Part 4, project 4, exercise 1 – structure, body parts: Drawing hands

After some dismal attempts in Part 4, exercise 2, I’ve taken myself to YouTube hand drawing boot camp. This is the first video:

The demonstrating artist makes very precise photorealistic drawings which I’m unlikely to be doing. However, her way of presenting the basic shapes is valuable because it replaces the assumptions that drive errors. Looking without seeing. I tried following the hand demo as it unfolded. It’s in conte which doesn’t erase very well so isn’t very forgiving. A deliberate choice. There’s clearly a long way to go but I’m pleased to have ‘aged’ the video model.


This drawing post-dates the ones below and I can see it’s less fluid than those I did from life. Hopefully, it’s instilled a better grasp of fundamental shapes that will inform the fluidity I prefer for my own style.

This is a link to foreshortened drawings of limbs and hands:

Another video:

These are unapologetically stylised but because of that, there are some clear illustrations of basic shapes. After watching it, I had a go at drawing my own hand. The thumb area is a bit of a mess but it looks like a much better hand than the ones I’d drawn before. It’s 3B pencil, a blending stump, and a putty rubber.


Conte. A bit grim in that there’s no real volume in those fingers and the palm is too short. It’s also over-worked and most of that is ‘corrective’.


This is interesting: I’m very lefthanded and also now quite reliant on glasses for close vision but this is drawing of my left hand is from life and not only using just my right hand to make the marks but without glasses to see clearly the marks I was making. Astonishingly, it seems better in form and volume than any of my others and this must be a result of being far less able to focus on detail and to be distracted by that rather than just making the broad shapes. There’s even a roughly adequate bit of foreshortening in that middle finger.


Taking this back into the longer study exercise, I moved my mirror out into the garden and made a right handed sketch. It was rather short-lived as a ‘longer’ study as it became quite hot very quickly and I had to go indoors again, but I think the principles of looseness and removal of focus on detail held rather well. I have it in ‘post production’ now to add some layers of shade and colour but I want to keep the minimalised feel of it.


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