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Skeleton Hand Drawing In 5 Beginner-Friendly Steps [Video + Illustrations]
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Time to learn how to draw a skeleton hand!​

Your hands have 27 bones each.

There are quite a lot of them and they come in all shapes and sizes, which is why a skeleton hand drawing can seem challenging.

But, with the right guidance, you can easily draw a skeleton hand in just five steps. Even if you don’t have training in drawing or art in general, you can easily follow this tutorial:

If you prefer to follow illustrations, read on!

The Tools We Recommend For A Skeleton Hand Drawing

To make the process of drawing a skeleton hand easier, we suggest getting these tools:

  • An H pencil: A hard lead allows for light strokes, which is just what you want when sketching.
  • An HB pencil: A medium-hard lead lets you leave a darker trace on the paper, so you can use it when adding soft shadows to your sketch.
  • A B pencil: A soft lead leaves a dark trace on the paper, which makes it the perfect choice for shading.
  • A kneaded eraser: These erasers are easy to shape the way you want. You can easily make them shorter/longer or thicker/thinner depending on what you want to erase.
  • Lightly-textured sketch paper: Paper with a soft surface is a good choice for drawing because pencils easily glide over it, and erasing mistakes is easy.

These are just our recommendations. You can use the tools you’re most comfortable with!

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How To Draw A Skeleton Hand In 5 Steps

Our guide is beginner-friendly, which means that we’re going to break the hand (no pun intended) into basic shapes and draw them one by one.

That way, drawing a skeleton hand won’t be as difficult as it may seem at first!

We’ll take you through these steps:

  1. Drawing the palm bones
  2. Drawing the finger bones
  3. Finalizing the bone outlines
  4. Adding the finishing touches
  5. Shading the drawing


1. Draw The Palm Bones

Recommended tool: H pencil

The first step to drawing a skeleton hand is to sketch the bottom of the palm.

This is where the carpal bones are placed. They connect your hand to your forearm.

To create a rough sketch of carpals, draw an oval shape, like this:

Illustration of an oval shape used as a base for the skeleton hand drawing.​
A simple oval shape is the starting point for your drawing. ​

2. Draw The Finger Bones

Recommended tool: HB pencil

Then, add five circles of roughly the same size at the top of the oval shape. These represent the bottom of the metacarpal bones.

Don’t let the big words scare you away!

“Metacarpal bones” is a fancy name for the longest bones in your fingers.

The top line of carpals should go through the middle of each circle:

Illustration of the bottom of the metacarpal bones which are attached to the carpals.​
The outline of carpals with the bottom of the longest finger bones resembles a paw. ​

Now, each finger has three bones (except for the thumb, which has two).

For starters, determine the length of the metacarpal bones and draw more circles to mark the top of each bone.

The distance between the first and the second thumb joint should be shorter than on the other fingers.

Your index and middle fingers have the longest metacarpal bones, so pay attention to that when adding joints.

We’re drawing a skeleton of a right hand, so the thumb is on the left.

Draw five more circles and make them parallel to the circles at the bottom, like so:

Illustration of the top of the metacarpal bones is added to the sketch.​
Continue adding circles to your sketch. ​

Then, connect the circles to form the basis for metacarpal bones: 

The top circles are connected to bottom circles with straight lines, forming the outline of metacarpal bones.​
Metacarpal bones are now in place. ​

Next comes drawing proximal phalanges.

These are the middle bones of your fingers (or the top bones of your thumbs).

Again, the easiest way to draw the bones is to first mark where they start and end, and then connect the two ends.

So, draw five circles the same size as before on top of the metacarpal bones:

The bottom part of proximal phalanges is glued to the top of metacarpal bones.​
Start forming the middle bones by sketching circles first. ​

To finalize the outline of the proximal phalanges, add circles to mark the top of the bones.

The middle finger has the longest proximal phalange, then the pointer finger, and so on.

Now, connect the circles:

The completed outline of proximal phalanges.​
The proximal phalanges are now in place. ​

Next comes drawing the middle phalanges.

You know the drill by now.

Start by drawing the circular bottom of each of the five bones.

The thumb has one bone less than other fingers, so don’t draw the top of the bone on it.

Instead, draw a straight line slightly leaned to the right, like so:

The bottom of the middle phalange is added to each finger.​
Time to add the middle phalanges. ​

Then, draw the top of the bone on each finger and connect the circles with straight lines:

The outline of middle phalanges is completed.​
The hand is slowly taking shape!​

The last part of the outline are the distal phalanges — the smallest of the bunch!

To draw them, simply add short, straight lines, like so:

The distal phalanges are added to the skeleton hand drawing.​
The rough sketch of a skeleton hand is now ready!​

3. Finalize The Bone Outlines

Recommended tool: HB pencil

Once you position the bones and determine their length, it’s time to outline them.

Start with metacarpal bones.

All you have to do is connect the circles at the top to the bottom ones.

Make sure to use round lines and have the bones become narrower in the middle:

The outline of metacarpal bones is completed. ​
Outline the metacarpal bones first. ​

Then, outline the proximal bones using the same technique.

So, no sharp edges and make sure the bones are narrower in the middle than around the ends.

Don’t worry if your bone sketches don’t look perfect. Some lines may not look symmetrical and others may not be as curved as the rest — and that’s okay!

Look at our sketch and notice how the bones aren’t the same:

Proximal bones are now outlined. ​
Don’t sweat it if the bones you sketched don’t look symmetrical! ​

Next comes outlining the middle phalanges.

You can skip finalizing the thumb for now; you’ll go back to it in the next step!

Middle phalanges are outlined. ​
Continue outlining the bones.

To finish outlining the fingers, add the distal phalanges.

These tiny bones have a wide bottom, narrow middle, and a mushroom-like, round top.

As for the thumb, you can draw its top as a long nail observed from the side:

The outline of distal phalanges is completed. ​
Finish outlining the tiniest phalanges. ​

The last step when outlining bones is to sketch carpal bones.

You can draw them as rocks of pretty much the same size, but make sure that the one at the bottom left is the largest. That’s the scaphoid bone, and it’s vital for the motion in your wrist:

The outline of carpal bones is completed. ​
The carpal bones are now in place! ​

4. Add The Finishing Touches

Recommended tools: HB pencil and a kneaded eraser

Now’s the time to add some finishing touches and start shading the drawing.

For starters, you can grab an HB pencil and add a few short lines at the bottom and top of each bone:

The outline of the skeleton hand with details that add dimension to the sketch. ​
Small details add dimension to the sketch.​

Then, grab your eraser and carefully remove the unnecessary lines, like so:

The skeleton hand drawing with unnecessary lines erased. ​
Your skeleton hand drawing is nearly finished!​

5. Shade Your Drawing

Recommended tool: B pencil

To make your skeleton hand drawing look more realistic, you can shade it.

We recommend using a B pencil because the softer lead leaves a darker mark on the paper.

You don’t have to overdo it with shading.

You can go over the outline to make the lines more pronounced and then gently shade the top and bottom of the bones and their sides.

The final sketch should look like this:

The finished skeleton hand drawing. ​
Your skeleton hand drawing is now finished!​

Finished Your Skeleton Hand Drawing? Try These Next!

When you complete your skeleton hand drawing, we encourage you to give our other BIOWARS tutorials a try.

We have a separate guide on how to draw hands (no bones this time), but you can also learn how to draw other parts of the human body, including:

More tutorials!
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Meet The Artist

This guide on how to draw a skeleton hand the easy way was created by Goncalo Lopes — the lead BIOWARS artist with an impressive resume.

He has worked on projects such as TMNT, Transformers, Godzilla, GI-Joe, Adventure Time, and much more.

Goncalo’s also responsible for the unique look of the BIOWARS characters — both the BIOWARRIORS and the invading pathogens.

He also makes simple how-to-draw guides for our audience, so anyone can improve their drawing skills even if they don’t have prior experience in arts!

Explore BIOWARS art
See how we drew our comic book protagonists!

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A Recap On Easy Skeleton Hand Drawing

When creating your first skeleton hand drawing, it’s important to break the sketch into basic shapes.

You should:

  1. Position the palm bones first
  2. Mark the top and bottom of every bone by drawing small circles and then connect the circles with straight lines
  3. Use round lines to finish outlining the bones
  4. Add several short lines on the bones to add more dimension to the sketch
  5. Shade your drawing

Even if you’re a beginner, you’ll have no trouble drawing a skeleton hand when you follow these guidelines and work on your sketch one step at a time.


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