How to draw the human figure - How to draw Fingers in two dimensions




Drawing a 2D Finger

Now you're fairly comfortable with drawing simple contours of hands, correct? But what people freak out about when drawing hands is drawing the fingers. Now hold on there, calm down, we'll get through this. We'll take it slow. If we do what we've been doing and start simple and build up to more complex ideas, you'll do fine.

As you know, a human finger is divided into three segments. The first two segments are cylindrical in shape, and the finger tip segment is roughly a rounded-off cone shape. Here, we're looking down at the top of one of the two first segments. The top of this shape, which is the back of the finger is somewhat flat, and the bottom, which faces the palm is a rounder shape.

Now let's turn this shape of a finger segment 90� so that we're looking at its side.

Now put the three segments of the finger end to end, each segment is smaller than the one to its right.

Now we've drawn a finger and it already looks more realistic than many fingers that you've seen many other people draw. But the reason some drawings of fingers don't look right is because they are bent in an arc, as if the fingers didn't have joints. It looks like a rubber glove filled with water. So if we take the finger we just drew and imagine that it has a rod (or bone!) with two joints, or hinges, along the top of the finger. Now you can see how the finger is supposed to bend. And because the muscles and skin of the finger are soft and pliable, when the finger bends down and curls in on itself, all three segments of the finger become more wedge shaped and fatter. The middle segment's soft tissues will become compressed the most as the finger curls because it's in the middle and the other two segments are basically crowding and squishing the middle segment.

Click to enlarge

Using what you've just learned, you should be able to draw this bent index finger. Never mind all the fine details like the shadows and the wrinkles, and the other fingers that you see, just do a quick sketch and see if you can draw the single index finger. This finger is showing only two dimensions, so draw it sort of like the way I drew the index finger just above, but you don't need to draw the "rod and hinges" like I did.

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