Prayer is an act that is universal to all religions, throughout human history. The Encyclopaedia Britannica describes prayer as "an act of communication by humans with the sacred or holy," usually a god or gods.
In many religions, prayerful adherents assume certain postures during prayer. These may including bowing with the face to the ground, raising the arms toward the sky, bowing the head, closing the eyes, or "folding" the hands in prayer - typically, by placing the palms and fingers together.
The origin of the praying hands is uncertain. Some sources cite ancient religious use of this gesture, from ancient Babylon and later from the Jews. Other references cite it as a symbol of servitude, arising from the practice of shackling the hands of prisoners so that they could not grasp a weapon and retaliate. Similarly, a medieval pope references the custom of placing one's joined hands into the hands of a feudal lord, as a sign of respect and obedience.
Hands in a prayerful stance have often been the subject of the fine arts. One famous drawing is known as "Praying Hands" or as "Study of the Hands of an Apostle." The drawing was made by painter Albrecht Durer in the year 1508. A 60 foot tall statue, also called "Praying Hands," stands on the grounds of a university in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.A.
Would you like to draw a set of praying hands? This easy, step-by-step drawing guide is here to show you how. All you will need is a pencil, a good eraser, and a sheet of paper. You may also wish to use markers, crayons, colored pencils, or paints to color your finished drawing.
1. Begin by sketching the shape of the hand. Use three curved lines to form three sides of an open, roughly rectangular shape.
2. Use a series of curved lines to flesh out the top side of the hand. Notice the overlap and bulge that represent the knuckle. Use an upside down, roughly "U" shaped line to enclose the thumb.
3. Extend the wrist using a curved line. Then, use a long curved line to connect the sides of the wrist. Use additional curved lines to craft the folds of the fabric of the sleeve.
4. Draw three long, curved lines extending from the hand. At the tips, increase the curve so that the lines intersect. These form the fingers.
5. Draw another long, curved line, forming the third finger.
6. Draw another long, curved line, slightly shorter than the rest. This forms the final finger.
7. Erase guide lines from the hand, leaving a clean outline.
8. Sketch the second hand behind the first. Begin by extending a long, curved line from the wrist to the tip of the pinkie finger. This encloses the side of the second hand. Indicate another fingertip by drawing a short, curved line between the pinkie and ring fingers. Below the hand, use several overlapping curved lines to form the draping folds of the garment. Finally, use short, curved lines to detail the hand on the palm and the knuckles of the pinkie.
9. Detail the hand. Enclose small, rounded shapes on the fingertips to indicate fingernails. Draw short, curved lines to form the curvature of the knuckles.
10. Color your praying hands.
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica , the cross is "the principal symbol of the Christian religion." Millions of people wear a cross on a necklace or employ the cross in body art or to decorate their homes, vehicles, or clothing.
The cross as a symbol has a long history spanning numerous non-Christian religions. Simple X or + marks are found in prehistoric cave drawings. In ancient Egypt, the cross-like ankh or crux ansata - translated "cross with a handle - was often depicted in the hand of the pharaoh or of various deities. It was used both as a fertility symbol and to represent life. W. E. Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words also notes that the cross or t was used as a symbol for the Chaldean god Tammuz.
For 300 years after the founding of Christianity, there is no historical evidence of the use of this symbol in worship. It came into popularity when promoted by Roman Emperor Constantine, between 306 and 337 A.D. Throughout the Middle Ages in Europe, the cross was used as a religious symbol. The design, for example, adorned the shields of knights and crusaders. The cross also appears in much of the religious artwork from the sixth century onward, appearing in paintings, on the cover and pages of religious texts, and in architecture, especially of churches.
Would you like to draw your own cross? The stylized cross in this easy, step-by-step drawing tutorial features a rose wound about it.
All you will need is a pencil, a piece of paper, and an eraser. Note that in each step, new lines are highlighted in blue, while lines drawn in previous steps are shown in black. At times, you will need to erase lines in order to complete the step. You may also wish to use colored pencils, crayons, markers, or paints to shade your finished drawing.
"The eyes are the window to the soul." So states an antiquated maxim. To scientists, however, the eyes are very interesting. For example, researchers are currently developing technology that could use patterns in the iris of the eye to identify people, much as the fingerprint is used currently. Movies and television have long depicted such technology, but it may soon become a reality. In fact, some airports are already testing this 'eye ID' technology.
To artists, the eyes hold another interest. The eyes are surrounded by many, many small muscles, and the movement of these muscles is an indicator of emotion on the human face. Our eyes, for instance, can show whether we are happy, sad, angry, frightened, excited, or bored.
The eyes, then, are an important means of expressing these emotions in the visual arts, yet many artists find the eyes to be one of the more difficult portions of the human face to capture accurately. What is more, it is almost paradoxical that the eyes are one member largely responsible for our ability to draw the eyes of another.
Almost every drawing or painting of humans or animals includes eyes, whether open or closed. As such, many styles have developed. The simplest eyes involve nothing more than a solidly shaded dot. Other simple eyes consists of a circle with a shaded dot inside it. The Japanese manga and anime art styles often lend straight lines and squared corners to the shape of the eye.
Would you like to draw a pair of eyes? Perhaps you are working on a portrait of a friend or family member. Now, the complicated task of drawing realistic human eyes is easy with the help of this simple, step-by-step drawing guide.
All you will need is a pencil, a piece of paper, and an eraser. You may also want to use crayons, colored pencils, markers, or paints to shade your finished drawing. Notice that each step of this drawing guide includes an illustration as well as explanatory text. New lines added in each picture are highlighted in blue.
Faces are integral to many forms of art. Almost every depiction of a person includes his or her face. This spans throughout history, with human faces on amulets and in hieroglyphics being among the earliest artwork discovered.
Faces are universally the most visible part of a person, and the meanings behind facial expressions seem to be universal as well - people from around the world demonstrate emotions such as happiness, sadness, fear, and anger in much the same way.
Faces, however, with their intricate detail, are often considered one of the most difficult things to draw. Would you like to master the craft of drawing the human face? Doing so is easier than ever with the aid of this simple, step-by-step drawing guide. All you will need is a pencil, a sheet of paper, and a good eraser.
Note that in each step, new lines are shown in blue while previously drawn lines fade to black. Some steps involve the removal of lines added in earlier steps. You may also wish to use crayons, markers, colored pencils, or paints to complete your drawing.