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1:42 PM, Friday September 22nd 2023
edited at 1:43 PM, Sep 22nd 2023

I'm sorry to hear of your pain due to drawing. I know all our bodies are a bit different and have different strengths and weakness, but I don't remember having had wrist pain from a lot of drawing for the last 4 years (now, computer mouse and keyboard usage is a different story :) ). How do you hold your pencil/pen and how tightly? Your grip should be rather relaxed (avoid the death grip!). Do you draw a lot with your fingers and wrist? For detailed work this is necessary, but for bigger parts of your work such as gesture, long lines, ellipses, etc. try locking your wrist and moving your whole arm including from the elbow and shoulder. I do recall getting shoulder and general arm fatigue, but with consistent daily usage my arm adapted and got used to it. How big do you draw? The smaller you make your drawings, the more tiny detail work you'll have to do.

I'm no doctor, but to compensate for the huge amount of computer work I do, I've been regularly using the Powerball most mornings for a few weeks; I think it has helped. I'll also occasionally do some extensor exercises to try to re-balance the forearm muscles for carpal tunnel discomfort. Also on the computer side of things, I recently switched my mouse usage to my non-dominant hand to give my right hand a rest. I do still have wrist issues due to high computer usage.

edited at 1:43 PM, Sep 22nd 2023
9:29 PM, Sunday September 24th 2023

Oh sorry I didn't elaborate on the source of the pain. My best guess is that it's a combination of many factors, especially these:

1 - broke my left arm (around the elbow) as a kid and didn't have it in a cast so it's very crooked and although a specialist said it's just a cosmetic issue, I beg to differ because in some specific exercises/movements, it's not smooth or in the worst case I can't do the movement (I can't do push-ups, every other exercise is do-able except for this, it's like my left wrist/elbow just blocks the movement)

2 - as a teen I played a lot of volleyball for a couple years which is one of the worst sports regarding injuries, literally all of my colleagues had at least 1 long-term injury (hand/wrist/feet/ankle) so I'm surprised I don't have one but my fingers are significantly more crooked and it definitely strained my arms in general

3 - I've been playing on the guitar for over 10 years and during those 1st 8 years I spent all of my free time practicing, which is also a huge strain on the left hand, and after like 5 years the wrist pains started so this was probably the last straw lol

4 - Even though I started drawing seriously/more often only after the pain started, I have struggled with holding my pen wrong (as a kid I self-learned to hold it very tightly between my middle and ring finger) but thanks to taking it seriously and researching, I've learned to hold it in a more sustainable and efficient way (otherwise I wouldn't be able to control the pressure) so I don't think it's a factor anymore

Regarding what I use when drawing in various ways, I do both large and small (from 1:1 paper for figure drawing for uni up to A5 sketchbooks), use my whole arm (though with Drawabox I'm learning to use my whole arm for smaller scaled strokes and on a desktop instead of an easel for life drawing) up to the fingers, use the writing grip mostly and the overhand grip for larger/smoother lines or curves.

Oh we do have a powerball in the house, haven't used it yet but I'll give it a go to see if it adds more support! As for PC usage, I do spend a lot of time on it, but I've never had any issues so far, except for exam season where I'm writing a ton of notes or an essay/thesis for which I arm myself with multiple braces, definitely recommend if one can't exactly afford to rest, it's doable in the short term.

I only have a gel mousepad and rest my arms a lot as my chair's arm rests are at an ideal level when using a keyboard (in the under-the-desk drawer) but in the near future I'm definitely gonna buy a vertical mouse and I do dream of training my non-dominant hand to write and draw.

Thank you for all your points and tips, it's always a plus to know more and be more aware of things one already does.

4:56 PM, Tuesday October 10th 2023
edited at 4:57 PM, Oct 10th 2023

Wow, what an injurious past XD Sorry to hear about your broken arm. I also have a slightly crooked finger from volleyball. I really enjoy the overhand grip for drawing with pencil. Yay for the Powerball; I'm glad you have access to one.

You're welcome. I wish you the best going forward.

edited at 4:57 PM, Oct 10th 2023
9:47 AM, Saturday October 14th 2023

Right? xD And I'm lucky I have really fast reflexes otherwise it would be like 10x worst lol. Yayy welcome to the club of volleyball fingers!

I also love using the grip with charcoal and chalk, and I also have a really thick 8B pencil that's a great middle ground between a pencil and charcoal, I don't really use it nowadays but back when I was starting to draw seriously, it was an excellent tool for omitting the details and rather focusing on the essential features of a given reference, especially when unsharpened.

Btw I've been doing wrist/arm/body warmups and stretches before and after (and a few in the middle of) every drawing session for the past 3 weeks and it's helped me immensely, I can't recommend it enough!

Thank you and I wish you the same!

10:44 AM, Sunday October 15th 2023

So I just watched your video with the CT extensor exercises (took my time, huh) and I wanted to thank you! His explanation of what's happening (especially the connection with the neck) is even better than in my videos, or at least I understand it better, and his take on why braces are not supposed to be used in these cases assure me that my avoiding of using it (for more than 24 hrs) is correct.

For everyone else here, I recommend watching and trying multiple types of these exercises/relief methods from these videos and find the right combination for you.

5:43 PM, Tuesday October 17th 2023

You're welcome, Malcress.

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