Monday, January 02, 2017

Kirby Hands

Ben Montag saw my FB post about this Tumblr and did a paragraph of essay about Kirby hands. Which I will C&P here...
"(Warning: deep in the weeds) Kirby drew fists strangely. Most artists when drawing a fist coming at you draw with all the proximal phalanges (first finger bone) flat. The viewer sees where the fingers meet the hand and knuckle formed by the metacarpal bones. The thumb is tucked under and the plane of the thumbnail is angled back. Kirby drew where the fingers bends straight on--where the proximal and medial phalanges meet (mid finger knuckle), the hand then is turned up and you don't see where the fingers connect at the top of the hand or the metacarpal bones. The finger bones can't be portrayed receding back from the second knuckle at this angle without a lot of cross hatching so they really do look like four ovals. When the thumb is tucked under the fingers at this angle, the thumbnail is flat to the visual plane. This is the easiest way to look down at your fist if when your arm is resting on an armrest, but an odd way to throw a punch."


MrGoodson2 said...

Here was a comment I stuck in the thread "This archive seems to showcase a lot of botched hand drawing. But I think they show off lots of fun, expressive hands for the most part.

I've come to one realization about Kirby. He's not about drawing the human figure, he's about drawing HIS action figure. Just like sketching a toy that joints very simply and is made of big simplified shapes vs anatomy and detail."

BDMontag said...

I agree with your comment. However, implied in it (or inferred, I thought this way) was that there are things wrong. I think now that there is a lot right about some of the idiosyncrasies. Kriby's fists are accurate if you move the wrist up a little from what you'd expect. We already discussed on this very blog whether tucking the thumb under or on leaving it on the side is a valid fist. Ever see Kirby's furrowed eyebrow close-up? I have seen people, in the right light, look just like it. I have covers to the Kirby Collector magazine where Kirby colored prototype New Gods. Where you would expect a squiggle is where the color breaks to a different tone to look shiny. I think Kirby thought all his costumes were somewhat shiny.

Fake but accurate.

I haven't figured out the knees yet.

BDMontag said...

Wrong is the wrong word.

MrGoodson2 said...

I knew a tae kwon do black belt that liked to make a fist with a top side thumb. Thumb in position to push a detonator button held in the fingers. I thought it was unnatural. Just goes to show you some of the worst advice you can get comes from experts. A boxing glove shows you where a thumb goes when you make a fist. In any fight, always try a Kirby judo chop first.

Kirby's shorthand for muscle striation is never going to be about contours and precious accuracy about volume. It's there as rhythm for the figure's acting job at the moment.

I'm about to pick up The art of the Simon and Kirby studio at the library tomorrow. Maybe I'll do a little Kirby channeling tomorrow.