Exercise: Try to do an anatomical drawing yourself

Drawing 1: My hand (HB and 2B pencils)

Drawing 2: From an illustration in an anatomy book

I found the thought of doing a complete human figure as an anatomical drawing much too overwhelming so I’ve chosen to draw hands as this is something I struggle with and the practice can only help.




My first drawing was of my own hand. When I look at this I feel that the palm is a little too long relative to the fingers but when I measure it seems to be correct so perhaps it just means I’ve got big palms! If I was to draw this again I would not include so many of the lines on the hand as this became confusing and of course every time my hand moved a little they changed.

The hand looks a bit leathery.. sort of mummified because somehow I haven’t portrayed the softness of the skin folds.

My second drawing is a copy of an illustration of a hand in the book Anatomy for the Artist (Jenó Barcsay). This was easier to do as the illustration simplifies the detail and includes the shading to give a sense of form. However, there are some odd things about the gesture itself (a) it is best not viewed the other way up! (b) I can’t get my fingers into this position without crossing my thumb across the palm… maybe more dexterous people can?






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