Hands are hard to draw. But you already knew that, right? I created the watercolor backgrounds for this journal page in just minutes, then spent hours (and a lot of my eraser) drawing the hands.
What I didn’t realize at the time–and what a visit to the library for a book on drawing techniques or a trip to a museum to look at the work of some masters could have taught me–was that it is sometimes ok to just suggest or imply instead of drawing every detail outright. As my pencil point became blunt as I worked (because I refused to come up for air, stop, and sharpen the darn thing), I found I liked the results better. Up close, it was not clear what those blunt marks referred to. But when I looked at the finished page as a whole, they fit in and led the eye to complete what was not “really” there.
The trouble with hands is: they can’t do it alone. The eye has to engage, participate, and share in the work. But then, I guess that is true of all art.
After creating an abstract piece, I expect a viewer to attach meaning or emotion to what they see–even if it is meaning that I didn’t intent to put there. Their view is their experience, after all.
Maybe figurative work isn’t so different. And so, with that thought, I am going back to my journal. My hands still need some work.