From the archives: Hands and Feet.

Hands acrylic on paper horizontal prob fall 1989 or early 1990 by Rachel Ketchum aka Suzanne ForbesDrawing and painting so many, for so long.

People have a hard time with hands when they start drawing, because hands are very complex. There are a lot of techniques and instruction on how to draw hands – here’s mine– but actually just doing it is the biggest part of learning.

Hands 2 acrylic on paper horizontal prob fall 1989 or early 1990 by Rachel Ketchum aka Suzanne ForbesThese paintings are from my first year at MCAD, winter 1990, I think.

Sketchbook Winter 1990 Minneapolis hands 6 by Rachel Ketchum aka Suzanne ForbesFrom early 1990, found in a sketchbook. 

Sketchbook Winter 1990 Minneapolis hands 4 by Rachel Ketchum aka Suzanne Forbes1990, a class assignment – probably to draw hands using volume created by light and dark.

Sketchbook Winter 1990 Minneapolis hands 3 by Rachel Ketchum aka Suzanne Forbes1990. Always gotta draw all kinds of hand positions, not just flat.

Sketchbook Winter 1990 Minneapolis hand by Rachel Ketchum aka Suzanne Forbes1990. A strong light source helps to understand the structures.

Seriously, I put everything I know about hand structures into this tutorial on how “Thumbs ruin everything.

Sketchbook Winter 1990 Minneapolis hands 1 by Rachel Ketchum aka Suzanne Forbes1990. Gotta draw foreshortened poses, too. 

Fist studies prob 1985 by Rachel Ketchum aka Suzanne ForbesComic class notes, probably around 1985.

I was searching for the image above for this post, knowing I had scanned and edited it, knowing it had “fist” in the filename, and let me tell you, well, most of the drawings with “fist” in the filename in my archives are quite different. My comic teachers often said the superhero fist resembles a Dixie cup from many angles. A reference which probably dates me! 

I tell you this: if you are struggling with drawing hands, read all the books, watch all the Youtube videos, but most of all, draw your hands. It’s free, and they’re there.

Foot study drawing by Rachel Ketchum aka Suzanne Forbes circa 1985And feet. Gotta draw feet nearly as much as hands.

These are from the late 80s I think, and they’re definitely my chunky little feet. I’m sure more will turn up as I archive. While feet have less moving parts than hands, they are still complexly structured. Because they receive so much impact, they change shape dramatically as a person moves. So you need to understand the bones and the tissue volumes underneath.

footstudy by Suzanne Forbes 2016In 2016 I made some studies of the basic volumes and shapes that make up the feet for my drawing students.

None of these drawings had ever been photographed; until now, no record of them existed – if we had a fire or flood they would just be gone forever.

I am so grateful to my Patreon Patrons, whose monthly financial support makes it possible for me to take time to document my art archives.

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