Learning to Draw, Day 7: Tracing a Foreshortened Hand on a Plane

Today I did an exercise to help see like an artist sees: Using a plastic viewfinder to create a flat plane, resting it on my hand, and then using a non-permanent marker to trace all of the edges. (Reminder: In drawing, an edge is where any two areas meet, not just an outline.)

I did this four times with my hand in different foreshortened configurations. I noticed that I tended to close my right eye each time I did the exercise in order to help me focus on my hand in a 2-dimensional way. I’ll remember this for the future when I’m framing up a real drawing.

Here are some photos I took along the way:

I know that I was just tracing what I saw, but each time I removed the plastic frame, I was surprised at how well it turned out. It looks remarkably like my real hand.

Tomorrow I’m taking this exercise a step further: Instead of tracing my hand on the plastic, I’m going to do my best at drawing it on actual paper.