lifeless and lacked the energy that I would have wanted in the drawing.
After years of practice I gradually changed my method of drawing characters. Instead of working from a sketch and then moving to line-art before adding colours, I paint in greyscale, then adjust values and apply colours until Im happy with the drawing. So here are some of my tips for drawing manga faces digitally.
For more advice on drawing, see this how to draw roundup of tutorials, or this post on how to draw manga.
Capture Expressions In Cartoons Sketches
The key expressive features of the human face comprise the mouth, eyebrows and eyes. When I draw a figure that has a particular emotion Ill first doodle a cartoon-like image of the expression that I have in mind. After this sketch is complete, Ill try to pick out certain facial aspects within the expression. Is the mouth open? Are the teeth clenched? What do the eyebrows look like in the simple expression? Ill take note of those features and keep them in mind while I draw a refined version of the characters design on top of the initial sketch.
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Anime Teeth Alignment Drawing Different Views
Once again you can see that though the facial expressions and mouth shape changes the teeth still remain in pretty much the same position. While you dont need to perfectly align them when drawing the same character in different views its generally a good idea to try and keep the teeth in roughly the same place in relation to the rest of the head.
Multiple Sharp Teeth Shark Tooth Anime Character
Sharp shark like teeth on anime or manga character can often indicate a competitive personality. Some characters may have these as a permanent feature while others may only get them in a certain expression.
For these type of teeth you can pretty much draw them like a saw or actual shark teeth.
The example above is another variant of the shark teeth that may appear when a character is grinning.
For these types of teeth once again draw them similar to a saw but this time instead of drawing them all in a straight line draw them curving along the mouth.
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Analyzing The Proportions Of The Hand
Study the proportions of the fingers.
The fingers and the palm of the hand should be roughly the same length. The tip of the thumb if drawn at a 45 degree angle to the hand should reach to just slightly below the knuckle bone of the index finger.
The fingers consist of 3 parts with the distance from the tip of the fingers to the top joint being the shortest and the distance from the knuckles to the bottom join being the longest.
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Expressions & Teeth/fangs Drawing
For some facial expressions a character like this may have that show teeth you can see the two below.
This first one is slightly angry/serious . For this expression draw the eyebrows lowered and the eyes slightly squinted. Draw the mouth in a sort of smile with the two fangs on each side .
This second one is more playful. A sort of Oh really? expression. For this example draw the eyebrows raised and the eyes slightly squinted.
You can see a close up drawing of the teeth compared to the closed mouth in the example above. If you want to keep the character looking pretty draw the fangs fairly small. You can give just a hint of the other teeth with a sort of broken up curve .
For more on drawing anime teeth see:
How To Draw Anime And Manga Hands Step By Step
This tutorial illustrates how to draw anime and manga hands in various positions.
While Its difficult to have one clear guideline for how to draw hands as they can bend in so many different ways this tutorial provides some basic tips and examples.
For anime hands holding different kinds objects you can see 6 Ways to Draw Anime Hands Holding Something.
Hands a difficult body part to draw and the best way to learn is through a lot of practice.
Drawing anime hands can be a little easier then drawing realistic hands as a lot of the details are left out. But the overall structure and proportions are basically the same.
For drawing arms see:
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