Hey guys, welcome back! You made it to the
Part 4 of the Proko Hand Series. We’re gonna dive into some specific poses and then we’ll
end it off with a fun lesson on “How to Draw Cartoon Hands”. I’m assuming you’ve
already seen Parts 1, 2 and 3. You should be familiar with the basic anatomy of the
hand and process I taught in the last lesson. In this demo you’ll learn all about drawing
fists. This is a tricky pose that really requires a good understanding of the underlying anatomy.
It’s a lot of information crammed in a small space, which can get messy and confusing.
Let’s do it. The Basic Forms As you know, I always start my drawing by
establishing the gesture, which indicates the movement of the pose. But a punching fist
isn’t dynamic. It’s rigid. It’s solid. The wrist is locked straight, so that it doesn’t
break on impact! If you’re drawing a superhero fist, you want it to feel strong, like a brick.
It’s hard to give a brick a dynamic rhythm. It’s just a straight line with a sudden end.
But, that’s not a bad thing. Don’t think that everything has to be dynamic. Some things
need to feel blocky and heavy. A fist to feel like jello. The rest of the
body including the arm, can and should be dynamic. The fist, is a brick. There is gesture in some of the secondary
forms, the subtleties of the fingers as you’ll see later… But the big gesture, isn’t flowy.
It’s a bunch of built up energy inside of a box. So… From the very beginning, think
about the big boxy shape. One of the main anatomical rhythms is the
rhythm across the knuckles. The middle finger knuckle sticks up the highest. We’re going
to draw the overall arc that describes the knuckles, instead of a wobbly line trying
to get all the details right off the bat. Let’s do the same for the second set of joints
at the bottom. We already know that the middle finger knuckle is the highest. But what about
at the bottom edge? In a relaxed fist, you’ll get the opposite curve. Same reason – middle
finger is longest and pinky is shortest. This shape is inactive and kinda boring. But watch
what happens when I squeeze my fist tight. The pinky and ring fingers move down, and
we get a straight line across the joints. That’s a much more interest shape. Curve on
top, straight on bottom. You can push it even farther for a fist like
this. It’s a bit more dynamic, but it kinda loses some strength and stability. I wouldn’t
draw it like this for a punching fist. Maybe just if it’s squeezing something really hard. The pinky and ring finger rotate down when
viewed from this angle too. That big drumstick of the thumb prevents the index and middle
fingers from moving down, but the pinky and ring fingers have all this free space. They’ll
flex more to close the fist fully. If you’re starting a revolution and you’re gonna use
the power fist as your logo, look for this downward curve through the knuckles to suggest
a strong, clenched fist. We’ve already identified the top and bottom
edges. Now we’ll finish the front plane of the box with the side edges. Then get the
top and side planes in and we have a simple boxy fist. This will help us keep all our
details in perspective, because we have angles to relate them to. If you’re drawing a fist bump coming right
at the viewer, the top and side planes won’t be visible. So, you’ll just need to draw the
front plane. Remember that the fingers are not parallel. They converge inward toward
the middle finger. Add the thumb and the details of the joints and skin. You know, all the
stuff we learned in the previous episodes. In this 3/4 angle, let’s indicate the box
of the palm. It’ll help us attach the thumb and fingers We’ll start the thumb by establishing
that triangular base. Extend that cylinder and trowel shape. As you draw the thumb, look
at the angle of the nail and notice how the thumb is twisted. It points downward at about
a 45° angle. Alright, let’s get the boxes in for the finger
segments. Remember what I said about the pinky and ring finger rotating into the hand. From
this 3/4 angle, the index and middle fingers stick out a bit. The ring and pinky angle
back. We can only see the other segments on the
index finger… The others are hidden inside the fist which makes it a lot easier on us. Details What we’ve been doing up until now is all
underlying structure… The primary and secondary forms. The invisible stuff that people might
not necessarily notice when they look at the drawing, but that’s what holds it all together.
Now let’s address the surface of the hand. The details of the tertiary forms Let’s start with the knuckles. Sometimes it
helps to think of the knuckles as little knee caps. But let’s look at the subtleties of
the anatomy there. There’s 3 layers of stuff. First there’s the bone. If you remember from
the hand bones lesson, the top plane of the metacarpals is a flat trapezoid shape. Under
it is a ball with which the first phalanx articulates. On the surface, you’ll see that
flat plane on top with a rounded protrusion in front. It’ll taper down to a triangular
shape, but that’s caused by the addition of the second layer – the tendon. This tendon
travels over the bone and softens into the front plane of the first phalanx. And then there’s the third layer – the skin.
It’ll do two things. It’ll soften the forms at the knuckles and it’ll create a concave
dip between the knuckles. It’s not just a dip down along the top plane. It’s also concave
inward at the front plane. A recessed plane between the knuckles. Now that we know the anatomical layers there,
we can design the knuckles with context. With the tendon shifting around and the skin softening
things, there’s a lot of ways the knuckle contour can look. And we’re artists, so we
can emphasize and change things however we want. I look to add variety to the shapes.
For example I can design a taller triangular shape for the middle finger knuckle, a boxy
shape for the index, and smaller boxes or balls to the ring and pinky. The creases between the fingers will start
at the level of the bottom of the knuckles. Now, something interesting about these fat
pads on the fingers. When you squeeze your fist really tight, the fat pads spread out
out sideways, actually making the fingers wider. That will make this hand look even
more masculine. Don’t leave any air pockets in this area.
In a clenched fist, this fat pad on the top of the palm and the fat pads on the bottom
of the fingers get squeezed together very tightly. The skin creases are pretty intense in a fist
cause everything is bending. When drawing skin creases use them to echo the gesture
of the fingers, and really create a sense of clenching. This hand has lots of energy
– we want it to look as action-packed as possible. We’re capturing a second in time and we want
the drawing to look like that: immediate, energetic, real. Not like someone was holding
this pose for an hour and their hand got tired. At this point, we’re ready to map out the shadows, fill them in, add some dark accents, and the half-tone details. The hard part was all the linear, structural stuff we just did. Shading a fist, is no different than shading a ball. Just gotta know the laws of light. Okay, so that’s a wrap. In premium, I have a
lesson where I take you through the process of shading and adding details to the hands.
I’ll also show you how to draw a hands holding something, foreshortened hands, and female hands. Don’t miss out on all the premium knowledge. Join
the other Premium Proko People at proko.com/anatomy.