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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Drawing tricky subjects--hands!

We were talking about drawing hands the other day, and I remembered someone suggesting you think of the hand shape as a mitten, first, simplify it to that form, THEN add fingers and thumbs and details.  So I decided to do a couple of quick demos.  (And yep, I turned over my mug of coffee, but I don't like to waste paper!  These are leftover sheets from my bookbinding project, cut to handy demo size. 

Most of them are still coffee-free...

I was able to see the foreshortened forms easily this way...but my thumb's still a bit short too!
More playing with mitten shapes and tricky hand positions...

You can see where the "mitten" lines were...and also see that I've got a bit of arthritis!

Tweak as you need to, nobody says you HAVE to stay within the lines if you see you need to correct a bit, but it DOES give you good guidelines...


  1. Perfect! I needed this. I've been taking Life Drawing, and my bodies tend to end up with non-hands and mangled feet. I love the added touch of the coffee splashes. Brings it home. I can relate to messy life.


  2. Glad to help, Carolyn! Simplifying shapes really does help, but somehow that "mitten" image stuck with me all these years...

  3. Waste not want not! LOL! I have some very similar coffee *splats* on some of my old sketches, but that just gives them character, right?
    I really like this mitten aspect for drawing hands, thanks, Kate.

  4. Glad to help, Mary! And yeah, character...exactly...

  5. Thanks Kate. Since I wear mittens all winter, I should take lots of photos and then see what I can do with this technique at my figure drawing sessions.

  6. Great idea, Shirley, I'd love to see what you do with them.

  7. This is timely--one of my recent goals is to get better at hands and feet so I will try this technique.


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