About

Cost
$ $ $ $ $
Difficulty
• • • • •
Time
45 mins

Drawing Hands & Feet
I prefer drawing from life to drawing from photography or memory, but in certain situations this is not always possible; for example, if I were to draw a ballerina in motion. So, following in the footsteps of Degas, I use memory and imagination to produce an image.

Drawing from imagination is not difficult – as children we did this quite naturally. All adults can draw from imagination, even if the outcome is a simple matchstick figure. However, if you find the idea of drawing a hand or foot from imagination too daunting, I recommend that you try the box method.

Posted by Search Press Published See Search Press's 272 projects » © 2022 Armer, Eddie / Search Press · Reproduced with permission.
PrintEmbed

You Will Need

  • How to make a drawing. Drawing From Memory
 & Imagination - Step 1
    Step 1

    The box method

    Modern animators often use the box method to depict cartoon characters in action when making preparatory sketches. By representing the subject as a series of boxes, it becomes easier for the artist to visualize the form and give the drawing volume from the outset.

    When I was creating the cartoon-character images in the diagram below, it was far easier to experiment with the articulation of the limbs by imagining a series of boxes, before settling on the final pose.

    The thinking behind this method dates as far back as the early sixteenth century. The German artist Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) produced the Stereometric Man (see below, left), a human figure represented as a series of cubes. This preparatory sketch was intended to be developed and included in the final chapter of Dürer’s Four Books on Human Proportion, which was published posthumously in 1532.

    After Albrecht Dürer’s preparatory sketch for Stereometric Man.

  • How to make a drawing. Drawing From Memory
 & Imagination - Step 2
    Step 2

    Applying the box method

    To understand fully how the box method works, try drawing the palm view of a hand from memory and imagination. Reduce the subject to a series of irregular cubes or cylinders and then use the drawing as a basis for imagining the hand in different positions.

  • How to make a drawing. Drawing From Memory
 & Imagination - Step 3
    Step 3

    As with Dürer’s Stereometric Man (see opposite), the form is simplified to a series of cube shapes. The advantage of this approach is that it gives the drawing volume and mass.

  • How to make a drawing. Drawing From Memory
 & Imagination - Step 4
    Step 4

    1. First construct your imaginary hand as a series of cubes. If you are unsure where to start, reference your own hand to get an understanding of proportions. Be aware that your hand and fingers are three-dimensional and represent them purely as boxes, with no added detail. It is at this stage that you are able to alter your drawing and experiment with the finger boxes in different positions.

  • How to make a drawing. Drawing From Memory
 & Imagination - Step 5
    Step 5

    2. Once you are happy with the pose you have constructed, begin to shape the cubes and boxes so that they appear more like a hand with fingers. Round off the fingertips and add curves to the straight lines to make the box shapes more realistic and give the drawing form.

  • How to make a drawing. Drawing From Memory
 & Imagination - Step 6
    Step 6

    3. When you have reached a point at which you feel that you have added as much detail as you need, erase any remaining traces of the original boxes and guidelines so that you are left with the finished drawing.

  • How to make a drawing. Drawing From Memory
 & Imagination - Step 7
    Step 7

    The schematic sketch
    A schematic sketch can be used to help you to capture a form in just a few lines. The sketch creates a simple framework from which you can proceed to a finished drawing, using your own hand as a model.
    Although similar to the box method, a schematic sketch is not quite the same thing. While both provide the first stage – the framework – of a drawing, a schematic sketch is used to capture the outline of the form whereas the box method effectively constructs the form. The schematic sketch is a simply-drawn framework, containing just enough information to enable you to complete a finished drawing.
    In the example illustrated below, of a pair of hands gripping a walking stick, note that the handle is drawn in full in the schematic sketch (below left). This will ensure that the visible parts of the stick appear in the correct place and not distorted when you start to develop your drawing.
    This illustration is an excellent example of why it is helpful to first produce a schematic sketch; it is also a demonstration of how artists have the power to see through solid objects!

Made this project? Share your version »

Comments

More Projects