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Hand Studies

Due to a scheduling conflict, I had to take my Drawing 3 class as an Independent Study, which essentially just meant that I had to come up with my own plan for the direction of the class. I decided to pursue an in-depth study of hands, all of which can be found below. I made this choice partially because they're hard to draw and spending a semester working with them would be a good chance to improve, plus I had already done quite a bit of figure drawing in my Drawing 2 class (luckily, because we were able to have models come in from off-campus at that point, which wouldn't have worked during this time of pandemic). But more than even the opportunity to sharpen my practical skills, I also have a fascination with hands in general because they have always struck me as distinctly human. Hands are essential to our nature, not only as features of our anatomy, but also as vehicles for various modes of expression - from the physical examples of manual labor and the arts to the more poignant capacity to communicate language and blessings. Hands unite us as human beings. Even though each hand has its own particular features, they somehow seem more universal then faces; there's almost a sense that, in looking at a hand, I am able to see not only the person of whom it is a part but also a reminder of those who are not corporeally present.

The works on this page have been arranged largely in order of their creation, but the buttons below will enable you to skip to any particular section of interest.

Master Copies: Stylistic and Anatomical Exploration

Master Studies

The only copy included here is of one of an untitled Albrecht Dürer piece. This drawing was done with a black colored pencil for the shadows and an eraser for the highlights on graphite-toned sketchbook paper.

I did another copy based on the work of a contemporary artist - Iva Eberth. Her work is digital and I took some liberties with the colors, but it's still close enough that I'm not comfortable posting it without her permission. I reached out to her but have not yet heard back. She's actually my age, which was a bit of a head trip - I have no idea how I would respond if someone did a copy of any of my work so I totally get the silence.

02-25and26 Left Hand of Christ, detail of Vatican Pieta - Michaelangelo.jpg

This piece was NOT part of my Drawing 3 class - it's part of a series of Master's Copies I have begin doing to keep up my skills while in grad school. Most of that work is in my "portraits" and "figure drawing" sections, but this is where this fits so it gets to remain here.

It's drawing of the left hand of Christ from Michaelangelo's Vatican Pieta.

Dad Hands

The Dissolution of Future Plans

In the style of Iva Eberth.jpg

Inspired by the hand study I did in the style of Iva Eberth, I developed this original work from a personal photo of my father. After finishing the drawing of his hands, imported the image into Adobe Photoshop to experiment with the color and placement of the lines and background - three of which I have included below.

I picked this image because I was flipping through my phone to look for different "poses" and I found this one of my dad and I thought the interplay between the lines in the background and the string of the Cat's Cradle would be interesting. As I was working on it in class, my professor mentioned that Cat's Cradle remined her of the concept of fate or destiny, which stood out to me particularly because of whose hands they were (I've gone into depth about my dad's death in Leave a NightLITE On) and made me think about all the things that I never would have known or anticipated, and all the vague expectations that I had which will now never come to be, and all the sudden it became very important to me whose hands they were (which is why I ended up including the long nail on the left pinky, which was a little quirk that he always had).

Anchor 1

Anatomical Studies - Tracing Paper

1st TPAS - skeleton only
1st TPAS - overlay progress
1st TPAS - overlay final
1st TPAS - flesh only
2nd TPAS - flesh only
2nd TPAS - overlay final
2nd TPAS - bones only
3rd TPAS - bones only
3rd TPAS - overlay progress
3rd TPAS - overlay final
3rd TPAS - flesh only
4th TPAS - flesh progress
4th TPAS - flesh only
4th TPAS - overlay final
4th TPAS - bones only

Illuminating Art

Illuminating Art
Illuminating Art.jpg

This piece was inspired by a similar piece I did my junior year of high school - But What Else is New? - which can be found on the Mixed Media page here. The earlier piece was a bit more story-centric, with a series of tattoos along the arms which detailed the life cycle of a bird, whereas this piece is more centered on the phrase itself: "Illuminating Art." Each hand forms a letter of the American Sign Language alphabet to spell out this message from left to right. Here, the hands are supposed to be the filaments of antique light bulbs. To differentiate between overlapping shapes, the light bulbs come in four colors and are arranged in three layers, front-to-back, which are encapsulated by differing intensities.

I first sketched each hand on tracing paper to establish the shape and figure out spacing since it was important to establish even spacing across the piece. The final drawing is colored pencil on black drawing paper, with a dimension of heightXwidth.

Tracing Paper - Positioning

Tracing Paper - Positioning

Hand Outlines

Hand Outlines

Hand and Bulb Outlines

Hand and Bulb Outlines

Mock Up - Light Shapes and Colors

Mock Up - Light Shapes and Colors

Anchor 2

Pen and Ink - Final Project

Final and Whitened.jpg

Calligraphic Pen and Ink with Colored Pencil on Bristol, 17x14

This was my final project for Drawing 3. It doesn't really have a meaning, it's just a culmination of a semester-long series in drawing hands. I did everything free-hand with a calligraphy pen and no pencil sketch (which I normally do for literally everything) and I think it turned out pretty decently! I'm still a beginner with the pen though, which is why there are all those nice ink blots - they do add character, though I think this the piece has plenty of character. I did have reference images which I used to create a digital collage beforehand to work out the sizes and placements, which I was largely faithful to. I added colored pencil added in after the ink had dried.


After I had finished with the drawing, I worked in Adobe Photoshop to experiment with different potential backgrounds - two of which I have included below. I wanted to play off the dots a little bit, so I used a couple aboriginal art pieces (which I do not have the rights to publish) - I also had  two separate observers comment that my piece had a comic book-ish vibe, which is what inspired me to add the halftone background (which is actually a really easy effect to achieve in Photoshop).

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