The human body is one of the hardest things to draw realistically, and hands are among the most difficult parts. From oversized fingers to bulbous palms, the slightest error can leave them looking comically disproportioned. But a brilliant drawing hack is doing the rounds online – and while incredibly simple, could totally transform your approach to drawing hands.
Our how to draw tutorials are full of brilliant tips, but there are often invaluable nuggets of wisdom to be found from artists on Twitter too. According to his Twitter bio, Jesse Hamm "will not let his lack of fame or achievement stop him from tweeting advice to all and sundry" – and his latest hint is going down a storm.
When you ink a figure before blacking-in its surrounding exterior area, the remaining white interior often looks more spindly than you intended (image 1). Avoid this effect by not inking ON the figure's contours (image 2), but by inking just OUTSIDE its contours (image 3). pic.twitter.com/SZQCaD7qrGNovember 10, 2020
In three simple images, Hamm explains how drawing outside the contours of the hand, the artist can avoid ending up with spindly-looking digits. Indeed, it's clear from the two contrasting examples (below) that the version inked on the outside of the outline is fuller and more realistic than the rather thin-fingered version which was inked on the outline itself. You can find more hand-drawing advice in our how to draw hands guide.
We've got to hand it to Hamm – this is an incredibly simple technique that completely transforms the hand's appearance. And it seems all and sundry are loving the advice:
you just changed my perspective on inking completely, holy shitNovember 10, 2020
this is honestly the most valuable art tip of all time https://t.co/kbyzgcg2xrNovember 10, 2020
This. All of this. https://t.co/yCs57WoAcgNovember 10, 2020
Hamm's tip can be applied to both traditional drawing and digital – check out the best drawing tablets if you fancy giving the latter a go. But if old-school's your preference, our guide to the best pencils is on hand keep your drawings looking as sharp as possible.