Getting to grips with hands.
Because of its sophistication and incredible range of movement, the human hand is complex to draw. When I draw complex forms, I like to simplify as much as possible, especially when drawing from life.
To begin, I prefer to first note the outer shape. I look for key landmarks such as the knuckles, fingertips and the bones of the wrist. Then I draw a shape that captures the outer form. Once I have the hand blocked in, I refine my drawing by adding details, anatomy and fingers. I also want to note the gesture of the form, using simple marks, such as straights and C-curves, as much as possible. These help me to capture the gesture and construct my simple shapes.
The fingers are a unique challenge, because they can move in a variety of ways, which can make the pose very complex. To simplify this, I like to group the fingers as much as possible. I’ll often begin with the wrist and palm only. Then, I group all the fingers together into one mass. When I have time, I’ll then refine the drawing by separating the fingers and adding details.
To make the hand feel solid and threedimensional, I’ll emphasise the structure using simple 3D forms such as boxes, spheres and cylinders. I’m keen to define corners and planes because it helps when I’m ready to add lighting and shading.