You /must/ use reference. No one ever gets good at drawing hands without looking at a lot of hands. In plenty of drawings, I don't use reference, either because I have a pretty good mental image of what the hand looks like from a particular angle (this comes with time from practice and observation) and/or the hand is not an important element of the picture -- but if I'm ever unsure, or if the hand is a big part of the picture, I always look in the mirror or take a photo or, if the other two options aren't available, just look directly at my hand as best I can. Or someone else's.
Hands are everywhere. Most people have two of them with them at all times. There's never a good reason for not using a reference when a hand becomes a drawing challenge.
its rather frustrating that you're a still a student while being so talented. it really makes me wonder, what it is you're learning!? is art school working for you? i've been thinking about it alot, frankly. but i just don't think i can bear the cost.
To be honest, I'm a bit ambivalent. The first year of school is like a very, very expensive chore that I'm paying for the privilege of doing, and it's tiresome. I had two aims in going: getting a degree, and being immersed in art full-time so that I'll focus, get better, and quit being dilettantish about it. But -- and this may sound tremendously arrogant or egotistical or whatever -- no one I've met, no work that I've seen, and nothing I've learned thus far has excited or inspired me. So, while I still think my aims are sound, it's a bit of a muddle, y'know?
uff. i completely understand what you mean. and it doesn't come off as arrogant at all. I'm studying to get a bachelors in plastic arts, and i have to say that no class i've taken has taught me anything i hadn't already learned from following the artists i do online. But yeah, thanks for the insight.