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>Quite simply, think of a person laying down in front of you, eye
>level....feet first.....draw him...you would be drawing the feet large
>and then go back to a smaller (in proportion to the real) head, in a
>compact, perspective drawing...that is called a forshortened drawing.
>Foreshorten \Fore*short"en\, v. t. 1. (Fine Art) To represent on a plane
>surface, as if extended in a direction toward the spectator or nearly
>so; to shorten by drawing in perspective.
Here is a fun Foreshortening project for middle and high schoolers.
1. Have one student stand against the wall in front of a 6 foot sheet of
butcher paper which has been marked with a horizontal line every foot
moving up from the floor level. Use dark conte or charcoal so that all
students can see the lines behind the model . (The kids will get a sense of
proportion since the head and neck of the child will be about one foot.
2. Have the students mark their drawing paper with two inch lines in rows
to represent the line on the butcher paper. (rulers needed here)
3. Have the students draw the standing child (their model) keeping the two
inch row lines of their drawing paper intersecting the image of the student
they are drawing in the same way that the lines on the butcher paper come
behind the model.
4. Next day, have the students start with a new drawing sheet and use the
rulers to mark lines in rows up the page, at 4", 3 1/2" 3", 2 1/2", 2", 1
1/2", 1" and 1/2"
5. Now, have the kids draw the image, foreshortened, by drawing what was
once between the 2" rows now positioned between the progressively
decreasing rows of their drawing page. Some students find it helpful to
draw a large, inverted, "V" on the page to help them develop the image
smoothly as it gets smaller as it works up the form.
6. On the next day, have them use the ruler to draw the progression of lines
inverted , or 4", 3 1/2" 3", 2 1/2", 2", 1 1/2", 1" and 1/2" coming down
7. Now have them draw the image again by manipulating it into the new
progression of horixontal space, using the original 2" rows of the first
drawing as the guide for manipulating the image foreshortened in the newr
When they get though this, they should have a little better perception of
the proportion of the human form. They will have a little more experience
with a ruler. They will have a betteer understanding of foreshortening,
and they will have a lot of fun manipulating their friend (the model) into a
monumental giant looming high above them in the second drawing and then
drawing a birds eye view of the same giant in the third drawing. .
Robert Fromme <rfromme> or <rfromme>