So the series begins…the focus of these threads will be about sharing tips and hints, as usual. Everyone’s perspective is limited, mine included, so as much talking as I’m gonna do, it’d be great if other people who feel confident in these areas or just know a cool trick to share would help fill in the gaps.
As I said, I love drawing hands~. ^^ My main problem right now is not having a big enough repertoire of cool poses to experiment with…I may have to try doing studies. But let’s start with what I already know.
So, fundamentals: y’all know what a hand looks like. But often what separates a good drawing from a great drawing is knowing how a hand moves.
Once upon a time I saw an interesting tutorial on Twitter that described the fingers as being tied together by strings…if you move any finger (even the thumb) far enough, eventually another finger will move with it; they aren’t independent.
The thumb has the most range; then comes the index finger, the ring finger, the middle finger, then finally the pinky…on my hand, at least, it can’t even fold forward without dragging the ring finger with it, unless the thumb holds it down.
Remembering this order of freedom (fingers with more range tend to separate from the others more often) and learning which fingers tend to move with which will help you design more lifelike hand gestures.
Here’s an example:
This is the same character, but they’re actually two different images. ^^; Coincidentally, I gave her the same gesture with her free hand in both, but I really think the rock-covered one looks more natural, due to the separation of the fingers.
Another thing to pay attention to is the folding of the palm, which is basically a little fleshy pillow with an indentation in the middle. I usually divide it up like this:
Often I just fuse the purple and green sections together, since there’s not a lot of motion there in most gestures…but you should keep in mind that they are kinda separate.
So this helps when designing more complex hand gestures, like ones that are supposed to look all flowy and fluid, or ones in which one hand interacts with another. If you’re really confused about where to place the fingers, oftentimes just correctly arranging the sections of the palm that correspond to each (purple=pinky+ring, red=middle+index, blue=thumb) will give you a good idea of how to finish the rest of the hand.
One last thing I’d like to mention: hands ARE weird. They look weird. Take a look at your own hand; do a few of the more awkward poses in front of your face and imagine them rendered in 2D. It’s gonna be weird!
The sooner you can accept that weird is a given, the sooner you can just focus on making your hands look nice and make sense. ^^
The best way to get better at this, of course, is to copy hands, and lots of them. And the simpler the better: if you know any artists who do really nice-looking cartoon hands (I’m talking noodle fingers, even) try to study from them, too, not just from photo references.
What good will that do? Well, it’ll teach you shortcuts for drawing gestures from someone who’s already figured them out. ^^
Cartoonists naturally exaggerate details that are subtle IRL, and simplify structures that are complex IRL: in short, they’re great artists to learn things from, even if that’s not the art style you prefer. Take advantage of this!
I’m gonna leave you with some of my favorite hands I’ve drawn recently: if you have any questions about them, or questions/comments in general, just say so. :9