Ellenor Spencer

The main goal of my project was to study the human hand: how hands move, how they’re used to create, how they work, and what they reveal about one’s identity. Second only to faces, hands are the most expressive and complex part of a person’s body. Unfortunately, this complexity often leads to difficulty for an artist. Shortcuts are taken to hide them, compositions cropped to pretend they never existed, arms trailing off into nothing credited as an ‘artistic choice’ – all these things of which I am guilty of myself. I decided to use this project to gain an intimate knowledge of the human hand, and spend the time working at refining my own eye and ability to translate a hand on paper. Through observational illustrations, anatomical studies, and countless gestural practice, I created this project – culminating in a final oil painting.