I Mastered the 100 Hands Challenge! Here's How You Can Too.

Drawing hands can be daunting for many artists. I am no exception. Every time I was in a life drawing class, I would spend more time trying to sketch the hands and feet than any other body part. So I decided to try the 100 hands challenge to focus my skills in one area.

The truth is that I had not dedicated time to understanding this complex body part. I had drawn countless faces, but there were areas that I needed to spend time learning to master.

One of my goals this year was to accomplish the 100 hands challenge. I am proud of myself for sticking with it and accomplishing this drawing challenge. I can draw hands a lot more confidently after drawing 100 hands.

Completing this challenge proves that if you dedicate yourself to mastery, you can get there!

I highly recommend the 100 Hands Challenge as a transformative journey that boosted my confidence in my artistic abilities. In a short time, it helped me grow and improve significantly. I'm sure you'll benefit from it too.

Hand drawing

In this post, we'll explore how you can take on the 100 hands challenge to develop your skills and creativity.

Why should you do the 100 Hands Challenge?

Drawing, like any other skill, requires practice to improve. Doing an art challenge can help focus our efforts on one area that needs improvement.

The 100 Hands Challenge provides a structured approach to improving your drawing skills, specifically focusing on one of the most difficult parts - drawing hands. By committing to drawing 100 hands, you'll gain a deeper understanding of hand anatomy, proportions, and gestures. When you sketch many hands, you explore different positions, angles, and perspectives, allowing you to tackle the complexities of this subject.

Hands reading a book drawing.

How to Start the 100 Hands Challenge?

Begin by setting aside dedicated time each day or week to focus solely on drawing hands. I decided to start each day by drawing hands as a warm-up exercise. Some days I would draw one hand, others up to four in a sitting.

It took two months to complete this self-assigned project. I finished the final thirty hands in three days, but this was after building the confidence that took two months to achieve.

I gave myself a theme for every ten hands because I knew I would get bored if I did not find some way to keep myself interested in this project.

• 1-10 simple gestures
• 11-20 hands holding a pen
• 21-30 popular hand gestures
• 31-40 fists
• 41-50 experimenting with compositions & colour
• 51-60 children's hands
• 61-70 old hands with POSCA markers
• 71-80 hands with props
• 81-100 pairs of hands with props

I used my own hands as a reference in some drawings, but I mostly used photo references. Some of my favourite websites for references are Deviant Art, Unsplash, JookpubStock, Pexels and Freepik.

Hands drawin in coloured ink

Afraid to take on an art challenge? I have some advice for beginners who might be overwhelmed!

Tips for Completing the 100 Hands Challenge

1. Start with basic shapes and negative spaces: Begin by breaking down hands into simple shapes and establish the overall structure and proportions of the hand before adding details. Use negative space drawing to help you understand the complexity of what you are seeing.

2. Study hand gestures: Draw many hands quickly to understand the movement and expressions. Aim for a gesture drawing in 3-5 minutes. Once you are comfortable with these quick exercises, take your time to observe and understand hand movements in more detail.

3. Experiment with various mediums: Explore different drawing mediums such as pencils, ink, or digital tools to add variety to keep you motivated. Doing this art challenge allowed me to experiment with posca markers. I have realised I need to learn more about using this medium.

How to Track Your Progress?

Consider keeping a sketchbook dedicated to the drawing challenge. As you complete each drawing, take note of the areas you struggled to draw.

I had a notebook to write how I felt after accomplishing some drawings. Paying attention to my feelings helped me surmount the huge task and take breaks when needed. Tracking my progress throughout the 100 Hands Challenge was vital to identify areas that still need work.

Bird in hand drawing

How to Stay Motivated?

For beginners, remember that it's a marathon, not a sprint. Embarking on any artistic challenge can come with its fair share of obstacles. It's important to remember that growth takes time and is not linear. Embrace the mistakes and challenges as opportunities to learn and improve.

If you do a bad drawing, turn the page and do another. Don't let mistakes and messy sketches weigh you down and prevent you from completing the drawing challenge.

Hand drawn in mixed media

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I hope I have inspired you to try the 100 hands challenge or practice drawing hands more often. Doing this art challenge helped me tackle something I tend to avoid drawing - Hands.

I can certainly draw hands more confidently now!

Some of my favourite spreads from this challenge.

 old hands drawing with markers.

Night & day hand drawings.

Kids hand drawings

Flower in hand - drawing.

Fist pump hand drawing.


Coloured ink hand drawing.

Blue ink hand drawing.

Toned paper - hand drawing

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