I have absolutely no idea how art like this is done, but I assume it's hard and the picture turned out awesome, so congratulations.
It would be an interesting picture even without the hand, because of the colors and intricate detailing and whatnot, but the hand definitely adds interest by breaking up the symmetry (and that's just from a design standpoint; the idea behind it is equally intruiging).
Thank you very much for your comments... this piece actually started out as a glass of lemonade and started evolving on its own as I worked on it. I didn't think about the hand until I was finishing up airbrushing the sand. It was a fun one to do