Providing the ordinary person with art techniques

How to draw hands

Hands can seem as though they are a complex thing to draw and at times they can be difficult. However with a few easy techniques they will seem easier than you originally thought they were.

At some point or another an artist will find that knowing how to draw a hand is an important technique to have, so today I will teach you some steps on how to go about drawing a hand.

Step 1

1. Rough sketch: Make a rough sketch of the overall form of the hand you are drawing (you might want to practice drawing your hand or a friends hand).

Step 2

2.Make fingers: Observe the space between your forms (aka fingers, and thumb). Make sure to check the relative shape of each form.

Step 3

3. Refine your drawing: place creases onto your rough sketch.

Step 4

4. Add tone: Add shading to make the hand look realistic.

Now go and practice drawing the hand in various positions doing various things. The more you practice these steps of sketching out the hand the easier the concept of drawing a hand will become to you.

Shading with pencil

Shading is essential in drawings especially if you are drawing a still life picture or you want something to look realistic. At times shading can be a bit tricky but today I am going to give you a few helpful hints on how to become a better shader.



1. First off you need to understand where the source of light is coming from and make the rest of the shadowing show that result. You will usually have one light source that determines the location of highlights and the direction of shadows. The spot where the light hits your subject directly is called the highlight, and is usually pure white.

The side that is opposite the source of light will be shadowed. You will need to draw midtones that refer to the gradation of tones between the shadow and the highlight. Most of the areas will also have an area of light reflecting. All of the values need to blend into each other smoothly, so you can see the shape of the subject.

2.You need to learn how to control your pencil. For darker shadows press slightly harder. Your strokes should be even and regular. You shouldn’t see the paper between your lines. Try to make all of your strokes in the same direction to get smoother results. The best result is if you hold your pencil at and angle near the end of it, using the side of the lead to draw.

Drawing at an angle

3. Blending can be helpful. You can do that with a blending stick or I sometimes just use my figures or Kleenex.

-I think that one of the best practice tools to practice shadowing with is to draw a sphere and practice all of your elements of shadowing within the sphere like the first picture on this blog. Also the more you practice shadowing within your drawings the easier the concepts will become for you.


It is important to learn how to properly clean your paint brush after painting. For starters you want to clean your brushes the right way so they do not get hard and so you can use them time and time again.

You also want to make sure they are very clean so there is no left over paint in them and you end up mixing colors together. When you clean your brushes you need to make sure to get all of the access paint out so you do not end up making your next painting muddy looking from the access paint left in your brush.

-When I clean my brushes I first use paint thinner to rub off the access paint and some people use newspaper after the thinner to rub even more paint off of them.

-Next I like to use some kind of paint cleaner and I rinse that off in the sink, every so often I also use soap and water, but not always.

-When I make sure that I get all of the paint off I dry the brushes off with a towl.

-Lastly I use vaseline when I am done cleaning my brushes to hold the bristles in place and make them look brand new for their next use.

Pollock: Lavender-mist from

Most people that know me, know that I am not a huge fan of abstract art in most cases. However I greatly respect Jackson Pollock and his work. Pollock was a big figure in the abstract expressionist movement. Pollock married the artist Lee Krasner, who came to be an influence on him and his work. They were both able to discuss and critique one anothers art work together which was helpful for both of them.

Pollock developed a style of paintings for his canvas’ that was unlike other artists. While most artists paint their canvas with their canvas on and easel or sitting upright, Pollock layed his canvas flat on the ground. He found this technique to work best for his style because he was able to drip paint onto the canvas and make the paint look like it was coming from every direction (the “drip” technique).

He used a synthetic based paint called alkyd enamels instead of normal artist paint. to drip the paint onto his canvas and move it around, Pollock used sticks and hard brushes. The style of drip paint that Pollock used has been considered one of the origins of action paintings.

The canvas he used was normally unstretched and tacked to the floor. In his works he used his whole body to create his pieces. He used sticks, trowels, knives, heavy dripping paint with sand, broken glass, and other foreign matter added to his work.

I like Pollock because he went outside of the conventional way of painting with a paint brush, pallet, and easel and used different tools for his works. He thought outside of the box and was able to make his work look good.


Todays fun topic is the topic of making your ordinary walls into something beyond ordinary. As a college student I often like to give my walls a little bit of life and decorating them in some fashion. So what better choice than to put art on them?

In my bedroom my roommate and I made a doodle wall for all of our friends to come and spruce up with their artistic skills, as I have discussed in a previous blog. But we did not stop their. In our living room my roommate and I decided to start making a book of questions and art, based off of the wonderful Soul Pancake book. She has been writing up questions and I have been decorating the pages and slowly we have been putting pages onto the wall for people to view and answer the questions for themselves.

We have hung some of my artwork on the walls. Our room currently has some streamers and balloons on the walls from my birthday and my other roommate has pictures that my friend and I decorated and streamers hung all over her door from her birthday.

Lastly we have a giant mirror and we decided it would be a wonderful idea to get erasable markers and draw all over our mirror. So we currently have all of our beautiful art work displayed on our giant mirror. We have also been able to use that mirror to keep scores when playing games at the kitchen table.

So I urge you to be creative, have fun, and find your own way to make the rooms in your room look like you.

Example of good design from

There are many little basic things that you need to keep in mind while designing a picture. Today I am just going to go over a few of these elements to help you to make your work the best that it possibly can be.

1. Colour: This is also known as hue. Which are the colors on the color wheel.

2. Value: This is also called tone. The value is the lightness of darkness of an object.

3. Gradation: This is usually colors that are from dark to light, or from warm colors to cool colors. The gradation of an object can help to make it seem as though it is moving in a direction.

4. Balance: I spoke about balance on yesterdays blog, remember to keep those elements in tact for the principles of your design.

5.Harmony: is the combining of similar elements in a piece such as adjacent colors on the color wheel or similar shapes.

6.Line: element that moves along the page, the edges of shapes can help to form the line.

7. Shape: is the area that stands out from its surroundings.

When and instructor of observer of your work mentions one of these words now you will know the meaning of it. Keep all of these elements and their meanings in mind when designing a piece and you will be on your way to having a better design and a better piece overall.


Dear fellow artist,

When you are thinking about the elements of design and how you want to compose a painting or drawing, there is one thing to keep in mind: balance. While sketching out a picture you want to make sure that the overall design is balanced with each other. you don’t want to make your design look far heavier on one side then it is on the other side.

So how is it that you go about making a design look balanced? Well first of if you were to draw something on one side of a picture you want to make sure to draw something of similar size on the other… if you don’t want it to be the similar size then the way you can show balance is by colors. If you make the smaller object a more bold color then it will seem heavier then it actually is and seem to equal the size and shape of the duller bigger object on the other side.

Here are a few terms for different types of balance for your piece:


1.  SYMMETRICAL BALANCE: Even balance on the center line of the axis through:

a. Radial Symmetry: rotating around the center point of your piece.

b.Exact Symmetry: a mirror image or a repeated design.

c. Axial Symmetry: two opposing repetitions,  one on each side of an axis.

2.  ASYMMETRICAL BALANCE: A counterbalance with contrasts such as dull and bright colors. It can also include dark and light values, geometric and organic shapes, active and inactive areas.

Radial Symmetry





Axial Symmetry

3. APPROXIMATE SYMMETRY-: An even placement of color, forms, etc is displayed.

4. OCCULT—Background is the dominant feature.

Keep all of these elements of balance in your mind while you are designing a piece. It will make your art work look a lot better and far more intriguing to the eye.

Exact Symmetry





(Citation from

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