The lower arm is the most complex of all the limbs on a human figure, and I am the first one to admit that it has always confused me. When the lower arm is rotated, the radius (the bone on the thumb side of the wrist) crosses over the ulna (the bone that makes the elbow, and that is on the pinky finger side of the wrist). Click on any image to enlarge it.
Peter Rubino has an example in his book that makes it a little easier to understand. I followed his example, and modeled a flat forearm connected to a hand. The edge of the forearm that is on the thumb side of the wrist, represents the radius. The inside elbow, marked with an X does not move. Just the lower arm and hand is rotated.
On a doll, this lower arm rotation of the radius doesn't happen. The doll's arm is rigid, without muscles or bones, except the ones that are modeled in clay, when the figure is originally made. I'm going to have to think about this.
I am a Big Fan of Martha Armstrong-Hand's method of making ball-jointed dolls, and today I found a YouTube video of an interview with doll maker R. John Wright, that also features Martha Armstrong-Hand (1920-2004). The interview is in two parts, and although it mainly focuses on John, there are some parts with Martha speaking about her work. The interview was filmed c.1986.
Part One 16:34
Part Two 14:56
Martha Armstrong-Hand is the author of the book, Learning To Be A Doll Artist: An Apprenticeship With Martha Armstrong-Hand (Livonia, MI: Scott Publications, 1999). She was married to David Hand, a Disney animator, and supervising director of Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, and Bambi. Martha also worked as a doll designer and sculptor for Mattel for 20 years, and was a member of the National Institute of American Doll Artists. (NIADA)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.