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Sunday, 15 January 2012

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Hands and feet: Get the right proportion

Most beginners draw hands and feet which are incorrect. Surprisingly, it's a common fault with even some experienced artists. Here is a helpful tip to overcome this problem. Remember that a hand, from palm base to fingertips, is as long as a face.

A foot is bigger still. It measures slightly more than the length of the entire head. Most beginners don't spend enough time to study their proportion properly or practise drawing these parts.

Hand and feet may seem difficult to draw, but they are no harder to draw than other parts of the human body.

Sketching gloves is a simple way to start learning how to draw hands. They are easy to draw. Observe Figure 1. Women's gloves are usually made to fit more exactly over their fingers and hand than those of men. Note how strongly the gloves resemble hands and also the fine lines of Figure 1.

Practise these examples until you get them accurately. You could use your 'non-drawing' hand as a model.

A mirror will enable you to get several angles to draw.

Study the female hand of Figure 2. The back of the hand is gently curved like the exterior of a sphere or circle. The fingers follow a shallow curve from the top of the palm.

There are three finger joints which are marked as lines, but these do not correspond exactly, because the fingers have different lengths. Each fingertip varies from person to person and knuckles may be prominent or barely seen.

Hands of old people have wrinkles on the fingers and also on the backs of the hand. However, it isn't necessary to put them all in the drawing. By now you should be experienced enough to know, the idea is to suggest rather than attempt to get down every tiny detail on paper or canvas.

There is a big difference between the soft, usually beautiful hands of girls and the rough, blunt fingered hairy hands of men. Study the illustrations in Figure 3 - men's hands. Then copy them in pencil or pen and ink.

Feet

The human foot is constructed in the form of a series of arches which make it super strong, flexible and able to withstand constant shock. Ankle joints project from each side, the inside knuckle being lower than its outside partner.

The ball of the foot is quite large, and the heel is not small either. You can practise drawing feet by using your own or those of friends. The foot seen sideways is wedge - shaped as are most boots and shoes.

From the front, the toes appear to be broad. However, viewed from above, those seem to be pointed or narrow.

This is an important point to remember when sketching them. Study the sketches on Figure 4 from different angles. They will help you to draw with simple lines.

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