My characters hands are based on the hands in Aardman's Pirates! (although nowhere near as good)
Once the armatures were made for them (washers with thin aluminium wire for the fingers and thicker for the wrist, epoxy glued then milliputted in place) I started sculpting the hands.
As per ALWAYS i spent ages on the first hand, then made the 2nd only to realise i preferred the latter, so had to resculpt the first.
Ive had to sculpt them straight onto the armature (even though they are detachable if the fingers break) so i can get enough of a wrist on for the jumper to cover.
I wanted to spend a lot more time sculpting the hands but time is not something I have a lot of so had to move on to the laying up stage as seen below. In short, the process of encasing half of the sculpt in plastercine/clay in preparation of the first half of plaster to be poured on top.
I've covered the ball joint in PTFE tape, then made it part of the arm as its easier to cut away the silicone after its been cast than it is risking the ball getting damaged in the cast.