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!


  1. great hands meghan! i admire your perseverance. i know what you mean about copying other peoples drawings. i tried it with some disney stuff and, aside from having some type of proportional deficiency, i have the hardest time getting the curves right. i really dig cartoons though so i should probably check out that book. in the meantime, check this out if you go through the rest of the blog, you can find other hand ressources as well...many copied from disney cartoons.

  2. Thanks Manny! That tip about the knuckle divisions is a big help. Maybe one day you'll consider posting your Disney attempts on your blog?


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