Long-haul readers of the blog will recall that I have a habit of drawing 100 Hands every now and then, thanks to an exercise set by my mentor Eben Matthews ages ago . Last week I finished my annual pilgrimage, which I now present here for your viewing pleasure. References include: Pixelovely Reference Tool, Animopus Hand Reference Post, and the inimitable Jordi Lafebre.
I like mixing photo reference with work by artists I admire (especially animators) since it keeps me thinking in terms of what can be simplified and exaggerated. There are so many masters to learn from, and the mechanical act of replication plus an awareness of form can work wonders on your technique.
To everyone who looks at this exercise and says “Wow, I could never do that!”, remember that a) all you have to do is draw one hand at a time, and b) even though this batch was drawn in a handful of days, this practice is a process that was set in motion over a decade ago. I really wish I had scans of the very first set of these I ever did in 2003, ’cause lemme tell you they didn’t look so good back then. Heck, they still don’t look so good to me right now, but they’re better. And better is what matters. Here’s some from a little over two years ago, here’s some more from two and a half years ago. Now: a little less stiff, a little more expressive.
Next year? Let’s find out.