After my previous posts on the Cybernetic hands (#1, #2, #3), I wondered if I would be able to draw a new one, since the last time I drew them was in the early 1990s. Today I attempted to draw a new one using my left hand and forearm as reference.
“Life Finds A Way” (May 2006), Pencil/ Ink on sketch paper. Lower res scan 600 x 954 pixels
Initially I planned to do just a sketch of a cybernetic hand and forearm. However, for some reason, I felt it was a bit boring and lost interest. After leaving the preliminary sketch aside, about an hour later, it occurred to me that I could do a Sci-Fi piece. Sort of like a post-apocalypic scene — where a severed cybernetic hand protruding from the groun starts sprouting life, where the cybernetic morphs into something organic. “Life Finds A Way” indeed.
How it was done
At this stage, I am still formulating how the drawing should proceed. Frankly, I wasn’t confident that it would turn out nice but I didn’t abandon the sketch.
At this point, I required greater precision so I switched to a mechanical pencil to outline the main parts of the drawing — the flowers, the section joints, the stem of the plant that’s snaking around and embedded in the hand, the metal/ plastic parts of the cybernetic hand.
Next, I started to ink over the main pencil outlines. I used a Uniball pen (0.5, I think) with permanent ink. I’m rather careful at this stage to ensure that the correct overlaps (for the cables and parts) are drawn. I can amend it digitally later but I’d prefer to keep them correct as much as possible.
More inking of the main lines. I continue to establish the cables and parts of the biotech hand, which will help me establish the areas for fills and finer details. At this stage, I’m still a bit more careful not to overdo the details or else it might get too cluttered later.
I’m almost done by this time. I switch to applying Indian Ink using a calligraphy nib/ pen. Indian Ink has a darker and more robust quality compared to the pens’ pigments, hence I used it to give the required areas more depth and as a contrast to the other dark lines.
Finally I shade the drawing with the mechanical pencil. I intend to try using the layering technique in photoshop to put a fill layer underneath (or maybe it should be above?) the shaded areas. Not too sure how I’m going to do it though. Will have to experiement. Here’s the close-up of the pencil shadings.
Compared with the Cybernetic Hand which I did in 1990…
… mmm, there’s certainly more details in the earlier sketch, primarily due to the larger drawing area. But I have to admit that I was a lot more inspired then!
Well, next part — attempting to paint this digitally using Photoshop.