Sunday, June 3, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 72

I worked on the hands, reshaping the baseball mitt rough hands into things that look more like hands.

My idea is to get all the forms modeled in oil-clay, so that after they are cast into carving wax, I will not have to do much additive work on them at all, just a wee bit of subtractive work. That means I must get enough clay on the hands to make the fingers and thumb round in section, rather than square in section. I will also study some hand photographic references, as well as the proportions of the hands, and so forth.

Each hand has 27 bones, counting the bones of the wrist.
There are 8 irregular wrist bones.
There are 5 slender bones embedded in the palm of the hand.
There are 12 knucklebones, 3 in each of the four fingers.
And there are 2 knucklebones in the thumb.

The wrist bones (carpals [G. karpos, wrist]) are considered as a mass, so it really isn't necessary to know the names of each one, or how they are fit together, unless you are an Artistic Anatomy Geek, in which case, go right ahead. On one side of the wrist bones, the bones of the lower arm (the ulna and radius) are attached. I can feel the ends of these bones with my fingers, and sometimes they can actually be seen. The end of the radius bone is always on the thumb side of the hand. The end of the ulna is always on the pinky finger side of the hand. The other end of the ulna is the bony part that forms the elbow. On the other side of the wrist bones are the bones of the hand and fingers.

The length of the hand and wrist is about two-thirds the length of the forearm, or about three-quarters of one head length. The head length of my doll is 10cm, so the length of the hand and wrist should be about 7.5cm.

According the Peck, the finger bones have a ratio of 3:2, which he describes as diminishing thirds. A finger has a palm bone (metacarpal), and three knucklebones. So the ratio of the palm bone to the first knucklebone is 3:2. The ratio of the first knucklebone to the second knucklebone is 3:2. The ratio of the second knucklebone to the third knucklebone is 3:2. So each segment of the finger is not equal in length. The overall length of the fingers is about the same length as the palm.

I am still not quite sure where the hands end up, in relation to the torso. In some photographic references, the wrist bones are at the same level as the crotch, and in other references, the knuckles of the hand are at the same level as the crotch. So I am beginning to think that, in the end, it will be more of an aesthetic decision than an artistic anatomy decision. In other words, I have some room to play. I must always keep in mind that I am making a doll that will be molded in plaster and cast in doll composition slip. I must strive to keep the forms simple.


Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist.
Stephen Rogers Peck.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982.

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