Thursday, December 18, 2008

Patty cake: tips on hands


Its gotta be Christmas if I post more than once in a month! Id like to thank my kik ass friend across the pond Andy J. Latham and the wickedly talented robot guy Jeremy Vanhoozer. Both incredibly inspirational people.Thanks for the suggestion guys!

So today is hands and how I think about posing em. I usually continue to use the line of action from the arms. But before we go that far lets travel back in time to a simpler place...pepperidge farms was there...

I think of the hands as mittens. This helps to keep things simple. Simple is a great place to start, because you can experiment a whole lot easier and not be so invested in a certain pose. I hate when I get a great pose that doesnt fit and have a hard time letting go of it because I finessed it too much. Getting the idea down in simple form before hand will ease this, so plan plan plan. ( I love the cartoony so again easier for me to break everything down to those simple shapes. ) When posing a character its good to add contrast in the hands. (Of course that always makes the eyes happy) Having the shoulders angled will keep your hands from twinning most times. The hands should always add to the fun of the characters pose, but seeing as Im lazy and just focusing on hands this time thats what the diagrams are gonnna show...sorry

Once Ive got a great mitten I add that flair in the fingers. OOOOOOOOOOOO this is where I freak out because hands are friggin tough for me. So why am I tryin to give tips on them you ask. I have no clue. So lets keep this simple still. I also think of the fingers as tubes with three spheres for the joints . One at the palm one at knuckle and one at the tip. This is where the fingers bend. Hey! kinda like the arms and legs but with that extra bit of excitement! When I try for more realistic hands I go with more of a box shape for the palm helps me to see the mass of the hand. If you dont put every finger in the same pose ( or offset them, as the fancy people say ) it adds lots of personality to the gesture.

Even when grabbing something, having a finger that is not grabbing as hard as the others is takin it to another level! Bamn!!!!

Hands can be easier if you have reference. Always remember that you have a plethora of hand reference around you Friends, family,internet and books etc. ( if you have tenticles, that would be pretty killer too.) The best way to learn about hands is watch what people do with them. Observe how people use their hands to express themselves. Thats pretty much all I got at the moment. Remember to always practice practice practice and to just have fun. Hands are a weakness for me , so just havin fun and not being so critical makes it easier for me to keep trying to learn more about the subject.


And always keep this in mind:


Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Love who you are and embrace who you can become. Keep on Keepin on!!

30 comments:

Vee (Scratch) said...

Hands were never easy for me. I have to practice all the time.

I always pay attention to artist that avoid drawing hands or find away to not draw hands.

Andy Latham said...

Excellent! Thanks a lot for this Mel, it's really useful. I think a lot of people struggle the most with hands don't they? It's like we don't know what to do with them!

Thanks a lot for taking my suggestion :)

Juampa said...

Merrry Chistmas for you as well Mel!!

As allways you´re absollutelly Great!!!

All the best for you my friend!

Dillon Thompson said...

Mel + hands + Dillon = Patty cake

milo said...

lol Awesome posts!! When u gonna put out a video or a book? ;OP Keep rockin it bro! ;O)

shel7by said...

mel?? what the? How are you? Remember me? I'm impressed with your many blogs. good for you.

RAWLS said...

Great advice my friend...and nice hands. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

tinylittlesandra said...

Hohoho Mel! These are so well done: I like soooo many others find hands one of the trickiest things to draw - so your notes are a well received! Thanks for the holiday wishes too :O)

Nollaig Shona Duit... thats Irish for Merry Christmas!

Ken Chandler said...

I believe it will take me a lifetime to 'get' hands. But with study and practice who can say? Thanks for the lesson Mel! You're an amazing guy!

Merry Christmas and Happy 2009!

Richard Gaines said...

Merry Christmas to you to, Mel! It's been forever since I updated, so sorry for not staying in touch. Besides, awesome awesome hand drawings!! I need a shitload more practice with mine!

Eugenio Herrera said...

So great! Hey Mel, it's a pleasure for me to look here, everything is brilliant, congrats!

With humility, I ask you, please, give a glance to my blog and give me your comment, of the way that this is..Thank you very much, and Happy Holidays!

EE.

Ken said...

Yo dude!

Merry Christmas to ya, hope your having a great holiday :)

Im digging these posts, its great to have an insight into your process, there is method to your genius!

Oh... and I do do bad drawings... I just post the best of the bad haha

pablo pablo said...

Nice style works!

YesLand said...

hahaha, the best is the scientist conclussion. ^__^ grat hands!!

Xelu said...

MErry xmas, MASTER¡¡¡¡

My best wishes for you.

Justin Rodrigues said...

These are some great tips! great blog as well.

Marco Bucci said...

hahah great post Mel. Happy New Year!

BAMN!

Anonymous said...

awesome!
thanks for the lessons
they will be studied- with pencil
in hand;

Happy New Year!
I look forward to more Mel Art in 09
(as always)

S.T. Lewis said...

This is great stuff, and that guy with the math problem is way off... Mel knows more about drawing hands than I do. Thanks for the instruction (even if you don't want to admit that it's helpful to the rest of us). We need to get lunch again. Happy New Year, man!

Unknown said...

hey mel thanks so much for the tutorial! happy new year to you too!

Daisy Church said...

awesome write up on hands! always helps to have little reminders- they're so wickedly hard, aren't they??

happy holidays! here's to more drawings in 2009!! : D

Simon Scales said...

Hey Mel
awesome stuff - keep all the solid tips coming!! :)

Marcelo Vignali said...

Good and informational.

xenos said...

i get away from my computer with all its booksmarks for ten days, and then what happens? mel posts a blog. now if he could only do it on a regular basis.

anyhow, hands are hard and anyone who says differently would be lying. thanks for the help! hope your holidays went well...

Chrissie A said...

Hey Mel — just wanted to stop by and say Happy New Year! :)

Also, hope you won't mind that I've snagged that handsposes.jpg to help me out in my continuing struggle to draw expressive hands —it's great, as is the rest of this post. Hope you'll do more of these little art lessons!

Vanhoozerbot said...

Wow! How am I just now seeing this!?
Fantastic glimpse into your process Mel. I love it! And very good explanations to boot. I will be not only saving this to my hard drive, but passing it on to other artists as a great bunch of tips.

Really good stuff. Thanks for doing it!

Your fan,

Jeremy

Tooninator said...

very informative. You can never have too much knowledge about digits. Thanks dude.

Unknown said...

THese are awesome!

1 said...

Wow great stuff Mel! Love the new tutorials thanks buddie :)

Mei Day said...

These tutorials you've been doing lately are nice. Keep it up.