Critique on Hand Drawings

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This topic contains 44 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Joshua 5 years ago.

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    Looking great Joshua! :) My one pointer is to pay attention to the thickness of fingers. They're a little on the thin side in proportion to the rest of the hand. You have the general shapes and angles down pretty well though!


    Hi Joshua,

    I noticed in your drawings that you sometimes envision the origin of the fingers to be perfectly aligned with one another. They actually follow a very subtle curve. This curve is exaggerated by the time you reach the tip of the fingers because the fingers themselves are of different lengths.

    Also, another word of advice is not to be discouraged if you find hands difficult. I think most artists feel exactly the same way. Especially if they're under the clock.


    Thanks for the advice Darkover.

    I drew these hands yesterday. I tried to draw the end of the palm as a curve (after I remembered your advice after I had started the hand in the top-left), but as most hands on the page were on an angle, it wasn't easy to do. If you look closely at the 2- and 5-minute hands on the bottom row, you hand see I rubbed out and redraw the end of the palm a few times to try and get the curve right.

    On the 5-minute and the second 2-minute hand I also tried some foreshortening to make it look like the hands were at an angle, but they just ended up looking distorted.


    Nice work! I resized it on the monitor so that it fits onto my palm and the curve is very close for the top right attempt.

    Have you considered doing studies of the hand in simple positions? One thing that I once did was to trace out my palm area onto an a4 paper using pencil and finish the fingers from imagination. Later, I overlay my left hand again (I'm right handed) to see where I went wrong.

    Then I do the reverse, I trace out the fingers this time and completed the palm from imagination. Or trace out everything except the thumb... etc. The hand is possibly the only part of the human body that easily lends itself to this.

    By learning the proportions in neutral positions, you'll have an easier time to envision them in more complex positions.


    Thanks Darkover.

    I tried that yesterday. I traced part of my hand in pen, then drew the rest in pencil.

    For the hand at the top (where I traced the palm) I was surprised at how big the palm was. My palm and hand were both on the page when I traced my palm, but looking at what I traced it looks like the ends of my fingers should have gone well over the edge of the page. In addition, the start of the fingers themselves looked far wider than they should be (particularly the ring finger). I tried tapering the fingers more, but that looked unnatural. I rubbed that out and drew them much thicker, but that ended up being unnatural as well. I kept rubbing out and redrawing the fingers until the thickness and tapering looked as natural as I could get it (I never did fix the ring finger though). When I put my hand over what I traced, I found my fingers are very thick. This is more obvious in the second drawing (where I traced my fingers, then drew the palm). It actually looks more like I'm wearing a glove in the second drawing.

    I did these timed hand-drawing exercises on this site this afternoon. I decided to skip the 30-second exercises (I didn't feel like they were helping me like the 30-second figure exercises are) and go straight to the 1-minute exercises instead.


    Yup. That's the idea. When you place your hand back over your drawing, you should be able to see where you went wrong (or right).

    It's good that you're doing the longer time because hands are very tricky.


    Thanks for the feedback Darkover, and sorry for the late reply!

    I'll just copy what I posted in my figure-drawing thread:
    "I haven't uploaded anything for a few weeks. I stopped drawing during exam week, then I travelled for a bit right after Christmas, and now I'm back. I did a few drawings (mainly just portraits) at random times within that, which I just uploaded en masse."

    I drew this on the 18th of December, 2016.

    I drew this on the 5th of January, 2017.


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