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Tip Tuesday: Show Me Your Hands!

Tue Aug 12, 2014, 10:58 PM by Mtn-Man:iconmtn-man:

         So this is going to be the first of several Tip Tuesdays put on by yours truly here. So just bare with me for the next few months, as I'll be doing them bimonthly on the second and last Tuesdays of each month. That is, until I've exhausted all of my "useful" knowledge, but hopefully I will be able to impart some good stuff for people out there looking for some tips to improve their art along with other things. 

Jumping off!

    So for my first installment of Rising-Artists Tip Tuesday, I thought I would start off with something I know a lot of people ask about but would be rather easy to show you...


Yes that's right, I'll be going over tips and tricks to drawing hands. I know because of the demand for advice there are already a ton of tutorials out there, but I figure one more couldn't hurt. Even though I am by no means a master of drawing hands myself, I've done enough life drawing classes in college, and life study on my own to probably know better. So I hope to impart that knowledge onto you guys! The old adage, "do as I say, not as I do" sorta thing.  So lets just get right to it then.     

The Anatomy of the human hand. 

    Ok not to sound all preachy and teacher-ish, but lets first take a look at the anatomy of the hand. We can really get a grasp of what we're trying to draw if we don't even know what is we're drawing to begin with right? So for just a little bit lets look at the working of the hand, then we'll put it to application. 
The Hand: The bare bones of the matter.     Hands Bone by Mtn-Man   

The Hand: Getting to the meat of the subject.Hands Muscles by Mtn-Man

    So here as you can see in these two images would be the inner workings of the hand. There are some labels in there but I don't think every little detail or piece may be labelled. Its not really important to know what everything is called, after all this is about drawing, not becoming a hand doctor or anything. Hands are the Supreme instruments of touch. Their sensitivity and delicacy of control make them our primary antennae in our interaction with the world around us. As organs of highly sophisticated engineering, hands continue to be a subject of profound interest to artists, as well as bafflingly hard to recreate with two dimensional lines it would seem. 

    Now for a brief moment, let us also take a look at the Forearm and the Hand together as their relationship is very important to each other. The two bone in the forearm are almost constantly in motion throughout our lives, turning back and forth in perpetual service to the hand. Their movement of the wrist and fingers is controlled by more than thirty slender muscles, arranged in layers from the elbow to the palm. 

The Arm: The bare bones of the matter. Full arm Bones by Mtn-Man     

The Arm: Getting to the meat of the subject. Full arm Muscles by Mtn-Man   

    Now that we've got some of the basics out of the way, let us briefly look at the hand and arms skeletal structure in there proper place under the skin. 

Putting it together by Mtn-Man

Anatomy in action!

    Now we can finally get into the real heart of the matter which is putting all this knowledge into drawing the human hand. So with all that knowledge of the anatomy laid out for us, what we're going to do now is FORGET EVERYTHING. Yup that's what I said, lets just throw all of that crap out the window. While knowing whats going on under the skin it good, it isn't really going to help too much when it comes down to setting the stage for your sketch of the hand. Sorry for wasting your time, but that's just how it goes. 

    This is just a brief quickie on just 3 of the different ways to start off your hand drawing. A and B though are probably the ones I've seen most frequently. The other one, that I didn't get a chance to demonstrate, because even I don't practice with it, was the "Mitten" hands. I'm not too sure what its actually called, but most times, its just drawn as a thumb with a who mitt where all the fingers would be. Sometimes the index finger, pokes away from the mitt, but I like to know where all my fingers are going to be when I start the sketch, so that's why I don't use that technique. 

    Untitled by Mtn-Man

    IMG 0001 copy by Mtn-Man

Drawing from life!

    Now you're saying, well that's all fine and good but what about for us who know nothing about drawing to begin with? Well then you're in luck! Because for most people out there learning to draw or who have been drawing, they have HANDS! That's right, you too have hands and when in doubt its always a sure fired thing to draw your knowledge of art from the real world. Use your own hands as models, I sure do. An I'm not saying draw your hand EXACTLY the way it is, then slap it into your art, but starting off with the position of the hand by looking at your own is a good way to make sure the dimensions and proportions are on par.  Proportion control is the key to drawing the human figure. Once you've mastered the human proportions, then you can begin to distort and exaggerate them.

Lets show you how it goes using our own hand as a mach up for our drawing. 
Use your own hand by Mtn-Man 
Here I've gone ahead and taken a quick picture of my left hand using my phone. Now I will start a rough sketch while referencing the picture. 

Img by Mtn-Man

In a lot of my early sketch work for a piece, I like to use blue lead. That way, once it comes to scanning the picture, any of the lead that wasn't covered via ink can be easily removed. Most of the time just adjusting the white value and contrast in Ps will achieve this. 
Even in this part of the picture though you can see that I already started adding in some of that "Master Class" stylistic traits from anatomy studies from some of the great artists of the Renascence  and such, just because I think it looks cool. That and it just felt appropriate for this lesson.
IMG 0003 edited-1 by Mtn-Man

An after all that here we have our finished piece. Now while a lot of the muscles and structure of the bones and such were not present in the picture of my hand, going back and referencing our anatomy guide will help you when it comes to adding in those touches. An I know a lot of folks out there are not into the whole hatching thing and do a lot of things digitally, the basic set up can be applied to all the mixes of artistic styles. 

Looking around da for hands in action!

    All around dA we can find wonderful examples of the use of hands throughout peoples works. Even though a lot of the times, the hand are not usually the focal point of the piece, its crucial that they are properly placed and in the correct proportion to the figure or they could easily throw off the whole integrity of the piece. Here are some examples of Hands used in fellow deviants art where its not the focus, but the execution of the hands in the piece are defiantly on par.

Warfstache by sconeo From The Grave by RisingsmokeHands scare me by AishaxNekox
Scholar by Phantagrafie

Ok... So the third one was about hands, but you get the gist. 

other resources to help you on your way.

    An just because I might have done a terrible job, here are some other helpful hand resources you can take a look at all about the art of drawing the human hand.

hands by anthonysarts Hands... by moni158 hands by Kibbitzer Hands by Jedi-Darkstar Relaxed hands by moni158

Hand tutorial by shingworks     Hand Tutorial -Tips+Reference- by Qinni    Hand Tutorial 2 by Qinni    -Hands Tutorial- by odduckoasis    + Tutorial - Hands + by goku-no-baka

     I hope you enjoyed, or at least bared with me on this little endeavor, and I shall see everyone back here every other Tuesday with some more helpful(hopefully) tips!

-This is Mtn-Man signing off.

Skin by SimplySilent


Jared B. Anchondo
Artist | Hobbyist | Traditional Art
I'm just a drunk with a Pen and a pad. I would like to think of myself as a comic artist, but that would be insulting to Actual comic artist.

I do draw a lot of comics, and it is my main artistic focus, but alas, I am a Terrible writer. So some of the story have a good premise but lack in fundamental story building. As such, I abandon most of them only several pages in... But I'll finish one yet damn you!

I also like to paint, I dabble in photography, and activities include fishing, shooting, spelunking, rock climbing, canyoneering, Bowling, and all around public drunkenness.

If you have any questions or need to reach me, feel free to drop me a line. I love when my message box get full, or if anything else you can try finding me here #Gotterdammerung

You Can't Stop The RIOT


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