Saturday, May 11, 2013

Hands & Feet

I must have a hundred drawings of my own hands and feet.  Like the frighteningly vast inventory of self-portraits that every artist has stashed away, my visible appendages make up one of the largest sub-categories in my sketchbook themes, due to their always being available.  

Like most aspiring artists, I found them to be awkward and mysterious subjects well into high school--and you can tell by all the mitten-handed characters inexplicably standing in water or tall grass from back then.  (Well, no you can't, because I won't ever publish them online, although there's a guy running around somewhere in Georgia with one of my handless girls tattooed on his side...) 

Anyway, I got over it.  I actually kind of love them.  They're so expressive, lyrical, telling little stories like Hawaiian hula dancers, grounding the figure and giving it weight and life.  When you think about it, they might be the most familiar objects in our lives, so there's really no excuse not to get them right.
I guess I should try drawing other people's hands and feet more.  Baby and kid hands are especially troublesome when you're used to doing long narrow ones like mine.  I had a job a couple years ago doing a print ad that focused on a kid's hands, and they came out looking a bit stiff--totally copied from a photo.  (Try getting a kid to hold their hands still for 5 minutes!)

I was definitely life-guarding when I drew this.

But I'd imagine after doing them a bunch more times, I'd get the hang of it.  (See my soap box about how talent is phooey and everything comes down to practice--wait, I haven't written about that yet.  Well, now you have that to look forward to.)

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