Hands are the bane of many a figure drawing. There are dozens of small bones and muscles and ligaments in the hand and the wrist which allow us the wonderful range of movement we take for granted, even down to the typing of the manuscript for this book.
Think of the hand as a flat, rather squarish shape, with a wrist joint at one end (it is amazing how often the wrist is ignored), and a curved edge at the other end from which four fingers extend. This plane is flexible and can rotate and bend at the wrist. On one side, there is a wedge-shaped muscle from which comes the thumb. The placement of the thumb in this flexible wedge is what allows us the wonder of "the opposing thumb," the use of thumb and fingers in coordinated effort. Think of doing anything without this gift!
Practice, with your own hand as your cheap model, is the best way to draw the hand. Make that model work for its lunch. Practice, in fact, is the only way you will learn to draw the hand. There's no getting around it.
Here are some hand positions to practice copying. Use arcs to get the relationship of wrist and finger joints. (see next page)
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