Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Preston Blair Hands

These are some hands I copied from one of the lessons from the Preston Blair book. I don't know the actual name of the book but if you are interested in cartooning you probably know the one I'm talking about. You can access the sheet I drew from and some words of wisdom from benevolent internet crank John K. here.

I don't know a tonne about the Preston Blair book, but it seems to deal mainly in teaching drawing for animation with standard cartoon character types as a guide. I've always kind of dismissed it for that reason, as I'm not interested in becoming an animator and I don't find the character types used in the book especially interesting. Likewise, I've passed by this hand page a few times and kind of assumed it wasn't for me as the hands have only 3 fingers and they're all gloved. However, I know that my drawings are sorely lacking construction and that this is a specialty of the Preston Blair course so I decided to take a whack at it.

These hands were deceptively hard! I tried to follow the instructions and copy the examples on the page by following the steps at the top, but even with such simple steps it was difficult. Blair's hands have such zip and a really pronounced directionality that's hard to copy. I did my best, over 30 of them, but I'm still not a very good copier and I found it hard to loosen up at all. I learned a lot though, more than I have copying hands from pictures. The Preston Blair hands really start the thumb at the wrist, which is something I had never thought of before, and all the lines really follow the underlying shape , which makes the action really easy to read. My copies totally suck but I'm definitely going to keep this in mind from now on.

For those of you keeping track, we're at around 60. This is going faster than expected! If you have any hand resources you love, or you want to share your experience with the Preston Blair hands, please do let me know!

Friday, June 11, 2010


Keybo might be the cutest robot ever. He loves to dance! Maybe I'll draw a little more of him sometime.

100 Hands Challenge

Somewhere along the way I got really sloppy at drawing hands. After a certain point I told myself that hands were something I "ought to know by now", so even though I lacked confidence in drawing them I just kind of carried on drawing them improperly rather than try to help myself improve.

With this in mind I've given myself a challenge for the month of June to draw 100 hands. Not 100 perfect hands, or 100 interesting hands, just 100 hands. My hands, other people's hands, hands from pictures, exercises on drawing hands, animal hands, Handy Snacks(tm), any kind of hands!

These are the first 29, with a few feet thrown in. Is there something you have been practicing, or a challenge you gave yourself? Would you like to start your own June challenge? Let's do it together! Send me a link or tell me all about it.