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Sculpting Hands Workshop

Hands are the most complex part of the human body to sculpt or draw. Although, I’ve been told that if you can sculpt the face, you can sculpt any part of the body. So, I enthusiastically instructed my first Hands workshop this past weekend. After the second hour, most of my students had that “deer in the headlights” look in their eyes… Several surrendered and went home exhausted by 2:30. By 3:30, there were only two of the 10 still standing. I’m not exactly sure why?

I mean, let’s see… A hand has 27 bones (14 phalanges, 5 metacarpals and 8 carpals). The 3 middle fingers are dominate, but can only spread and bend. The thumb and the pinky finger have the added mobility due to Trapezium and Hamate carpals being different. The Dorsal (back) side of the hand is smaller than the palmar (palm) side and the fingers joints are different sizes. On the palmar side, the pads are the same size on each finger and there is a forth pad below the pinky and index finger. All of the knuckles have two heads are horizontal with the exception of the proximal knuckles which are tear-drop shaped, one head and are vertical. The wedged-shaped thumb has two knuckles with two heads and the fingernail points upward. The thumb pad faces the “forth” pad under the pinky finger and the fingers tend to all lean towards the middle finger and when bending face the inverted “V” at the base of the palm. The pad of the thumb generally is higher than the opposing pad of the palm and the pads between each finger are literally between each finger. The webbing between each finger is different, the lowest is between the thumb and index, then between pinky and ring, then between the index and middle and finally between the ring and middle fingers. Vertical, horizontal and parabolic lines… whew, I’m tired too!

To my surprise, they returned on Sunday (wasn’t sure) and did a great job sculpting the hand.

Next month, back to the portrait!

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