Friday, September 24, 2010

Hand Reference, Part Two

This selection of reference hands comes from Andrew Loomis, Milt Kahl, Jeff Smith, and Jim Macauley. The bottom sample, from Jeff Smith's epic graphic novel series "Bone", shows how a hand can add greatly to the body language and expression of a character. Note how Thorn, the young woman, goes from nonchalant to focused, baffled, curious and quizzical and how her hand helps to project those emotions. I've known Smith for many years and can recognize his wife Vijaya's hand gestures in this series. When drawing your character, think of a friend or famous actor that has a similar personality, then observe how they use their hands to express themselves. The more realistic and natural your hand poses are, the more convincing your character's emotions and gestures will be.