I’ve had a couple people worried about my fingers after I did my extreme sketching post, or maybe they were worried about their fingers if they tried this craziness. In any case I wanted to mention something that should have been in the original post.
In previous years I’ve tried various glove solutions for winter sketching and have never found anything that works. This has included all manner of fingerless gloves, gloves where I’d cut just thumb and one finger tip off the glove, thin leather gloves – you name it; I’ve probably tried it.
I see the problem as two fold. First is that you need something that allows you to have a good feel when there’s a pen in your hand and you also want something warm enough to keep your hands warm and ready to start sketching if you’re walking around like I do. These two things are incompatible with one another.
My “solution” came when I started having arthritis problems in my hands. A friend bought me a set of gloves designed for those so inflicted.
When he gave them to me I thought “sure…like those are going to help.” In truth, they might help a little with my arthritis but not much. But they have interesting virtues that other fingerless gloves do not have.
- They are thin and made of an elastic material designed to compress your hand/muscles somewhat as you wear them while doing normal routine things. They also have seams so placed that they don’t get in the way of doing those routines. Because of this goal, they fit tighter/better than anything else I’ve tried. This, of course, comes at a price – they cost about $20.
- Because these gloves are so thin and hold tight to your hand everywhere, I can slide them into my normal winter gloves.
Notice how these two things line up with the problems I’ve mentioned. The thin, fingerless nature of these gloves allow good control of the pen and being able to pull gloves on over them makes it easy to keep my hands warm while I walk.
As I said, these aren’t a perfect solution. When it’s -20C, no thin glove is going to keep your hands warm, but they do keep the wind off your skin, which is a big deal when it’s this cold. I wouldn’t want to rely upon them for a 15-min sketch but for a 5-min sketch, they’re perfect. I wear one on my pen hand only and hold the book with my right, fully gloved hand, which isn’t great but it beats losing my fingers to the cold (grin).