Sunday, July 4, 2010

Hands Challenge (sort of) complete!

I'd say the hands challenge is complete, to the extent that June is done and I am about done drawing disembodied hands. But in actuality I have only drawn about 86 hands, and could easily draw 500 more before I gain any real knowledge about hands. I had hoped that with practice I would be able to successfully compose good-looking hands from my memory or imagination, and I'm not sure that's happening. However, the project was a success in that now when I look at a hand I have a much better idea of what I'm looking at.

Some of these are my own hands, but some are copied from Burne Hogarth's Dynamic Anatomy, which I referred to for its insights on hand construction. Burne Hogarth's books can be challenging to say the least - he uses formal language peppered with jargon and occasionally I have to re-read a sentence several times before I catch the meaning. His drawings can also be almost impenetrable: every muscle, tendon and joint is so fully articulated in even his least detailed drawings that, in my vain attempts to copy his sketches, I often lost track of what I was looking at.

That having been said, if you want any kind of a formula for drawing the figure Burne Hogarth is your go-to-guy. The Dynamic Anatomy book is full of minute measurements and recipes that, theoretically, would allow you to draw the figure without any reference if you knew them by heart. The text is so dense that I find every time I go back to Dynamic Anatomy I learn something I feel as though I have never seen before. The thumb joint begins at the mid-point of the palm! Each division of the finger is a third smaller than the one below it! When you close or open your hand, all other fingers follow your pinkie! Who knew, right?

So that concludes the 100 Hands Challenge. Don't stop sending me your hand resources and hand advice, I will need them for a long while yet!

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