Wedge Masses of Hand and Foot

The terminal forms of the extremities, the hand and the foot, are decidedly wedgelike in character. These two wedges, however, are very different in structure. In the two examples which follow, the wedge forms of the hand and the foot have been supplemented by companion sketches to show the unique character of each.

The hand in the drawing to the right shows how the fingers separate and become extremely active, performing an immense variety of actions. The foot in the drawing below shows its subsidiary toes to be closed and compactly arranged. The great toe, different from its opposite member, the thumb, lies adjacent to its smaller neighbor toes; the thumb, on the other hand, opposes all the fingers of the hand. Thus, we note the basic difference between the hand and the foot: the hand is a tool; the foot is a support

Hand Figure DrawingFoot Drawing Tutorial

The shape-mass of the hand is broad, flat, and generally spatulate; it is thickset and wide at the rear palm where it joins the arm, and narrower and shallow at the fingers.

The shape-mass of the foot is a broad-based wedge, showing a remarkably high, triangulate elevation at the rear, from whence a steep diagonal descends to the front

Drawing Feet From The Front High Heels

The foot wedge is a compound form that consists of three main parts: (1) the thick heel block in back; (2) the larger ellipsoid sole base in front; and (3) the interconnecting span of the arch which bridges and holds together the heel and the sole.

Wedge From Feet Elevation

The front sole divides into two sections:

(1) a platform support next to the arch;

and (2) the five close-set toes in front. The toes differ from the platform support in their function; they act as traction and projection devices—gripping and pushing.

Wedges Platform View Technical Drawing

The toes reveal a high, upthrust rise of the large toe tip, contrasting sharply with the downthrust, closed pressure of the small toes (see arrows).

Foot Diagram Instep

Of major significance in describing the foot is the deeply curved instep formed by the high, open arch (A) connecting the base supports of the heel and the sole. Viewing the instep from the underfoot surface, we see that the foot base supports are connected in another way by the long elliptic ridge (B) of the outer foot. Note the differences between the inner and the outer foot connec tions: the outer foot gives continual surface contact, while the inner foot contact is interrupted by the open arch of the instep. A secondary note: The great toe (small sketch) shows an arch, effective though small, bridging the front toe pad and the large, rear sole pad—a relationship not unlike that in the great foot arch proper.

Lateral Wedging Sole

< From the front, the foot wedge has the appearance of a wide, high block shape with a steep foreward ramp on its top surface. This slope ends in the quick upcurve of the tip of the large toe. This rise, seen from the immediate front, shows the toe tip thrusting up from the base plane of the foot (left).

Shapes Hands Arrangement FingersShapes Hands Arrangement Fingers

<Toes, like fingers, show miniscule rod and ball construction (small sketch): the rod forms relate to the narrow shank structure of each digit; the ball forms represent the knuckle capsule arrangement. Because they are quite small and close-set, the toes are frequently difficult to draw without distortion when done in this way. A more agreeable solution, therefore, may be seen in the step arrangement (large drawing) of the toes. In the step arrangement, the toes emerge from the sweeping descent of the arch and close down in a three-stage formation which resembles a short flight of steps. There are two horizontal steps on each of the small toes with a vertical riser in between (left).

The wedge of the front foot, showing stepped toes, contrasts with the up-thrust large toe. Note the inside arrow control line which holds inner forms in check (above).

Main DessinSketches Hand And Foot

The hand, like the foot, gives us a set of rod and ball constructions in the alternating bone shanks and knuckle capsules of the fingers.

The rod and ball construction of the hand derives from its internal skeletal structure. It is the skeletal structure which is plainly responsible for the hard, bony surface throughout the upper palm and fingers (above).

Mano Esqueleto Humano Atrapando

The fingers are remarkably longer and more flexible than the toes. They tend to override the plane of the palm easily in active contrapositions which are not possible in the passive, closed toe system of the foot.

The visible rod and ball forms of the hand develop a rising and falling rhythm which gives a wavelike motion to the entire finger system, all the way down to the fingertips.

Foot Drawing TutorialFalling Human Drawing

< The bottom of the hand is soft, fleshy, and cushioned throughout revealing three large padded cushions: (1) the high, ample thumb mound; (2) the tapered, lateral little-finger cushion opposite; and (3) the low, horizontal row of palm pads bordering the fingers. The finger units, too, are thickly protected with a fleshy mantle. A special note of interest: The tri-cushion arrangement of the palm leaves a triangular depression in the center region whose apex points upward to the mid forearm (left).

After studying the general rod and ball I finger forms, we must call attention to the thumb. The thumb is the key finger of the hand, and with its striking wedge shape, is built like a thick spade, or spatula. The initial form of the thumb is a narrow length of shank bone topped with a squarish head (A). The thumb narrows, then spreads wide with a heavy pad (B). It tapers to the tip (C), and swings from its base upward in a strong, curved rise (D). The thumb, unlike the other fingers, does not lie on a horizontal plane equal to the palm wedge. It assumes a contrary, tipped-over position which is obliquely opposed to the mutual, flat arrangement of the other four fingers. Also, the thumb tends to drop quite far below the level of the palm (right).

Palm Hand DrawingSimplified Planes The Human Torso

Let us start by restating the simplified description of the compound torso shape-masses in two views: an erect torso, back view (left); and a seal torso front view (right). In both sketches, the large chest barrel (A) and the pelvic wedge (B) are join together by the mid-axial muscles the waist (C), a region of remarkable flexibility.

When we work with the torso mass as separate entities, we can draw great variety of movements. The a vantage of putting in the essential body planes is that it permits us to see clear the correct angle of placement and ho to attach the secondary forms. In the sketches, the masses are structure firmly, then tipped in greater or less degree, and shown in three quart front views. The rudimentary head, arms, and legs are indicated here to 1 the viewer grasp the over-all working of the total figure.

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