Hands on your own drawing style!


How to move your hands and make them come alive! - Introduction

Haven't we all once come across a drawing that we really liked, but were we too scared to draw our hands because we were afraid of messing up the drawing entirely?

After all, fear of drawing them is normal - they are actually one of the most complex parts of our body, along with our feet.

The hands can express many details that we normally would not notice if they were not there, such as if they told the intentions, motivations of the characters or simply, how the character holds a phone. This is called "body language"!

Body language

Body language can tell us how a person feels at the moment, or emphasize the intentions of an evil, but powerful villain. In most cases, people tend to forget that hands are one of the most important things to keep in mind when drawing!

It gives us a lot of information about how people react to things. We generally don't pay much attention, but we gesticulate a lot, especially when we're angry, sad, or happy.

But how can we draw them our way and make them come alive?

As many artists (also architects and mathematicians do!), To draw something really complex, they start with something really simple like geometric shapes. And so do we with the human body!

Understanding the Human Body: Fundamentals

As here! Instead of being 2D, most drawings generally need hands in a specific pose, so drawing them in three dimensions is a really useful way to see how they break down when it comes to drawing a certain pose.

One of the most important things they will tell you when you start drawing is learning the basics first, then breaking the rules and starting to develop your own artistic style.

It is really essential to understand how the body flows and works, so having solid references from real life is really helpful! Looking at your non-dominant hand while drawing or taking a photo of your own hands are a good example, and then break them down into simple, but efficient geometric shapes when drawing.

Be creative with your poses!

Another thing to keep in mind is what I call the "flow line" or the fluidity of your drawing! Not only will you make them emerge and be recognized when you finish the drawing, but it will also make it look more pleasant and attractive.

Materials and Brushes (recommendations)

Do you see any difference between these two lines?

A well balanced line (the one on the left) is more expressive than a crooked and uncalibrated one (the one on the right). That's why one of the things you should be aware of is stabilizing the nib, watercolor brush, or pencil you are using. You can always see the options in "tool / stabilizer properties" (as shown below).

Normally the stabilization is usually set between 10 and 15, but you can put it whatever you want!

A stability of 0 to 10 will make your lines crooked, but fast (perfect for sketching). From 10 to 30, it will make the brush go slower, but much more precise than before. From 30 to maximum (usually up to 100), it will do the same but even slower. But it will be easier to make more stylized lines!

Summary of everything!

To finish, taking real life references and paying attention to every detail is the most important thing when it comes to drawing hands with different gestures, and also practicing! That is the key to developing your own artistic style or achieving the style you want to imitate. All drawing styles however similar they are are unique!

It is not mandatory to draw the hands in a realistic way to make them "good" or "credible": we all have different styles when drawing and even if some can be really different from each other, what really matters is giving the hand its shape characteristic and recognizable. so we can figure out what the character is trying to tell us. Having a good time experimenting with your styles is also important!

Simple shapes are always the key, since our brain recognizes them very well, and when we order them in a certain way we can imagine what they are trying to tell us. Sadness? Anger? Joy?

As long as the viewer knows it's a hand and the feeling feels real, the artistic style runs in your imagination!


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