Every artist faces a challenge when creating a new piece. I certainly do. In my case, I face the same challenge when drawing new things that involve figures or creatures. What’s that challenge?
Hands are my weakness.
Feet are my second weakness.
From metacarpal to the phalanges. From metatarsal to phalanges. Drawing these two body parts never fails to make my eyes twitch! I know I’m not the only one. In college, I noticed this subject was difficult for many of my classmates too. Why?
WHY are they such a nuisance?
Hands and feet are as expressive as faces. Every position and angle sets a different mood. If you are going for a drawing that is somewhat realistic, you need to know the basics of its anatomy. Knowing the range of motion of what they are capable of can go a long way when drawing. If you depend on the contour alone, you may end up with an odd looking foot or hand.
So what do I do when I need help with the posing of hands or feet?
Use a reference! Whether it’s your own, a friend’s, or even your neighbor across the street. (Just kidding. Asking a neighbor would be embarrassing and awkward. LOL.)
When did I realize these were my weaknesses 100%? When creating my first issue of Miserably Altered. I had decided to make the beginning of it in first person view.
It was fun at first.
Then it became challenging. Especially, when I needed to show perspective. (As shown in the image.)
Though, I did find doing his hand much easier than most. He's not human after all. So I was able to get away with a lot.
So do you have to get technical when drawing hands and feet? You could if you are going for something super realistic. I, on the other hand, settle for the believable since my characters are fantasy art.
Either style you go for, practice, practice, practice.
Without the basic knowledge of hands and feet, you can end up with odd looking extremities leaving your viewers with discombobulated expressions.
Do your research. Make sure to look online for the anatomy of the feet and hands when you are planning to draw them in a new position.
Watch an example. We have access to so many helpful videos online. Look for a tutorial on YouTube if you find yourself having trouble drawing your next clenched fist.
Use a reference. I'm sure I have mentioned this in my previous posts. This is important! Using a reference can help you understand what you are trying to draw. Especially, if you are a visual person.
Practice. Practice. Practice. A good idea to do is to keep a separate sketchbook just to practice different hand and feet positions. Try drawing one of each a day. Over time you will see how much you've improved when you look at the previous pages.
Hands and feet are my weaknesses when drawing.
But a just another weakness you can overcome with practice, time and effort.