The Mentor Experiment: Week 5: Arms and Hands!

Drawing hands: Week 5

This week, we’re going to look at drawing hands. Hands are incredibly expressive and add a great deal to a character’s pose and attitude. Hands can be complicated to draw without an understanding of the underlying forms that make it up. The palm can be thought of as a wedge. The fingers can each be thought of as a set of tapered cylinders.
The knuckles of the fingers, when looking at the hand face up or down, form an arch. In the male hand, the knuckles are usually emphasized. In the female hand, the knuckles are usually de-emphasized to heighten femininity.

The arm itself has three points of articulation: the shoulder, the elbow and the wrist. To make the arms look volumetric, I consider the tapered cylinders to have a curved side and a straight side. Playing curves against straights makes the arm have depth.

Study the visual notes and practice drawing hands by breaking them down into simplified forms. You’ve got two great references right in front of you: your own hands!

The assignment this week is to draw a total of 10 expressive arms. You can represent the torso, but the focus should be on the arms and hands. The arms can be male or female – ideally draw 5 male versions and 5 female versions.

arms and hands

Apprentices: Don’t hesitate if you have any questions! Good luck!


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