Hands Inking Hands

The proper way to draw


I think Escher tried to be inclusive in his famous “Drawing Hands” picture. After all, one of the hands is a left hand and the other is a right hand.

Or maybe Escher just wanted to produce ‘one magical entity that was spontaneously creating itself’. If it were two right hands then presumably two humans would be ‘created’ when the hands are done.

I prefer the inclusiveness theory. But it was not possible for Escher to create all possible permutations with just the two hands. For instance if you haven’t noticed the difference before, look closely at the above illustration I made and look at the hands again. They hold the pen and marker in a way that is different than normal. Indeed they hold their pens the way I hold a pen. I used two right hands. Someone else might prefer to make an illustration with two left handers holding their pencils this way. Even more interesting might be the “self portraits” of a mouth painter painting a mouth painter.

I have always held my pencils and pens this way. I grew up in a small elementary school of 1 class per grade, so in the upper grades there was tittering and chuckling when the teacher found me writing in an ‘incorrect’ way. Teachers who wouldn’t dream of making a left handed child hold a pencil with the right hand, would force me to change my pencil holding for usually a couple days. They had to be on me all the time because without a conscious thought, I pick up my pencil and hold it as illustrated.

So I know how to hold a pen the ‘proper’ way. And indeed, my handwriting and drawing skills are about the same holding the pencil either way. I think your distinct signature and illustration abilities probably stem from in the wrist rather than the pencil holding method. My method of pencil holding leads to a heavier line but I can lessen it if I want to.

The only disadvantage to my way of holding a pencil, that I have ever noted is when extending myself to write at the top of the blackboard. With my method of holding the chalk I extend about an inch or two lower. Imagine if I were an inch or two shorter – such a disadvantage, huh?

In my very early 20s I met a girl at university who held her pen the same way as me. I had been hearing of these friends of friends who held their pens differently and it was usually concluded that they held them the same way I do. But this was the first person I saw in the wild who did it. I said something to her about it and instead of bonding with me about it she clammed up and sort of withdrew. Even when I showed her that I held my pen similarly. Must of been those years of being told she held her pen wrong.

This came up on identi.ca about a week ago. In talking about it, my sister pointed out about me ‘I was the one who writes funny’. And with that lame joke I end this post.

About Larry Russwurm

Just another ranter on the Internet. Now in the Fediverse as @admin@larryrusswurm.org
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2 Responses to Hands Inking Hands

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  2. Pingback: Irrational Bias in the Guardian | The Many Rants of Larry Russwurm

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