Drawing men’s hands: how do hands change with age?

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I think hands are an area that most artists find difficult to begin with, but in anime hands tell us almost as much about a character as their face, so it’s important that we understand as much about them as we can!

In anime and manga, we see a lot of variation in men’s hands in particular – hands can tell us about their age and build. Things like the way the skin looks, how many veins and tendons are visible, and how fat or skinny the fingers are will tell us a lot about a character.

Let’s take a look at some different types of men’s hands and learn some great tips to help draw hands like a pro!


Distinguishing features of mens’ hands

Here are some features that help set mens’ hands apart from womens’:

・Rugged
・Bony
・Tip of the fingers are more square and wide
・Thicker wrists
・Hand with fingers spread out is about the same size as the face
・More dips and bumps, so we need to use more shading


Slim hands

A slimmer man’s hands have slimmer fingers, so we see more of the tendons and joints. The tips of the fingers are also a little more slimmer and pointed (although not as much as an average woman’s hand). Avoid making the fingers and nails too pointed or elegant, and make sure to draw in lots of tendons and definition at the joints to give the hands a masculine look.


Well-built hands

For a chubbier or more well-built man’s hands, we want to flesh out the whole hand – this means the wrists are thicker, and fewer tendons and wrinkles are visible.


Representing different ages with a character’s hands


20’s

For a character in their 20’s, we see youthful, toned skin. The hands are well fleshed-out, and more plump than an older man’s hands, so there are fewer wrinkles and tendons showing.


40’s~50’s

A middle-aged character starts to lose the youthful appearance in their hands. We see more wrinkles on both the top and the palm of the hand. As the character gets older, we see more of the veins through the top of their hands.


Over 60’s

We see the hands slim down even more, and because there’s less fat and more loose skin, we see more wrinkles, and lots more tendons and veins showing through the top of the hand, and around the wrist area.


I hope you found these tips for drawing men’s hands helpful! Remember, it’s not just a character’s face that shows us how old they are – make sure to make their whole body fit with their age and body type.

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