Yes, I have been working on the drawing! Probably not as hard as I should have been though ;) . I vow to make myself sit for at least and hour a day from here on in. I have found out the hard way that it is difficult to regain my rhythm if I ignore the board for even a day. Not to mention, it doesn't help in the portfolio building department!!
As you can see, the hand has made its appearance into the portrait. I still need to do some smoothing and deepening of values, but it is close enough to show where I am heading with it. The background under the hand will have a harsh cast shadow (like in the other portrait), so that should help push the central focus forward.
I must say that I am actually growing fond of doing hands. Looking back at old sketches, my favorite past time was drawing little critters. I would always do a fair job of completing the fur but could spend an immense amount of time laboring on the little hands. I was fascinated by the different shapes, sizes and colors (love the dark colors of the raccoons and prairie dogs!). The versatility of their hands amazed me and was a wonderful challenge to make them appear 3d. I have had very little experience doing human hands but have found that they are not much different from the little animals. Although, I do find working on a larger scale more of a challenge.
Next up for completion will be the arm. With all of the hair, it will be a challenge of its own. I will make the background similar to the photo reference and let it be slightly blurred. I hope to have this one completed before the start of next week...