Hey everyone, thought I'd try my hand at doing a short step by step tutorial thing, since their rather popular on DA xD
So lately I've been practicing hands, heres a new technique I picked up off of Google, which has helped me improve my hands A LOT. Hopefully it can help some of you ^^
Step 1: Start by making a flattened rectangle that follows the perspective of the hand reference your using (this technique can be used to construct hands from memory later, but I would start by practicing it with a hand reference). Once your satisfied, make a triangle protruding from the side of the rectangle where the thumb will be.
Step 2: Sketch a circle at the base of the rectangle to use as a connecting point for all the bones. Sketch four different lines, one for each finger, to the end of the rectangle. This will give you an idea of where each finger will come out of the hand, and give you an idea of knuckle placement. The two curved lines are used to space the finger joints (hard to tell with this hand pose). Make two equally spaced curved lines, the first is where the first finger joint is, the second is where the end of the finger is (the first finger joint is the same length as the last two together).
Step 3: Sketch in the rest of the hand. Add the rest of the thumb at the end of the triangle you drew earlier (using reference for a while will let you figure out an appropriate length). Also sketch in the fingers, everyone draws fingers differently, so just experiment and see what you like. You may also add in the wrist like I did, but it isn't necessary.
Step 4: I cleaned up the sketch a bit, but this isn't necessary, I just prefer painting over linework that's a bit cleaner. But I strongly suggest you sketch in the forms of the hand before painting, this will really help you memorize the different forms in the hand, not to mention help you paint it more accurately later on. This will also help you think of things more three dimensionally, which will help make your painting more realistic.
Step 5: Pick a colour pallete before painting. My tendency is to choose a light colour, a light/medium, and dark/medium, and a dark tone. This will give you 4 different variations of shadow to work with (even more when you blend them later). I also choose two more saturated colours to use later, to make the skin tone a bit more lively (don't overuse these colours). Now begin blocking in shadows. You can either choose your own light source if your confident in your abilities, or try to replicate the shading of your reference. Try not to use the same tone for all the shadows, some areas will be darker, some will be lighter.
Step 6: Finish the painting! At this stage just try to render the painting to a polish. Blend your shadows together, play around with the darkness/lightness in certain areas, and add those subtle saturated colours to the skin tone to liven it up. You can even add some subtle texture after you finish painting. This stage is hard to explain, the best way to learn how to bring it all together is to practice and develop your own painting techniques.
Practice makes perfect, the more you practice this technique, the better youll get at it. Hopefully this can help some of you! I know how hard drawing hands can be at times. Just keep practicing and you'll improve!