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Uploaded: August 26, 2010
Artist: Dawn
Difficulty: Novice  Novice Skill Level
Steps: 8
Updated: August 26, 2010
P.O.V: Multiple
Favourited: 17 times
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The most common thing many artists have trouble with is learning “how to draw nails”. I've had so many problems with drawing these stubborn little pieces of dead skin. Who knew that drawing nails could be so easy? I mean, all it is is a part of the anatomy of the fingers or toes. It's very important as a progressing artist, to understand the concept of how this membrane grows, appears, and learning the tips and tricks on drawing them. In this tutorial, I include a few tips that will show you the correct way on drawing nails from different perspectives. Once you've understood the way to draw them, you'll be able to draw them on your own like a pro! Becoming a better artist also calls for researching and observing your own nails and how they appear. Examine the way your nails look and reference from them in order to create accurate looking pieces of flesh. All aspiring artists go through this type of problem until they get full with confidence. I would suggest to draw the fingers first before you actually start proceeding onto drawing the actual part of the nail. There are three important things to focus on when learning from this concept. There are cuticles, the very thin pieces of skin that overlap the edges of where the nail begins. Next, comes the nail itself, where to place it is also important. Lastly, is the perspective it's viewed from. If you don't know what perspective is, checkout some good tutorials on “how to draw perspective” in Google. I think I may have a nice tutorial on the aspect, so go search for it on the site. Anyways, I have to get going on another helpful lesson for you all. Thanks for sticking though, and have fun learning “how to draw fingers”.

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how to draw nails

How to Draw Nails

how to draw nails step 1

STEP 1.

Here, I show you the different angles on the nails. It's important to understand these elements in order to achieve accuracy. There are so many ways that these pieces of dead skin form. How would you create an old flaky brittle nail without understanding the way it's to be viewed? Examine this step and find out the cool tips.
 
how to draw nails step 2

STEP 2.

The right way to draw a nail is simply starting off by drawing the finger. NEVER draw a finger pointed, it doesn't matter if you're trying to make the finger seem to be the nail combined within. You need to give the finger depth and realism. Do you know anyone in person that has pencil fingers? There are so many ways to draw nails, that's it's impossible to draw them all! Think off all the diseases that these can become acquainted with. How about some sharp claws for fingers? What about a chipped and brittle fingernail for your creepy and sickly character? All of these traits create volume for your character. Be on the lookout for different styles and ways to design these pieces of flesh.
 
how to draw nails step 3

STEP 3.

Let's begin practicing what you've learned. Taking on a challenge is always an artist's exercise for improvement. Start off this tutorial by drawing a circle for the base of the head shown in the tutorial cover. Add a guideline for the middle of the circle in order to even out the face accurately. Add four more guidelines overlapping the face to create the fingers and the nails.
 
how to draw nails step 4

STEP 4.

Start this step by fleshing out the face shape and the beginnings of the lips. See how the guideline helps? Be sure to keep in tune with the guideline so your drawing comes out as planned. Start the lip line a few centimeters below the circle you've drawn previously. Always draw the background before you overlap the foreground. Otherwise, you'll end up in a dreadful mess.
 
how to draw nails step 5

STEP 5.

Create the lower lip to semi-finish the lips.
 
how to draw nails step 6

STEP 6.

Finish off the lips by adding the separation between the opening of the mouth and bottom lip. It's time to add the foreground, which is the fingers. You'll see later on how drawing the background before the foreground helps.
 
how to draw nails step 7

STEP 7.

Finish off the drawing by finally drawing in the nails. Keep in mind the the nail sizes vary between the fingers you're drawing. The pinky nail is of course smaller then all the nails. The thumbnail is obviously the biggest of them all. The longest would have to be the middle finger's.
 
how to draw nails step 8

STEP 8.

This is what your lineart should result to. With time and practice, you should be able to draw any type of nail in not time. Who said drawing a semi-full female face with healthy fingernails is a bad learning concept? What you're doing is simply practicing the concept of nails until you don't need guidance. I hope this tutorial has thrown you back on your feet for another drawing experience. Stay tuned for more awesome lessons!