Hand-y Drawing Exercise


As I’ve mentioned before, I’m taking a character design class online from Stephen Silver at Schoolism.com. This week’s assignment was another two-parter. Part 1 was to sketch a page of hands.

Next to the face, the hands are the most expressive part of the body, and therefore one of the most important features in any drawing. Its easy to get lazy with the hands, because they can be so stinkin’ hard to draw. I think there are two reasons so many artists struggle:

1. Hands are incredibly complex. I think there’s something like 27 bones in the hand and 15 joints, not to mention all the little muscles, tendons, etc.

2. Hands are always moving, and they can move a zillion different ways. There is no “standard” hand pose.

Stephen spent a significant portion of his video lecture analyzing the hand and pointing out how to break it down into manageable parts to make it easier to draw. Then he told us to go draw a page of hands, using either our own hands or photos for reference. I did my sketches from this book.

This was a great exercise and I highly recommend it. It made me realize how lazy I’ve been getting with hands in my own drawings.

Tomorrow: Part 2 of the assignment.