Dog Hand Painting on Tablet Screen
Home Special Features Amazing Hand Paintings – The Work of Artist Guido Daniele

Amazing Hand Paintings – The Work of Artist Guido Daniele

by Brett M. Christensen

These photographs, which depict human hands wonderfully painted to look like various animals and birds, have circulated via email, blogs and social media websites for more than a decade.

Although some commentators have doubted their authenticity, the photographs are genuine and indeed depict human hand paintings. The hand paintings, dubbed “Handimals”, are created by exceptionally talented Italian artist Guido Daniele. A December 21, 2008, Sun-Herald article notes:

AT FIRST glance they appear to be wildlife photos but, on closer inspection, you realise each is a hand – or a ‘‘handimal’’, to be precise. The collection – made up of almost 60images that have flooded email inboxes around the world – is the handiwork of Italian artist Guido Daniele, dubbed ‘‘Michel-handgelo’’. Instead of a canvas, Daniele uses models’ hands to create animals – lions, zebras and a wedge-tailed eagle.

Guido Daniele first got the idea of painting on human hands after an advertising agency hired him to do body paintings of animals. After researching how best to paint animals onto hands, he created his first ‘‘handimal’’, that of the cheetah, shown below.

Daniele notes that the hardest part is watching his creations being washed down the drain at the end of the painting day.

An article about Daniele published on Shay Howe’s letscounthedays blog explains:

Most commonly, Daniele uses his son (Michael James, 15) and daughter (Ginevra, 22) as his primary canvases. ” If you’re spending hours on end holding someone’s hand, I’d rather it be the hand of someone I love. There’s nothing worse than working with a nervous, unfamiliar model whose hands are shaking.” On average the typical “Handimal” takes around three to four hours to paint in its entirety. However the first time Daniele painted the eagle with outstretched wings clocked in at ten hours upon completion.

You can view the hand paintings included below, along with many others, on Guido Daniele’s website.


Subject: FW: These are Amazing – Never Wash Your Hands

Never Wash Your Hands? It’ll take him four hours to do one hand. He then photographs it for posterity. I cannot imagine how he does it, the eyes are so remarkably lifelike. It took him 10 hours to do the two-handed Eagle picture.

Guido Daniele Hand Painting 1

Guido Daniele Hand Painting 2

Guido Daniele Hand Painting 3

Guido Daniele Hand Painting 4

Guido Daniele Hand Painting 5

Guido Daniele Hand Painting 6

Guido Daniele Hand Painting 7

Guido Daniele Hand Painting 8

Guido Daniele Hand Painting 9

Guido Daniele Hand Painting 10

Guido Daniele Hand Painting 11

Guido Daniele Hand Painting 12

Guido Daniele Hand Painting 13

Guido Daniele Hand Painting 14

Guido Daniele Hand Painting 15

Guido Daniele Hand Painting 16

Guido Daniele Hand Painting 17

I hope you enjoyed these as much as I did!

Note: An earlier version of this story was published on Hoax-Slayer in June 2011

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,