DPP is soooooooooo incredibly important. I cannot say this enough to people!!! Choose I direction (s) Sketch your key points (normally these are joints, limbs, etc) and plot and sketch the figure/shapes!!!
This will not only usually help you greatly with proportion but also make it so a hands, arms, legs and what not is not bent, contorted or otherwise drawn wrong!!! There is nothing more tacky then having a beautiful picture and seeing that a character has two left hands, or litteraly in some more famous artists peices have a hand upside down!!! Seriously that's just bad.
Taking the thirty seconds or so to plot such simple points not only saves you time but will make your drawing look soooooooooooooooooooooooo much better.
Now in this pic I give you some very, very simple examples of plotting and direction. No this is not step by step, however if anyone would like to see a step by step tutorial please let me know.
Now then let's break this down. On the right is the most basic and simple way to break a hand down. Yes squares are your freinds here. Think back to when you were a kid....you could stack blocks and hold them and turn them about...well hands break down well into blocks and guess what?!! For those lucky enough to visualize a block in your head and turn it about you'll love this!!! And for those that can't grab a block!!! Honest!!!You can plot the entire hand this way and get perfect dierection by stacking blocks and facing them in the direction you want!!!
Now for the round blue circle in the wrist area. My freinds let me intorduce you to the wrist! All your characters have them. And they are good. I slight turn can give your character's hand the appearance to be giving an elequent flick of the wrist or twisting as your character is in pain. Wrists are good!!!! Note this!!!! Stiff arms and no wrists are bad....baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad!!!
Moving on....the red line in this study a litteral line of direction plotting the major planes of the hand. Most advanced artist will have no need to draw such a line being able to completely visualize it if not just draw the hand from experiance. However for new artists I highly recommend such an approach till you become more comfortable and knowligable of the hand.
As you move into more advanced hand possistions you may want to plot the finger direction. You can break the plot line into mulitple lines in the palm and follow the phalanges to the fingers and therefore plot each finger. Also I would again recommend plotting the joints in the finger.
Not only will plotting the joints help you place each individual finger but also give you a sense of width and placement amongst the other fingers. So here is just another very simple series of tricks that will hopefully help many of you out!