Sunday, June 18, 2006

Animation School Lesson 5a - Hands

HEY YOU YOUNG CARTOONISTS!
WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL YOUR HOMEWORK?
If you don't do your lessons, how are you gonna save the cartoon business when you grow up?




Hands look complicated when you look at real ones. You see tons of details and the more details you think about, the harder it is to draw something.

Look at this beautifully simplified page of hands by Preston Blair.

Copy each and every one of these. Learn to draw complicated things like hands by understanding the bigger shapes that they are made up of.

Don't draw a hand by starting with the fingers. Contruct the hand by drawing the two main parts (1-the palm and 2-the fingers) in the position or gesture you want. Then draw the fingers into part 2.

If you learn to draw cartoon hands like these, you will then later be able to draw more detailed, complicated hands if you choose to.

88 comments:

Evan said...

what a great page.

P.C. Unfunny said...

Hands are a bitch to draw, thanks for posting this.

Daneman said...

John K,

I recently stumbled across your page and boy am I ever glad I did. As soon as I get some hands drawn, I'll get them to you.

In the mean time, thanks for this.

David Daneman

Anonymous said...

I know this is off topic, John, but have you seen "Nacho Libre", or if not, do you plan to?

Aggie said...

Whenever I have the time to draw, I always find that hands are the most fun part of the body to make.. but I'm sure there was a time in my life where I just wanted to hide them behind the back. Bad me.

Anonymous said...

God my hand drawings are always so awkward...and when I finally make a good one it's like automatically the best drawing i've ever done.

In 3rd grade I drew a guy holding an umbrella and the way his hand gripped the handle was the first good hand drawing I ever did...Ahh I still remember everyone in my class looking at it.

-Jordan
www.timwarnermovie.com

Anonymous said...

Thank you again!

antikewl said...

Is this lesson 8 1/2? :)

I'm still doing my homework. I'm drawing right now! I think Steve's stopped putting links to student's work up though. Are we that bad?!

Dylan patten said...

Thanks for this my hands are always plain and open or in fist form.

Oh and are you angry with the creators of spongebob squarepants because they use painted stills like your awesome show Ren & Stimpy? If my information is wrong i am sorry.

Makinita said...

Oh man Thanks John i have allways had trouble drawing hands in my cartoons this totaly gonna help me get better at my craft thanks !!!!

Dan said...

I'm still a few lessons behind, but I'd really appreciate any feedback or suggestions. http://locodancartoons.blogspot.com/

Kristin said...

I have a hard time drawing hands. I was wondering when you would post something about hands!

Thanks John;)

Stephen Worth said...

Hi Antikewl,

I got buried in links to add, so I've set it up so the links are automatic. You'll find instructions on how to get your link on the page on the lesson page at the ASIFA Archive blog...

Lesson 9

See ya
Steve

Craig D said...

I'm lagging far, far behind in the "remedial" cartoon class for student with "special needs." For what lttle it's worth, my blog is here if anyone wants to look at it and feel really good about themselves. Any comments or hints are welcome.

I feel both dread and excitement about the hands page, as this is something I've never been able to pull off. I've been trying to tame those {blankety-blank] "Mickey Mosue" hands for 40 years now! But Preston is a miracle worker, so there may yet be hope..!

Craig D.

antikewl said...

I got buried in links to add, so I've set it up so the links are automatic.

Hi Steve

I thought you would have! It's a brave job you've both undertaken. :) Incidentally, will this work for the older lessons or just from this one onward?

Trevor

Anonymous said...

Hey John, your next lesson should be how to draw feet!

Kevin Langley said...

Cool, I was wondering when you'd get to the hands page. I suck at hands so I'm pretty eager to get to work. I've been doing my homework though. I've worked up to lesson 8.

Tara said...

Dammit, I'm still working on Lesson 2.......see?

But like many others I've always had trouble drawing hands, and look forward to this lesson

Lucius said...

Crap! I just started Lesson One too! Now what? No feedback until 'Hands'?

Looking forward to this lesson though when and if I master the damn egg faces; I've practiced hands the old fashioned way in the past by copying from master drawings and my own hands--you're right. It's so easy to get ensnared by details! Drawing a 3 fingered hand will be something new for me too.

Jesse Oliver said...

There are three people who draw the best looking cartoon hands ever, and they are.........

1. John Kricfalusi

2. Tex Avery

3. Bob Clampett

Jason White said...

i'm catching up. i just posted my line of action copies. other lessons are scattered about. please look.

Stephen Worth said...

The linkback on the ASIFA pages should work for old pages too. Just use Technorati or better yet, Weblogs.com to send out a ping on the updated page.

By the way, if anyone is interested, I just posted a couple of great posts at the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive Blog. One is an announcement of an exhibit of storyboards being held at our facility in Burbank, and the other is a post on a rare Bouncing Ball cartoon animated by Grim Natwick.

See ya
Steve

bardhol said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bardhol said...

downtrod and dumbfounded he blinks
--"for like months i been sendin you links!
all the time drawin va'mints
and no gettin comments --
well pardon me pal, but it stinks!"

stiff said...

I LOVED drawing hands as a kid...it's what finally convinced me to start drawing faces (my art teacher finally convinced me to draw a portrait of Abe Lincoln for Thanksgiving, and it was pretty damn good). Anyway, I suck at cartoon hands, so I'll be practicing those. Once I get off my ass.

Don't know why I felt the need to share this with everyone, since I haven't done anything, but maybe when I see this tomorrow I'll actually do something.

Dave_the_Turnip said...

I finally have a couple days off this week so i intend to get stuck into lessons 7 and 8.

Oh and Steve, i updated all my posts to link to the relevent archive pages.

Can't wait till i get to lesson 9. Hands give me trouble, like i'm sure they do everyone :)

bardhol said...

one more thing (until i remove it)
altho i still try to improve at
this preston baloney
i'm no one trick pony
here's popeye and wilma to prove it.
LOOK

cableclair said...

I'm one and a half lesson behind, but working on catching up :-P. looking forward to this one!

Ryan Kramer said...

i love doing hands lately. I've done all the homework, i just gotta find the time to upload all of it.

John, are you the guy that started drawing characters with a GIANT index finger when its erect??

Shawn said...

I always love a good hand job.

Anonymous said...

I want to save cartoons John, but to save cartoons I need a job doing it, I'm teaching myself 3D at the moment to get a job and it's taking up all my valuable drawing time! 3D Sucks it has no sole, but I'd rather do 3D than move a picture across the screen in Flash. I'll post some of my pics one day.....

Also anyone who gets Plum TV watch 'Boiing', my debut cartoon 'Sound Scrap' will be playing on it, Aaeeii!

Anonymous said...

I hope I havn't offended anyone with '3D has no sole' and 'moving pictures across the screen in Flash', there are a lot of people doing some great stuff with both mediums (Such as John). Then there's just so much cheap regurgitated throwaway "cartoons" aaagghhh, not like the good ol' classics!
'Sound Scrap'(includes some of that move pictures across the screen rubbish)on Plum TV.
I'll shut up now.

Roberto González said...

I've got a confession to make...I don't have the original Preston book, I own the "new" version. Since that was the one I found here in Spain I bought it, but now I think I should have bought it via internet.

I used to actually print the pages that you posted here but I eventually spent too much ink. It's an stupid excuse, but that's probably the main reason why I'm not doing my homework right now, I wish I could just copy from my version of the book and I would do things much faster.

Also I have been trying to create some comic strips and stories lately and trying to sell them (not too much luck apart from my regular comic strip in a local diary).

Anyway, I'll try to come back to the lessons in the summer.

Lee said...

Hi John! Just echoing previous commenters. I'm furiously working through the assignments, but have only made it up to Lesson Five. (Although, I'm hardly a "young" cartoonist, so maybe I'm exempt.)

Thanks for these terrific lessons. I'm learning a tremendous amount!

Stephen Worth said...

Roberto, the hand page is exactly the same in both editions of the Preston Blair book. No excuses.

See ya
Steve

Craig D said...

bardhol: You're like Theodore Geisel on a steady diet of prunes.

You're a regular Dr. Seuss.

Spizzerinktum said...

Another vote for feet! I've always loved drawing hands--cartoon or realistic--but drawing feet is a nightmare for me. Especially girl characters with shoes. Why is it so difficult?? There must be some sort of trick to it.

And hats. Hats are torturous to draw so that they "sit right" on the character's head and the brims wrap on the correct planes and look "on" the head instead of floating above it.

I finally conquered the lapel thing a few years back, and now my coats always look good. Must be one of those "eureka" things, where you suddenly get it after arduous toil.

Flip said...

So where did the idea come to add gloves to all the character's hands? Did it start with Mickey Mouse? (Although, I don't think he wore gloves in "Steamboat Willy" though I could be mistaken)

Is it an aesthetic thing, or just something that came along? Was it like a fasion trend for cartoon characters?

Just some curiosities.
-Flip

bodidarma said...

hey everybody, i plan on taking these lesson images to a kinkos and getting a little book made what size should i print them,somebody,anybody let me know

Desiree said...

Hey John,
I'm really sorry I can't at the moment. I'm graduating in 1 week and a bit. Ive been saving all your pictures though and want to draw them when i get my time back!

See ya

Roberto González said...

Yeah, you are right about the hand page, Steve.;) I was mainly talking about the previous lessons, but I could really do this one right now. I'll see.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about the rest of y'all, but I'm only posting things once I get them right.

Or at least close like this.

Anonymous said...

EDIT ^^

And by that I don't mean the rest of you are getting it wrong, I mean I don't want to post my own embarrasing trainwrecks.

Tibby said...

Cool! That is my most favorite lesson in that book! I learned the jist of it by myself back while I was in school. Since I drew a lot of off the wall comic books to fill in the time. I reffered to this hands lesson many times to figure out how to make hands look right. I love the glove technique! I'll have fun going thru it like this.

I was just applying to a animation studio that makes a current animated series on Cartoon Network. I may have to become a Royal Kilted Canajun' Yakman to work up there. But hey - it's an awesome job if I can score it. Ed, Edd, and Eddy. Heh - it't real funny cause all the Ed characters hands look like they have all thumbs! >.< Now I feel like I am making cartoon hands too good in this case! Darn Preston and that how to make perfect hands!

Anonymous said...

There are three people who draw the best looking cartoon hands ever, and they are.........

1. John Kricfalusi

2. Tex Avery

3. Bob Clampett

-Jesse Oliver

Are you on drugs. Tex and Bob weren't even animators, the animators drew the hands, and as far as John drawing the best hands, that's pretty hard to back up (not to say he isn't a great artist...)

Shawn said...

>>Are you on drugs. Tex and Bob weren't even animators, the animators drew the hands, and as far as John drawing the best hands, that's pretty hard to back up (not to say he isn't a great artist...)


Tex and Bob drew great hands, genious.

And so does John. In fact, John and Eddie Fitzgerald both draw the best hands ever. I really like the way Eddie draws hands a lot!

Eric C. said...

So John,
to clarify on the lessons
You want us to draw all the drawings in the lessons and can I also look back at the old WB shorts, Ren & Stimpy, and the other Spumco projects to learn about feature detail ideas?

_Eric

Brian P. Stone said...

Mr. Kricfalusi,
I posted some stuff from Lesson One on my Blog and I don't think anyone ever came to look at it...! I'm working on some more lessons now too...!
briansdrawings.blogspot.com

Kitty said...

I practice this stuff, I just don't post everything. There's a reason I don't. I don't feel too comfourtable with posting unless it something that I made that is PERFECT. I'm slow... :(

anyway, I'll get to work on those hands.

Spencer said...

I appreciate all the lessons John! Thanks!

The Butcher said...

Hey John,

Should I buy the Preston Blair book before I start taking these lessons, or are you going through all the important stuff anyway for us total cheap skates? Lemme know!

Eric

Jesse Oliver said...

Hi Shawn

Your right, Eddie does good hands too.

cableclair said...

my results are here:
http://www.claartjevanswaaij.com/sketchbook.html
Today I have to do the dreaded dayjob, but tonight I'll scan the dogs and tomorrow I have a day off and will be tackling the hands :-).

Ryan G. said...

John, Ive always thought that you drew the best hands. The Preston hands are like Mickeys hands but yours show every knuckle and veins and fingernails. This one of the many style influences that Ive adapted into my own. "A Visit to Anthony's House" (Ren and Stimpy) shows great hands on Anthonys father. (or your dad, right John?) Also, That huge index finger is also your trademark that ive found myself using from time to time... I think ive subconciously soaked in little things here and there to add to my style from watching hours upon hours of R&S.. Thanks John!

Scott said...

Just an interesting note: I remember seeing the Preston Blair hands (specifically the opened then closed pairs) at Comiskey Park in Chicago, IL on the light-bulb screen trying to get people pumped up for the White Sox. I don't know if they still do that as I haven't the money for ball games anymore.

John K. you are a man and a half; please continue the incendiary work.

Stara Novalja said...

Nice blog.

Brady K. said...

I love cartoons but can't hold a pencil steady for a damn. Is there any job of merit in the cartooning foe even a lowly smudge like me?

refinance said...

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glamaFez said...

Jack Davis does great hands, but they can't touch his feet.

antikewl said...

Is there a good trick to drawing nice fluid lines? I always seem to make mine all sketchy and crap -- like my hand never puts the pencil where I tell it to!

I was just looking at Marlo's stuff and admiring how it looks like the drawing just oozed itself onto the page. My sketches just look all unfluid and wrong!

Toren Q Atkinson said...

I'll catch up with the lessons soon, right now I'm working on a kids book!

Anonymous said...

Tex and Bob drew great hands, genious.

You're kidding right? Give me one example of Tex and Bob drawing "great hands".

R2K said...

Boy that looks soo easy : )

Anonymous said...

I'm not an animator so feel free to set me straight but is it just me or does any of this guys stuff seem familiar? Especially the "Quality Jollity" trademark?

http://www.kylebaker.com/

Franfou said...

Very cool indeed. One of the best example of good drawing of hands are the hands of the characters in the comicbook titled BONE by Jeff Smith...open his books and pratice to draw his characters 's hands, it can just help young and even older cartoonists to get better and better.They look smooth, natural and simple...

Gavin Freitas said...

Copied and saved this to my desktop John. Hands are too important!!! Keep'em coming......

Arschblog said...

Where are you? We are waiting for you.

David said...

I am surprised more people aren't familiar with the Blair book. Jeez, that was the first one I ever bought when I was starting to draw. Maybe it's an age bracket thing?

I'm probably one of the few who own "The Animated Raggedy Ann & Andy" by John Canemaker (1977)

Jesse Oliver said...

Hey John

I know you met Mike Judge, but did you ever meet Danny Antonucci?

Frankie Stellato said...

THIS BLOG IS KICK ASS!

JohnK said...

Hey Bardhol,


I commented on your construction drawings like you asked...

Your pal,
John

Paul Daniels said...

I like Danny Antonucci; he was great in 'The Partridge Family'.

Anonymous said...

can you tell me when the first ren & stimpy cartoon is EVER 'aired' as a tv-cartoon?
i mean was it aired in USA for the first time? during which years? or any other countries?

Jason White said...

i just posted some proportion study bulldog copies and hand copies.

JohnK said...

>>Are you on drugs. Tex and Bob weren't even animators, the animators drew the hands,<<

Of course they were animators. How do you think they became directors?

bardhol said...

Thanks alot for the tip John, I really appreciate it! I'm also reading up on figure drawing, which emphasizes the ability to think in terms of form, volume, things like that - which I think will help my addled brain. I'll get it yet, by hook or by crook!
--bardhol

Anonymous said...

it would be nice if someone answered my question:

" can SOMEONE tell me when the first ren & stimpy cartoon is EVER 'aired' as a tv-cartoon?
i mean was it aired in USA for the first time? during which years? or any other countries?

Dr.Awkward said...

I believe it was first aired in 1991, but I could be wrong.

antikewl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
benj said...

Im very busy right now working about 40hours a week :/
but I'll definately complete my lessons in a near future.

mrianda said...

Here's this one and a bunch of the old lessons, I haven't had access to a scanner.

michaelrianda.blogspot.com

Nate Birch said...

Damn...that hand sheet is a godsend. Thanks!

progresswear.com said...

I had a flashback of about 45 years when I saw that. I drew from that book in the high chair. Where on earth did you find that? Are there more pages to be found elsewhere?

WiLL said...

There's a Preston Blair How to Draw for Animation book available...
It's got the basics for Mr. K.'s school.

Everyone seems to have problems drawing hands. If you can't represent them as as multiple squiggles, just keep practicing!

TWill said...

Here's my hands lesson.

Lesson 5a

Man, I love drawing hands and when you get them right them right they look so good.
Thanks for looking.

John said...

I've done my hands homework:

http://paintthemeggs.wordpress.com/2010/06/03/lesson-5a-hands/

What a great course this is!

John

islandheroes said...

Here is my lesson 5a cartoon hands. I am happy to be joing you all doing this.
-Rob

Connor Leahy said...

Here's my attempt at 5a (or 9, according to the Animation Resources numbering).