LIFE DRAWING   allows the user to reveal a hand image at progressively higher resolutions by launching Conway's Life gliders across it. (Whether bringing Life to the hand image instead of bringing the hand image to life satisfies the problem constraints is an open question.)

To start a glider, click in the black frame around the terminally-low-resolution image, then drag in the direction you'd like it to go. The glider's passing increments the resolution of the picture along the path it takes. 

The applet. 
The source. 
E'beth's index E'beth's index screen capture