Drawing and Painting Hands – ASL

"I love you," in American Sign Language.(Photo: Bert Heymans (Flickr))
“I love you,” in American Sign Language.(Photo: Bert Heymans (Flickr))

American Sign Language (ASL) is a complete, complex language that employs signs made by moving the hands combined with facial expressions and postures of the body. It is the primary language of many North Americans who are deaf and is one of several communication options used by people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

The  visual language also requires no sound only keen observation. Students will study drawing hands through their study of American Sign Language by first drawing the alphabet – 26 hands of the ASL alphabet – in their sketchbook. Sketches should be based on their own hand holding the gesture. Use the handout for reference Each drawing should be atleast 3.5″ tall x proportionate width.

Choose a 5+ letter “Power Word” to illustrate. Use drawing paper provided. Center your word by placing the middle “letter” in the center.  Hands are to be completed “lifesize”. Begin by creating a contour drawing of your hand creating the letter. Complete by painting y our hand with either only Payne’s gray or in full color (Cobalt Blue, Alizarine Crimson, Yellow Umber, Naples Yellow, White, Payne’s Gray and Black) to complete realistic fully painted hands.

100 Basic Sign in ASL 

American Sign Language – US Dept of Health

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