Foreshortening Technique

As the art of drawing is gradually changing and improving, different aspects are being introduced too. The art of foreshortening is one of it. The most interesting and most dynamic poses are in which the body is directed toward the viewer.  This kind of perspective is described as foreshortened.

Foreshortening is surrounded by three principles, overlapping, interconnectivity and shading. Overlapping is placing objects overlapping each other which convey a sense of space. Overlapping actually helps us to separate the forms but we need to consider that the parts of the body are still connected to each other. This is the time interconnectivity works then. By interconnecting, spaces will be filled in projecting a real view of the object. Shading, on the other hand, it the darkening or lightening of some parts. This gives emphasis to whatever is needed to be emphasized. Changing tones of shapes helps to heighten the effect of foreshortening.

Foreshortening technique begins with a simple shape, the cylinder. In this technique, much of the body is seen as series of cylinders. It might be challenging but if you can conceive and perceive the body as cylinders, then you are able to manage the challenges of drawing the figure.

Now, how to start then? Start by connecting joints. Draw a circle (in accordance with the width of each joint). These represent the ends of the cylinder. Afterwards, connect these ends and there, you have the foundation of the arm, giving its shape, size and direction. To achieve a more realistic outcome , refine the contours and add shading to it. This technique is also applicable as well when the arm is positioned receding from the viewer.

Foreshortening is like an illusion of depth. It is a difference between, drawing a figure in profile and drawing a figure directed at the viewer. When the body is foreshortened, it appears to be shorter. It is compressed. There is distortion in the sizes and some parts can be hidden. A normal size can appear as larger when extended towards the viewer.

The technique is simple but it does take some practice. You may be not good in the beginning but remember that practicing makes it perfect or at least better.

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