Tips on drawing hands?
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  1. #1
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    Tips on drawing hands?

    Um, hi ^^. Well, I was wondering if someone could help me with drawing hands.

    I tried drawing some on paper and later scanning them, here they are:

    Name:  ruke 001.jpg
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    I used a stock image from deviantART to try and do it, so it's why it has numbers. I've read somewhere that links from DA aren't allowed (?), so here is the image (I've cropped it a bit):

    Name:  hands_reference_by_pikishi-d4brw9f.png
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    The main ones that bother me are number 1. and 5., they seem too deformed to resemble the person's hands. I tried fixing it, but only made it worse.

    Any kind of critique is welcomed~. But sorry if I don't read them instantly, I've got to study for a test tomorrow right now.

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    Why go through all the trouble of finding photos and copying them when you've got perfectly convenient, better reference literally at the end of your arm?


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    Maybe you should practise with cleaner lines. I know it's sketch but by sketching that roughly you can't see where your mistakes are easily.
    Concerning n#1: it's a matter of proportions: fingers are too wide and the back of the hand too short+the 4th interdigital space is too long which makes the back even shorter.
    n#5: second and third fingers are toowide again, the wrist go too high and you missed the fact that the palm hide a part of the nails giving a sense of depth.
    To be more general, don't miss the bumps and curves that are the reflection of some specific anatomic element and imagine the fingers as 3 cylindrical objects. Too shorten even more: learn a little of anatomy, it helps and easy to find in internet. For exemple the n#2 shows an hypothenar eminence (the bump just after the wrist on the interior part of the palm) too high and the hollow following it misses (in regard of the head of metacarpian bone).

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    Thank you for the feedback ^^.

    Elwell- Hmm, how can I put this: I wanted somewhat of a different hand to practice one than mine. Since I'm still a kid, it's a bit smooth, I wanted to draw something a wee bit rougher. I do use my right hand as stock commonly, but it tends to look unusual because I just got used to drawing mine. I do know that looking at real life is MUCH better than using a photo ref., but again, more variant~. Besides, my brother won't let me draw his.

    StefRob- You've got a point, I am a very unclean person when it comes to sketching :/. I messed up the image even more when I was attempting to make it more viewable (my scanner is bad), still doesn't change the fact I need to "watch it". And thank you for pointing out the anatomy mistakes on them, I didn't even notice some xD. I'll practice more as soon as I get the chance.

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    As @Elwell points out is better if you try to look at your own hands instead of a photo, just because the effort you will have to make for drawing them is bigger than when looking at photos and you will learn faster that way.

    The problem I see is that you aren't actually looking good enough at the flow, perspective and construction of the form. Try to think in 3D, look at the angle, how directions change and relate to each other.

    I did a quick sketch looking at those you said you had problems with, neither I'm good at drawing hands (think I have never actually studied them, just starting with anatomy some time ago) but try to look at the flows I've drawn and some sharp angles to think about the form and perspective.

    Name:  ruke 001.jpg
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    Hope it helps you!

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    If the one on the end of your arm isnt up to the job then, get a copy of "Drawing the head and hands" by Andrew Loomis its available from Titan Books and a very reasonable price, get it on your christmas list.

    hope this helps, all the best

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    This blog post was really helpful to me, seeing how this guy stylizes hands can help you understand the basic shapes much better, and I think this could help you get cleaner lines and see the overall movement in the hand too.

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    Draw the hand as one unit first. Then separate out the fingers.

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    Well, in my honest opinion I'd say draw EXACTLY what you see line for line at your stage, it will teach you to really see and draw the actual subject you are actually drawing. Once you get the hang of it then start reading the books on constructing the human hand and such.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kamikazel33t View Post
    Well, in my honest opinion I'd say draw EXACTLY what you see line for line at your stage, it will teach you to really see and draw the actual subject you are actually drawing. Once you get the hang of it then start reading the books on constructing the human hand and such.
    I disagree; yes, maybe do one or two longer, exact studies like that, preferable from actual life, but if you want to learn how to draw hands, you're much better off doing quicker drawings that focus on building up the forms and trying to grasp the idea of how the hand works, rather than copying the photo exactly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theeroos View Post
    I disagree; yes, maybe do one or two longer, exact studies like that, preferable from actual life, but if you want to learn how to draw hands, you're much better off doing quicker drawings that focus on building up the forms and trying to grasp the idea of how the hand works, rather than copying the photo exactly.
    I think you might have had a misconception of what I just said, you simply clarified and restated it. What I was inferring to was that the OP should try and do an exact copy to train his eye to see issues with proportions and such and later try to pursue learning the constructive method of drawing things so that he may later draw it from imagination with a more accurate understanding.

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    Thank you all for the feedback, means a lot!

    kamikazel33t- hah, I'm a girl ^^. I'll try that method, maybe it'll help me. I'm sadly used to doing something quick and messy, I should change that.

    Theeroos- that method does seem kinda better, maybe I'll even improve a wee bit with it. Should I try some shapes, or just lay down the lines instantly?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kamikazel33t View Post
    I think you might have had a misconception of what I just said.... the OP should try and do an exact copy.....
    No I got what you meant, but I'm saying that while I agree it is also good to do an exact copy every now and then, I see no reason why she should wait with building up the form, and should actually focus more on seeing the underlying form than getting the lines right. If anything, the faster she understands how to do that, the easier it will be later on. And she won't create any bad habits from being a slave to the reference without fully understanding it.
    Ijao; yes, you start out with really basic shapes, and work from there, focusing on form rather than lines. There are a lot of books that explain what I mean much better, look up Loomis, Bridgeman or Vilppu, their books can be found on the internet.

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    Track the form, not the line. Exactness of the copy is mostly irrelevant if you are focused on the contour - you must focus on building the volume.

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