[On Werk] Looking for a little relief! Give me a hand~

Posted on May 16, 2017

I'm back with a slightly different post~

It's been about a year and a half since I made the switch to my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil to do most of my digital work. It's been a nice upgrade from my trusty Cintiq 21UX -- the retina screen is much cleaner and clearer, and I can still work in all my favorite apps like Photoshop and Clip Studio Paint via Astropad Studio. I'm also way more apt to sketch digitally with native iPad apps like Linea and Procreate.

On the other hand:


My drawing hand kinda hurts from time to time.

I'm not 100% sure what's the cause, but it's developed since Fall of last year. It aches right alongside my middle finger, and sometimes down to the middle of my palm.

I asked my physician for his thoughts and he suggested it was from overuse. So, I started taping my middle and ring fingers together when it ached and took a break from drawing/writing when we went on our trip. I'm also careful about how I open jars and grab things, particularly when I don't have a good, clean grip on it.

Since I think a big part of the problem is how I hold my drawing tools, I've been thinking about ways to switch up my grip.

This is how I usually hold my pens and pencils. I rest the side of the pen against a giant callus on my middle finger and to get better control, I tend to press down hard with my thumb.
Incidentally, this is also how I hold my chopsticks;;
So my goal is to find a better way to hold my pencil, and to also limit the force of my grip to relax my hand - especially during long inking and coloring sessions.
I happened upon an item while browsing Amazon for something completely different --
It's a semi-squishy silicone sleeve designed to fit the Apple Pencil. I had previously tried to fit some pencil grips (you know, those squishy ones they often recommend for kids?) but the Apple Pencil is bigger than your standard #2. It's also kinda pricy, setting you back around $25.
It's kinda similar to an accessory part I used for my Wacom stylus, which is why I chose this particular sleeve.
It expands the barrel to force a change in my grip. (Technically, I can still use my previous grip, but I make a conscious effort to make the adjustment.) It also changes how I draw by using all 3 fingers to move the stylus around, rather than resting it on the crook of my thumb for support.
I'm still trying things out, but I find I'm getting better lines via Photoshop and native iPad apps like Linea and Procreate. (Still struggling in Clip Studio - but I'm making adjustments as I go.)

New Generation - time lapse sketch from Audra Furuichi on Vimeo.

Thanks for putting up with my fugly hand shots! If you're interested in the Plus Ergo grip, you can use my link to get one yourself~ Let me know what you think! I paid for this guy out of my own pocket, and am I not being paid or compensated for this blog post. ★
If you have any suggestions for how I can better adjust my grip, exercises or stretches I can do to relieve that middle finger/palm area, or other grips for my stylus that I can try out, let me know!
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