17 October 2013

Drawing Dynamic Hands with Burne Hogarth

My last 2 paintings included hands.  It took me way too long to paint them, and in the end they didn't look that great. I just feel it's a requirement of any figurative artist to be able to draw and paint hands well.  Hands are as expressive as the face, and they can make or break a whole piece.

So I'm working to improve my hand mastery in several ways.  My daughter, Amanda, has been hand-modeling for me (below).  I am watching Rob Liberace's dvd "Anatomy: The Arm and Hand" (it's pretty good).  And I found a great book on the subject, "Drawing Dynamic Hands" by Burne Hogarth.

Amanda's hands, 17x14", charcoal, 20-minute sketches from life

If you draw or paint people, you should consider getting this book...unless you're already a hand master.  Each page is loaded with well illustrated advice on how to infuse more gesture and energy into depictions of the hand.  Hogarth published several other books on drawing which might also be worth a look.

Here are the table of contents and a few random pages from "Drawing Dynamic Hands":






7 comments:

  1. I really like your blog and the way you share your experiences as an artist. Your are very dedicated in the way that you study the things you want to be skilled at, and you practice those things diligently. Your efforts are very evident in your beautiful work, too!

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    1. Hi, Katherine. Thanks for your positive comments. Some people like to work less deliberately, and I respect that...but for me, it comes out better with practice. Thanks for coming by.

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  2. thanks for the tip! I will buy this book. Nothing ruins a good painting....like a bad hand! (you did great drawings--bravo!)

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    1. Celeste, I love all your work, but really enjoy your figurative posts, Celeste. You've got it all going on, so I consider it an accomplishment to offer a tip you find useful. That is a good book, let me know if you like it :o)

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  3. I agree with your thoughts Candace and really enjoy hearing about your progress. I have just completed a painting where I felt the hands were integral to the work but really struggled with them. I had no problems with the feet!

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    1. Hi, Eileen. Feet, now there's another problem area. It might be easier to avoid a struggle with feet because they aren't quite so expressive (or pretty) as hands. Thanks for your comments. Best, Candace

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    2. One other quick comment, I saw that latest work, WOW. Gorgeous work. Nice feet, by the way :o)

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