Sunday is here again! And, as with every Sunday, it is time to paint.

Each Sunday, artist Natasha Henderson will guide you through some simple “How To” tips for painting. Having been (honestly) inspired at a young age by the oft-spoofed televised artist Bob Ross, Natasha would like to offer some simple tips on How To Paint Stuff.

This week, I would like to try painting from observation, rather than from memory. One thing that is usually available for observation, is a hand. As with all the paintings in this series, I started by rubbing a bit of white acrylic paint onto my paper in order to seal it.

model is comfortable

Now, I want my model to be comfortable. So it is important to not only be happy with the shape that your hand is making in space in regards to the painting, but it should be a pose that is not tiring. Tense poses are interesting, and you can try that later, but to start I’d suggest a relaxed pose.

something of the shape I saw in the middle of my palm

Start with the centre of the palm. Try to find a shape within the palm. This will act as a sort of map, a guide on which to gauge distances and markings of reference points later.

markings, points of reference...

Next, look closely at the distance of the fingertips from the palm. Try to mark the outer edge of each finger.

more painting in the reference points

Next mark where the little lines where the joints in the finger are, and paint around the edges of the fingers and hand.

working in some lights, darks again... thinking about the shape of the hand before me

After this, it is all a series of “back and forth”, similar to when we painted an egg. White, black, grey, wipe, mark, white overtop… all based on observation. If you find that one of the fingers maybe is too short or too long-looking, paint it as it should be, and “erase” any paint that is too dark with some white.

a bit more work...

When you think the hand looks pretty good, you can fill in the background. This situates the hand in space, and is also an opportunity to fix any weird bits and straggly edges to the hand. 

painted around the edges... I will probably let it dry, then touch up the edges again with a dark grey, then the purple.

Paint on! Paint on.

Natasha Henderson, Montreal
 

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