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March 12, 2012
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Study: The hand by Shockowaffel Study: The hand by Shockowaffel
I think this part of the body is the one, most people struggle with. I dont like it either.
The good message, you can always check you own hands as reference.
The bones of the hand are tricky, but they follow the same rules as all bones. A bone cannot change it's form or go through another one. The arm is the static part in this study and we look at it from above. There's a mass of small bones in the wrist, but neither do we see them, nor do we need to.

The muscles of the hand are very small but the most prominent are two fleshy muscles of the palm.
The thumb muscle is actually attached to the middle finger, as well as the wrist.
The movement of the hand seems very complicated, but it follows strict mechanical rules. The illustration in the lower right shows that a hand turned to the max right/left side forms a straight line on the opposing side.
The fingers almost exclusively pull to to form a fist. They can be tilted sidewarts and pulled upwarts, but not much.
The thumb is a little different, since it can rotate. Imagine the thumb like a hinge. Looking at it from the front, it can move around in a 90 area.

Proportions and constructions: (upper right corner)
- Start with two same size boxes (slightly longer than square form) and cut off a little at the corners like shown or similar.

- The knuckles do not form a straight line, you can use a curve or the shown example.
- There's skin between the fingers which optically shortens the fingers. This is very important !

The middle finger is the landmark we need.
- The knuckle marks 1/2 of the hand.
- The 2nd knuckle is at 1/2 of the finger.
- The 3rd knuckle is at 1/2 of the rest.
- The index finger and the ring finger end at aproximately the same length.
- The pinky (knuckle to fingertip) is close in size to the middlefinger (skin between fingers to fingertip).
- The origin of the thumb lies lower than the knuckles, from above, as well as from the side.
- The straight thumb reaches the 2nd knuckle of the index finger.

other notes:
- Pay attention to the folding of skin and deforming muscles.
- A fist looks different when you hold something like a sword.
- The first line of knuckles do not move, except the one of the ring finger and the pinky, but that's not much.
- The box used for the hand gets thicker to the wrist.

You might also be interested in my other anatomical studies.
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:iconanhero23:
anhero23 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012
HO DAMN! I've been waiting for this one... added to my drawing guide folder.
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:iconvertigo-gal:
Vertigo-Gal Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012  Student Digital Artist
i love useful studies like these. hands are difficult, but with good practice, they can look great when simplified.

the only thing that looks off is the top left hand. it looks accurate for a tubby person, tho!
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:iconshockowaffel:
Shockowaffel Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012  Professional General Artist
I used a xray picture I found on google to draw the upper left one, so maybe you#re right and the person was chubby.
I dont know.
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:iconhylian-rinku:
Hylian-Rinku Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012
Hmm, it's quite good, but your distal phalanges are looking a bit on the short side...and by that I mean the bones at the tips of the fingers and thumb. Otherwise, this isn't a bad way of studying.
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:iconshockowaffel:
Shockowaffel Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012  Professional General Artist
Do you mean they're too short or misformed ?
I'm not sure what you meant.

When I look at the bone drawing again, they really look a bit short.
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:iconhylian-rinku:
Hylian-Rinku Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012
Just a bit short x) The best thing is to look at your own hand, give your fingers a feel since in the diagram, they look a little small on the frontal view rather than the side view.

I'd hate to be so blunt, but the distal phalanges tend to look more like dildos than dummy shapes x) It's the only real way I can describe their shape >.>"
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:iconjohnvichlenski:
JohnVichlenski Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012  Professional General Artist
Very helpful hand study for people who struggle with them like I do.
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:iconshockowaffel:
Shockowaffel Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012  Professional General Artist
Believe me, I struggle with them too.
That's why I do these studies.
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:iconjohnvichlenski:
JohnVichlenski Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012  Professional General Artist
Good to know I'm not the only one :)
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