So it has been quite a while since I posted anything. I don't really have an excuse. I'm just bad at it.
Strangely enough, I've gotten more than a few messages about how the posts stopped. Since people are actually checking on this blog, I have decided to start posting again and really really try to be regular about it.
I've also decided to get serious about some of the things that I have become rusty at since leaving school and post my progress. I will still throw in finished works of art and maybe some process examples and whatever else comes to mind, but stick with me and this could become interesting.
First off: Hands. (if I could put that in a spooky ghost font, I would)
Ach, hands. Hands, noses and feet are all notorious for being difficult - basically for the same reason.
The planes are not straightforward. Guessing what is visible from what angle can get tricky.
Hands, more so than feet or noses, have a huge range of mobility and a whole slew of complex potential shapes they can get themselves into. They are also the most expressive part of the body and how they look is important information in a drawing - not second-thought "oh I better give this guy hands" type information.
From childhood, I've always loved the expressive way Tove Jansson drew hands:
While seemingly simple, the more you look through her illustrations the clearer it is that she had an excellent understanding of hands expressiveness, shape and range of motion.
My own approach has been what I like to call the Ball of Yarn approach. Basically I've been skirting-by, drawing scribbles in roughly the shape I want. Don't get me wrong, this approach can be very expressive.
In ink drawings and sketches it can look fantastic.
But, as soon as I want to do something more refined or structural, the technique falls apart. This is not so much a fault of the technique as my own lack of a deeper understanding of the structure of hands.
Instead of loose, fluid, expressive hands - I end up with chunky block-of-granite hands.
Taking the time to really understand hands is something that I have been avoiding for much too long.
To get myself started, I went to posemaniacs and clicked on the Hands For Drawing section. The first thing that pops up - I kid you not - is a penis. Actually its a torso with penis, but remember I gave you fair warning. There is also a foot and a head but the rest are hands.
What is great about this site is that you can rotate the objects and draw them from different angles. You can also flip the hands so that you have a left or right model to work from.
My goal was to get a feel for hands from different angles (and in this stage volume more so than quality), so I just did a bunch of quick drawings.
After 30 or so hands, I started to get a rudimentary feel for the basic shape - but I know I have a long way to go. In case you are curious, right now my approach is like so:
1. mass of hand
2. fat of thumb
3. helpful arches
4. "action line" of fingers
I wonder how many of my graphic design friends are going nuts that I put 3 and 4 together and left the first one blank?